• Welcome to the Anxiety Community Forum, a friendly space for discussion, help and support with mental health issues. Please register to post and use the extra features available to members. Click here to register.Everyone is welcome!

Really anxious about upcoming surgery...

Hurt&Hopeful

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
617
Reaction score
326
Hey guys - I have a bum knee that has been acting up, and I have been stuck in bed for a few days. I found out today that I'll have to have surgery. Nothing major or life-threatening, but it will require general anesthesia and leave me immobilized afterwards for a bit. I have been doing some pretty intense therapy over the past year, and I feel like I finally got a medication balance that is working for me - I haven't had a panic attack in several weeks, even when anxiety has run high. I've managed to work through it and feel "safe," even over holidays, which are usually tough for me. So when I got the call today about test results, and they started describing surgical options, it's like my arms and legs went cold and I felt like I was going to throw up. It came on pretty hard and fast, and I had cancel everything for the rest of the day and just breathe/cry. I know most of you have been there before...

So I think there are 2 things really triggering this right now - first, I feel completely helpless right now, and that's making my anxiety run high. Second, I HATE hospitals and especially surgery because of some trauma in my past. The out of control feeling when you're going under anesthesia, the waking up not knowing where you are, the lights, the ceiling tiles in the room, the smell, all of it. I had a really hard time doing an MRI this week. But in this case, I don't really have a choice - I have to do this. I have to get through it. Anyone got helpful tips? How do you get through the things that you really just can't avoid?
 

Hurt&Hopeful

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
617
Reaction score
326
I am talking to a surgeon today, and my anxiety is REALLY high. I feel lightheaded and sick at my stomach most of the time, and I haven't been sleeping. Could use some encouragement - this is really a tough week.
 

triceps

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
1,145
Reaction score
631
Hey guys - I have a bum knee that has been acting up, and I have been stuck in bed for a few days. I found out today that I'll have to have surgery. Nothing major or life-threatening, but it will require general anesthesia and leave me immobilized afterwards for a bit. I have been doing some pretty intense therapy over the past year, and I feel like I finally got a medication balance that is working for me - I haven't had a panic attack in several weeks, even when anxiety has run high. I've managed to work through it and feel "safe," even over holidays, which are usually tough for me. So when I got the call today about test results, and they started describing surgical options, it's like my arms and legs went cold and I felt like I was going to throw up. It came on pretty hard and fast, and I had cancel everything for the rest of the day and just breathe/cry. I know most of you have been there before...

So I think there are 2 things really triggering this right now - first, I feel completely helpless right now, and that's making my anxiety run high. Second, I HATE hospitals and especially surgery because of some trauma in my past. The out of control feeling when you're going under anesthesia, the waking up not knowing where you are, the lights, the ceiling tiles in the room, the smell, all of it. I had a really hard time doing an MRI this week. But in this case, I don't really have a choice - I have to do this. I have to get through it. Anyone got helpful tips? How do you get through the things that you really just can't avoid?
Hi Hurt. Not sure if I have any tips but that might change during this post. I had made it 64 years without any surgery or broken bones except for getting my tonsels out as a kid. I was deathly afraid of hospitals, needles etc.. Couple years ago I had a brain bleed where all of my fears were addressed at once. Brain surgery, iv's, cute nurses inserting catheters, mri's...every nightmare I had about health care procedures and to top it off, cutting off my smokes. I was partially paralyzed on my right side, had trouble speaking but all of that mostly recovered with home speech and physical therapy.
The cool thing was I made it through it. I wouldn't tell my wife this but my anxiety made me much more concerned about the hospital experience than about living or dying.
So...as often happens with us, we blow up our fears and things usually turn out less terrifying. I don't have an active fear of hospitals anymore but would prefer not to test the newfound confidence in that area anytime soon.
 

Hurt&Hopeful

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
617
Reaction score
326
Hi Hurt. Not sure if I have any tips but that might change during this post. I had made it 64 years without any surgery or broken bones except for getting my tonsels out as a kid. I was deathly afraid of hospitals, needles etc.. Couple years ago I had a brain bleed where all of my fears were addressed at once. Brain surgery, iv's, cute nurses inserting catheters, mri's...every nightmare I had about health care procedures and to top it off, cutting off my smokes. I was partially paralyzed on my right side, had trouble speaking but all of that mostly recovered with home speech and physical therapy.
The cool thing was I made it through it. I wouldn't tell my wife this but my anxiety made me much more concerned about the hospital experience than about living or dying.
So...as often happens with us, we blow up our fears and things usually turn out less terrifying. I don't have an active fear of hospitals anymore but would prefer not to test the newfound confidence in that area anytime soon.
That sounds TERRIFYING - I'm so sorry that you went through that. Yeah, my anxiety is totally around the surgery and hospital experience itself. I am not worried about living/dying because this isn't a life or death experience, but the last time I was hospitalized, it was. I also have this weird fear that my knee won't heal correctly, and I'll be stuck like this forever and never move my leg or walk again. I normally don't have issues with health fears or anxiety, so it's weird. I really think that it's just PTSD from this accident I had several years ago that was emotionally, physically, and spiritually traumatic for me for reasons I won't go into. I even struggled when I was in the maternity ward several years ago for the birth of my son - what should have been a happy time was just miserable because of the panic attacks over being there. So I just need to process all that, I guess, and get through it somehow. This morning, I don't feel like I can even make it to this appointment without passing out. I want to hide.
 

triceps

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
1,145
Reaction score
631
That sounds TERRIFYING - I'm so sorry that you went through that. Yeah, my anxiety is totally around the surgery and hospital experience itself. I am not worried about living/dying because this isn't a life or death experience, but the last time I was hospitalized, it was. I also have this weird fear that my knee won't heal correctly, and I'll be stuck like this forever and never move my leg or walk again. I normally don't have issues with health fears or anxiety, so it's weird. I really think that it's just PTSD from this accident I had several years ago that was emotionally, physically, and spiritually traumatic for me for reasons I won't go into. I even struggled when I was in the maternity ward several years ago for the birth of my son - what should have been a happy time was just miserable because of the panic attacks over being there. So I just need to process all that, I guess, and get through it somehow. This morning, I don't feel like I can even make it to this appointment without passing out. I want to hide.
Just try to concentrate on the short term. Today all you have to do is get to that appointment.
 

He Man

Active Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
Messages
117
Reaction score
68
Rooting & praying for you H&H.
Good luck..
 

triceps

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
1,145
Reaction score
631
Isn't it nice that you're there so that you don't have to clean up that puke at home? Let us know if getting past that appointment brings you some relief from all of that anxiety thinking.
 

Hurt&Hopeful

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
617
Reaction score
326
Isn't it nice that you're there so that you don't have to clean up that puke at home? Let us know if getting past that appointment brings you some relief from all of that anxiety thinking.
Okay, this made me LAUGH OUT LOUD. Just what I needed....I made it through. No puking. I knew this doctor, so I just told him the truth, and he is understanding and willing to work with me to make it as easy as possible. I will talk to another surgeon tomorrow for a second opinion so baby steps....I got this...
 

Rosy

Active Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
325
Reaction score
144
Okay, this made me LAUGH OUT LOUD. Just what I needed....I made it through. No puking. I knew this doctor, so I just told him the truth, and he is understanding and willing to work with me to make it as easy as possible. I will talk to another surgeon tomorrow for a second opinion so baby steps....I got this...
Keeping fingers crossed that everything goes well. It's helpful you know the dr. When I broke my leg the Dr. who did surgery on me was my boss. I worked for him for 20 years as a medical assistant. He knew about my anxiety and it made it easier. Listen to Triceps. He won't steer you wrong. We have helpful and understanding people on here.
 

Hurt&Hopeful

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
617
Reaction score
326
Keeping fingers crossed that everything goes well. It's helpful you know the dr. When I broke my leg the Dr. who did surgery on me was my boss. I worked for him for 20 years as a medical assistant. He knew about my anxiety and it made it easier. Listen to Triceps. He won't steer you wrong. We have helpful and understanding people on here.
Thank you, Rosy. I agree - we're all gonna make it!
 

Hurt&Hopeful

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
617
Reaction score
326
I am having a really hard night tonight with this. The pain is pretty bad, and it's getting to me - also, just feeling "trapped." I can't walk at all, so I'm trapped on a bed, home alone most of the time. It's only been 5 days, but I'm potentially looking at several weeks of rehab before I can get back to normal. So it's really getting me down tonight...lots of racing and depressing thoughts. Not sure how I'm going to do this...I know I WILL, but it just seems completely overwhelming tonight.
 

Rosy

Active Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
325
Reaction score
144
I know that feeling. I'm having a night like that too. I just told my husband I don't know if I can handle this anymore. I'm going to tell you what he told me. "You will handle this. Your always handle it. Think of others worse off than you with all kinds of problems and illnesses. What you have can be handled. Some people's problems will never be fixed. You think you are week but you aren't. Your strong. You handle this every day and that takes strength." I don't know if he is right but I felt better and I want to hang in there. You will too. Just think how good you will feel when this is over. Hurt&hopeful you are stronger than you think.
 

triceps

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
1,145
Reaction score
631
I know that feeling. I'm having a night like that too. I just told my husband I don't know if I can handle this anymore. I'm going to tell you what he told me. "You will handle this. Your always handle it. Think of others worse off than you with all kinds of problems and illnesses. What you have can be handled. Some people's problems will never be fixed. You think you are week but you aren't. Your strong. You handle this every day and that takes strength." I don't know if he is right but I felt better and I want to hang in there. You will too. Just think how good you will feel when this is over. Hurt&hopeful you are stronger than you think.
Rosy, that's such good advice for Hurt&Hopeful. Your great husband is right. Look how many years we've been battling this destructive thinking. When we're at our worst, it seems like it's just too overwhelming to keep fighting it. But all of us have been at this point before and since we haven't killed ourselves yet, we obviously made it through all of the other tough times. No sense letting all the past efforts go to waste by giving up now.
 

Rosy

Active Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
325
Reaction score
144
Thanks Triceps. You make me feel better too. You are right. We do handle what we think we can't. And I know Hurt&Hopeful will handle her surgery too.
 

Hurt&Hopeful

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
617
Reaction score
326
Thanks, guys - Rosy, what a sweet sweet thing for your husband to say. Thanks for passing it on - he's right. I have a loving supporting husband, too, but he's also a little overwhelmed because we both work full time, still have a small child, etc. It's tough, and tonight I just had a small meltdown from anxiety and exhaustion. We have to be patient with each other through this ...

I usually say 'one foot in front of the other' - but that would be an unfortunate metaphor right now. Ha!
 

Rosy

Active Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
325
Reaction score
144
Thanks, guys - Rosy, what a sweet sweet thing for your husband to say. Thanks for passing it on - he's right. I have a loving supporting husband, too, but he's also a little overwhelmed because we both work full time, still have a small child, etc. It's tough, and tonight I just had a small meltdown from anxiety and exhaustion. We have to be patient with each other through this ...

I usually say 'one foot in front of the other' - but that would be an unfortunate metaphor right now. Ha!
We are fortunate to have such understanding husbands. A lot of people aren't that fortunate. You sound a lot better. Have a good night. Happy dreams for everyone.
 

Hurt&Hopeful

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
617
Reaction score
326
We are fortunate to have such understanding husbands. A lot of people aren't that fortunate. You sound a lot better. Have a good night. Happy dreams for everyone.
Yep, I'm grateful. He doesn't have a very good understanding of anxiety, so he's not always the best support in a crisis moment, but we're learning together - that's all part of it, right?
 

Hurt&Hopeful

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
617
Reaction score
326
Rosy, that's such good advice for Hurt&Hopeful. Your great husband is right. Look how many years we've been battling this destructive thinking. When we're at our worst, it seems like it's just too overwhelming to keep fighting it. But all of us have been at this point before and since we haven't killed ourselves yet, we obviously made it through all of the other tough times. No sense letting all the past efforts go to waste by giving up now.
Possibly the most practical advice I've seen - ha. I have been through the suicidal feelings and thoughts, and don't intent to let myself go there ever again. I have much better resources now...
 
Top