Surgery and Anxiety

I have knee surgery scheduled for this morning. I am very anxious even though through the same procedure on my right last year. I find it hard when I get anxious in these kinds of situations. Because the surgery is not in control, my brain automatically goes into panic and I seem to forget my skills or that I even have skills. Yesterday, I downloaded an audiobook for the wait time, found my favorite sloth stuffy that accompanied me last time, and made sure to get things ready like my crutches. Now I just need to remember to breathe. Anyone else have this happen to them- skills just seeming to disappear from knowledge?
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
Yup, especially with surgery. Can you ask for some ativan when you see the anesthesiologist? I find that helpful. I also find it helpful to let the people working with me at the hospital know that I have PTSD. Well, it helps sometimes depending on the staff. Good luck with your knee.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
Anyone else have this happen to them- skills just seeming to disappear from knowledge?
All the time.
Yesterday, I downloaded an audiobook for the wait time, found my favorite sloth stuffy that accompanied me last time, and made sure to get things ready like my crutches. Now I just need to remember to breathe.
This is great, though. Even though you experienced your skills disappearing momentarily, you did actually find them again.

Anxiety - that sort of pre-panic kind - is to be expected (IMO) when looking at going into a surgery. Your brain is just doing it's thing - surgery is invasive, even when it's minor- and you amygdala wants to grab the drivers seat, send you into flight or freeze mode.

What you did, is recognize that was kicking in, then tapped into the specificity of what was going on, by understanding it had to do with loss of control/autonomy - then, you addressed that by making a great plan for staying grounded and being prepared. Skills, in use.

I hope this isn't coming across as minimizing, because I mean it to be the opposite - you stepped into the discomfort, and that's extremely important to building even stronger recovery muscles.

I hope things go well for you, with the procedure. Thinking of you!
 

scout86

MyPTSD Pro
Anyone else have this happen to them- skills just seeming to disappear from knowledge?
Yes! I had to have a joint replaced last winter. I think I was incredibly lucky. The surgeon is the first doctor I've ever met who seemed to understand my situation and the whole team felt like they were on my side. I had no idea it could be like that! I hope your experience is as good! BTW, although I totally get the concept of not wanting to surrender control..... If you need something done that you don't know how to do (and can't actually do on yourself even if you did) probably better to turn it over to an expert, huh?

Thinking of you today!
 

Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
My anxiety went sky high with a colonoscopy. I couldn’t understand it because I had done one of these before. The nurse asked me why I have ptsd. 😒. The thing they don’t realize is it really doesn’t matter why. The nervous system senses danger and takes off! I wish they would educate medical people on that. Asking why really just causes more harm than good.

My anxiety lasted for a couple weeks and resurfaced at the doctors appointment. It was completely unexpected by me. I didn’t really understand what was going wrong with me. It did taper down eventually. Work hard to continue using your tools. It isn’t easy when your brain goes offline!
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
Definitely. As Joeylittle said, anxiety before surgery is normal. It's experienced even by people who don't deal with PTSD or anxiety. It sounds like you have taken steps. I find grounding is really important before surgery. Making sure I can stay present in the now and breathing. I also use distraction techniques. Like lately I've been playing this matching game on my computer.

I hope your surgery goes well.
 
Thank you everyone. Thank you for the reminder that it is normal to feel nervous before surgery. I did okay overall. Once I got there, saw the new to me area, saw a nurse I have had before, and saw my doctor, I settled some. I took my klonopin before I went. The initial sedation before the actual anesthia did nothing for me and my anxiety turned up when I actually got into the operating room, but I was able to settle. I am home and resting the knee and slowly getting around with my crutches. I'm finding it hard to get back on a routine sleep schedule (sleeping at night versus in the day) but I think that will even back out in time.
 
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