We decided to write this blog of our experiences at Professor Campisi's treatment clinic for lymphedema microsurgery as a guide for future patients so they could know where to come, what is involved, and other helpful hints to make the journey easier. The blog is written to present factual material in a humorous way, as sometimes a shared laugh was the only thing that got us through a rough patch.
Shawn Here's the thing about surgery and being a patient or paying guest in Villa Montellegro. And I do mean 'guest' because the staff treat you as if you were staying in a 5 star hotel. After your procedure is finished, you say to yourself,well that wasn't so badbut of course you are on drugs at the time and they haven't worn off so really you don't remember the stay in the hospital or the surgery or anything. And if you do remember, well then I'm sorry. But before I get into the whole hospital stay, I want to express my appreciation to Professor Campisi and Doctor's Campisi and Boccardo who are the finest surgeons I've ever met and their care is beyond reproach. They care about the 'whole person' not just the precise beauty of a stitch.
After surgery I experienced some pain as I was waking up. (This in itself was a bit unusual for me because I've only had surgery in the United States and both times was completely numb when I woke up.) But then the drugs kicked in and it was all good. In fact I only had pain killers for the reminder of the day of the surgery and then not again. I just wish there was some sort of quick fix for staying in bed for four days. But there isn't. Melissa seems to remember three days in bed. For me, it was four days because I had surgery early in the morning so I count that as day one. So you are confined to your bed for four days and able to eat a full meal on the second day. Of course once you eat said meal, you will have to relieve yourself. A catheter works well for number one and the dreaded bed pan for the rest. It's not good but it has to be done, especially if you want to eat some more of the tasty hospital food. Not kidding. The hospital food was very good—if you didn't order all white food or two entrees like I did. Not that a giant ball of fresh mozzarella, mashed potatoes and cauliflower are a bad combination . . .
Day four brings release from catheter, drain (not as dreadful as it sounds) and standing on your own two feet—unless you keel over as I did. Don't get up in the middle of the night without assistance! This will bring extra nurses, blood pressure cuff, and lots of monitoring all because you wanted to walk to the bathroom which at one time was doable. Have no fear, you only have one day to go and it's not like you are in a torture chamber for goodness sake! Except I felt like I was in solitary confinement. Luckily my husband stayed with me the entire time. He went well beyond the call of duty when he scoured the city for English magazines and newspapers because unlike Melissa, I had no Internet.
You are free after breakfast on day five. No one has to check you out! Just stop by the reception desk and check out. Take a cab back to your hotel or the B&B above Professor Campisi's clinic and take a rest for the rest of the day. Doctor's orders.