/ Pre-surgery anxiety
I've tried telling myself that there are a lot worse things that I could be facing (called up for service in World War II, Vietnam, needing open heart surgery and living in Syria for example), which helps for a bit, but then out of nowhere I'll think about it and get a stab of panic right in the gut. I actually couldn't tell you what I'm nervous about, but just being in a hospital for any reason makes me pretty tense. It's still a few days off and I'm sitting here in work unable to take my mind off it and focus.
Pretty much just wanted to vent, but any advice or thoughts from the UKC collective would be much appreciated.
You then only begin to worry when you get into the anaesthetic room, and by then its too late and they knock you out sharpish.
Im sure you will be fine
Not a lot you can do regarding your anxiety at this point in the game, but you don't have too long to wait; when you do go in, on admission explain all this, firmly, and ask for a pre-med. After all, the last thing the hospital needs is you potentially freaking out and hopping off the trolley just as the anaesthetist approaches with the mask.....
Take in lots of different things to distract you whilst in hospital, as I was unable to keep focused on any one thing for very long - I found re-reading my old kids books helpfull as they don't require your full concentration.
That's exactly what I've been thinking, I would never choose to go through this if I didn't have to!
Regarding pre-med, that's not something I discussed with the consultant at the time, I take it it's a sedative to chill you out?
Yes, I know 45 yr old bloke who throws himself off mountains for fun, but fear is easier to discuss in the abstract than in reality.
The very best of luck with the op, you and I both know there is very little to be worried about, but there you go...
I've had about a dozen ops under general anaesthetic, ranging from v minor (removal of pins in wrist) to emergency life saving surgery (removal of ribs from one of my lungs).
I have to admit the first one was quite nerve wracking, the last few I've really had no concern over at all. Nothing to worry about at all, certainly less painful than a visit to the dentist.
I'm not sure where the nervous sensation comes from, probably the total helplessnes of the situation, you're lying there wtih people in white coats and masks staring at you like some budget horror movie. It's kinda funny really if you think about it.
Sorry, probably not much help, after it's all over you'll wonder what all the fuss was about, ask if there's anything you want to know, honest I've been involved in more operations than a lot of surgeons.
Yeah I've been trying to work out where the nervous feeling is coming from. I think there's probably a rational component, such as will I have a bad reaction to the anesthetic (never had it before), will I end up with an aspiration pneumonia, how bad is the pain going to be afterwards, what are the risks of infection? You may have guessed but I tend to overthink everything! There's also the fact I don't like needles, but to be honest that is paling in comparison to the rest of the situation.
Probably a bit of an abstract aspect as well that occurs any time I'm in a hospital, a reminder that you can and one day will get sick or badly injured and die. Just feel a bit 'fragile' when I'm in a hospital, which is ridiculous cos I tend to feel nothing of the sort when mountain biking or climbing (scared quite often, but not the same feeling of impermanence!).
Ignore it. Accept it and just get on with your life.
It might hurt? So what? You never had any pain before?
You might die...yeah, you might, chances are probably slightly higher than walking across the road.
You might get an infection? Yup, I did actually, got MRSA in one of my hospital visits (the one fishing my ribs out of my lung) left a bit of a scar on my leg, nothing too bad and the chicks love scars (why do you do that girls?)
Now, what else bad can happen?
Ok, that's all the bad bits out the way, now sit back and relax. You get to spend time sitting in bed doing f*ck all, not v often that happens. Take a book.
Haha, excellent! :) I would love to have that kind of attitude as my default reaction. Unfortunately it's not, but at least I can try my best to emulate it.
Don't be too nervous.
Had a similar sounding op myself about 2 years ago - was a little nervous in a "scared of the unknown" way, but it was fine.
Going under is fine, and you only realise you've been under when you wake up - truly odd (and interesting I thought) experience.
And people bring you grapes.
20 minute operation? You'll still be under the affects when you come round :)
No, do it :) we need photo's :)
Sounds like 1st time nerves. I've been under a few times. 1st as a kid to insert grommits, I wasn't worried then as everyone around me acted as if it was normal. 2nd I had my appendix out, that was more of an emergency so felt a little more fraught. Last time was to repair an ear drum a few years ago, I was fine about it.
Try and enjoy it :) It's quite odd when you go under as you are forced to sleep.
YES!!!! Now you get it. Try to fool everyone that it's your attitude, if you can fool anyone, then you'll probably convince yourself first. Do it dude!
Having said that I'm substantially more relaxed now after hearing the first hand accounts here, I'm sure it'll flare up again nearer the time but if it gets bad I'll just request the pre-med. Thanks for the support UKC! :)
Being worried/scared is an excellent reaction for many times in life. Buuuuttttt...how worried are you when you take your car to get fixed? These people are experts :-)
i had grommets when i was a kid and hated the smell of hospitals and the squeak of the porters wellies. Still hate needles (even though I give blood) and don't like the idea of being cut up...but at least you'll be asleep for that bit :-)
had a couple of ops as an adult and it's actually quite fun seeing how quick you go under, talking to the surgeon etc. And you get a decent rest. And no washing up. Play on it a bit & get a bedbath off the redhead nurse :-)
do take simple things, even join the dots or mazes, pain relief can mess your concentration up. Don't be afraid to ask for more/different stuff, pain relief is a bit black magic if you ask me...
And Tiberius: how'dya get MRSA in your leg...surely the rib didn't go *that* far down! ;-)
And you're a wuss, pal ;-P...i had a fractures reduced and a pin taken out without happysleepyjuice. With the pin, the doc just sort of leant over, wiggled my thumb a bit, then whipped it out with a pair of old pliers!! :-). Too stunned to swear! I did tell him that it was a bit sneaky....
How'd you get that?! Most I ever got was a painkiller suppository!
Apparently when I went into hospital (fall at Malham) it was just a scratch, ended up a rotting puss filled hole in my leg.
Yeah, a pretty brown haired nurse did that in Frace when after a snowboard injury. The pain wasn't good, but actually the sound of the broken bones grinding against each other is the worst :)
They thought they were gonna do that with mine, a cute readhead nurse tood the bandage off only to discover that the french surgeons had burried the pins under the skin rather than leaving them on the surface.
> do take simple things, even join the dots or mazes, pain relief can mess your concentration up. Don't be afraid to ask for more/different stuff, pain relief is a bit black magic if you ask me...
Yes pain relief is funny stuff. Second op I never used any as I just didn't need it, some discomfort but no actual pain. Much more minor op and TBH the worst bit was (as you are finding) the apprehension about going in, that said if you aren't actually feeling at deaths door hospitals are incredibly booring places.
First op (apendectomy) I was taking pretty much everything they threw at me (from morphine to paracetamol) - appendicitus was nothing compared to recovering from having your stomach muscles torn to shreds!
I did pretty much did nothing for the first day other than sleep - think kids puzzles/books or at least books you have read before. It was only when I came off the Tromadol that I realised how wappy it had made me.
Have you been in hospital before?
Mobile (ideally an old crappy one nobody will steal)and charger were a lifeline
Ipod or other music device
If in the Hallmshire, CLEAN cutlery - when they remembered to give you any it usually had someone elses dinner attached!
Infact if you are in the Hallamshire, my advice is to just arrange for someone to bring you a packed lunch from home.
In a strange sort of way i quite like being put under. Not to put you off like. You can actully feel the anesthetic moving up your arm. I always say to myself "Don't fall asleep, don't fall asleep" It's never worked yet though.
You'll be fine...
> In a strange sort of way i quite like being put under. Not to put you off like. You can actully feel the anesthetic moving up your arm. I always say to myself "Don't fall asleep, don't fall asleep" It's never worked yet though.
> You'll be fine...
weird but true, I've had GA about 8 times in as many years. The worst thing is the sore throat (you may or may not have) from the tube they yank out just before you wake up.
I'll be in next week as well for a toe fusion. When I asked if it would be a local or a general I was told not to be so bloody stupid - 'its bone we're chopping about down there....'
I'll give you a mental wave as I slide under.......
> I'll be in next week as well for a toe fusion. When I asked if it would be a local or a general I was told not to be so bloody stupid - 'its bone we're chopping about down there....'
Given my FIL had his leg amputated (below the knee) under a local it sounds a fair question to me - TBH though I think I would much prefer to be out of it.
Hell; was he just in for a toe fusion as well!
> Hell; was he just in for a toe fusion as well!
- no, just one of the many long term complications of type 2 diabetes
On the other hand, my dad had his entire stomach removed well over 10 years ago (he's still going strong), and said the worst bit of the whole process was the morphine and the catheter...
So i don't think there's too much to worry about! you'll be fine.
> I'll be in next week as well for a toe fusion. When I asked if it would be a local or a general I was told not to be so bloody stupid - 'its bone we're chopping about down there....'
I had my tibia pinned and plated under a local anaesthetic (epidural) in France earlier this year. There was a lot of drilling involved!
Given that I have been known to keel over at the sight of a needle, I was almost beside myself as they got ready for the op and I could still feel them touching me as the surgeon headed in my direction with a scalpel. I suspect it may have been psychological as I was fine and could feel no pain once they'd put a sheet up between me and the surgeon and I could no longer see what was going on, although I am still convinced I could feel a touch sensation.
i hear ya on the grinding and graunching, bro...
So sorry you didn't get yours whipped out by the redhead. Ooer! :-)
I felt an awsome wave of heat move through my body and then I asked the nurse when I would go under. She told me I had been done and had just woken up, I did not believe it untill I noticed that I had a cast on my left arm and hand.
The best advise I can give is when they ask you to wait a min before they help you in tk bed please listen to them. Dont think Its ok I feel fine and do it your self. You will end up in a pile on the floor.
Profopol, great stuff. White milky stuff, back of the hand. No after affects. In France the anaesthatist (small, not unnatractive blond girl) came round before the op to see if I had any allergies, she didn't speak any English and I didn't speak any Frenchish, I just held the back of your wrist up and said profopol bon! and we were sorted.
Actually the entire convo was kinda funny:
"You had operation before?"
"I don't know"
"you don't understand, operations...how many"
"Yeah..I understand...wee, I just can't remember how many...err...about a dozen...err deez + duh?"
I don't actually know what 12 is in Frenchish, but I know that 10 is deez and I think 2 is duh.
Ok, we're not gonna understand each other so that was when I held the back of my hand up and announced profopol...bon!
I've had GA twice, I think, but was <1 year old and so have no recollection of any of it.
Recently took my partner into hospital for a minor procedure under GA and think I was more nervous than she was. She'd had GA before and had been sick afterwards, but this time she was fine, although she was under for much less time than previously.
I was most disappointed that I wasn't allowed in the anaesthesia room with her - partly because I'd promised I'd be the last thing she saw as she dropped off and partly out of fascination with the whole thing.
Anyway, she was admitted about 7:30am, went down as first patient just before 9, was back on ward recovering just after 10, discharged about 12:30 and sitting in Cafe Nero with her favourite coffee by 2pm :-)
She said the worst thing was the back of her hand where the cannula went in was very sore for a few days, but she has got tiny veins. One of the drugs they gave her made her hand ache as it went in, but then she was out of it.
I'm very intrigued as to how it feels to fall asleep like that, but hope I'll never actually need to find out.
Don't worry about the OP itself,that's the easy part,ask if you are gonna get that lovely floaty pre med stuff.
The bad stuff comes unfortunately after the OP and I'm sure some hozzies are better than others.
1)food - it will probably be inedible shite - get your loved ones to bring in stuff you actually enjoy - I found pre prepared tropical fruit cocktails in little plastic trays really refreshing.
2)sleep - don't presume you are gonna get any - it depends on your night shift staff,some glide around silently like serene angels. Other teams clatter bang turn lights on laugh etc. Earplugs,blackout mask and smuggled in sleep ers - watch for contraindications with other m education. Also being woken at 6 am - what's that all about. Mobilise the other patients in your ward to en masse request that you ain't disturbed until 8 or whatever.
3)medications and painkillers - don't presume that you will get the right stuff,on time,or at all. If you are really reliant on something smuggle it in - normal contraindications with other mess apply.
4) the survival game - early in your stay identify the caring, the efficient, and the staff with the power to make things happen. Find out their first name,make sure they know yours,forge a relationship so they care about you and go the extra mile for you.
5)use this as an excuse to buy a tablet for all you entertainment and communication needs - a real lifesaver
6)as soon as able,get up and walk the corridors,you will recover much quicker and not get the invalid mentality of someone lying in bed all day.
Sorry this isn't a happier post but you are better being prepared
Strangely perhaps, I've never had any inclination, I've seen people take it, spaced out zombies. If you like grass, maybe.
This is true, every bone I've ever broken, getting better hurts far more than breaking it in the first place ever did.
<long stay stuff **snip**>
It's a 20 min minor op, my guess is they'll throw him out in the afternoon...but if it turns into an extended stay yes. Be angry, don't do any of this placid acceptance of your lot shit, people who do that don't get better. Be annoyed, kick up a fuss, shout scream and tell the whole world to f*ck off. Those people get better faster.
And to the OP - I wouldn't take Tiberius advice about screaming and shouting and kicking up a fuss. All you are gonna do is alienate already overstretched and over stressed staff. Be kind,understanding BUT assertive for what you want and they won't end up resenting you as a noisey nuisance.
When I went in for an operation, the anethesist said "Your going to enjoy this" as he injected the drugs, he was right.
Whatever they gave me was awesome, I was high for about 2 days after the surgery.
Aspiration pneumonia is seriously rare for elective procedures so I'd not worry too much on that front. Reaction to the drugs is also very rare and treatable.
Once you get in the room it'll just be a cannula in a vein in your hand or forearm which will take a few seconds in a climber (cos always have good veins) then the IV agent to induce anaesthesia (propofol in 99% of cases) which will have you under in about 10 seconds.
Regarding pre-med, if I can have it, I'll take it. No qualms with being a spaced out zombie, I'd much prefer to be like that than sitting there sweating and freaking out!
In case it helps, I can chip in that after about 10 GAs in the last 5 years, I'm definitely less nervous about this now. I'm certainly thinking more about the op than the anaesthetic. On the most minor occasion, I was back at work the next day.
If you're really nervous, one trick I've found is to see it as your job to help them. You can rationalise it like this: 'if I'm shaking and squirming, then the staff will have to divert their attention to calm me down. Then they might put less attention into other parts of their job, like preparing for the op. So I can help them if I stop gibbering and start being the model patient (ie ask the right questions, tell them what they need to know, but not be unreasonable).' I remember once having a junior doctor doing a minor procedure on me. They'd said it was her first time for this procedure, so I remember thinking that the best way to get through it was to think as if she was a member of my team at work, and for me to try to encourage and reassure her. It worked out fine.
>Any last requests?
Only that you reconsider your career as an internet funny man, I don't think it's working out too well for you.
I just tend to puke afterwards :(
My dad escaped as soon as he could from the Hallamshire, he asked for a pill form of meds (iirc) and got my mum to pick him up.
There was no meal flexibility for people with face injuries but I won't hijack this thread. He's all healed now though. (:-))
You could entertain yourself in a weird sort of way and try and learn to juggle or something?
You could do an experiment to see how wapped out you are, it could be interesting.
Just a random thought I had, a bit of an odd one I realise.
Glad it worked out ok!
i think much of the stress comes from wearing sexy compression stockings and a gown flapping at the aft end.. ;-)
A few years back I was drifting a young drug addict to sleep, to allow an attempt to repair his knees. After enough drugs to stop a charging rhino he just beamed at me and said in a broad accent (I won't tell you which one but you can probably guess...) :
"F***ing BOSS! Great drugs given by the professionals! Result!"
We finally got him asleep, but for those who know about these things it took 15mg midazolam, 400mg propofol, two whole 10mg amps of alfentanyl and the sevo on 5%. That would probably count as a lethal injection in most countries... Don't try that one at home, kids :-)
With a bit of luck you won't have a next time but at least if you did, you would be cool as second time around.
I've only ever had one once, which was for taking awkward teeth out when I was aged about 5. The only thing I remember being bad about it was that waking up felt a bit like (in retrospect, obviously) waking up after 10 pints and 3 hours' sleep, though minus the headache and taste of stale doner kebab, and took a *very* long time when compared to getting up in the morning normally (which still takes me long enough).
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