"Successful Surgery: A Doctor's Mind-Body Guide to Help You Through
Surgery", by Robert W. Baker
Publisher: Pocket Books (May 1, 1996)
(Amazon has it)
I have to plug this book: I found it by chance in a discount book store, used it for a laparoscopy in 2002, & for my hyst on the 6th. It did a lot to calm the last-minute rising panic, & I want to tell anyone having surgery about it because I really feel that there's something good & useful here.
I know there are other surgery-relaxation tapes & books out there, but this is the only one
I have read or tried, & I wanted to share it with everyone. The
author is a gastroenterologist/surgeon who had an interest in
hypnotism, & has researched the mind-body connection, & how our minds
influence physiology that we think is involuntary. He makes a good
argument & the book is interesting, but the real bonus is that
instead of just promoting the pre-recorded tapes he has for sale, he
also includes in the book, scripts for you to make your own. The
advantage here is that you can follow his script but customize it for
your own specific case, & the specific parts of your body you are
concerned about, or organs you're having surgery on. Want to divert
blood flow away from the specific ovary that has a problem? Add it
to the script. Put in positive suggestions for every complication &
side effect you're worried about. Instead of following someone
else's pre-recorded visualization of an ideal restful "special place"
you can evoke your own. There are scripts for general relaxation & intro to the technique; pre-op; during surgery; post-op; & later
recuperation. I had kind of forgotten about them, but when I remembered & dug them out a couple weeks before surgery, I was marginally less freaked out after listening to the first tape only a couple of times. Ask your dr/anaesthesiologist if you can have
headphones for the during-surgery tape -- I gather it's an individual
thing but maybe if you ask nicely...
Many do allow this.
The postscript, from the other side of my surgery, is this: on the surgery tape, you record mostly music, but there's a paragraph to insert every 5 minutes or so, to reassure yourself that everything's going fine. A major point of it is to minimize blood loss by directing blood away from the areas being worked on. (His argument is you already subconsciously know how to do this because when you're embarrassed, you blush -- direct blood to your face.)
On my surgery video, only little trickles of blood are visible. Even though it was an easy surgery for him, & I didn't have extensive endo & adhesions, I still lost only 25 cc's of blood. It's in the operative report. I asked him what the average was. He said, 500 cc's. This is a bit unbelievable but I can't argue with the numbers. "Something" happened.
So, in hopes that this will be of help to some of you still facing surgery, I wanted to pass it on. Best of luck to all.