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I almost think...

SapaSSapa Posts: 47
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
the WAITING for surgery is the worst part!! 2 more days! (By the way, I'm having a laminectomy/disectomy for those of you who haven't "met" me before!)

My nerves are bad, I feel shakey and pre-occupied all the time, and kinda nauseous. Work is slow right now so I can't even distract myself with that enough. I want to get it done and over with and get on with the healing and my life!

I also keep having thoughts like, "what if it doesn't help and I'm no better off" I don't know if I could handle the disappointment! I get those negative thoughts, and right away I tell myself to stop, think positive! It WILL help and I'll get some relief!

Argh! I'm really glad I have a forum like this where people understand what I'm going through! It helps!



  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    The wait, the anticipation of the surgery date can be the longest time. Your mind also starts to think about all the different possibilities, the what ifs, the what if nots, etc.

    As I have told people in the past, the best that you can do is become the most educated person about the surgery you are about to have. Read up on it, look at the details, Spine-Health provides so much of that.
    This way you know what medically you should anticipate and just what the recovery period should be like.

    Prior to the actual surgery is a long waiting game.
    Then the actual surgery, you are in the hands of your surgeon. You picked that person because you had trust and confidence in them. Let them do their job.

    Then post surgery, its all in your hands. Here is where you need to follow all the restrictions and limits and things that you should do as outlined by your doctor.

    Many problems you read about are a result of people not doing the above.

    Good luck and look forward to the closest pain free situation you can have.
    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
  • What you're feeling is perfectly normal. Stress has a way of snowballing so do your best to break the cycle. Whenever you start to feel those feelings, take a few moments to concentrate on your breathing. Sit quietly and consciously slow down your breathing. Try inhaling as you could to ten, then doing the same as you exhale. Do this for several long, slow breathes. Once you get that going, blank out all thoughts and just concentrate on that breath. Follow it in and back out. Evaluate the quality of that breath. How does it feel on your nostrils? Does it feel warm or cool? If your mind becomes distracted, bring it right back to the breath and how you are breathing. Try to do this for several minutes. Then get up and do a couple gentle stretches...and hopefully, you will feel a bit calmer.

    Listen to some calming music, or do something that you normally find very relaxing. You just want to break the cycle and allow your brain to "reboot."

    It is really important to find some ways that will allow you to relax. When I had my fusion it was my first time in the hospital except when giving birth. I was supposed to have surgery at 3 (not my choice...)and was taken back to the "holding area" on time. Once back there, I was away from my family, with nothing to read, no TV, nothing to occupy my time...and I proceeded to wait. One by one people were taken in to surgery until I was the only one left. There was one nurse at a central station...one by one various technicians, doctors, etc. walked past and said good night to her...and still I waited. I couldn't see a clock so had no idea what time it was, or how long I had been there. I finally talked with the nurse and asked her to go tell my husband and son that I had not even started my surgery yet so they wouldn't worry. They were expecting me to be about finished by them! Finally at 6 p.m. the anesthesiologist finished with his surgery and came out to speak with me. Then my surgeon finished his surgery and spoke with me. I was really concerned that he would be too tired to do my surgery, but he assured me he was fine and ready to go...so finally at 6:15, they started my IV line and took me in. If I had been really nervous, I think I would have gotten up off the gurney/bed and walked out before then!! I had nothing to distract myself -- I just laid there for three hours waiting....But due to my various exercises to reduce stress, I managed just fine.

    So my little story probably didn't help to calm your nerves... @) but things can and do happen in hospitals and schedules are not set in stone. This is just one example of when it is nice to have some calming techniques in your bag of tricks!!

    Take the remaining time you have to finish your preparations and to pamper yourself. Before you know it, the surgery will be finished and you will realize that it wasn't nearly as bad as you were expecting! Stories on these forums are enough to scare anyone...but I always think it is best to prepare for the worst. That way you wake up and are pleasantly surprised!

    Best of luck to you. I know you will sail through this whole experience.

  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    It's perfectly normal to be nervous and I've heard many times that all of the sudden people feel better the last days before surgery (be it this or any kind of surgery). That's normal too, your mind is playing tricks on you when that happens.

    Of all the surgeries I've had, I've never come out worse than I went in. And I've had a ton for a variety of problems. Take a few minutes to led your mind escape worries, whether it's reading, meditating, or just playing computer games (this has helped me a ton recently).
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • thanks everyone, I appreciate your comments!! I'll be okay, it's just nerves, like you say. Gonna relax tonight and just watch TV.


  • Hope all goes well for you and that your recovery will be uncomplicated and that we'll hear from you here soon telling us that you are coping well and on the way to being pain free.

  • Hi Sandy. Well, your day is here and finally it'll be over with and on to recovery.

    I so understand about the anticipation. What's really bad is that so many times the anticipation is worse than the surgery itself. Of course, we only realize that AFTER the surgery so it doesn't do any good to know it. I'm getting nervous about my upcoming surgery and I'm the queen of telling new spineys this. Maybe I'll quit saying it - it's pretty useless knowledge. LOL

    Anyway, I'm thinking about you today, Sandy, and hoping everything goes well. I'm looking forward to your first post-op post.

  • I totally understand how nerve wracking the days are prior to surgery. Even if it's your 10th, 11th, or 15th time around, you still get plenty of anxiety and this is very normal. All you can do is hope for the best and follow all the recommendations that your surgeon says. Focus on the positive stories too but also keep in mind that it will take some time to heal. There will be good days, progress, and then a little backslide. It is okay as long as you continue to move forward. I think recovery is the hardest part of having spinal surgery because it takes a lot of patience, but I'm sure you'll do well. Best wishes on your laminectomy and I hope everything turns out alright. Take care
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