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Anaesthesia awareness

Discussion in 'Medical' started by Autumn Falls, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. Autumn Falls

    Autumn Falls New Member


    I suffered anaesthesia awareness during a hysterectomy last year. I could feel and hear everything for about 25 minutes before they realised I was awake and put me back under (I was paralyzyed and unable to tell them I was awake at the time). It was an horrific experience I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, I thought I was going to die during surgery. I have since been diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, depression and distress intolerance. It's such a rare thing to happen that I have struggled to find other similar cases and how people have coped and got through it.

    I have had other significant traumas in my life that I thought I had managed and put to bed, however, the therapy I am having (EMDR) has brought all these other traumas back and my head is so chaotic and I feel like my life is spiralling.

    Has anyone else been diagnosed with PTSD after having anaesthesia awareness?

    Love and peace x
    shimmerz and She Cat like this.
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  3. Sighs

    Sighs Not a Fairytale Moderator Donated

    I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. My mother was aware for the entirety of my birth by c-section way back in the 70s. Like you, she was paralysed so could not communicate to the medical staff that she was awake. When she "woke up" and told them, initially they didn't believe her. When she started repeating to them the conversations they had with each other during the procedure they realised she had been aware the entire time.

    In those days no-one thought of suing or PTSD. The anaesthetist gave her a bunch of flowers by way of apology. That was it.

    I'm sorry that it happened to you and that it has affected you so badly. I hope that your therapist can help you.

    Hugs if you accept them.
    shimmerz, Simply Simon and She Cat like this.
  4. Autumn Falls

    Autumn Falls New Member

    Thank you Sighs....your words, thoughts and hugs are warmly welcomed....I didn't receive flowers, just a dismissive comment stating ' I once had someone had a heart attack on that table, so yours wasn't really as bad!'....I am thankful I am still here and relatively healthy, so it's not all bad xxx
  5. Sighs

    Sighs Not a Fairytale Moderator Donated

    Mmm - I wonder if that dismissive person would volunteer to have surgery whilst aware?

    I had my daughter by c-section under an epidural and it was pretty horrible and traumatic to be awake while they do surgery, even though I was expecting it. I can only imagine the awfulness of having that happen when you were supposed to be oblivious.

    Both my mum and I ask for valium in pre-op now. It helps to reduce the anxiety.
    Simply Simon likes this.
  6. mindys1550

    mindys1550 Member

    I can't imagine being awake. I don't even know how what to say to your experience. I can't imagine. You are strong for having survived.
  7. ShodokanJenn

    ShodokanJenn Well-Known Member

    I metabolize anesthesia very, very quickly. Twice I have woken up in the middle of major operations, becoming fully aware and able to feel everything, but like you, I was paralyzed and had no way to communicate. Unlike you, my awareness was noticed within about 5 minutes both times. The trauma of it was significant but definitely takes a back seat to the root cause of my PTSD. There are times though that I have flashbacks/intrusive thoughts/nightmares about it. I wouldn't wish it on anyone, that's for sure.
  8. DharmaGirl

    DharmaGirl Crazy Chicken Lady Premium Member Sponsor $100+

    I woke up during surgery too. It was so painful. Now I know how it feels to be stabbed. I'm an RN, and I did some rounds in surgery, so I knew what was going on. I think this made it less traumatic for me, however the pain was incredible. I don't have any idea how long I was awake. I also was paralyzed, and could hear them talking. I tried to speed up my heart rate, but it didn't work. I started saying to myself, "go to sleep" over and over again. I finally did. Ugh. I've had a few surgeries after that and I make sure to tell everyone that I woke up, and I never, ever want to wake up during surgery again. I can imagine how horrid it must have been for you, never having attended a surgery. You aren't alone and it is a horrid, helpless feeling that makes sleep paralysis seem like a walk in the park.

    It was not the cause of my PTSD, that was early childhood stuff, but I can see where that would happen.
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