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Unread 07-08-2002, 09:58 AM

Is it just me or does anyone else feel a little apprehensive about having surgery? I actually never felt this fearful before and I have had surgeries before. Maybe because I've never been this old before (55)? Betty Davis once said "Gettin old ain't for sissies!", but I am sure starting to feel like one. I think about this all of the time, I have re-developed my irritable bowel syndrome, all nerve related - I find myself crying in a fetal position!!!

Also I am feeling very weak and not "really up to it". I'll bet the ranch that when my P.A.T blood work comes back it will say I am somewhat anemic. I do feel so weak but I think I am psychologically drained and this, of course, can affect your physical self. I'm really stressed out!!!! Of course, there is ordinary every day life stresses still going on and worries and to top it off one has to cope with upcoming surgery and recovery ordeal. At this point with my attitude, I'm not sure if I'm the best surgical candidate. You may have read my thread about Justification for Surgery - not 100% convinced about that. Anyone have any attitude booster hints? I believe that life is all about attitude. Thanx for listening, Always Lulu
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Unread 07-08-2002, 10:20 AM
Anyone , or everyone


I'm sure all of us feel/felt the same apprehension you are now experiencing. You are so normal.

The day my doctor told me I did, in fact, need a hysterctomy, I was very matter of fact about it, asking intelligent questions about going back to work, using stairs, driving, etc.

On the way home from the appointment, I starting thinking about the surgery, which lead to crying. My dh was shocked, reminding me that I had been praying for this surgery for years. I told him I was glad that I was going to finally have it, but I was still scared! It is, after all, major surgery.

I am now six weeks post-op and the surgery seems sooooo long ago. The first few days are a blur, but the recovery was uneventful and my family was great at helping out. I was allowed to return to work part time, from home after just two weeks, which I did. Most of my work is via e-mail, so that made it easy. I would work for 15-30 minutes, then go lay down if I felt I needed to. I am now allowed full time work, at the office and it feels so good to rejoin the productive world.

I would have to say the most difficult part was limiting myself physically when I really felt good enough to go out and do things. I was determined to heal properly and not suffer any setbacks, so I really took it easy.

Last week I bought some white slacks in preparation for returning to work, knowing I will never have to check my cycle to see if it's safe to wear them. No periods since April and never again. Yahoo!!

Unread 07-08-2002, 10:35 AM
Felt the same way.

Hi Lulu,
First of all, big s to you. This is a VERY stressful time.
My surgery was June 5. I will be 5 weeks postop on Wednesday!
Things are going very well! Although I am still very tired (I was severely anemic when I went in!)
Waiting is really a difficult part of the surgery. It is hard for me to say it was the worst part of the surgery, because we do have to be realistic! (Recovery in the first week or two is no picnic.)
But the worry and fears you put in during your wait cause you sooo much anxiety.
Try to keep busy. The weekend before my surgery, my dh and I took the kids (5 & 3yrs) to Marineland in Niagara Falls Canada. It was a much better place to be and helped keep my mind off of it!!!
Plus, I spent ALOT of time on this website learning all I could and just basically chatting with everyone!!!
Take heart and know it really WILL be over before you know it!!!
All the best,

Kelley B

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Unread 07-08-2002, 10:43 AM
We've all been there

Lulu: I remember hearing many sisters saying that the waiting was the worst part of the process and now 4 weeks post op, I can confirm that for you. I had many second thoughts, panic attacks, nightmares, etc before my TAH June 7th. Somehow I didn't make a run for it on the day and I'm so glad I didn't. I think because the surgery is considered "elective", we get this idea into our heads that we don't really need to do it. Perhaps as women we consider suffering through our periods a part of womanhood? Stuff that idea.... Only you can decide when you've had enough of painful periods, loss of blood, and all the other fun stuff that comes with our cycles. My hemoglobin level dropped to 93 and I developed a bladder infection the week before my operation. I thought it was God's way of telling me not to go through with the surgery. I was filled with second thoughts and panic attacks but at my pre-op appt., everything was back to normal so I made up my mind to go through with the surgery. Try to remain calm and continue to post when you need some reassurance. We're here for you.
Unread 07-08-2002, 11:11 AM

I agree with TCB. Waiting is the worst part. Had TAB/BSO on 7-2.
Was up and walking the next day and haven't stopped. Had my staples removed today. Don't get me wrong there is some pain (very minimal) and discomfort, but being a person who has never experienced very much pain, it just is not as bad as I anticipated and let me add that I will be 52 on 7-11 and had never been in hospital other than two vaginal births. So, I can truly say that waiting was the worst part of the entire surgery with the bowel prep being a close second.

So hang in there, you have my prayers and I am confident you will do fine.
Unread 07-08-2002, 11:33 AM

Thank you all so much for responding as kindly as you have.
I suppose at 55 one starts to examine their mortality anyway! My dear mother left my life when she was only 54. Your thoughts and wishes have really helped lift my spirits.

You are so correct when you say it is "elective" so one wonders if they are tempting fate. It seems sensible to have my ovaries removed in that one has a persistent complex cyst (they only guess what it is on MRI and Ultrasound) - and to leave the uterus would invite trouble if it was decided that I would ease symptoms of instant menopause by using HRT. The doc said I would most likely continue to bleed (especially since I have multiple fibroids). So I am rationalizing saying that it is sensible for the uterus to go also.

I'm told that if I left just the one ovary that it would most likely shut down within several months anyway due to my age and the lack of it's two life long companions to chemically communicate with!!!! My fear comes from the Anesthesia which I do not do well with at all (general). Also the usual paperwork they make you sign saying if you don't make it, your relatives won't sue!!! The fear of complications, etc..... I suppose it is normal but for me, I am over-reacting this time! Anyway thanx again for all the good advice and good thoughts......don't know you well but I love you. Lulu
Unread 07-08-2002, 05:52 PM

I can identify with all your concerns. I felt exactly the same way. A doc found a cyst on my left ovary. I had no symptoms, so I didn't have the motivation of painful periods or endo or any of the other things women here have complained of. It made it hard to remember that I DID need to have this surgery. Recovery hasn't been a picnic. No major problems but alot of discomfort. At 5 weeks post op, I am starting to have long stretches of time where I don't think of having had surgery. (Till I bend, or stretch, or laugh, or sneeze or..... LOL) You will do fine. The women here will hold your hand all the way. We are here to help.
Unread 07-08-2002, 06:31 PM


You sound so much like me! There was no one more terrified than i was before surgery. Go back and read some of my pre-surgery posts and see. I had diarreah for a full two weeks, got doc to give me something for irritable bowel to help. Had panic attacks daily........often several. The night before I couldn't sleep at all and had quite a few panic atacks. I know the age thing..........thought I don't think old........I am 52 and my body knows im getting older. You will be fine..........it IS true that the waiting is the hardest part. I am now almost five weeks post, am glad that i had the surgery. Sure i will be more glad the farther along I get.
I don't think I could have made it through it all without this place. Read everything you can on this site. I also highly recommend the chat site. I have met so many wonderful people and have made good friends there. I would love to see you there..i am there quite a bit.

hang in there sis,

(princess skybird in chat
Unread 07-08-2002, 08:54 PM

Hi, Lulu -

Being scared is VERY normal, no matter how many surgeries you've had before! We all "over react". One of the reasons we say the waiting is the hardest part is because of all the mental stress that we put on ourselves..imagining awful things that don't happen.

You mention not doing well with general anesthesia - is this because of fear of not waking up? (those papers you mentioned we have to sign sure don't help with that :-) ). Or because of concern about nausea? They can give you anti-nausea meds. Another thing to consider, if your surgeon approves, is a spinal with sedation - which I had and thought was great.

There is something about living to an age beyond that which your parent (s) lived that does make you think about mortality - and it really really hit me hard for some reason (both my parents died when they were several years younger than I am now.

You're gonna do fine - we all wonder why in the world we're doing this, no matter HOW good the reasons are to go ahead!

Unread 07-09-2002, 04:34 AM

Thanx to all of you for your great input. I don't feel so alone. But you are "right on" when you say, at least in my case, gynecologicaly, I don't have any pain or endo, etc that is prompting me forward - so it seems "so elective" that one feels they are tempting fate!!

My fear is based on "not waking up" or forgive me for saying this in this way "waking up an idiot (like things didn't go right, I didn't get enough oxygen - I'm brain damaged - the anestheologist had a fight with his wife and didn't get any sleep the night before, etc", Then my fear about the anesthesia continues - In the past I have woken up combative, nauseous, and with full blown headaches - narcotics effect me the the same fashion (would make a horrible drug person). With not being able to take most narcotics, don't know how I will survive the post op PAIN. I do have days after that I suffer an amnesic effect and lose forever - like I'm still stoned! And most importantly, I have woken up in Atrial fibrillation (an abnormal heart rhythm) when I have been intubated.

The above are all my immediate fears. My post op fears are PAIN, limitations, adhesions, hemorrhaging, blood clots, etc. are beign catapulted into Old Ladydom because I have no more hormones in any significant amount!!!! Will that make me depressed, have these hot flashes I've heard do much about? Hormone imbalances can play havoc with your mind and body!

P.S. Did I mention, I don't want my "significant other" to see me without my partial denture in the recovery room???!!!!! Yes, I'm that vain - and we have been "dating" for 4 years and he still doesn't know!!!! He is a doctor himself and will swagger on in to the recovery room, I know he will. That will the end of our relationship - he seems superficial! It is a personal thing to, I just didn't want him to find out! Every time he has mentioned in the past what "beautiful teeth I have" I have cringed!!!! I should mention how much I like hair - he has a comb over! My daughter did mention that she will be there as a sentry - guarding my teeth in that little plastic holder - and at her first opportunity - she will place them in my mouth - hope I don't bite her!!! LOL. Just wanted to leave you on this light note girls! Thanx Again, Love you all. Lulu

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