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DeezerQueue's avatar

Butterflies before surgery?

Asked by DeezerQueue (2017points) April 13th, 2008

You’re getting closer to surgery, with every detail that you have to deal with before hand, certain tests before the surgery, medications to thwart certain occurrences, how do you deal with the butterflies and/or anxiety before hand?

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13 Answers

scubydoo's avatar

I had surgery once, i was nervous myself. However I knew I had to get it done and I’d be better once it was over so I looked to the moment when I got put to sleep before surgery and the being better once I was finished. I was probably more nervous about the IV that had to be put in than I was the actual surgery part. being young and not knowing how being put to sleep worked, when I was in the bed and they had the IV hooked up, they put over my head ‘what i thought was a gas mask” but later found out it was just for oxygen. well, being young and not knowing better, I thought the mask was the stuff that would help me sleep so I took in a few VERY deep breaths and needless to say I don’t remember surgery at all. later I found out that that was just oxygen and the actually medicine to help me sleep was put in to the IV

scamp's avatar

One thing NOT to do is talk about it too much to others. The reason I say this is because you could talk to ten different people who have had the same surgery and get as many different experiences. I am recovering from surgery myself, and before I had it, I heard everything from it being a walk in the park to the worst nightmare. so don’t put yourself through that, especially if you know someone tends to be very dramatic.

I went to the website of the hospital where my surgery was done, and viewed a video of a similar surgery. In some ways it helped me to understand what was being done, but in other ways it made me more apprehensive about the pain involved. I had a month to get ready for my surgery, so I tried to keep myself busy preparing for it, rather than think about the risks or how much pain I’d be in. I cooked a lot of meals and froze them, so I don’t have to cook much now, and I stocked up on books to read and crafty type things to do. I bought a portable DVD player so I could watch movies in bed, and not have to get up to change discs. I moved things in the house that would get in the way of me walking on crutches, and my SO put a recliner next to my computer, so I can get online and still keep my leg elevated.

So if you concentrate on things like this, and not the actual procedure it can help. Action is a good distraction. If the type of surgery you are having seems scary to you, talk to your surgeon about your feelings. They are very good at explaining what to expect. For me, the more I know about a surgery the less anxious I feel. Also if you tell the surgeon you are very anxious, he or she might prescribe a mild tranquilizer for you. Mine gave me some xanax, and it helped me alot.

I won’t ask you what type of surgery you are about to have, because you may not want to disclose that in the open, but if you want to send me a private comment, I’d be happy to help you get some information on it. Good Luck, and I hope whatever it is your having done will make you feel better.

Randy's avatar

Let your feelings run their course. It’s only natural to feel this way before something big happens. Just be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. Live your life to make it successful in your eyes. Best of luck, friend.

gailcalled's avatar

You would be an automaton if you didn’t feel this way. Scamp has a lot of good ideas; get all your ducks in a row; talk to only your closet friends . Make sure that your SO will be your advocate if there are problems and double-check everything.

Good luck.

Kay's avatar

Deep breathing exercises always help me; try breathing in slowly to a specific count (10 or more) and then breathing out even slower. Also anything mindless that can help keep your mind off of it; coloring books are great ( has some great ones with geometric shapes and such that are more for grown-ups) or magazines. Also anything that you can have with you while you’re in the hospital to comfort you (a pic or stuffed animal or something) helps a lot.

DeezerQueue's avatar

Thanks to all of you for your responses. While I’m not going to spill my guts on a public forum, I guess I’m already doing what a lot of you have already done, or would do given the situation.

gailcalled's avatar

And make sure, post-surgery. that your SO checks meds, procedures, protocols, etc.
I have a friend who just had a horrendous surgery – bad enough to put her on an epidural for 4 days, and she was woken up at 2AM for a chest x-ray. (This was after meds to help her sleep.) There will be a brief moment of pleasure after you are sedated and before you are go-o-o-ne. Enjoy it. Best of luck.

When I had a lumpectomy, I wrote a short (very short) note to my surgeon w. a marker on the boob that needed the operation. Who cares what people think?

gailcalled's avatar

It said. “Pick me.”

scamp's avatar

@gailcalled that’s a good idea. My surgeon actually drew a happy face on the knee he was going to operate on while I was in the holding area. In this fast paced world we now live in it’s all too easy to mix up which side. The best of surgeons can do it under pressure, so it’s a good thing to have a visual reminder to be on the safe side.

@DeezerQueue I wish you all the best, and hope you have a quick recovery.

DeezerQueue's avatar

@gailcalled That’s a pretty humorous but safe approach. I’ve had three laparoscopies in the past, and do enjoy those few fleeting moments before passing out. One of the anesthesiologists told me once that he had a patient who was an older woman who, when he told her she could expect a little prick at that moment replied, “All my life. All my life, nothing but little pricks!” Thanks also for the idea about the meds PO.

Without disclosing any more details, there will be three surgeries in total before I’m finished. The dates aren’t yet known, but it won’t at least be for another few weeks, which, of course, explains some of the butterflies, even though I fairly well succeed at keeping busy with other daily activities.

Scamp, thanks also for your best wishes.

I’ll let you know so you won’t wonder why I’ve dropped off the face of Fluther.

scamp's avatar

Did you have your surgery yet? I was just wondering how you are doing.

DeezerQueue's avatar

No, my insurance company (Menzis) denied coverage so I’m in the appeals process. They cited that it’s “not useful in the Netherlands.”

scamp's avatar

I’m sorry to hear that. How frustrating that must be for you! I hope you get it resolved soon.

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