Hi Hannah, I suggest you send a private message to Chambo, he had translab surgery in Melbourne in 2006. I don't know how often he checks on the board so a private message might be best. I was messaging him a few months ago. I know there are others from Australia on the board as well.
As for me, I had translab surgery in 1992 at the age of 36. My left side is paralyzed but looks normal at rest, can't smile but I can grin. I just retired after working in an office and dealt with customers all day, worked there for 24 years. Hopefully all goes well with your surgery but if there is some paralysis you won't have to go into hiding. The chances of you having a stroke or dieing isn't worth worrying about, it rarely, rarely happens. Instead you can focus on what to do to help you have the best outcome you can.
I'm sure others will chime in soon to help ease your fears. Jill Marie