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Fearing Anxiety Attacks after surgery Fearing Anxiety Attacks after surgery

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Unread 04-30-2002, 01:41 PM
Fearing Anxiety Attacks after surgery

Hi ladies,

As the day draws near, I can't even think straight. I have made out lists for my caregivers and even stuffed a few meals in the freezer! However, I'm really concerned about my mental state after surgery. I consider myself a realist (where others consider me a pessimist) and have had anxiety attacks in the past. Has been over 15 years since I've had one, and the disorder came along at a very stressful time of my life. How do I handle these feelings if they pop up again because of hormone imbalance? I fear the possibility of being in that state of irrationality and not coming out of it. I don't have much of a support system here where I live and I'm pretty much on my own in my daily decisions with family, etc. Now is not the time to have a breakdown, because there won't be anyone there to understand. Have any of you ladies had the anxiety attacks? How did you keep things in perspective?
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Unread 04-30-2002, 02:07 PM
Fearing Anxiety Attacks after surgery

I think it's easy to worry about all this stuff ahead of time because you're (naturally) so anxious about surgery. My experience was I was incredibly relieved when I woke up (after I got done being sick from the anesthetic ). Truly. I was in the best mood after my surgery!! I couldn't stop grinning and joking.

Don't forget you'll be on nice woozy pain meds for a while after surgery, so you'll be pretty relaxed. And if you have an anxiety attack, you will handle it, just as you've handled the ones you've had before. And you'll come out of it.

Your pre-op level of stress will probably hugely exceed your post-op stress. I tend to be anxious too, and was amazed at how fast all that pre-op anxiety just melted away.

I'm sure you'll get through it. Try to take the best care of yourself you can pre-op -- start the pampering early, so you'll be in the habit when you come home a Princess!

More s,

Unread 04-30-2002, 02:27 PM
I'm here for you!!

Hi Redpepper!

I just saw your post, and had to respond!! Have you talked to your doc about this? Maybe he could have medication ready for you, JUST IN CASE!!! It might be worth mentioning. Maybe he knows of a counselor that you can talk to or have one from the hospital come by to check on you after your surgery???

I'm thinking of you and praying for you!!! You have my e-mail address, and I always check it first thing in the morning, after work and just before I go to bed!!

I'm going to repeat what Melissa said in her post, cuz it is so good, pamper yourself before hand too, not just afterwards!! Give yourself a bubble bath, with candles and soft music playing in the background and find a good trashy novel to read too (I call them cotton candy for the brain books. Not much plot, just lots of good smut and the hero riding in to save the day)! Buy you a little carton of Godiva Ice Cream, and when the kids are in bed, you can sit on the couch, watch your favorit movie, and enjoy your ice cream, and not share it with anyone!! Just be sure to do something specail for yourself, even if it's just buying a new gown for when you go to the hospital! You deserve it!!

Keep posting, as we all care about you!!

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Unread 04-30-2002, 02:40 PM
Fearing Anxiety Attacks after surgery

I also feared having panic attacks after surgery. However, I was so relaxed from the anesthesia and the pain medications that I didn't experience one. My husband told the nurses that I was prone to panic attacks and they were extra nice and reassuring.
Panic attacks do not last a long time. It is our fear of having them that is the worst thing. Practice deep, slow, relaxed breathing. Ask the doctor for a tranquilizer. I took one the night before surgery and he told me that I could take one the day of surgery and even when I awoke from the anesthesia.

(By the way, that was one of my biggest fears - having a panic attack after surgery.)

The waiting and the anticipation are the worst things. You will come through this with flying colors!
With love,
Unread 04-30-2002, 02:49 PM
Fearing Anxiety Attacks after surgery

As a victim of long term depression and anxiety (and didn't know it), I understand your fears. I'd just get these stupid things going around in my head and I couldn't stop them. I'm on Celexa for the depression, but still get the 'stupid' thoughts (what-ifs, should-have-dones, future fears), but I make a conscious effort now to redirect my thoughts and busy myself with something else to keep my mind off it. Reading helped me, so does needlework.

I know I'll still get little anxiety attacks, but I know they don't last long and they don't hurt me if I don't let them. I think of them as a sneeze; I get one and I brush it off and get busy with something. The 'idle hands' thing, I guess. Make sure it's not something you can do without thinking. Walking on the treadmill helps with depression, but it also gives me a lot of time to let stupid thoughts run rampant.

Sing a song, read a book out loud, call someone, go shopping, go to a pet store just to watch the animals. Do something to distract yourself.
Unread 04-30-2002, 03:10 PM

Hi Redpepper,

I'm also going through the same thing, but I'm going to ask my doctor or nurse who does the preop. I'm going to ask for information or medications they can offer me in the hospital if I do have an anxiety attack. I feel sure your drs. office will work with you and a sure you everything will be fine. Good luck and I really enjoy talking with all the ladies and reading all the great information.

God Bless You,

Unread 05-01-2002, 06:44 AM
I feel better now

Hi girls, thanks for the great, reassuring advice. As in the past, when I'd get a panic attack I'd focus on something that would break the cycle of the attack. IF it happens again after so many years, I'll just use the same tactic. I'm not one for antidepressants. Years ago when I had the attacks, Prozac just came on the market and I had an adverse reaction to it. Within 3 days my mental state declined radically. After going off of the pill, my physical symptoms of attacks came back, however, I was able to think more clearly about my recovery. I went to a couselor for behavior therapy (short term). I've just started seeing a couselor again for everyday stresses and she seems to help me think more rationally about this anxiety stuff. Just as you all said, don't think so much at the "what ifs".

I've also been speaking with other women in my area who've had hysterectomies. Most women my age 38, got to keep their ovaries and had vaginal hysts. They cannot even relate to what I'm going to go thru emotionally or physically. One woman did have a TAH/BSO 7 years ago and says she's so much happier now. But she's gained 20 extra pounds! I guess I'll just have to tackle one thing at a time. Kind of like quitting smoking. i.e. tackling smoking cessation then tackling the weightgain that is so common to reformed smokers. All in all, I think I'll get thru this, one day at a time.......

Love you all
Unread 05-01-2002, 10:31 AM
Anxiety Attacks

I keep mine in check with a little help from my friend Xanax.
I have a very low dose, 1MG, and for years have taken them during PMS to take the edge off it. I can kinda feel one coming on, or can feel like there are situations that pre-dispose me to be at risk for one (usually work or husband related) and I pop one. Then I try to remember to keep breathing, and tell myself it will pass. It also helps me if I distract myself with somethng mindless and/or comforting, like television, the Enquirer, or a walk around the block. I try to avoid red wine, ice cream, and pasta but they will do in an emergency, though don't combine the wine and the xanax.

I also seem better equipped to deal if I have gotten a bit more sleep than usual.

Good luck - email me if you want more details!
Unread 05-01-2002, 02:08 PM
anxiety attacks

I too am a sufferer from Anxiety attacks. Don't you feel horrible when you get them. I have been a long time sufferer. But it didn't start until I got a divorce from my first husband. When I had my first one I thought I was going to have a heart attack or a stroke. I went to the doctor and was put on Prozac. I hated it. But it worked. I went over 12 years without having any. But then again, I met the man of my dreams and remarried. Life was great until we moved from Fl to CA (hubbie is in the military). Then they started again. I am taking Xanax. It works. The day of the surgery, 2 hours before I had to be at the hospital, I took a whole, and when I got to the hospital they gave me 2 Valium. It worked. I was scared of having a panic attack when I woke up from surgery. I didn't. But since surgery, I have been having a lot of flare ups with panic. So, when I get the feeling, I pop a half pill and it really works. I try to get my mind off of them, but since surgery it is really hard. When I can, and I have the sensation that I'm going to have a panic attack, I ask my hubby to give me a hug.
I would call your DR and see what he has to say. Maybe they can work with you and give you something the night of surgery and the day of. Good luck with everything. Prayers to you as well.


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