Anesthesia & Anxiety

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 4/28/2010 7:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi again,

I have to have my back tooth pulled tomorrow. Long story short, the root is curved and I've had it worked on twice and been on three rounds of antibiotics and the infection won't go away! If that doesn't make me nervous enough, I have to go "under" to have it pulled y an oral surgeon, since the roots are curved.

I am TERRIFIED to go under. I can't stop shaking when I think about it. And I can't stop crying about it. My mom told me that my anxiety is so bad, she's worried I'm going to have to check myself into a hospital. A mental hospital!

Anyway, has anyone went under "twilight sleep" or "general anesthesia" while having major panic? I was laced with drugs when I was a teenager, so anything that makes me feel "weird" will make me FREAK OUT. I also have a hard time with my heart rate shooting up really high when I get nervous. And you can't take klonopin before.

What does it feel like and is it normal to just want to crawl under the bed and hide? I'm more stressed out because last week I had a nasty cat bite that got infected and am on antibotics for that right now. It's just been one stress after the next and now dealing with this..... I feel like I'm really going to die.

hard to handle
New Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/28/2010 12:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey, 5 years ago I delt with severe anxiety. After about a year of taking several different anit-depressant drugs and 40 pounds later, somehow, I over came it just by mind over matter.  Today my anxiety seems to have resurfaced because I had to have surgery! about 3 weeks ago I had a severe gall bladder attack (although I didnt know it was my gall bladder at the time) that made me feel like I was having a heart attack. I was so scared!! After many tests, it turned out I had gall stones. So for 3 straight weeks I was scared of having another attack and I was scared of the surgery...."not waking up". I have a 6 month old and was so scared I would never see her again! Anyhow, I had the surgery 6 days ago.  They gave me a general anethesia. The actual procedure went well and not much pain. What has really kicked my butt is the meds. I only took a few of the pain meds and immediately quit because I felt I didnt need them. But, with the meds trying to get out of my system along with the anesthesia I was constantly nauseous, dizzy and short of breath. Which in turn has triggered my anxiety.  I am seriously deathly afraid to leave my bed much less my house.  So trying to narrow down what my problem really is...ultimately what has triggered my anxiety is that day I had the severe attack and I thought I was going to die! I haven't been able to recoup from that.  I am supposed to start back work soon and am so scared to leave the house because I get dizzy spells and am scared I am going to faint!
So, to ease your mind, "going under" is very safe. If your body has problems with meds then that is where you will have problems. The drugs take effect immediately and you don't even have time to think about it.  Just make sure to drink plenty of water after the surgery to keep your system flushed.
I probably havent been much help but wanted to see if I could help you some.  Hope everything goes well!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 4/28/2010 1:13 PM (GMT -7)   
THat helps me very much! Thank you! I am having a wisdom tooth removed and there's an infection in the tooth next to it. But they are going to do an IV Sedation and want me to take Valium the night before and the day of. I was really worried about taking Valium, but the pharmacist said it was just like taking Klonopin, only stronger.

And you are absolutely right! I am more worried about AFTER, as well. I get dizzy just walking out the door. My heart started racing when I was leaving for the appointment, I got dizzy and I started crying. I almost didn't go. Then when I got there, I was in such a fog of anxiety, I don't even remember what I said to the receptionist. I was shaking and crying and they were like "Uh, this is only a consultation" and then I told them about my anxiety, haha. I was shaking so badly, I couldn't write! I don't like to take pain meds either, so I'll probably just take Motrin after. I'm like you, anything that triggers a sick stomach or dizziness will spark my anxiety.

And just so you know, I have the SAME problem leaving the house. As soon as I think about it, I panic. When I get in the car, I feel like I am going to pass out and I cry and cry all the way to my destination. But once I'm there, I just keep telling myself that I'm there and I made it! Then I try and tell myself how proud I am of myself, etc. I try to encourage myself and you should, too! It's REALLY tough to work with anxiety, but it can be done. I think getting out of the house is more helpful than staying in, no matter how hard it is to get out there. I feel great now that I've gone to my appointment, survived it and made it back safely home. I even was able to go to the grocery store and pick up some bird food and my Valium. :P

Thanks for sharing! My surgery is Friday! Wish me luck!

PS: Has anyone ever taken Valium?

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/28/2010 4:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear Chirpchirp,

Dental anxiety is not unusual, for it is quite natural for a person to be uncomfortable when placed in a position in which they feel that they are vulnerable, as occurs in the dental chair.

The most readily available routes of conscious sedation are: oral, inhalation, intravenous and intramuscular. For extremely fearful dental patients, general anesthesia may be required. For removal of a tooth it is most commen to use intravenous route. I have had this myself at least 4 times.

Sedation dentists who use IV conscious sedation have received specialized advanced training and certification by their state Board of Dental Examiners.
Drugs administered intravenously are more effective than the same drugs taken orally. A major benefit of some of these IV drugs is amnesia.

You will have no memory of some, or even all, of the dental treatment. This will lead the you to think you were asleep during the treatment when, in reality, you were awake, but comfortable, at all times.

During the procedure, monitoring devices will be attached to you. These devices monitor the effectiveness of one's breathing (pulse oximeter), blood pressure and heart rate, increasing the safety of the procedure.

Patients receiving IV conscious sedation are not permitted to leave the dental office unescorted at the conclusion of the procedure.

So now you may worry a bit as that is natural but try not to let your anxiety take over. You will be ok.

Be sure to discuss with your dentist which method he uses.

Yup, I use Valium everyday.

Gentle hugs,


Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 4/28/2010 6:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Kitt. :)

It will definitely be IV Sedation. The doctor went through everything really quickly and was very nice, but basically told me not to worry and that he's been doing this for 23 years. I feel like there's so much I need to discuss. I guess I'm just going to take the valium and go in and let them do their thing.

He told me to take a valium the night before (5mg) and take two in the morning (10mg). I take klonopin (o.25mg) - a low dose. Is valium pretty similar to klonopin? Will 10mg make me feel woozy?

Thanks for the help!!!!!!!!
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