Does anyone here have a fear of Anesthesia/Surgery/Hospital stays?

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Julie1014
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Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1245
   Posted 2/28/2009 12:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there!  I was wondering if anyone has these phobias.  They are crippling to me.  I have Crohn's, and may need a bowel resection in the near future.  Just the thought of this makes me shake, like I am going to go crazy.  I had to stay in the hospital for 5 days, and the panic attacks were out of control, even with Xanax.  I hate staying overnight anywhere from home.
 
I have to get colonoscopies every 6 months because of Crohn's.  My fear of anesthesia is so bad that I get the scopes wide awake.  How sad and barbaric is that??!! cry
 
So, the thought of being put to sleep, being gutted open, and having to stay in the hospital for 10 days is mind-blowing to me.  It makes me feel like throwing up and losing control.  I just don't know how to cope with this. shakehead
This may sound sad, but I would rather feel physically ill than suffer from Panic......
 
Does anyone here suffer from these phobias?  I just don't know what to do.....  Blessings, Julie
Diagnosed with Crohn's March 2006, Fibromyalgia November 2008
Asacol 3 times a day, Remicade 10mg/kg every 4 weeks, Prednisone 10 mg, Miralax,  Prevacid 30mg, Vit B12, Vitamin D, Slow-FE (Iron), Hydrocortisone enemas
Imuran stopped 9/8/08 (possible Pancreatitis)
Paxil 40mg daily (for Panic disorder)
Xanax .5mg as needed (for anxiety attacks)
 
 
 
 
 


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 2/28/2009 3:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Julie
Yes I was afraid of the getting put under for the longest time and like you many Colonoscopies for the CD

I am given diazapam prior to each one and I still am half baked awake thru it

This is not a silly phobia it is real to you and many others

I put off surgery for as long as I could and I HAD to have it done
I did get thru it and so will you hun

You are surely not alone in these phobias
I believe

You have to prep self as best you can especially with the DD .........
.Crohns and scopes a plenty

I agree there are so many things that I would rather face than anxiety and panic attacks but we do get thru them to

Fight hun fight with all you have and learn some kind of coping mechanisms to try and get you thru if need arises

Keep us posted and know we are with you

Lyn
 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
                               Moderator@Alzheimer's..
              CO Moderator @ Anxiety and Panic........Co Moderator   @ Crohns                    
                            Keep The Fight Going..Or YOu Will Lose
               Look For The GOOD, Even At Your Lowest
  We Have Anxiety and Panic...................Anxiety and Panic DO NOT Have us         
   
                                     LYN


Aries8
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 2/28/2009 8:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Do you have a therapist you visit regularly? That would be my first step with this phobia. Actually, it's a very common phobia. Whenever you're in the hospital for a procedure/surgery, let those know around you of your concerns. They will make you feel comfortable. Remember they're there for your benefit and they are professionals. Try not to be scared, everything will be okay!
Anxiety Disorder/Mitral Valve Prolapse
 
Prozac and Carvedilol


FitzyK23
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 2/28/2009 9:05 PM (GMT -7)   
If I were you I would start by getting to the root of your fear. What specifically are you afraid of. Are you afraid you won't wake up? Are you afraid that you won't be able to speak for yourself? I notice you have crohns, as do I. I realized I was most afraid of pooping my pants. I asked what would happen if I had to go after the anesthesia. Despite being NPO I still always poop, just liquid. They explained what would happen and it really put my mind at ease. When I was in the ER I was freaked cause I felt like my IV tethered me to the bed and I couldn't get up and move around. Once I found out I could take my IV off the hook and walk with it I felt 100% less scared. I am not saying my reasons for being scared are your reasons. But once you isolate what you are most afraid of you can discuss those concerns with someone and research them (depending on how that effects your anxiety). I know a lot of times we are told not to do research just to back up our fears. But once I figure out what specifically I am afraid of I do a lot of research to prove to myself how safe it really is. Good luck!
27 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night. I also take a birth control pill to allow some fun in my life.


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 2/28/2009 10:40 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey Julie,

Hi this is Kitt. cool Fear of general anesthesia is very common, and understandably so.  Patients  value control highly, and we dread powerlessness above all other threats. So dreading anesthesia is perfectly normal.

We feel the loss and control and it scares us so please know you are not alone.

I have heard that hypnosis may  help you overcome misplaced fear of anesthesia.  You may want to talk to your physcian re this technique.  Now would be the time to start learning self hypnosis techniques so you can practice on your own.

Also premedication for anxiety is a request to keep in mind.  Ask for the medication before you go near the operating room. shocked

My hubby has had 3 major surgeries for Crohns as well as just recently a major cancer surgery.  I am as anxious as a cat on a hot tim roof while he is under as I have lost my ability to talk with him but I practice staying in the moment and then let out the tears after the surgery is over.

Keep on talking to us and we will help you through your fears.

You have joined a very special family............

Hugs to you sweetie

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


SmurfyShadow
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 2/28/2009 10:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Juls,

Omg I am so terrified of surgeries. Ok, so I'll tell ya'll why... well they misplaced my dad when he still unconcious TWICE. Once located in the Morgue (ewww) and the other time located in the Maternity Ward (hmm dad having a baby? LOL).

I had to have my first surgery last October. I got in a yelling match with the knock out drug person (sorry cant figure out how to spell the title lol) over where my IV was going. I didnt want my hand, he wanted it in my hand. So I told him I would have him replaced if he didnt find another spot LOL. I have some medical training, and I told him make sure to really secure the IV (cuz he put it in my lower arm). He failed to listen. I was out before I got to 5 LOL. Thats after I had the doctor, my parents, nurses assuring me they would not lose my body. Well I did wake up, that is great part...woke up nasueated and moaning. After they got me in my room I won a full week in hospital instead of the 24 hour obversatioon for 1. blowing the darn iv (idiot should of secured it like I told him to) 2. Spitting up blood 3. Vomiting on the floor and in a trash can (can u imagine blood everywhere and vomit? its what I had lol). The same week I was insurgery my uncle had surgery he was unstable. Odds were against him to live through it. He died while on the table. Just 3 days after my surgery.

Because of this, I'm litterly terrified of surgeries, and I have 2 more surgeries due to my tumors. If you can figure out a solution, let me know.
 
Smurfy Shadow
 
DX: Wegener's Disease, Migraines, Diabetese Type II, PCOS, Lactose Intolerant, Benign Heart Murmer, Depression, Asthma, Asperger's Syndrome, Necrotizing Gramultous Inflamation in eye, A.D.D., Acid Reflux
 
Medications: CellCept, Prednisone, Tri Nessa, Percocet, Metformin, Prilosec, Protonix, Zantac, Advair, Cingulair, Albuterol, Calcium + Vitamin D


Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2279
   Posted 2/28/2009 11:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Julie,
I have a severe phobia of anesthesia. I don't really like hospitals or surgeries, but I can handle those with a lot of effort. The anesthesia, not so much. I'm sure you don't need any more horror stories running through your head, so let me just encourage you to try to find out as much as you can pre-op (see if you can find out anything about the anesthesiologist or anesthesia nurse, not all hospitals can/will tell you that ahead of time, but some do so it's worth asking). Kitt had a good suggestion if you're okay with the idea of hypnosis.

One thing that helped me was that I found out I could have people in the pre-op room with me & that I could listen to my discman. I got some really relaxing music & practiced each day to get more comfortable and relaxed in preparation for the surgery. I don't know. Nothing really makes a huge difference for me. But that doesn't mean that the little things aren't valuable. Even bringing down the anxiety a little bit is better than nothing.

I do want to wish you the best & I will be praying for you that you will find a way to calm your fears, get the information you need & conquer your anxiety by going through with a needed surgery.

All my best,
frances

Julie1014
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1245
   Posted 3/1/2009 4:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for your understanding and wonderful responses. I hope they don't leave me in the morgue like one poster posted, lol! I know I will definately be facing surgery down the road, and I want to be as pro-active as possible. I don't want to dwell on it too much (ie. Stay in the moment, etc,) but I want to prepare myself as much as possible.

I would certainly try hypnosis. I would try anything to help conquer this fear. My fears are:

1. Not being put under "all the way."

2. Dying during surgery. (I have a big fear of death, even though I'm a Christian.)

3. Feeling out of control. I don't take any pain medicines because I hate the way they make me feel. It's like handing me a "cup of panic, lol!"

4. Having to stay in the hospital. I need to be home. Even though I work, I can leave at any time and come home, my "safe place."

5. Waking up intubated. (On a breathing machine.)

I think the biggest thing I have working against me is that I know too much. I am an Occupational Therapist and an LPN. I work in a hospital, for pete's sake! Sometimes too much knowledge can be bad for you.....

I could go on and on, but don't want to bore everyone.....

Thank you SO MUCH for listening. I am truly grateful.

Blessings, Julie


Diagnosed with Crohn's March 2006, Fibromyalgia November 2008
Asacol 3 times a day, Remicade 10mg/kg every 4 weeks, Prednisone 10 mg, Miralax,  Prevacid 30mg, Vit B12, Vitamin D, Slow-FE (Iron), Hydrocortisone enemas
Imuran stopped 9/8/08 (possible Pancreatitis)
Paxil 40mg daily (for Panic disorder)
Xanax .5mg as needed (for anxiety attacks)
 
 
 
 
 


dixibella
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 161
   Posted 3/1/2009 6:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Julie,
Like you I am terrified of anethesia. I had to be put under for my wisdom teeth and for whatever reason my oral surgeon (who didn't make a great first impression by coming into the room after they made me watch that awful video and holding my Xrays saying "Geez I've never met anyone with 2 sets of wisdom teeth"... After I got over not being able to breathe I could have punched him in the face! Like I needed anything else!) wouldn't let me have valium or anything... so basically they had to hold me down to put the IV in. Literally I was thrashing around in the chair begging them to wait... and then I was out and everything was fine. I even had a friend come with me to hold my hand because I was so scared... I think I scared her more with my antics than anything but she was a good sport and very understanding. Can you have a support person with you when you go for anesthesia? I know for me (up until they brought the needle out) that helped keep my mind of things.

I know what you mean about having too much knowledge... I studied pre-med in college and then worked in a medical lab 3 yrs after that... probably the worst thing I could have done in terms of anxiety was becoming that much more aware of everything that can happen. And knowledge is supposed to be a good thing! Go figure! LOL. Its good that you recognize that the extra knowledge is actually more of a hindrance though, it took me years to come to that conclusion and realize that since I've got all this information in my head that when I go into panic mode it all comes back and just pushes me that much further into a panic.

Good luck and I hope you find a way to conquer the fear!

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 3/1/2009 7:09 AM (GMT -7)   

Hey Julie,

I am a nurse too and I have seen it all but by far the positive outcomes have always been ahead of the complications of the surgicals in our hospital.

Rarely have we had O.R. patient's that had to be on a ventilator.  My husband never came back to the ICU intubated.

I am glad you were able to write down your fears and now you can face them one at a time and remember to stay in the moment.

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.

Genlte Hugs
Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 3/1/2009 9:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Julie1014 I too have Crohns disease. I would say try to focus on how good you will feel after the surgery. Your Crohns will be in remission and hopefully you will be able to get on with enjoying life again. Will keep you in my prayers.
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 3/1/2009 11:22 AM (GMT -7)   
So much fantastic input caring
suport here as you can see
YOU are not alone in this as I said ......in above post

I agree try getting self to that place where you can have the surgery and get a remission on your CD

I do wish you all the best
 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
                               Moderator@Alzheimer's..
              CO Moderator @ Anxiety and Panic........Co Moderator   @ Crohns                    
                            Keep The Fight Going..Or YOu Will Lose
               Look For The GOOD, Even At Your Lowest
  We Have Anxiety and Panic...................Anxiety and Panic DO NOT Have us         
   
                                     LYN


Julie1014
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1245
   Posted 3/1/2009 12:35 PM (GMT -7)   
You are all truly wonderful! Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart...... Blessings to you all, Julie:-)
Diagnosed with Crohn's March 2006, Fibromyalgia November 2008
Asacol 3 times a day, Remicade 10mg/kg every 4 weeks, Prednisone 10 mg, Miralax,  Prevacid 30mg, Vit B12, Vitamin D, Slow-FE (Iron), Hydrocortisone enemas
Imuran stopped 9/8/08 (possible Pancreatitis)
Paxil 40mg daily (for Panic disorder)
Xanax .5mg as needed (for anxiety attacks)
 
 
 
 
 


Green Grove
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 3/1/2009 1:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Julie :)

There is not much more I can add to all of the great advice on here, but I just wanted to wish you the best of luck! You take care and hopefully you will start working on more coping techniques to help you deal with your anxiety :)

Many blessings!
Much Love, Hugs, Peace & Comfort . . . Your Bro . . . Sam :)
 ~Co-Moderator Anxiety & Panic Forum~
"Although the world is full of suffering. . . it is also full of the overcoming of it."
~Helen Keller~
Not a professional.  Seek your physician's advice before making changes to your meds or lifestyle.
 


Julie1014
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1245
   Posted 3/1/2009 1:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much, Sam!!!!! :-)
Diagnosed with Crohn's March 2006, Fibromyalgia November 2008
Asacol 3 times a day, Remicade 10mg/kg every 4 weeks, Prednisone 10 mg, Miralax,  Prevacid 30mg, Vit B12, Vitamin D, Slow-FE (Iron), Hydrocortisone enemas
Imuran stopped 9/8/08 (possible Pancreatitis)
Paxil 40mg daily (for Panic disorder)
Xanax .5mg as needed (for anxiety attacks)
 
 
 
 
 


wiggyann
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 3/1/2009 2:31 PM (GMT -7)   
 
 Dear Julie,
 
 Bless your heart :-) My husband had a prostate seed implant
 at 68.  Before this he had never had any kind of surgery
 where he had to be put to sleep and he told me later that he
 was "scared to death."  However, the nurse came into the
 room where he had been waiting (hooked up to an IV) and she
 put something into his IV.  When they wheeled him down the 
 the hall he saw the door to the operating room, but that     
 the last thing he remembers until after the surgery.  I don't
 know what the nurse put  into his IV, but it sure was a blessing.
 
 It would be a good idea to discuss your fear about being put
 to sleep with your doctor or surgeon.  You know what?
 I believe you will do just fine :-)
 
 Warmly in Jesus,
 Wiggyann   
 
    
 
  
    

Julie1014
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1245
   Posted 3/1/2009 3:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Wiggyann, thank you so much for the response. It means a great deal. Blessings to you, Julie
Diagnosed with Crohn's March 2006, Fibromyalgia November 2008
Asacol 3 times a day, Remicade 10mg/kg every 4 weeks, Prednisone 10 mg, Miralax,  Prevacid 30mg, Vit B12, Vitamin D, Slow-FE (Iron), Hydrocortisone enemas
Imuran stopped 9/8/08 (possible Pancreatitis)
Paxil 40mg daily (for Panic disorder)
Xanax .5mg as needed (for anxiety attacks)
 
 
 
 
 


FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 3/1/2009 5:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I also brought a small stuffed animal w/ me when I went in for my colonoscopy. I was there alone and scared and holding the small stuffed animal made me feel better. It was the size of a beanie baby and I could squeeze the heck out of it when scared or in pain. They let me hold it through the whole procedure. I was also panicked when I got to the hospital and was given some anti anxiety med before the conscious sedation.

Since you work in a hospital do you think you could arrange it so you watch some patients be anesthetized? I don't know if it would make you feel better or worse but maybe you could see how routine it is. Maybe stroll through recovery once and awhile and just see how many people do it every day without a problem.
27 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night. I also take a birth control pill to allow some fun in my life.


babblin5
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 70
   Posted 3/2/2009 1:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh my gosh! You are NOT alone!

I have ALWAYS dreaded anesthesia, and never had it until I had to have my gall bladder removed. I was very, very anxious about it especially waiting on the table beforehand. But then I just decided that things would be what they would be, I was in the best place I could be (a hospital, where any possible contingency could be immediately addressed) and realized that I had to let go and put my trust in someone else's hands. Was it hard? Yes. Was it scary? Absolutely. Would I want to do it again? Nope.

And you know what? I can't think of a single person in this world, panic disorder or not, who would look forward to something like that, or who DOESN'T feel alone when in a hospital, or who isn't anxious about the whole thing... they just cope with it better than we do in some ways. So you are certainly not wierd or strange or abnormal at all in the way you feel. You are quite normal in your feelings, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with being concerned about your own health and welfare.

Talk to your doctor, your friends, your family, and to us here. You are not alone! =)
___________________________________________________________________________

"Come to the edge," he said.
"We're afraid!" they replied.
"Come to the edge," he said.

He pushed them, and they flew...


Daisy71flower
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2015
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/12/2015 3:15 PM (GMT -7)   
My problem is anaesthetic phobia. I've seen a psychologist who couldn't help me and then a psychiatrist who was going to put me through a desensitization process starting with something very small and ending with me having a colonoscopy which is the procedure I need to have. I totally freaked out at the thought of that and never went back. I have been sick and getting sicker for over two years. It's the actual being put to sleep feeling that terrifies me. I'm not scared I won't wake up. I'm scared if what they will find but more scared of that loss of control, passing out feeling. I just couldn't do it. I don't drink much alcohol and have never taken any drugs for the same reason. I had two children with no pain relief because is rather pain than fear any day. I feel stuck because I need medical help but am to afraid to get it. Anxiety is the worst. I worry all day every day about this and my life is ruined. I need help to get it back. I asked the Dr to do the procedure with no anaesthesia and was advised no Dr would do this as it's far to painful. I would be terrified to do that but less terrified of that than an anaesthetic. I'm going to try a naturopath and a hypnotist and if neither of those things work I truly don't know what I'm going to do next. I'm nauseous a lot of the time and can't take much more. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 24630
   Posted 1/12/2015 6:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Daisy and welcome.

I am sorry to hear of your challenges...I have similar.feelings, so know that you are understood here.

I think the hypnosis is a good idea, however if you have issues with loss of control...it may not be successful for you...but still worth trying.

In the event it is not the treatment you had hoped for, how about talking to your doctor about a pre-admittance Rx to take before you were to even go in for your procedure?

A benzodiazepine could be prescribed. This is an anti anxiety with a tranquilizing effect. You could do a trial run at home with a safe person, and an environment you are comfortable in...and then know you will be fine.

On the day of your admittance, you could use it again, and be able to be prepped without panicking.


Something to think about anyway...

Wishing you the best with your situation, and inviting you to post with is anytime.

Scaredy Cat
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Daisy71flower
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2015
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/12/2015 8:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks scary cat I have thought about doing that also. Even taking that freaks me out. It'd almost be worth it though just to feel relaxed as I can't remember what that feels like anymore.
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