Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Frequent Surgery

We have each had around 100 surgeries in our lifetime.  This past Tuesday, Maliyah just had her biannual back surgery (Click here for a back surgery recap from 18 months ago).  Since our separation, we have both had them every six months, but Kendra probably won't have to have another one unless something goes wrong with her VEPTR (Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib, a titanium rod that runs the length of our spines).
For us, surgery isn't everyday, but it is a routine which influences our overall lifestyle.  We want to share with you our experience with surgery and answer any questions you might have.
Kendra Before Surgery
Frequency: To preface, we usually have surgery about once every sixth months, but sometimes we need it more often for different things.  The reason behind our repeating surgeries is that our bodies need a little more help since they aren't like everybody else's.
What is frequent surgery like: We have had surgery often, but it is still exhausting every time.  Of course, pain is to be expected, but it is hard to remember how bad the pain truly is.  It can be difficult to get a good night's rest after surgery because the pain wakes us up.
Leading up to Surgery: Neither of us look forward to surgery.  One of Kendra's biggest fears is not waking up from surgery.  For both of us, the pain is something to dread.
Hospital Staff: The Hospital Staff is amazing and always takes great care of us.  A question that we have been asked is if everybody knows who we are when we walk into the hospital.  Surprisingly, not many know us well.  That being said, a few have had us as patients throughout the years and are able to recognize us quickly.
After Surgery: For larger surgeries, we stay at the hospital for a few days to a week.  For VEPTR expansions, we usually go home the same day unless the entire VEPTR is changed.  If that's the case, we usually only stay overnight.
Recovery Time: There is a pretty significant difference in our recovery times.  For Maliyah, it only takes about a week to a week and a half, even with a larger surgery.  For Kendra, feeling fully better can take anywhere between three weeks to a couple months.  This, of course, is because we are different people with unique preferences and pain tolerance.
Recovery Quality: Again, our experiences differ when it comes to how difficult surgery and recovery is for us.  For Maliyah, it has become easier as time has gone on.  For Kendra, the repetition and long recoveries have been difficult.  When she was little, just two weeks after separation she was jumping on the bed, but now it isn't easy just to get out of bed two weeks after surgery.

Maliyah After Surgery
We hope this post helped you understand more about our experiences and what frequent surgery is like.  If you or a family member happens to be going into a surgery within the next few weeks, don't worry too much!  It definitely isn't easy, and recovery can be gradual, but it is absolutely possible.  Ask any questions we missed by commenting here or on Facebook. 
Watch out tomorrow for a video featuring Kendra, pastry chef to be, decorating a cake!
Thanks for Reading,
Kendra & Maliyah
~The Herrin Twins~

No comments:

Post a Comment