An open letter to my surgeon

An open letter to my surgeon

I see my surgeon tomorrow and for the first time in 10 years I’m actually going to be discharged from a medical consultant. *Happy dance.*

I was laying awake with my brain going into overdrive last night, so I was up until the wee hours penning an open letter to Mr D.

I’m hoping for those facing surgery and reading this, that it will help you with what is quite frankly, one of the most difficult life choices/decision that we ever have to make.

Dear Mr D,

Our patient relationship started four years ago, when I was at my lowest ebb and knew that surgery was the only option to claw back some normalcy into my life.

Prior to meeting you, I had lost trust and faith in all surgeons, due to a roller coaster of a ride, when I thought my life had changed for the worst after a slight surgical cock-up that left me on death’s door and disfigured.

Walking into your office on my own after weeks of tormenting myself and checking out your credentials on Google, I actually felt at ease. Thanks to your due diligence of actually bothering to read my extended history and barrage of tests, you actually had a game plan for what would happen next.

You certainly didn’t hold any punches and you didn’t sugar-coat it. You understood me as a patient and you also knew that I was going to be one massive pain in the bottom.

My first surgery with you involved 3D models and you going in blind, as the scar tissue couldn’t be detected until you had me open on the table and could see the damage with your own eyes. I remember waking up from that operation and wondering what on earth you did to me.

I didn’t think straight away that it was going to help, but after recovery time it improved my quality of life so much.

You were also the kind of surgeon that took the time to see his patient on his day off, even in gym clothes, to make sure I was OK.

The second time you needed to sort me out was thanks to my large bowel playing silly buggers and a case of diversion colitis that wouldn’t shift no matter what was put up there. I recall your exact words were, ‘don’t be asking for a reversal, as it’s not possible and not happening.’

You removed my rotten large bowel, made Bertha a permanent fixture and glued my bottom closed.

You and your surgical team saw me safely through 20+ hours of surgery in a 22-month period. You also made me spend nearly a month in hospital, but I can’t blame you for that one. That was thanks to my body throwing an epic paddy and going through post-op ileus both times.

If it wasn’t for your capable hands and your knack of dealing with difficult surgical patients, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I may now have a permanent stoma and my body is plumbed differently, but thanks to you, I now have my life back. I can now have fun with my daughter. I can be me again and actually live life to the full. I can never thank you enough.

This is a heartfelt thank you that comes with buckets of gratitude for the surgeon and surgical team that changed my life for the better.

Many thanks for reading,

Louise X


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