I am freaked out about this whole "spinal thingie going in my back" | HysterSisters
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I am freaked out about this whole "spinal thingie going in my back" I am freaked out about this whole "spinal thingie going in my back"

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Unread 04-01-2002, 09:10 AM
I am freaked out about this whole "spinal thingie going in my back"

Ok, is it just me or does the thought of a needle going into the area of my body which controls all movement creep anybody else out? My doc assures me that this is completely safe and that it will be wonderful because there will be very little post op pain. HOWEVER, I have vomited just over the very thought of it. and what in the world are you supposed to think about while you are awake and you know what they are doing in there????????????? I want to be ASLEEP..I want massive amounts of drugs.....morphine, darvocet, percocet............I don't care, I just dont want to know. He promises that there will be valium in my drippie thingie but is it enough????????? And how does he know what I know about my body? He says that I can bring some cd's to listen to. I would rather read edgar allen poe than know what is going on. does anyone else feel this way? or am i being unrealistic?? Darling Hubby says I should just listen to doc and try to relax...............BUT.........how does he know? UGH!!!! I think I am a baby....no I know I am a baby but I don't like the thought of it....nope, nope nope!!!!
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Unread 04-01-2002, 09:26 AM
Hi Julie

First let me offer you a . "Freaking out" over all this stuff that is about to happen is very normal. It is scary and a first time experience for many of us.
I did not have a spinal. I had a General Anesthesia. However, from what I have read from many, many women here who have had the spinals they were very pleased with the results. They did not have to deal with any nausea or residual effects from the general anesthesia. And yes you should still have pain relief from the spinal right after surgery. They will give you something to relax you or put you into a twilight sleep so I don't believe you will hear what is going on. But a headset with some relaxing music would be nice just in case.
I am sure there will be more posts from women who have had this that can give you more reassurance.
However please discuss all of your concerns with your doctor until you are comfortable with what is going to happen. Your ability to be confident and relaxed will play a big part in your successfull surgery and smooth recovery.
You could also do a "Search" by using the purple button in the upper right corner of this page. Hit Search then type in "Spinal" and read the threads that come up.
Good luck and keep us posted.
Unread 04-01-2002, 09:39 AM
I am freaked out about this whole "spinal thingie going in my back"

Hi, Julieroo,

I had my TVH/BSO under spinal anesthesia with sedation. I've had several surgeries, and this was, by far, the best experience with anesthesia I've ever had.

While I was in the surgery holding area, the nurse started an IV in my arm. Shortly before my surgery was scheduled to begin, my surgeon and anesthesiologist stopped by to chat briefly, and the anesthesiologist put "something to help me relax" into my IV. Next, I woke up in the recovery room.

I don't remember having the spinal catheter placed. I don't remember the surgery. I don't remember having the spinal catheter removed.

When I woke up, I was numb from my knees down. A half hour later, when I arrived in my room, I could move my toes, and I was ready to walk. I had no nausea, no headache, and no "post-anesthesia" weird feelings. I had back pain, but many ladies do, after a hysterectomy.

Assuming that your anesthesiologist is skilled, you should be able to choose how much you remember about your surgery. I didn't want to remember anything, and I don't.

As Seeshelley suggested, please discuss this further, with your own doctor. Sometimes, it's possible to discuss your anesthesia preferences with the anesthesiologist in advance, and if you can do this, it might help to ease your mind, too.

If you're really uncomfortable with the idea of spinal anesthesia, you have the right to request another type of anesthesia. It's your body, so please speak up, and get your questions answered.

Good luck with your surgery.

Best wishes,
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Unread 04-01-2002, 09:50 AM
Hello Again Julie

Hi Julie,
I'm feeling a little anxious about the epidural also, although I don't know yet what my dr and anesthesiologist (sp?) is going to recommend. I have an added concern in that I have very weak legs as a result of polio and the last thing I need is to have a nerve damaged (not to scare you or anything).

Did you have your pre-op at the hospital yet and do you know if that is what you are going to have? If this is going to interfere with your health and well being before and after the surgery, I would definitely talk to the dr about it. You should feel in control as much as you can and as much as is allowed.

Sending warm 's

Unread 04-01-2002, 01:47 PM

Oh Juliroo,

This is a very sensitive topic for me. I have 5 children and with 3 of them I either had epidural or spinal. Did not have the best of times. With my fifth baby, my 4th smile cut I changed ob/gyns when I was 7 1/2 months pregnant to have general anesthesia.

I would recommend that if you are uncomfortable with this procedure then ask your doctor why he wants you to have it. Ask him if he has a problem with general anesthesia? My old doctor just shook his head and said that general anethesia went out with the horse and buggy. duh!

Well I figure that it's my body and I wanted to be asleep with the birth of the last baby. I am having general on April 8th and I'm very comfortable with it. See how you feel and read up on spinals and such. Talk to the doctor and if you want general, demand it...........Paula (the temp49)
Unread 04-01-2002, 03:37 PM
I am freaked out about this whole "spinal thingie going in my back"

Hi! I freaked out too when my doc suggested that I have an epidural. I asked him 1000 questions and when I went for my pre-op, my nurse confirmed that it is the way to go. I had a wonderful anesthesiologist who told me everything she was doing. I dont know about others, but I didnt feel a thing. I couldnt believe it. The needle is very fine and to me totally painless. I was awake when I was in the OR and told my nurse to "put me out" which he did. Its totally up to you. When I woke up in the recovery room, I could wiggle my feet and was in pain but not terrible pain. They gave me Torodol that day and the next day I just took Percoset. A week after I was home, I didnt have to take any pain meds other than some ibuprofen every now and then. If I ever have to have surgery again, this is the way I want to do it. I had no nausea at all, no headaches or any other bad side effects from having an epidural. I even told my doc if he has any patients who want to hear a positive story about their experience, to give me a call.
I hope you will get all the answers you need to make the right decision for you!
Unread 04-01-2002, 04:04 PM
I am freaked out about this whole "spinal thingie going in my back"

Hi, Ladies,

I forgot to mention in my previous reply that the medical profession has improved all types of anesthesia in the past few years. Some women, like Thetemp49_Paula, had less than ideal experiences with spinal or epidural anesthesia years ago. Now, anesthesiologists have made some advances. They use much smaller spinal cathethers, which means fewer headaches afterwards. The actual medications used in the catheters have changed, too.

General anesthesia has gotten better, too. So please don't hesistate to ask questions. Whatever anesthesia you choose, you'll probably do well with it.

Sending healing hugs,
Unread 04-01-2002, 06:52 PM
tad bit nervous too!

Julie, boy did your post echo myself. I have a tendency to "just not think about it", but when I allow myself, I sound just like you did! Thanks for sharing your feelings!

I went for my pre-op/pre-admission hospital visit today. I too will be experiencing my first epidural. I spoke with an anethesiologist (may or may not be the one I get on the 10th) and he told me that I would be given general anethesia for the surgery, but not as much because the epidural would be in place. I did NOT want to be awake! When I heard that news I felt much better. He asked if I wanted something to relax me before it all started and I left it open. I wasn't sure, so I can decide that morning.

Well, I feel better now that I have talked to the anathesiologist and know I won't be awake. I'm not too comfortable about the needle in my back, but from what I hear, it isn't as bad as I am imagining it, and it seems to be better for post-op.

Do talk to the dr, it will probably make a world of difference. Don't be afraid to ask and re-ask!

God Bless!
Unread 04-01-2002, 07:34 PM
I am freaked out about this whole "spinal thingie going in my back"

Hi, hun!

First of all, let me assure you that no needle is left in your spine. First, the anestheologist should numb the area with novacaine. Then will insert the tiny little flexible tube with a needle, but will remove the needle.

Second, the valium should relax you. If you don't feel relaxed enough, speak up and let the drs know.

Have you asked your dr if you can have general anesthesia? If you really don't want a spinal, maybe s/he will let you have a general.
Unread 04-02-2002, 06:27 AM
My TVH while awake with a spinal

YOu can read my story at this link.

I had a combination spinal/epidural. The actual insertion was less painful then the I.V. in my arm and I was awake. PDawn is right they do numb you up and it's the catheder not the needle that is left in the back. I did get versed a form of valium to relax me before going in the O.R.
Believe it or not I feel this experience of being awake was less of a deal then having a cavity filled!!!! I heard no drill and I couldn't feel anything as far as pain. I did feel the initial stuff of the dr's moving me around on the table but that's nothing. I wish I had asked to bring my CD player in because I got kind of bored just laying there listening to the conversation the dr's were having. Although if you don't want to be awake they can sedate you with something that is not as strong as general and you don't need the tube in your trachea connected to a respirator because the sedation meds aren't as strong as general and don't stop you from breathing like general does.
When I got to recovery I was so happy because I felt so good.
The last time I had general I threw up for 3 days straight and even compazine didn't help much and I had a bad reaction to it. This time I got ZOFRAN a wonderful anti-nausea drug.
I did have some itching with the epidural and I really didn't want it to be taken out because I felt sooo good. The nurse gave me some benadryl and that took care of it and I was able to get some sleep with NO pain.
Yes I had a very minor headache and got tylenol that took care of it the first time.
I did have a sore back but a lot of people do after laying on the hard O.R. table.
I was able to visit with family after I was in my room completely knowing what I said and the best part was that I wasn't barfing.
I was also told that if I hadn't chose the epidural to stay in post op I would have been given morophine pump. Now I have read that the most common side effects of having morophine are and continued sleepiness, being in a daze druggy feeling, and some can't even remember how they acted or what they said when they had visitors. :shocked: Although there is morophine in the epidural you don't have the same effects that you have when in an I.V. The only down side to having the spinal/epidural was that I didn't get a private room but I was better cared for because the nurses kept a closer eye on me. Once the epidural came out and I had eaten lunch, I was moved to another room and it would take the nurses 30 min to answer my call button. Thank God my husband was there when I felt a rush of nausea because he promplty got the nurse to give me zofran.

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