Panic over not waking up from anesthetic with surgery....

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/14/2009 10:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Getting ready to go "under the knife" for rotator cuff repair on July 1st.  I am terrified.  I even cancelled my gastric bypass last year due to the same fear (though I do wish I was skinny).  I am 58, in reasonable good health, do medical transcription (type surgical reports) 60 hours a week out of my home and suffer the after effects of a torn cuff after exertion of any kind - seems like my arm is just getting weaker and weaker for fear of using it to do anything other than what is necessary.  I have tried to talk myself out of this surgery also, but am truly afraid that I will end up with a useless right arm if i don't have it taken care of.   I am mordified with the thought of being put to sleep and not waking up (I have so many people counting on me)  I have had surgery before without any major side effects.  I am not afraid of surgical pain; as I know it goes away - and know that following surgery is physical therapy and that it is not going to be a "picnic" for some time . . . that is....IF I WAKE UP!!!  HELP!!  Am going for preop labs on Tuesday.  I am so scared. smhair

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/14/2009 12:03 PM (GMT -6)   


Welcome to HealingWell and the A & P Forum.  I am so sorry to hear you are having so much fear re your surgery and not waking up.

It does sound to me like you are anticipating the worse case scenario..............try to visualize yourself doing great and waking up to the wonder of knowing the surgery is all over and you are on the mend.

Kick all that anxiety and the "what ifs" you are going through to the curb and stay in the moment.

Really concentrate on not trying to guess what the future holds but believe that it will be good for you.

Again a warm welcome



Kitt, Co-Moderator:
Depression,  & 
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"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others."
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gentleman k
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 6/14/2009 3:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with Kitt. Your anxiety level over this surgery is just getting the best of you. Think positive and everything will work itself out for you. Good luck and keep us posted.

gentleman k

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 6/14/2009 3:57 PM (GMT -6)   
just had breast cancer surgery and did fine. Took tranquilizer the morning of with the Drs. O.K. The surgery kept getting bumped so I had to wait.What fun. Actually I slept alot until I went in. I was just glad I was getting on with it and kept thinking of the afterwards when it would all be over and I could get on with my life. I put all my faith in the Doctors - they know what they are doing. As I said I just kept thinking of the afterwards and all I could then do. If I needed meds to get me thru any part because of the anxiety - I took them. say pre op, etc. Alsohad "treats" lined up i.e. books,chocolate an excuse for lying in bed, I would suggest you make the most of that part of it . It will be O.K. I also let they nurses know of my little more then "normal" anxiety problem and they helped alot - just letting them know seemed to relieve me alot . Just do it - dont dwell on it - think of the after and let all of those that depend on you help you .they want to and they will. You know the saying "it will be over before you know it" It is and you will wake up and be back at work and getting on with your life only better. My thoughts are with you and I know you will be fine.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 6/14/2009 6:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Yeah even the thought of haing an operation can send me over the edge. I woke up one morning positive i had appendicitis and was scared to death. Im pretty sure its all a control thing for me, i like to have my hands on the wheel and know whatever happens is from my own doin not from the fault of others.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 6/15/2009 8:00 AM (GMT -6)   
I have had many many surgeries myself. One suggestion I have is when you meet the anethiesologist (sp?) ask them if they can give you something for your nerves. They always give me Ativan and I am out before I even get to the OR. Good luck!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and 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"*

James Jr
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 6/15/2009 10:47 AM (GMT -6)   
I am very sorry for your fear Sasha, I think the best thing(s) you can do are, try to think positive(as hard as that can be), do not let 'the negative' in, and make sure you talk over your anxiety 'problem' with you doc and ask him how "doped up" you can be the morning of and do that as well.

By the way, my wife is having gall bladder surgery Wednesday, she is stressed/scared/worried like I've never seen her before and she doesn't even suffer from panic, anxiety or depression 'disorder' so don't think you're the only one.

Best of Luck.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 6/16/2009 7:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey. I had to respond to this. I totally understand how you are feeling and why. I had surgery just this past April. And I was absoultely terrified about being put to sleep. I had every what if down pat. That is all my co workers and family heard me talk about...what if this....what if that....what if what if what if......That was the only thing that I could think about ALL day long. I was not worried about how the surgery would go because I just knew that I would not wake up to find out, I was not worried about the pain afterwards. But I woke up!!!!! However I do encourage you to be as calm as possible when being put to sleep because how you go under is how you wake up. I was in an anxiety attack, shaking, crying, gasping for air when i went under and I woke up the same exact way. So try some breathing teniques, maybe take a magizine while waiting, anything that you can think of to keep your mind somewhat off the surgery. Everything will be okay, just have faith. I'll be here when you wake up and tell us all how it went!

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