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Anxiety issues post surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
A month ago I had an Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion on my C6/C7. Everything went well and other than some tendinitis I am doing well. But after dealing with this pain for 2 years I feel like I am developing some anxiety. Is that common, has anyone else delt with this? I don't have a ton of stress, I'm not really stressed about anything it really has just come out of the blue the last week or so. I am on Valium for muscle spasms but still having panic attacks and just general anxiety, I think thats what it is at least. I may make an appointment with my GP to see if I'm nuts or if this has anything to do with my years of chronic pain or some other underlying issue. I got worried last week when the panic attacks came out of no where for no reason while on Valium. Any ideas? Any one else experience this?


  • hi, I think I am in the same boat as you are. I had a posterior cervical laminectomy on 6/9/09. I also had a fusion in 2006. This week hasn't been a good week for me. I think I am depressed now. I just hurt all over my neck and shoulders. I have valium and pain pills I take. Family says maybe I should get out of the house for a bit. I don't know! I'm sure your anxiety is from being home more then your use too, relying on support from family and friends to recover too. Our activity is limited and I m use to doing my own things my way. I am the most impatient person in the world too so that doesn't help. I thought I would feel better a few weeks after surgery and I don't yet. I am not sleeping well either. Who knows, I do know I don't want to see any doctors they are full of bad news. I need to think positive not have any negative influences around me now. Good luck sorry I was no help to you. Hang in there :)
    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
  • For the past few years, I've been in chronic pain and always the "sick" one. For the last year, I've been on pain meds and muscle relaxers too. I have so much anxiety, worry, negative thoughts, and the hardest is just accepting that having degenerative arthritis is my new way of life. I so want to be healthy and active and do hundreds of things, and I just can't. I want to be out doing and going and I can't.

    I read a story I think on this board, maybe not called The spoons. This lady was explaining what it was like to have chronic pain to her friend and she said every day she started out with 12 spoons and as the day went on she had to choose sometimes whether to use up a spoon doing laundry or housework, going shopping, doing the things that required spoons and at the end of the day, she was just out of spoons, done. Not sure why she used spoons but I guess anything tangible.

    We are tired, we hurt, we worry, we have procedures to try and fix our problems, sometimes they work or improve the symptoms, sometimes they bring on other problems or pain. It would have to be normal to have the mental thoughts that we are having. I don't think we are nuts, just trying to deal with our lives, a road to acceptance, maybe???

    I'm just glad to have this board. No one else knows the inner strength that it takes to have our problems but us. I hope that we get better and can go and do what we want!!!
  • hi....i'm pete...good to meet you taranga. valium is the reason. a stated side effect of this drug is anxiousness. glad spine doin better....pete
  • Sounds like it could be the valium to me too...but I'd think it could be your brain spazzing out on overload from surgery & healing. Make sure you have plenty of "me time" that's not just stamping out the fires of pain.

  • Post surgery is a bad time for everyone, and depression and anxiety are not uncommon. Before surgery, most of us hit our limit for CP, and hoped that surgery would help. Even if we did our homework and were told how long recovery would most likely take, and knew there were no guarantees, we all still have a very human emotion: HOPE. Hope that in OUR case, recovery will be a breeze, that we won't go through what a majority go through after surgery. Hope that we won't feel the pain we felt before, that when we wake up in recovery, we'll think "wow, I feel GREAT, get me outa here".

    Finding that our hopes may not have been realized is a sure recipe for anxiety, depression, and the need for reassurance.

    This is just another view. I know that it can be meds as well, but to me, in my opinion, you've been put to a very demanding test, and EVERYTHING has most likely played a role in how you are feeling about the way your body and mind is reacting to what you've been through. Talk to your doctor!

    Try to stay positive! Positive thinking can be a powerful tool to help you get by at the worst times... It's how I'm able to be here at all today, that and I am also a firm believer in meditation using a mantra. (it's how I got through my FIRST EVER MRI last week.)

    Hugs and prayers!

  • sorry that you've had to join our little club, but welcome!! I suffer from anxiety disorder, for reasons other than my chronic pain, but I can tell you, it certainly doesn't help the situation. I thought I had the anxiety well under control prior to surgery, had been attack free for a couple of months. But post-op was a different story. For me, I figured out it was leaving the house, and the anxiety of the "what ifs" What if something happens, and I'm out on my own. What if I have a severe spasm, and can't move, etc, etc... The other was driving again, and the last was going back to work after being off for just over 4 months. All of them, I think, was because I was leaving my safe zone (my home). Pain does affect us mentally as well as physically, the key is to figure out what your trigger is, and knowing that no, you are not crazy!! You should talk to your doc about this, it could be the mental strain that you are going through, either subconsciously or not, or it could be just a side effect of your meds. The key is figuring out what your trigger is. Do you take any anti-depressants? I am on cipralex, an SSRI, for my anxiety, but I started taking amitriptyline, a tricyclic, a couple of weeks ago, to help with sleep and pain. It certainly helps with sleep, haven't slept as much in a long time, and just the other day, my boyfriend mentioned how much a better mood I've been in the past couple of days!! So maybe the combo of the two is working for me!!
    Anyways, I hope that you do find out what is causing your anxiety, and know that you are not crazy!! (Otherwise that would mean I've been around the bend a few times!! :))( ) Good luck, peace and well wishes to you. And to cookieflower, I hope you find peace and ease of pain as well. Will be thinking of you!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
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