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Calm my nerves Calm my nerves

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  #1  
Unread 01-28-2012, 12:22 PM
Calm my nerves

Hi Ladies,
I've never had surgery before and have always been fairly healthy. Now I'm facing a total abdominal hysterectomy (scheduled for Feb. 2nd) because of ovarian cysts that the Doctor suspects I have had for years. He could tell when he examined me that they (cysts, ovaries and uterus) are all clumped together. He was saying that these cysts also have a tendency to attach themselves to other nearby organs. Just had my pre-op appointments yesterday. I am a total wimp that becomes a bundle of nerves before anything scary. I broke out in hives the day of my MRI just from the fear of what the test would find. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can calm my nerves before this surgery?

Thanks a bunch.
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  #2  
Unread 01-28-2012, 12:39 PM
Re: Calm my nerves

I think the imagination is far scarier than reality, but I know how it can run away with you. Try to stay busy with other things and not dwell on it too much.

It might help to know that most of us, no matter how complicated our surgeries are, come out of it far better than we went in. Some times it takes a while, but in the end life will be better.

I had TAH 10 weeks ago and physically, I'm feeling great! My surgery was flawless and recovery near perfect. I'm having some hormone issues, but am confident they will be worked out fairly soon and my life will be back to 'normal'.

That's the best I can offer, other than tranquilizers.

Good Luck!
  #3  
Unread 01-28-2012, 12:50 PM
Re: Calm my nerves

Mikki59, I hear you!

I'd been having a variety of 'issues' for the past couple of years, went through 3 D&C's but didn't consider them to be 'real' surgery; they were outpatient 'procedures'. Learning exactly what a TAH is can be upsetting, and I started panicking when I realized this would be my first surgery, at age 54.

My initial research helped me prepare mentally, but at a certain point I stopped researching because it was starting to make me more anxious. So my first suggestion is change your focus to other things whenever you start feeling stressed.

Personally, I do not tend to be reassured by well-meaning family or friends who want to bend my ear with whatever they've heard second-hand about such procedures, so I would tend to also say limit these conversations if they stress you.

Oddly enough, putting your house in order in advance can be a calming activity. Figure out how to make your bedroom, bathroom and any other place that will be part of your recovery period as comfortable and accessible as possible. (There are suggestions all over this site.) Focusing on "when I'm back home" can get your mind off the in-between time.

I feel lucky that my doctor has a great reputation in this area, and I've always been very happy with her. When I started feeling like I needed reassurance and information about what to expect from the hospital she'd picked, I called her office and a lovely assistant was ready to close her door and spend time on the phone going over all my questions and concerns. If you feel you need specific information, give your doctor's office a call to get those answers before 2/2.

I often use hobbies such as reading or knitting to calm my nerves. If you find comfort in these, then stock up now on reading or crafting material and reach for it whenever you start feeling frazzled.

If you have a strong spiritual life, it can help you trust that all is happening as it is meant to be.

On an objective medical level, I took my pre-op pathology report (from the most recent D&C) to my GP. I am a coumadin patient so he tries to discourage any procedures that might create a risk. But when he saw the results on the report, he immediately supported the surgery.

Believing in your heart that the procedure is THE RIGHT THING to address your current physical issues can help reassure you. Whenever I started wishing I could just skip the whole thing, I imagined how stressful it would be to worry day after day, month after month, if I'd made a mistake and allowed something to become a far bigger problem.

The VERY LAST THING I would ever want a doctor to say to me is "Why did you wait so long?" So yes, I had lots of anxiety beforehand, small, simple challenges along the way, but don't regret any of it. Please keep coming here for support and keep us posted on how you are doing!
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  #4  
Unread 01-28-2012, 02:03 PM
Re: Calm my nerves

Mikki-

I am new to a hysterectomy but an old pro at female issues- ovarian cysts especialy. My 1st cysts was at the ripe age of 16 and landed me in the hospital- I would rupture one about every 6-9 months. I was in pain all the time from the damage the blown cysts caused... adhesions, scarring, etc..
In and out of hospital due to amazing pain in my right side- in which they thought it was my apendix.

I was sick and tired of docs telling me they couldnt do anything and nothing was coming up on an utlra sound where I was telling them my pain was.
Short end to the story- when they went in to remove uterus due to fibrods, they found my right over had adheared itself to my pelvic wall and was 5 inches in size filled with blood... in the photos my overy looked like a filet mignon!! So basicly it looked like an organ and was so far from where it should of been- who would of known unless they went in.

I have had female surgeries prior and the migration and scars had to of grown and matured over the last 6 years.

what I am saying, I understand your fears, but take it from me, it's so important you take this in all in w/ a breath.. accept it and remember this is for the better- you!!
Dont work yourself up- when you start to feel stressed take 3 deep breaths and remember this is for the better you!!
((HUGS))
  #5  
Unread 01-28-2012, 04:55 PM
Re: Calm my nerves

I understand your anxiety. I am basically health and had never had surgery before. I think Phoenix gave a good comprehensive answer. I also used imagery and mantras to help me cope with the anxiety. Someone suggested I remember places I've been that brought me peace and happiness (for me , the Pacific Northwest mountains and coasts). It helps if you have pictures of these places to look at, but often I just used the memory in my head. I'm told that the body remembers how it felt during those times and when you remember that time, your body relaxes. I also developed a mantra (I am healthy, I am strong, I am at peace). When I was stressed pre and post surgery, especially when in pain, I tried to think of those calm places and repeat my mantra. In the past with other pain challenges (running long distances) I've also repeated prayers. This might sound a bit new age to some, but I believe in the body-mind-spirit connection and personally find these techniques helpful.
  #6  
Unread 01-28-2012, 06:02 PM
Re: Calm my nerves

Don't forget when you're in pre op that you can ask for something for anxiety. It will be especially helpful if your surgery gets delayed for some reason. Hope all goes well for you!!!
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