Mar 16Liked by Jeremy Faust, MD

Been there, done that - hernias, chemo, tooth implants, etc. I've learned to simply expect pain to be much more severe than suggested: "discomfort" = "pain"; "pain" = "really bad pain". Your approach is a good one, still not widely followed.

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Dr. Faust & JL & Richard K,

I agree completely and suggest this additional advice. Do some research aside from your attending physician so you will not be surprised and angry. When I was planning to have a CABG5, I asked some friends how they felt after the surgery and how long was their rehab, then I filtered the responses into my own expectations.

I’m a groaner, and I believe that any pain is going to kill me, so I assumed correctly that this surgery was going to be extremely painful and the recovery would be too. But, my cardiologist and surgeon were honest about what to expect, and they told me that if I chose not to have the surgery I needed to “get my affairs in order because it was their opinion that I had postponed the inevitable and long as possible.”

I had the surgery at MGB. The surgeon did a perfect job. He had been doing the operation for twenty years. The surgery and my recovery at the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center intensive care facility was first rate, and the at home rehab was long, painful and required twice as long as I had been told it would take. But, I knew what to expect from others who have had by-pass surgery. It was a painful - very painful - both recovery and rehab, but, I’m alive and I thank the MGB docs for that everyday.

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In September of last year, I had stents put in my bladder. The surgeon went through my kidneys. I had no idea I was going to feel like I was shot in the back for 7 days. Luckily, I have a high tolerance for pain, but, it was still very uncomfortable.

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