as a recent pt., i found the post-op experience to be surprising.
my surgeon downplayed the post-op as very benign.
while it was only an overnight stay, it took me close to a week to feel fairly functional.
immediately post-op, i was given dilaudid, which helped the pain to around a 3.
then i was put on a fentanyl pca, and i'm serious, this did nothing.
it did so little, that i stopped using it all together...
so the nurse asked if i'd like to try toradol.
it worked like a charm.
for the rest of the hosp stay, i only wanted toradol...
but since i could only have it q6h, she encouraged me to continue using fentanyl.
having a chest tube hurts...
esp when you need to deep breathe and cough.
i felt horrible for the first 4-5 days, and the surgeon acted surprised.
now i know that post-op pain is real, and shouldn't be downplayed...
nor should it be "expected".
i expected pain to stay under a 5...i felt that to be reasonable.
i'm glad it's over, for now.