Tips for operation & hospital Monday?

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Hello, I'm new on here. Suddenly find ourselves in a scary new world. My Dad (72) is due to have brain surgery on Monday for what they think is grade 4 cancer,  occipital parietal tumour.    He's not stayed in hospital before. Please can I ask for any tips or good advice on helping him feel ok & 'in control'  as can be in hospital?  He has gone from being incredibly independent and capable to relying on Mum/others to be his eyes and ears - his vision has significantly reduced and he struggles to process information he is seeing/ hearing. I have a million questions in general, but right now would love any advice or perhaps things we've not thought of.  Thank you xx

  • You go in the night before, they run blood tests, may send you for an MRI at 11pm or 1am, or an MRI first thing in the morning, then take you to be operated, a few hours later you come out to the recovery room and if all well send you to the HDU which is 4 beds and 2 nurses so you spend some time there and if all well they then send you to the ward which could be 6 beds and a few nurses. If you are well, I advise on a good set of ear plugs. If you are private you do not need the ear plugs plus your wife can stay all day and night. If you are not in good shape having wife in the room the first night past surgery is a definite bonus but she will not be sleeping so she will be shattered. However invaluable help with even a glass of water to your mouth if you cannot move very well or have lost control of your limbs and things go flying. If you are well the next morning you send your wife ahead on a scouting mission and with her help you go down stairs and escape. If you are unlucky you bump into the brain surgeon right at the double doors. Now with covid things will likely be 1000 times worse and with covid as an excuse there is likely to be a ban on any visits. Having someone to care for mum is also important if she ends up spending the night. Surgery itself depends on a million things, from where the tumour is, how big it is, how good the surgeon is, how aggressive the surgeon is, and how well the patient is going in. If operation is on Monday, I suppose you have already had one or more chats with the surgeon and he will have described the procedure and the likely outcome and side effects. If you are unwell you may end up with a catheter after surgery (makes escape very hard). You may also need to stay in longer. Regardless of the prognosis being able to walk / talk is a major determinant in how long you stay. If surgery goes well, you may find a lot of symptoms have magically disappeared right after. There's also the flip side but let's not talk about this. Surgery can also cause swelling which is not good in the brain so they tend to give you steroids to contain it. Even if you go home you got to take them if the surgeon says you need them. In some cases they give steroids well before surgery to reduce the swelling. There could also be visits from physios and others to assess your condition, like control of your limbs but also mental like what days it is where you are, eye / hand coordination etc. It is really very open ended.

  • Thank you  Akist.  Is there anything you wish you'd brought in with you - aside ear plugs?  Thank you.  

  • Hi. My Dad has been in and out, my uncle too. I take their creature comforts - DVD player, news and juice. Occasionally I have seen the consultants, not always clear what I’m being told. They tell dad more so he likes a notepad and paper to write stuff down. I’ve learnt to take it day by day and doing my best not to overthink things. We’re all different so you do what you feel is right, sending a big hug x

  • HI DaughterH

    a warm welcome to the group. So sorry to hear about your dad.

    I see others in the group have already given you lots of sound advice. My husband was diagnosed with a stage 4 glioblastoma in Sept2020 and spent a few days in hospital after his craniotomy. The only things I would perhaps add to the advice already given is perhaps sneak some snacks into his bag. My husband was grateful for the chocolate biscuits. Comfortable clothes (joggers, fleece, just in case the ward is cool - it happens!)

    The only other thing I would advise is that your write all your questions/concerns down and take the notes with you to ask the medical team. Its very easy to become overwhelmed at those first few appointments and those notes will make sure you don't forget to ask about the things that are important to you.

    Hope the surgery goes smoothly. Sending lots of healing love and hugs to you all

    Love n hugs

    Wee Mee xx

    PS - 

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  • Thank you so much for your thoughts. I read them all before dad went in for the op.  It's amazing to have this forum to ask such things  - thank you.  Dad had the op and is back home.  Juice and water and snacks were well received so thank you. 

  • Hi DaughterH

    Glad to hear your dad's home. Give him lots of love and patience. It's a lot for him to recover from. 

    Sending you all a huge virtual hug and much love

    Wee Me xx

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

  • I went in for an 8 hr awake craniotomy. I had a nurse to talk to at all times, except when she went for a quick sandwich. Can't blame her I am boring to listen to. Anyway... I was glad I took earplugs to help sleep due to is being a noisy word. I was woken I think every hour for obs first night. So it is very tiring. However I went in on the wednesday morning at 6am and I was in my own bed at home by lunchtime on the friday. So it wasn't a long stay. Hope all goes well x