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Surgery - What are you fears?

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Depression and Coping
I think everyone understand the fear and varied emotions that you have once you know that surgery is the answer.
Ok, but now, what are your fears after surgery?

- Will it be successful?
- How much of my prior life/activities will I be able to resume
- Will this surgery impact me later on in life

In all of my surgeries, I had different fears, and I am glad that I have been able to deal with all of that.

My mind might work in strange ways, but when I was going for surgery (Lumbar) all I wanted to make sure was that I could
wiggle my toes! In the recovery room, I remember each time, just making sure I could wiggle and feel my toes. That to me was a sign of a successful surgery. The next fear I had after lumbar surgery was being able to urinate. After my first lumbar surgery, I had problems, the nurses and doctors tried all sorts of measures. They figured if they turned the water on that would help, all it did was make the doctor leave because he needed to urinate.
It was a couple of days doing this, nothing working, finally they catheterized me which gave me Instant relief.
But I always had that in my mind when I went in for Lumbar surgery.

For my cervical surgeries, I had a different fear. Ok, with lumbar surgery if the doctor made a major mistake, the worst would be I was paralyzed from the waist down. But with cervical, I figured if there was a screwup, I could be paralyzed from the neck down!

Needless to say I am here alive and kicking, perhaps kicking at a slower pace then I use to.

Honestly, the way I was thinking, I never looked at the recovery period or long term impacts, I figured those were easy to deal with.

I would love to hear from others
Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com


  • No fears at all except having to stay in the hospital too long and eat the food. I was just glad that I was able to finally have something done! Sadly, almost a year later, the surgery hasn't helped at all and i'm actually worse than before. But it's probably my fault as i've done everything but rest & recover. Shoveling & snowblowing the driveway & roof every snowfall didn't help...;>)

  • Number one fear of all time.
    Needing a catheter! Silly maybe, but there it is!

    I never was afraid of not waking up as I feel that is beyond my control. Therefor I am wasting my time with that fear. Plus it will simply be over, all of this. I think when you are depressed and in pain it is easy to let go of that fear. It is simply a place that I would not hurt anymore, I hope.

    I guess with my SCS coming up my biggest fear is that it will not work as well as the trial, or it will be one of those infinitely small percentages that go horribly wrong.

    My biggest other fear, is increased PAIN, I have enough now thank you very much.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    I am not the only one that has catheter phobia! I can handle all sorts of needles and tests, but that little tube being inserted..... ouch I feel it right now.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I'm afraid that it will be the last time I lay eyes on my family when I'm being taken to the operating room. It's what worries me the most. Once your on that table, you put your life in the hands of the doctors and staff. It's unnerving to feel that vunerable and it requires a huge amount of trust on my part to let someone cut into my body. Sorry to put things so bluntly but this is what I fear deep down inside.
  • Hell, I'm also scared of waking up from surgery and no one gives me anything for pain. :''(
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    is probably the hardest to deal with. It doesnt matter how much reassurance you have. No matter how many times and how many people tell you that things will be fine, you really never know until its over.
    Here is where Trust and Faith come in. I know that there are many things that I have no control over. So, I try to push those aside and deal with the things I can control.
    Kat, before you know it, the surgery will be over, you will be on your road to recovery and then starting to pack for your vacation to see your brother!
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Thank goodness for pre sedation before going to the OR or else patients would be running away in their skimpy hospital gowns :)
  • Totally creeps me out, that is not how it is supposed to work! :jawdrop:
  • never was afraid of not waking up as I feel that is beyond my control. Therefor I am wasting my time with that fear. Plus it will simply be over, all of this. I think when you are depressed and in pain it is easy to let go of that fear. It is simply a place that I would not hurt anymore, I hope.
    I totally agree!! I'm not worried about NOT waking up...if that's God's will for me so be it...I'm more concerned with all the "little" stuff:
    -more pain or the same pain
    -recovery process
    -unexpected "developments"
    -reinjuring myself
    -heck, I'm even afraid I'll say something weird when coming out of the anaesthesia!
    -and now I'm worried about catheters too!

    I think if I do decide to do the surgery I'm gonna need a MAJOR sedative to even get me to the hospital.
  • My fear is will it help the pain or will it make it worse. I have had 5 major surgeries but never on my back, so it is a little scary for me this time
  • Having gone through 5 surgeries now (2 in May 07 and 3 this year), with a 6th one coming. I don't really know what to expect anymore. It is not that I don't mind the pain that comes with surgery, or the healing or the weaning of meds. It is, (signed), not knowing if the 6th surgery will do solve the problem, and I am just so tired. I don't have a choice and yet i am so reluctant to do it. It has been a hard news to accept.

  • My fear before every surgery is that I will wake up and start throwing up in recovery. :sick: Until this year, I have done it every time I've had surgery. I met a wonderful anesthesiologist who figured out the perfect med combo to prevent it from happening. What it is I don't know. But it's in my med chart.

    My fear now is that I was misled and will remain in this pain and inability permanently. I wasn't promised miracles but was led to believe that I would have some relief. So far that hasn't happened if anything it's worse. :<
  • I recently had my permanent spinal cord stimulator implanted. For the first part of the surgery I had to be awake so they could make sure the lead was positioned in the right place and that it was indeed working.

    Then my biggest fear EVER became a reality.........they started cutting me before I was asleep :''( :''( :''( . The pain was incredible and the last two things I remember is me screaming "IT HURTS, OH GOD IT HURTS" and the doctor saying, "Get her out NOW". Even though they gave me a medication during the first part that was supposed to make me "forget" the pain I was feeling --- it DIDNT work!!!!!!!!!! :( :T :O

    I think from here on out any future surgies will be a breeze --- all my fears have either been unfounded or realities.

  • I had 22 surgurys on on my ears from when i was about 2 years old till i was 12 years old,i was always scared,each surgury.i fought the surgeon on the last surgury when i was 12,i wouldnt let them put me to sleep.i also have had 4 hernia surgurys and sinues, and a mastoid surgury on my left ear.I think it worse when your young,and you have to go through alot of surgurys,i havnt had a surgury on my back,they said i nothing is pressing on a nerve....
  • OMG! I cannot imagine how horrible it would be to be awake and feel them starting to cut. Hope the Perm SCS works and you never need surgery or feel pain again.

    >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • I think you told me about that and in my own misery and self indulgence I did not comprehend that you had that much pain! So, sorry, that must have been awful!

    I had knee surgery with an epidural some 15 years ago +- and they did not knock me out, with the epy I had no pain, but I could feel the slicing sensation and the tugging and plucking as they started to operate and insert the scope.
    I think that OS used about the same phrase when he realized I was freaking out from the sensations, "get him to sleep, NOW!". They pumped up the sedatives I had been given to calm my nerves with the epi, I remember the same as you, just a fade to black. For some reason I remember the entire events up to the fade to black.

    With colonoscopies in my past, or should I say behind me ? =)) I have always been blessed to forget the entire probing =D>

    I will mention the fact to my PM that he had better make sure I am very numb before he whips out any cutting instruments!
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    Humans are not meant to be put in a coma. It has been very hard for me to shake that off. And I think It can bring underlying problems out, like depression.
    But on the colonoscopy thing, they stuck their stuff up there befor I was out! And I screamed and I remember the doc. saying "it sure takes a lot to get these big guys out"
    I'm not that big damn it!
    I've been due to have my 5 yr. next colonoscopy for over a year now. And I just can't seem to make that call. :''( :jawdrop: X(
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Not getting any better, getting worse. I fear the feeling of being all alone in my pain. I fear the unknown. I fear feeling like my husband does on a daily basis because his fusion failed. I am just plain scared to death. :SS :SS :SS :SS
  • I've had 2 surgeries in the past 3 1/2 months. Here are my worst fears about future surgeries:

    #1. Having unbearable pain after the anesthesia wears off. I stayed in the hospital 2 nights with this last surgery (L5,S1 Fusion) and was only given 2 5/325 mg hydrocone pills every 3 1/2 hours. To me, that's basically like just taking tylenol. I have been on this dosage of hydrocodone for a few months before surgery and was probably "immune" to it. I was only given 2 doses of morphine and then was told that the doctors orders for morphine expired and the nurses never requested more. I felt like my back was ready to explode out of me and it felt as if my back was just pressing against the hospital bed ready to explode - I can't describe it any other way. I didn't sleep for 2 nights and the second night I was sweating so bad that the nurse in the morning thought I had taken a shower and my hair was just soaked, my whole body was soaked. I just had very, very uncaring, unprofessional nurses, except for the last one who changed my sheets and gave me a new gown, which was the third morning and I was going home that morning.

    #2. Being on my period (sorry to be so graphic), but the fact that I was on my period with my second surgery made things 100% worse, not only physically, but emotionally as well. Also, the nurses were not very sympathetic towards me.

    #3. That my other discs will degenerate and I will need surgeries when I am older and not as healthy (I'm 41). The morning after my surgery, the doctor's PA came in to talk to me and said something like "getting a fusion on the L5, S1 will probably cause the other discs to degenerate faster". I was speechless because 1st I was still in pain and couldn't even form a sentence, and 2nd because my doctor said that my other discs, which are normal right now, would be affected by the L5 being severely degenerated because they were compensating. So, which one is it?

    Things that I am not afraid of after being through 2 back surgeries:

    #1. I am not afraid of the surgery itself. I'm not afraid of waking up during surgery or the skill of my surgeon and staff during the surgery.

    #2. I am not afraid of a catheter. There is no way I could have gotten up to go to the restroom for the first 24 hours after my surgery. When I am nervous, I have to go to the restroom at least every 10 - 20 minutes....I'm not kidding. I didn't even feel the catheter when it was in me and I didn't feel it come out. But, as soon as it was out, I was calling the nurse every 20 minutes to help me to the restroom and the pain associated with rolling over and getting up was unbearable to me.

    #3. I am not afraid of not having support at home after the surgery. I got 100% better a couple of hours after I got home from the hospital. I have such a supportive, loving husband, kids and family.
  • When I had my first microdiscectomy I was afraid that I would wake up again with that horrible, horrible sciatica. It was so bad I would have preferred not waking up to that awful pain. To make matters worse I watched the show "When Anesthesia Fails" the night before the surgery. DOH! Not the brightest thing to do, but I blame the lapse in judgment to painkillers.

    Now I have a cute 2 year old little boy that I worked really hard to bring into the world and I am afraid I will never see him again. I am also afraid that people will try to be so optomistic that they won't let me say my "just-in-case" things that I want to say. They are squeamish when I talk about my advanced directives and will. For me, it's all in God's hands but I want to be responsible when it comes to my son and husband just in case.
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