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fuglyduckling's avatar

How can I be less nervous before a major surgery?

Asked by fuglyduckling (405 points ) June 19th, 2014

I’m having a 5 hours surgery under general anesthesia tomorrow. It’s septorhinoplasty to improve breathing and somewhat shape. I am very nervous both about the pain and vulnerability as well as the outcome. What should I do to be less nervous at this point?

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39 Answers

Mimishu1995's avatar

Take a deep breath, think that the surgery will do you good and that’s the reason why you go for it in the first place. Think of the happy result you will get after the surgery.

Good luck with your surgery :)

LuckyGuy's avatar

You are normal, intelligent, reasonable person. Of course you will be nervous!
Keep your eyes on the prize. When this is done you will be able to smell a rose at 20 paces and sleep as soundly as a cat on a heat register in winter..

I had similar surgery about 10 years ago to remove severe nasal polyps and correct the effects of a misshapen septum that had been damaged in a childhood injury. I felt and looked awful for a few days But in about 10 days it was great!

Life was better! I could enjoy the aromas of flowers and foods. I could sleep better. I could taste subtleties in food. I could enjoy kissing and related activities.
Yep. Keep your eyes on the prize. It will all be worth it.

Clean your room while you are having this burst of nervous energy.
Good luck!

rojo's avatar

I find meditation helps. It calms the nerves and refocuses the mind.

GloPro's avatar

Good luck today! My advice is to trust in your doctors. Don’t research the procedure ahead of time. Sometimes it’s best not to know all of the details.

Seek's avatar

^ On the other hand, some of us are crazy enough to spend 3 days pre-op researching PubMed articles. Because that’s reassuring.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Oh… a couple of more things….
Just before the surgery they will give you a little joy juice to calm your nerves. It will work. You will go into the room just like hundreds (or thousands) before you . They will start hooking you up to equipment and there will be all kinds of strange noises and discussions. They will ask you to relax and start counting backwards from 100… 99… 98…97… and when you wake up…. your penis will be gone. ;-)

You will have the worst stuffy nose in your life for a couple of days. And when they finally remove the packing material you will feel like you’re watching a magic act with an endless length of gauze painlessly being pulled from your nose. Relief! Wonderful Relief!
That will be the first day of the rest of your life. Nice!

You might have to change your screen name and put swan in there someplace.

GloPro's avatar

@Seek I researched my extensive knee surgery after they rebuilt the whole damn thing. Video of some of the procedures done are kind of scary. They aren’t gentle with your body sometimes. I might research the outcome/benefits/recovery, but not the actual procedure. I also found out after my molars were gone how invasive that little procedure is. Sometimes they put some real force on your face!

My dad is like you. He knew in extreme detail how they removed his prostate. I think it made him feel like he had some sort of control that way. I’m more “do what you need to do, just take it out, see you on the other side.”

Seek's avatar

Oh, I openly admit that I’m weird. I was drilling the surgeon right before they put me under as to what size tubes they were using, and can I see what the laparoscope looks like… (they couldn’t show me, alas).

In another lifetime, I had hoped to become a surgeon.

majorrich's avatar

Yup. Avoid Google and Youtube before the procedure. In this case more ignorance is bliss.

dina_didi's avatar

Think positive! Trust your doctors. When we believe that everything will be ok it does! You can talk about it with your family and friends and if it does not help try to avoid thinking about it, watch a movie on your phone, listen to music or whatever helps you. And do not make any research about it! Believe me it will make you nervous even if the surgery is not dangerous. Good luck!

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Who wouldn’t be uneasy about an involved and invasive medical procedure? The thought is scary, and you’re just normal.

You can calm yourself this evening with distractions – go for a vigorous walk, see a good movie, watch some mindless TV, or read something interesting. And, as some other Jellies have mentioned, please don’t research your procedure on the internet! In cyberspace, you can probably find reasons why eating carrots will shorten your life, or why getting enough sleep at night is hazardous to your health.

Best wishes for tomorrow, and please let us know how it goes.

fuglyduckling's avatar

thanks guys! I keep thinking I will wake up in the middle of the surgery. I don’t know if its possible or not but that movie Awake keeps replaying in my head. I also can’t process the idea of being asleep for 5 hours while people are opening my nose and cutting stuff from it. This is what will happen and since I am so obsessed with reality I can’t stop thinking about it! Even the fact that someone will cut my nose up…

LuckyGuy's avatar

We’ll be waiting for you here when it’s over. Let us know you are OK.
Good luck.

mazingerz88's avatar

First time I had general anesthesia, upon waking up I quickly concluded it was the best sleep I had in 20 years-! I understood why Michael Jackson got addicted to stuff like that.

The following year, I had another general anesthesia again and promised myself I would know exactly the second I black-out. But no-! LOL Opened my eyes and I was already in the out-patient resting room, smiling at a sunny window.

Seek's avatar

@mazingerz88 That is the TRUTH. I was put out with Propyphol, too. Highly recommended. In fact if there are any doctors out there who want to offer me a prescription under the table, I’m awesome at keeping secrets.

mazingerz88's avatar

@fuglyduckling One possible thing you could think about to relax is that you are not going in for a heart transplant or other extremely complicated risky medical procedures. Whatever works. : )

mazingerz88's avatar

@Seek Just like most good stuff, this has a catch. In my case. Few days after the surgery, I had two-second memory lapses or thought disruptions. I would sit in a bus and not realized I was in a bus. For two seconds. LOL

Btw, the first time I had it, after the surgery I wrote an essay ( i think it was an essay ) recording my thoughts and feelings at that time, which I knew would wear off soon. Interesing read. LOL

Seek's avatar

Oh, I lost the whole day of my surgery and most of my time in the hospital.

Worth it.

fuglyduckling's avatar

@mazingerz88 Sounds fun! I heard they stick something to your genitals for you to pee when the surgery is long. Its very weird to be this vulnerable. I guess I should be glad its not a heart transplant… It still gets me how 5 hours of my life will be gone someone opening up my nose and doing all sorts of things to it. 5 HOURS of my life gone without me having any control over it!

LuckyGuy's avatar

@fuglyduckling ” 5 HOURS of my life gone without me having any control over it!”
Don’t you do that every night?

The catheter is not a big deal at all. You won’t need to pee. Drink all you want. It will just flow out and into the bag. It is kind of nice.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@fuglyduckling When you’re in the O.R. and being prepared for surgery, insist that the catheter be inserted after you’ve been knocked out.

I went through this myself once. A nurse was starting to catheterize me while I was still wide awake, and I said “No way.” So, she waited until post-anesthesia. She objected for about 5 seconds and said what if I urinated all over the floor, immediately after I’d been put under. I replied that someone would have to get a mop.

mazingerz88's avatar

Right on @SadieMartinPaul-! :)

@fuglyduckling I’m pretty sure 5 hours would seem like 10 minutes to you upon waking up. : )

fuglyduckling's avatar

Guys! its over! I look horrible my whole face is swollon and my nose hurts because of the stitches and it won’t stop bleeding. My throat also hurts a lot I guess because of the anesthesia machine.

Seek's avatar

Hey! Glad to know you made it through safe and sound.

Yeah, the scratchy throat comes from being intubated. It’ll go away in a few hours, maybe a day. I wish you a speedy recovery. ^_^

fuglyduckling's avatar

@Seek Thanks! :) It also didn’t do me good to have dry blood all over my hair after surgery… but i’m glad the worst part is now over and i’ll try to get over the healing part!

longgone's avatar

^ Welcome back. Feel better soon! :]

LuckyGuy's avatar

Congratulations! It’s all up from here!

Mimishu1995's avatar

How are you feeling now @fuglyduckling? Have all the nasty post-surgery symptoms gone away?

fuglyduckling's avatar

@Mimishu1995 I look like an ugly balloon mixed with a fat brown bear. Tip of my nose is all bloody mixed with dry blood. I can’t wipe it off because my stitches hurt like hell when I touch them… I can’t open my eyes, they’re both purple/black both over and under eye. I can’t breathe through my nostrils of course because there are silicon in them. I can’t even talk well because my nose hurts every time i move my mouth! I have to sit up all the time or else it hurts or blood starts to drop like crazy.

Worst part of all this is… well everything. Mostly regret.

GloPro's avatar

Regret?

dina_didi's avatar

@fuglyduckling you did it because you were having problem breathing through your nose. Soon you will stop bleeding and it will not hurt. Imagine what it will be like breathing easily through your nose! Your health will improve and you will also look better!

LuckyGuy's avatar

Check out this link . Every one of them felt the same way after the surgery – crappy.
Just take it easy. Try to read, sleep, or take a walk in a quiet place, It will be better. Really.

Keep your eyes on the prize.

fuglyduckling's avatar

Thanks guys! Even though its very uncomfortable right now I have no choice but wait. Patience is key. Hopefully the outcome will be worth waiting for but its not up to me now.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@fuglyduckling Yes. Just wait and things will get better. Best wishes for you.

dina_didi's avatar

You are right! I wish you a speedy recovery! Good luck!

chyna's avatar

I had sinus surgery back in the 90’s. After two or three weeks and everything had calmed down, I was so happy with the results. Still, 20 years later, I am thrilled with the results. I could never breath through my nose because of messed up sinuses and after the surgery, I was able to nose breath.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@chyna Isn’t it nice to be able to sleep with your mouth closed? It’s a grossly underrated pleasure.

chyna's avatar

@LuckyGuy It is the best thing in the world. If I had to go have that surgery again, I would gladly go through all that pain for the benefits it gave me.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@chyna Me too!
<—Typing this answer while breathing through his nose.

(I hope @fuglyduckling is still following this thread.)

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