The Importance of Following Doctor’s Orders

The Importance of Following Doctor’s Orders

As I write this, I am waiting to see if we need to make a one hundred mile one way trip to take care of my mother-in-law. She had surgery today, and has already taken the bandage off. The surgery involved an artery and a vein. It’s still bleeding.

She took it off because it bled through, and was “dirty.” It was against doctor’s orders, but it didn’t stop her. Now, we don’t know what has happened to the surgery site, the reason for the surgery and/or whether or not this bleeding could be life threatening.

It’s not the first time I’ve dealt with a patient who doesn’t follow orders. Some try to walk before it’s safe after leg, ankle or foot surgery, Others take the bandages off to soon. Some eat before surgery and really regret it afterwards. All of these can cause preventable problems.

It’s easy to ignore a doctor’s advice, and many, if not most of us do it at some point in time. When the order is over something minor, we may even get away with think we do. What happens when it’s a big deal?

This particular surgery involves an artery and a vein in the arm. If it were the leg, it would be an immediate threat to life and limb, but there is a bit more lag time for an arm. Not leeway, though. No, this is a serious and potentially deadly problem.

Several things could pose life threatening problems. If the bleeding can’t be stopped, it won’t take all that long to bleed to death. This surgery site is nearby all those bleeders wrist slitters use. Sound sinister? It is and it is not to be played around with.

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The reason for surgery can also pose problems. There are a lot of reasons for surgery in this region; carpal tunnel is but a short distance down the arm and surgeries for breaks, ligament and cartilage damage could be feasible. In this instance, it is installing a stent to prepare a patient for dialysis.

Sound simple? Not really. A connection has to be made between an artery and a vein. Because these vessels are always under pressure, bleeding can pose a serious risk, even if you do what the doctor tells you. Take the bandage off too soon and you invite disaster.

I often write articles from a personal perspective, but usually not this serious of an issue. Please look at this article as if it was written by your child, your spouse or other loving relatives. If your doctor tells you to do this or avoid that, it is for a good reason. If you want to prevent your family from the sleepless night we now look forward to, please follow your doctor’s instructions.