Told they probably remove my spleen

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About 8 weeks ago, I was suddenly in the worst pain I ever experienced in my life, after arriving at hospital and a CT scan I was informed half my spleen has died, after 11 days in hospital on morphine and tramadol, I was sent home, 2 weeks ago the consultant told me that I will probably need my spleen removed. I have another CT scan tomorrow. The problem is I am a teacher and love my job, today in was asked if I would be able to carry on teaching with the hundreds of new students we face each year all with new germs etc. I couldn't answer, so I have come here hoping someone might have the answer.

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Stephen I’m in a similar situation, waiting for my spleen to be removed (mine has a large mass that they cannot say is benign until it’s out) and my date with the knife is next Friday. I work in a hospital (midwife on labour ward) so like you, come into contact with all sorts of bugs. I’ve also questioned if I’m in the right place of employment but love what I do.   I guess there are no guarantees for us.  I wonder if as your spleen has half died it’s function may have declined also with or without the op. You’ll get the immunisations which will help reduce the risks. What age do you teach? Older children might be more hygienic I guess and your story  could be a good biology topic for them with an emphasis on the importance of hand washing and the catch it, bin it, kill it campaign. Maybe you could get a hand gel at the classroom entrance for each child to use on entry as we have in hospitals? I wonder if there are any other teachers hospital staff on here that could give us some tips about  how they cope? 
    • Posted

      Hi, Leisa

      I'm not seeing the consultant again until September, god knows why so long, although he did say if the pain continues he would see me earlier, walking around the school really sets off the pain. Part of me wants to call and say let's get this over with, part of me say can I just live on pain killers for ever. So many questions yet it so hard to find any answers.

      I have another CT at 11am today. The I suppose it waiting game, no one has said what the currebt effect is on my immune system is, he just said there no point leaving a damaged organ inside.

  • Posted

    He’s probably right, better out than in. I’m taking lots of pain killers too at the mo, trying to keep them to the minimum  of course.  Good luck with the CT.  Hopefully they’ll have more answers for you following that.
    • Posted

      Well hope everything goes well for you on Friday, let me know if you hear what that say about you staying on in your profesion.

      Oh I teach from year 7 to post 16.

      I use to do a lot of running, so having it removed should at least allow me to get back to that, looking on the bright side.

    • Posted

      Me too. Not run since February, Strava thinks I’ve died!  Feel so unfit at the mo, lots of dog walking though (dog owner; another asplenic issue to face!) Hopefully back to lacing up the trainers again soon and if it was between me and the dog the family would probably choose the dog so I will to have to dodge the dog slobber for the foreseeable future wink 
  • Posted

    I've been asplenic for 20 years - through trauma which meant I could not get immunisations in advance. After the initial surgery and recovery I would describe it as impacting on my life, rather than life changing. I don't get sick more often but when I do it takes a bit longer to shift. It is always there as an issue but in reality you are more likely to die in a car crash driving to work than you are from something you pick up in the classroom. My advice:

    - take antibiotics daily and always have a stronger antibiotic available if you get sick and struggle to shift the infection

    - keep your immunizations up-to-date and stay aware of new ones - at least 3 have come out since I had my splenectomy

    - stay physically fit and take multivitamins

    - use a hand sanitizer (not excessively)

    Best of Luck with your next steps



  • Posted

    Hi Steph, 

    I had my spleen removed in May 2017 and after the recovery I was terrified but have been absolutely fine and feel great. I had my vaccinations. I take good care of myself with diet, exercise and sleep. I do not take antibiotics unless needed for an infection (and haven't needed them yet). The only things I do differently are: I do not touch my eyes/nose/mouth (good practice for anyone really), I wash my hands frequently and use disinfecting wipes a bit more frequently than I used to, I keep up the recommended vaccinations and I won't travel anywhere where there is malaria/zika or poor sanitation and I'm careful of ticks when hiking. That is it. It's been easier than I anticipated.

    I have a friend who lost her spleen also and she works at an elementary school. She has no problems. She does not take antibiotics and just gets the recommended vaccinations. I think it takes a couple years for your immune system to recover. I think I would skip one cold/flu season with the kids but your doctors can tell you what the risks would be-- maybe very, very, low. 

    If you have the option try to get robotic surgery. There is less scar tissue afterward which means less pain in the future and a shorter recovery. Most people do not get this though because it requires special training. 


  • Posted

    Well I was seen again by the consultant today, and although over 50% of my spleen had died, he showed me the old and the new CT scan my spleen is reaping and one large portion is now alive again. So he thinks in 3 months my spleen will be 100% again . No more worries about it being removed.
  • Posted

    That’s great news Stephen, well done. They attempted my op last week but the mass that was once confined to my spleen has spread to my stomach, pancreas and got tangled around arteries and beyond so I was closed up, spleen intact. Got to wait the outcome of a biopsy and a new ct to see extent of the spread. I’ll probably loose my spleen in time along with bits of stomach and pancreas and have chemo etc to shrink the nasty.  All depends on which type of nasty it is before they make any decisions. I have a good baseline fitness thanks to all the running I used to do, a positive mental attitude and a husband and two daughters to live for so will fight to win this latest challenge 
    • Posted

      Your fight and win just going to be a long run but you win. I hope the biopsy goes okay and it's a positive outcome as much as it can be.

      Hay maybe one day we be doing the same run when your 100% again

    • Posted

      Thank you Stephen. Yes that’d be a great goal. Good luck with the rest of your recovery smile

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