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Is it normal to get self-absorbed before surgery?

happyHBmomhhappyHBmom Posts: 2,070
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Things are not going well here. I'm starting to have a lot of popping and clicking in my back with even slight movements. I've always had this due to the bone fragments, it's just worse. Plus, lots of pain, some numbness, etc.

I guess I'm having difficulty separating what is real with what is anxiety over surgery, though. The whole stress/pain thing.

But most of all, I'm finding myself really incapable of thinking of much else. I am not terrified. I don't have any gruesome images. I'm just trying to arrange pictures in my mind of what things might be like, so I am walking into a semi-known schema. But this is SUCH an unknown that it has become sort of an obsession.

And I've been less able than I'd like to get my mind off of it, because of the increased symptoms.



  • I think pending surgery has us all act differently. Let's face it, it's a little scary because you have to put all your trust in others' hands. But what's important is that you did your homework to select the procedure and surgeon that was right for you.

    Yes, before my surgery I felt my pain increase or perhaps I was more aware. I actually think I was looking for improvement so I could bail out on the surgery and realized I was not going to get better without it.

    It's hard to get your mind off of it. The best approach is to try to see if you can go for breakfast at a diner with a friend or family member. I tried to do a few little things before hand to keep my mind off it and when I was hurting, I thought, well....this time next year, I hope I can enjoy dinner/breakfast with less pain.

    Good luck.
  • It's still 3 weeks away, so I have plenty of mornings left- but I am one of those people who doesn't like to go into unknown situations.

    I do think that all the time- maybe next year I can do that. I hope so!
  • I find that I have to "let go" and realize that I am not in the driver's seat. For someone who is used to being in control of them self and their surroundings, it's a hard concept to embrace. Once I grasped that, life became far easier to deal with.

  • Actually, I was thinking quite the opposite- I am a person who tends to let other people make the decisions, and in this case I really am not going to be able to be that person. Other than the 6 hours or so that I'm actually under, there is nobody to be "in the driver's seat" but me.

    So maybe it's a balance.

    But I'm not really fearful and I'm far from negative (I'm looking forward to it, actually, because it opens a new chapter in my life). I am more just anxious and a bit hyperfocused.

  • Well, I can relate, since my surgery is in 2 weeks time! My lovely family who are very cold can't understand that all I can talk about it my surgery!! They think I'm being negative.. grrrr. Um, lets see, my surgery is 9-10 hours long I will be in ICU for 3 days I live alone and have not found anyone to stay with me yet. My sister is having a hysterectomy on the same day as my surgery!! I have not spoken with her in 3 weeks since she didn't show up for my birthday. My father is making a party next Sunday for the family for a jewish holiday and I don't want to go!!!! My sister has her husband and 3 chirldren to take care of her and I have no one!!! my father still treats me like a kid when I told him I'm not going he got very upset with me!!! The last thing I want is to be stressed out before!! GRRRRRR It makes me so mad! Like HB said, I have been in worse pain too I have not been able to leave my house for any long periouds. My back is just so sore and it carry's to my left hip it's not a nerve pain it's like dull ache but it's not dull it's like a constant 8
    At this point I'm excited to be put under cause I know I will be pain free!

    Lisa :(

    P.S I am going to call my surgeon's office on Monday to ask what he said! LOL
  • Surgery is a week Monday just disc decompression.....well I say "just"....it's my spine right!! I will be in an aware state so will know about pain. The idea is I can let my surgeon know that he has the "right" level.I am worried.

    My pain seems to be worse and other pains and soreness is creeping into new places. Guess I am too focussed on it.

    I'm not teling anyone (but you guys) how I am feeling. I feel like you Lisa, just don't want to talk about it but I do have support when I come out, I have a great husband to take care of me.

    Lisa, I know you are worried and I can't say I blame you but surely some one will come and look after you? They must realise how serious this is and how important it is you rest for your recovery?

    My thoughts are with you. Gentle >:D<
  • Howdy HB,

    I find that with me, in the weeks preceding a surgery, I start "setting my nest" for when I come back. By then the final decisions have been made on what procedure, and what the outcome hope is.

    Part of me gets excited at the thought that I might regain function, or reduce the pain, *maybe* get my life back. Then I start focusing (which is what maybe you are doing?) on every pain, any function, weakness or numb changes - kind of hypersensitive to everything I am feeling. And like you, I think the pain increases a bit, more so because maybe I am so into getting ready for the surgery, I am not diverting my mind to other things, and as such the pain is more realized?

    I do know one weird thing I've had with each surgery, I am a bi**h the day before? I have no patience, and a tiny, tiny fuse that blows easily. I wake up the day I go in for the surgery, and I am drained mentally. Weird I guess? Hope that helps. :) *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Well, part of the reason my pain is worse is that my husband was out of town for a week, and then spent the following week working tons of overtime. So I ended up doing a ton of things that I shouldn't have. I finally just kind of broke.

    But still, when I think about how much I really did, it is pretty pathetic that it can put me in this much pain! I mean, it's not like I did laundry or took the dogs for a jog- all I did was clean up after them and the kids and take care of the horse a bit. And not sleep well :(

    My daughter just asked me (she's so perceptive) whether I am afraid something bad will happen. No, it's not that at all- I'm just anxious about the unpleasantness of it. I don't mind other people in control, but unpleasantness isn't my favorite thing.

  • Thanks Lotus.. I have great friends that will make sure I get threw this..
    Gental hug..

  • Sometimes we never know what the trigger was to cause all manner of pain! I've bent down just to clean the litter box, and zowzers!

    Remember you have a lot going on in your back, so in a sense, you're already behind the eight ball. I've been walking all over kingdom come on this trip, doing a lot of head movements as well, and I'm dieing as they say! Tomorrow is the family reunion, so after that, we start the 3 day trip to Jacksonville for Turkey day, then 2 days back home (relaxed mode)...so should be better in a day or so. (G)

    Once your hubby can be more engaged and help you out, you will be able to get to a less pain mode too! I hope you are feeling better soon. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • You have not seemed self absorbed, but if you are so be it! This is your time!

    It is ironic to have soo much on your plate to accomplish before surgery, and your back is at its worse state.

    Try to relax when you can and don't over-think things. It is well documented that you do better under anesthesia when you go in with a positive, calm attitude. It is better cardiovascular wise. When you are anxious, you release a substance in your bloodstream that causes your B/P to increase, and it's more difficult for your anesthesia provider to manage.

    I wanted to do everything to make my surgery and recovery a success...the rest is in the hands of the medical team.

    I'm single, like Lisa, so I had to make sure everything was prepared around my house before the surgery. I only had one month to prepare for my surgery, so I made a list of everything that needed to be accomplished b/f surgery.

    Maybe you can make a list for your family to do as well.

    I don't think that my family understood how challenging the first couple of months were going to be. It wasn't until I came home before they finally "got it".

    Hope everything goes as plan...there will be a few hiccoughs along the way. Be optimist, but prepared for a few kinks.


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