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Anyone ever have surgery?


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#1 lmbarns   Members   -  Reputation: 460

Posted 14 September 2012 - 05:24 PM

I'm trying to figure out the effects facing the few of us that develop medical problems temporarily halting all development aspirations.

Is it even possible to work while taking narcotics? Think straight, comprehend documentation, etc?

I'm just feeling crushed right now, 28 years old, full time student with 7 classes left, have spent every free moment for 2.5 years learning some aspect of game development. Was close to releasing some kids games a month ago, then haven't even been able to open any projects for 3 weeks cause a tumor that's progressively gotten worse over 10 months is pushing on a bunch of nerves deep behind my eye and has finally become pretty debilitating.

Anyone ever have an experience like this, or any surgery I guess, since the meds probably suck no matter what. Were you able to work through them?

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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9896

Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:29 PM

This is going to vary according to the person, the illness, the procedure, the medications, the duties. You have to make your own decision whether you should even try to continue with your schooling, or bail out until you're better. My recommendation is that you talk to your counselors and teachers at school, and of course your doctors. Make the right decision for you.
A decision grid might be helpful.
-- Tom Sloper
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Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#3 Bacterius   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 8886

Posted 14 September 2012 - 08:16 PM

I never had something as serious as you but a few years ago, I had a large tooth abscess (that developed because of a chipped tooth). I had to get it sucked away etc..., I'll spare all the gory details, needless to say it hurt like hell. I had to take lots of meds for the pain after (which was unbearable, trust me - if it wasn't for those painkillers I would have knifed my teeth out) and was essentially as responsive as a zombie for the following week - it was impossible to even think clearly, much less attempt to do any work. Although it wasn't any better before the operation, I couldn't open the mouth at all and every waking thought was directed to minimizing immediate pain.

And this one time a few months ago, I had a sinusitis which was causing dull toothache because the sinuses were pressing down on the gums, I was recommended Phenylephrine before sleep to ease the ache a bit... it knocked me unconscious and I woke up with a completely numb cheek and feeling extremely dizzy and could not concentrate clearly on anything (though I could still communicate and do simple arithmetic, I was unable to do anything more demanding). Yeah I know it's all teeth problems but I can deal with other types of pain fairly well, toothache just brings me to my knees everytime.

I think most of the answers to this topic are going to depend on how people react to the medications and post-surgery trauma (if applicable). But in your case it sounds like the surgery isn't the problem, but the disease is. You need to get that tumor removed - I wouldn't be too comfortable with a tumor building up right next to my brain stem. Unless you've already gotten medical help - which I desperately hope - I suggest focusing on survival instead of productivity. Other than that, I think we're all knocked out for a few days or weeks after going through medical problems, but in my experience it only stops once the underlying illness is eradicated. Shooting yourself with painkillers only goes so far.

The slowsort algorithm is a perfect illustration of the multiply and surrender paradigm, which is perhaps the single most important paradigm in the development of reluctant algorithms. The basic multiply and surrender strategy consists in replacing the problem at hand by two or more subproblems, each slightly simpler than the original, and continue multiplying subproblems and subsubproblems recursively in this fashion as long as possible. At some point the subproblems will all become so simple that their solution can no longer be postponed, and we will have to surrender. Experience shows that, in most cases, by the time this point is reached the total work will be substantially higher than what could have been wasted by a more direct approach.

 

- Pessimal Algorithms and Simplexity Analysis


#4 Cornstalks   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6994

Posted 14 September 2012 - 08:58 PM

And this one time a few months ago, I had a sinusitis which was causing dull toothache because the sinuses were pressing down on the gums, I was recommended Phenylephrine before sleep to ease the ache a bit... it knocked me unconscious and I woke up with a completely numb cheek and feeling extremely dizzy and could not concentrate clearly on anything (though I could still communicate and do simple arithmetic, I was unable to do anything more demanding). Yeah I know it's all teeth problems but I can deal with other types of pain fairly well, toothache just brings me to my knees everytime.

Phenylephrine did that do you? That stuff doesn't even do a thing for me (no side effects; actually, it doesn't relieve the sinus issues either). For me, pseudoephedrine is the only way to go. Unless it's phenylephrine hydrochloride. That stuff works wonders, but I often find I'm worse off after the phenylephrine hydrochloride wears off. Anyway, I've always had sinus issues for years until I went to the doctor. They did a deviated septum repair and a double turbenectimy. Not nearly as bad as a brain tumor, but the meds afterwards made me a little goofy (I went to a friend's house and her brother told me I talked to the wall... I don't remember that part). I think the meds were just Lortab, but I was taking a higher dose than I've ever done (when I got my wisdom teeth out and took a lower dosage of Lortab, pretty much nothing happened for me). I was pretty disfunctional for a couple of days, but after that I was just fine. Normally if I get quite sick or am on some meds that make me weird I either a) watch movies, b) play Halo until I get frustrated 'case I can't control my guy well, or c) slowly program stuff.
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#5 Bacterius   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 8886

Posted 14 September 2012 - 09:06 PM

Phenylephrine did that do you? That stuff doesn't even do a thing for me (no side effects; actually, it doesn't relieve the sinus issues either). For me, pseudoephedrine is the only way to go. Unless it's phenylephrine hydrochloride. That stuff works wonders, but I often find I'm worse off after the phenylephrine hydrochloride wears off.

Yeah, I took one dose and went to bed, went into a fever and passed out an hour later, woke up next morning as if a dentist had broken through my window and administered several hundred Novocaine shots into my upper right molars. At least I didn't feel any pain - I didn't feel anything for that matter and bled my inner cheek a couple times by biting too hard. I will try the pseudoephedrine next time, noted - thanks.

The slowsort algorithm is a perfect illustration of the multiply and surrender paradigm, which is perhaps the single most important paradigm in the development of reluctant algorithms. The basic multiply and surrender strategy consists in replacing the problem at hand by two or more subproblems, each slightly simpler than the original, and continue multiplying subproblems and subsubproblems recursively in this fashion as long as possible. At some point the subproblems will all become so simple that their solution can no longer be postponed, and we will have to surrender. Experience shows that, in most cases, by the time this point is reached the total work will be substantially higher than what could have been wasted by a more direct approach.

 

- Pessimal Algorithms and Simplexity Analysis


#6 lmbarns   Members   -  Reputation: 460

Posted 14 September 2012 - 10:21 PM

Thanks guys.

I never had something as serious as you but a few years ago, I had a large tooth abscess (that developed because of a chipped tooth). I had to get it sucked away etc..., I'll spare all the gory details, needless to say it hurt like hell. I had to take lots of meds for the pain after (which was unbearable, trust me - if it wasn't for those painkillers I would have knifed my teeth out) and was essentially as responsive as a zombie for the following week - it was impossible to even think clearly, much less attempt to do any work. Although it wasn't any better before the operation, I couldn't open the mouth at all and every waking thought was directed to minimizing immediate pain.

And this one time a few months ago, I had a sinusitis which was causing dull toothache because the sinuses were pressing down on the gums, I was recommended Phenylephrine before sleep to ease the ache a bit... it knocked me unconscious and I woke up with a completely numb cheek and feeling extremely dizzy and could not concentrate clearly on anything (though I could still communicate and do simple arithmetic, I was unable to do anything more demanding). Yeah I know it's all teeth problems but I can deal with other types of pain fairly well, toothache just brings me to my knees everytime.


That's pretty similar to how my problems started. At first half my face was numb/tingling/burning along with my arm on the same side. Then the nerves on the left side started going nuts zapping me constantly, at times it feels like really painful gum nerve pain just above the roots of your teeth. That part of it is called Trigeminal Neuralgia, and it's caused by pressure on the trigeminal nerve. I finally got a prescription for neurontin for it, which made it somewhat manageable and has no negative side effects for me.

But then there was still a pain after toning down the TN, that felt like it was the worst case of deep sinusitis ever. An MRI showed a jelly bean "lesion" near the pituitary gland, smothering the trigeminal nerve and stuff around it. Eye problems started next.

That led to laying in a compromising position in the neurologists office as he stuck a BIG needle in my spine and waited 30 minutes while enough fluid dripped out.

Nothing showed up in the spinal fluid to explain the lesion, no cancer, bacteria, virus, etc. He gave an extremely rare diagnosis (Tolosa hunt syndrome) which also destroys your eye nerves/function, started me on steroids and said if it's not going away within a week or two then it's a tumor (cavernous sinus meningioma) requiring biopsy, but it's in a place they can't really get to, lot of important stuff there. It's been 5 days and no improvement so I'm just thinking through my next 3-6 months if I have to get laid out.

edit:: I actually got the referral to the neurologist from an orthodontist because I thought a tooth had moved up there, the main doctor I'd been seeing wasted months of my time telling me I had migraines and trying bullshit meds that just wasted a lot of time.

Edited by lmbarns, 14 September 2012 - 10:29 PM.


#7 Krohm   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3119

Posted 15 September 2012 - 12:48 AM

Is it even possible to work while taking narcotics? Think straight, comprehend documentation, etc?

Yes, but it is not time-effective. Code produced is low quality. If this is stressful, then it will probably hold you back from recovering. Having been there, I'd say you have no chance to be effective if the pain is somewhere in your head.

Best wishes.

#8 SymLinked   Members   -  Reputation: 867

Posted 15 September 2012 - 05:15 AM

I can't compare any surgery I've had to anything like what you're going trough, but I've had the same problem as Bacterius. I couldn't sleep because of the pain, and because of that I couldn't complete any home work and had to cancel all sparetime contracts or put them on hold until I got the meds. I think it's easy to underestimate this kind of pain, it really shuts you down; and I'm not even sensitive to pain.

Still, what you're probably going to produce code-wise (if you try) is low quality stuff that you'll refactor anyway when you get better. If I were you I would focus totally on recovering from your illness. It's your health, worry about your education when you get better. You got plenty of time, you're only 28 (as am I). If you don't stress yourself out, you'll recover faster which means you'll get back to your habits (school, work, your hobby etc.) faster.

Hope for the best! The stuff you're going trough would put me down totally mood-wise. I feel for you and wish you all the best!

#9 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 13600

Posted 15 September 2012 - 07:40 AM

I have had many surgeries and I always bring my laptop to do work in the hospital. I usually have to stay for weeks at a time, so I have a lot of experience with exactly this situation.

Coincidentally, I did the terrain libraries for both of my past 2 engines while high on morphine in a hospital bed.
The code was not horrible, but I made a few idiotic mistakes. Luckily, idiotic mistakes are the easiest to spot and fix.

But your results may vary. Since I have had so many surgeries I have a high tolerance for drugs. So high in fact that I awakened during my last surgery, lifted my head, looked at the doctor, and told him I was awake. He didn’t stop cutting or say anything. About a minute later the nurse finally injected more anesthesia.
This probably won’t happen to you, by the way, unless you have had many surgeries already.


So while I can say it certainly is possible, it depends on your tolerance towards drugs. I wasn’t very productive the first few times, but I also wasn’t trying to be. I think I could have done more if I had wanted.


L. Spiro

Edited by L. Spiro, 15 September 2012 - 09:44 PM.

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#10 Katie   Members   -  Reputation: 1332

Posted 15 September 2012 - 08:40 AM

I had abdominal surgery some years back. Four-and-a-half hours in surgery... I was out of my mind on morphine for the next couple of days. Had a really crap week confined to bed with a dozen tubes into various bits of me. Second week I was at least staggering around the hospital a bit. Honestly was in no state to write software for a good couple of weeks. I barely managed to read a couple of books. I was just about capable of watching TV.

Been back a few times for more stuff, but it's generally just been day surgery and only knocked out for half an hour or an hour. Even so, they can take a good couple of days to get over.

So, yeah, don't count on being able to work through it. Sorry.

#11 kseh   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2076

Posted 15 September 2012 - 02:34 PM

A couple months ago I watched my Dad's health deteriorate to the point where he could no longer play guitar. It wasn't ever his livelihood but most certainly something that he loved doing. I guess in his words, he just couldn't make the notes work anymore. It's heartbreaking just seeing this from the outside, I can't imagine the actual turmoil of loosing the ability to do something you love.

Some conditions you can recover from and hop right back onto doing what you love with no impact. Sometimes you find yourself in a place where you have to relearn what used to be instinct. Sometimes you never get it back. Loosing our talents is something that we will all be faced with as we get older. It is the way of things. And it is unfortunate that it may happen sooner for some. The only advice I can give would be to diversify yourself. Don't let any one thing become your identity such that if you loose that one thing you have nothing to live for.

#12 lmbarns   Members   -  Reputation: 460

Posted 16 September 2012 - 10:35 AM

This is going to vary according to the person, the illness, the procedure, the medications, the duties. You have to make your own decision whether you should even try to continue with your schooling, or bail out until you're better. My recommendation is that you talk to your counselors and teachers at school, and of course your doctors. Make the right decision for you.
A decision grid might be helpful.

Decision grid is good. Reminds me of a paredo chart.

As an employer what's a reasonable phrase on a resume for something like this? "Disabled", "surgery", "brain tumor". Like, I'm going to have a multiple month period on my work history where it's blank, right now I just do side work construction stuff to survive. But it's 1099 sporadic work. Earlier this spring I worked in an office, but after 3 months it was apparent I can't interact with people all day (effectively) without just flaring up this extreme pain in the face/eye, and symptoms were much better back then.

The other thing is the waiting where you're not "officially" disabled. It's been 5 months since my MRI turned up a mass, and it's just been a constant wait to figure out what it is. They start with blood tests, ruling out organ problems, then a spinal tap to check spinal fluid for cancer, infection, etc anomalies, then try a treatment, then another MRI to see if it's going away with treatment, then surgery if it's not. I may end up trying radiation, another "wait and see" treatment killing more months.

#13 Krohm   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3119

Posted 17 September 2012 - 01:07 AM

I'm loving modern countries, in which you get painkillers which actually work!

#14 lmbarns   Members   -  Reputation: 460

Posted 14 March 2013 - 04:45 PM

Damn, 7 months after making this post I've been through a dozen drugs, some made me not even turn on my computer anymore. Even now oxycodone is nothing compared to tegretol and neurontin's effects on you.  I just got referred to the surgeon a couple weeks ago who wants to do a craniotomy, and it just so happens to be my final semester in school.

 

The surgeon said to schedule when I'm ready, since I'm young he can get me in with 2 weeks notice, and I'm thinking I should just get it over with. Maybe get ahead in a few of my classes so I can be down a couple weeks recovering. But I think I'd be more productive in school afterwards not being on high doses of half a dozen drugs.



#15 Krohm   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3119

Posted 16 March 2013 - 04:06 AM

This sucks man. Thank you anyway for letting us know, I guess we all wish you the best!



#16 lmbarns   Members   -  Reputation: 460

Posted 17 April 2013 - 06:01 PM

Not only did I get brain surgery but also landed my first professional programming job using Unity 3d at a local studio.

 

I had brain surgery 2 days ago, Mon morning and I'm already home feeling good. These pics are from this morning when they took off my bandages before coming home:

 

52kyhj.jpg

 

4vh4r9.jpg

 

I told the surgeon I wanted a cool scar out of it and he came through lol

 

But honestly I was so stressed out about no income and a long recovery but I got my dream job the week before surgery and since it's a new position at the company they said no problem if I don't start for a week or two. I should grow a mohawk lol


Edited by lmbarns, 17 April 2013 - 06:03 PM.


#17 Oberon_Command   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1900

Posted 17 April 2013 - 07:29 PM

I'm told that after I got my wisdom teeth out, I did a "David after dentist" impression and then spat blood everywhere. I don't remember that bit, though I do remember still being awake enough to go to the bathroom after my third hit of whatever (oral) anaesthetic/amnesia-inducer they gave me and remarking on my way back that the walls seemed to be melting.

The next day I played StarCraft for a while and seemed to do okay. I guess if I'd had to code, I could have done so.

#18 Memories are Better   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 769

Posted 18 April 2013 - 06:24 AM

I have been putting off 2 surgeries since 2010, one is cosmetic and the other one although needed I can live without (for now).

 

Sadly the one I need will put me out of action for a few weeks, not only that I will be unable to drive too or exercise for a while, I think 6+ weeks and I may not be allowed to lift for a year :o. My solution was simply to put them off until I reach my goals, fortunately I am so close to the finish line now that I can smell the anaesthesia ;).

 

The surgery itself doesn't impact my programming projects for long, but it does massively affect all my physical tasks for a long time which is disappointing

 

Good luck with your recovery



#19 lmbarns   Members   -  Reputation: 460

Posted 18 April 2013 - 10:34 AM

I have been putting off 2 surgeries since 2010, one is cosmetic and the other one although needed I can live without (for now).

 

Sadly the one I need will put me out of action for a few weeks, not only that I will be unable to drive too or exercise for a while, I think 6+ weeks and I may not be allowed to lift for a year ohmy.png. My solution was simply to put them off until I reach my goals, fortunately I am so close to the finish line now that I can smell the anaesthesia ;).

 

The surgery itself doesn't impact my programming projects for long, but it does massively affect all my physical tasks for a long time which is disappointing

 

Good luck with your recovery

Life's too short, I'd just go for it and get it over with if it impacts your life at all. I had brain surgery and was typing and surfing the web from ICU within hours and went home after 2 nights.

 

Here's a pic of my scar I took last night, I'm not even taking that many painkillers anymore and it doesn't hurt too bad.

2q2qtq9.jpg

 

And I start my first programming job next Weds lol but luckily it's using Unity 3d and some javascript stuff (html5, phonegap, etc) and augmented reality stuff.

 

The surgeon gave me a pic of the problem, hard to know what it is but it's crazy that they sew stuff up in there:

 

ou9mkl.jpg


Edited by lmbarns, 18 April 2013 - 10:36 AM.


#20 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2143

Posted 18 April 2013 - 11:05 AM

Um, is that your eyeball?






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