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post surg 3ks3days and panic to go out- severe anxiety

VickiVVicki Posts: 57
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi- my surgery L4 fusion/cyst removal(11/20) went as expected. I am fearful to go out and try and live some life. Went out last night to pharmacy and felt weak and faint. Am I pushing myself too much? I am now taking 5mg valium to try and calm my nerves. I have been an anxiety/panic sufferer in the past. Going out is bringing alot of these dormant fears back. Anyone else apprehensive starting to go out? Plus the cold weather/ over dressing doesn't make me feel comfortable either. Can anyone advise me?
Thanks as always,


  • But I actually was quite the opposite. Once I felt better (approx 5 days post op), I couldn't stay out of the house. But my surgery was a diskectomy, not a fusion. There is a huge difference.

    I would advise you to just take baby steps. You just had major surgery, and with anxiety issues in the past, that won't help matters. Start small, then work your way up to more. But not too fast, you just had MAJOR surgery.

    Try taking small walks around your neighborhood. I know it's cold, so just do like 5 minutes. Get some fresh air. :)

    It will be OK. Don't push yourself too hard.

  • Vicki,

    I am sorry that you have these fear issues, although I don't think it is very unexpected under the circumstances. I am not a clinical psychologist (although I am a psychologist) but it seems to me you are developing a phobia. It is recent enough that maybe it won't develop into something more major, but it is important to take care of it now. Call your doctor's office and ask for a consultation with a mental health professional. You may not even need any treatment other than some anti-anxiety med. Or they may tell you that it is normal at this stage of your recovery (remember, normal is a wide continuum), but either way, please talk to someone. And if you just want to vent your feelings, we are here for you.

    Good luck, and let us know how you are doing.

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  • This is not unusual and you have had major surgery.
    When you go out make sure someone is with you and that you go somewhere where there is the oppertunity to have a rest.
    It is very important to get the walking in but you can do several short walks closer to home rather then one big one.

    Some anti-anxiety meds will help also of prescribed by a professional.
    Blessings Sara O:)
  • I had issues with panic attacks also. When it happens again tell yourself I'm allright and say breathe to yourself. Many times when people have panic attacks you hyperventilate which causes the weak dizzy feeling. Concentrate on your breathing deeply and slower. Hug yourself mentally and feel your "center" and ground yourself feel your feet. Sometimes telling yourself it'll be allright just go and get the milk and eggs and pop, juice and then say I'll get in the car so I can bring these groceries home. It's very hard to do I know. Occassionally I feel that fight or flight feeling and just say breathe and I'm back to my base. A good book to read is "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway" Sorry long post and glad you made it through and you got home safe .See. Be proud of yourself. And I agree don't overdo it. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Vikvi, fusion surgery is HUGE as others have posted. You are worn out, both physically & mentally & not even a month out...very early on the timeline. And you say you've had some anxiety issues in the past ( I did also)....and being out in public will excacerbate them to the max.

    Do whatever you want to! Stay in! Go out! But mostly STAY IN..just my 2 cents, based on how I felt 1 month out, as you are yet. You hurt. You're fearful that someone might BUMP INTO YOU...yikes, that was my worst fear! Loud noises, birght lights, people talking, traffic----having to get dressed, etc. I would sweat, heart would pound, I;d feel weak/faint etc....NS said "Take it easy already!!"

    So esentially I stayed around the house from Jan- March & that helped a lot. Got shopping once (hubby drove) & to church once (made it 1/2 thru the service) b4 bolting back home...

    But now I work F/T again & thnigs are almost normal---yet once in awhile I'll still "panic" & I still hate anyone BEHIND me....

    Be gentle w/ yourself right now. You've been thru a lot. Your body is releasing the tension from the surgery yet. REST! Walk around the house/block etc. But don't push! And keep taking the Valuim--helps w/ the spasms & the anxiety.

    you;'ll find yourself again, Vicki dear. But not yet. Not just now. Take your time. Let yourself---your WHOLE self--heal some more.

    You;re in my thoughts! You have licesne to do whatever you want to---you've had a FUSION! You're a member of a very special minority, a club of STRONG people who having survied this, will conquer anything! Go lie down now! :)

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  • I still get 'panicy' but it's not from going out. I experience it first thing in the morning...don't know why. I think it's just adjusting to all the rollercoaster ups and downs that this recovery brings...the not knowing what to expect.
    My doc wouldn't let me drive for 12 weeks so I didn't get out a ton. When I was out someone else was with me driving. At a month out you are physically and mentally worn out. The crowds and rush of Christmas can be brutal. Choose someplace quiet at a time of day that ppl aren't at their peak and only stay out short periods. When all else fails, "do it afraid"' and you will eventually overcome.
    As Lakeside said, rest for now and don't push too hard. You are still very fresh post op.
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