Panic Attack before surgery

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 12/11/2010 7:21 PM (GMT -7)   
I am 20 years old and this past year I decided to go ahead with spinal fusion surgery. It was not easy for me to make this decision at all. I have scoliosis and the surgery is to correct the curve in my back. My main reason for going ahead with the surgery was because of the discomfort and pain that seems to only be getting worst with time. This past year has been very stressful for me my sister had the same surgery in February, then in May my boyfriend of 2 years left for deployment, and I decided to go ahead with the surgery in July. On top of all that I am a full time college student and work full time as a receptionist at a vet hospital. The panic attack started 2 weeks before my surgery I was on the way just to have a check up with my doctor. On the way to the hospital I got very hot and had to turn on the ac. The second we got on the highway the panic attack started. Heart beating fas,t breathing heavy, and I thought I was going to die. I realized I wasn't going to die, but in panic vs. reality panic one.

That was late October. My surgery was post ponded after a week of me not being able to leave my house or go to work. Once the surgery was post ponded I felt better, but the fear of having a panic attack is still there. Its been a long month and a half. I started by taking walks down my street one mailbox further each day. Then to driving in my car a little further each day. Traffic lights were a problem at first, but I have gotten over that now. I still can't go into stores or allow someone to drive me. I have been working at getting better its hard for me to understand still. I never had anxiety or panic issues in the past. I really think it was to much stress, and also I was scared of the surgery. I am here for advise, I am really new to this. I have not seen a doctor yet to get medicine. Its in the back of my head what happen with the surgery and last time I tried to go to the doctors. Also I am a little worried if medicine doesn't work and I go to the doctors I will be back at square one again.

Its a really hard question

Just go to the doctors even if a panic attack happens and hope medicine works.
Keeping taking the little steps towards getting to the doctors.

I am still very hopeful that eventually this will be in the past and life will go on.

If anyone has any information that could help me with the panic attacks or anxiety that would be very helpful. This is all new to me and I am just trying to take it one step at a time.

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 12/11/2010 7:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I would advise trying a couple of things. First, you have to be careful about affirming your anxiety. If you label situations like going to the doctor as one of your anxiety triggers, then that's exactly what you'll anticipate any time you're in that situation. I'm not necessarily saying it's all in your head; rather, you have to be careful not to exacerbate any situation by assuming the worst, or convincing yourself that a panic attack *will* take place. Just say that you don't know for certain, and dismiss any uncertain thoughts for now.

Secondly, rationalize with yourself about this situation. Going to see the doctor can be an uncomfortable experience, but really - aren't they there to help you? Remember that you're doing this to get better, and the doctors want to assist you in that. It's unlikely the procedure would be excruciatingly painful, or otherwise unbearable.

It's also helpful to familiarize yourself with a procedure, or a new place, before you jump into anything. Other people have no doubt been through it. Research their experiences in online blogs. It may put your mind at ease. Settings or procedures that are unfamiliar to us can cause anxiety through all the uncertainty and negative anticipation. If you know what you're getting into, you might feel more comfortable with it.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 1225
   Posted 12/11/2010 11:53 PM (GMT -7)   
i know exactly how you feel. i was freaked out for months while i was pregnant knowing i would have a planned c-section. the thought of it made me a nervous wreck but i made it through. what did you doc say? any ideas on how to cope, get through? he should have told you something - advised you how to get through this. i will take a benedryl or chlortrimeton antihistamine sometimes to help relax me. did this alot pregnant. you should face your fear with your doctor's help. if he's not willing to be personable and talk you through it, find another doctor! some of them just don't have great bedside manners. but alot of them do!

i wish you luck. try to be brave. it's hard sometimes but you can do it!!!!!! have faith in you! hugs! wendel is right - anticipatory anxiety is the worst - i know - i do it all the time. it's hard not to but it's possible with practice. :)

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 27121
   Posted 12/12/2010 8:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi and welcome! I am sorry that this is such a hard time for you. It does sound as if you have a lot of things to deal with right now! It is no wonder that you are suffering with anxiety with so much going on. I certainly understand your fear of having sugery. I think everyone is nervous before a procedure, and a great many people are acutely afraid. Doctors are aware of this, and know exactly what to do for the more anxious patients. Be honest with your doctor, and tell him/her exactly what you posted. He/She will be able to best help you with either medication, a therapy referral or both. Once you are feeling stronger, you will be able to reach your goal of corrective sugery. Try to keep your goal in mind, imagine a stong, straight healthy back, and then make that appointmet with your doctor. Good luck and let us know what happens:)
Scaredy Cat
"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

Post Edited (Scaredy Cat) : 12/12/2010 10:44:21 PM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 12/12/2010 11:17 AM (GMT -7)   

Thank you all for the replies. Wendel11 that was very good advice. Your right, if I think in my head going to the doctors is going to mean having a panic attack, thats exactly what is going to happen. Thank you for the tips and I will start to familiarize myself with this to help make me more comfortable. Hazelnut 86 and scaredycat the doctors that were going to be doing my surgery did tell me that it was normal to be scared of surgery. Also that it’s not uncommon for people to develop anxiety before surgery. They assured me that the surgery can wait, and when I am ready for it I can go from there. Hazelnut86 thanks its nice to hear from someone who has been through this and gotten better. Scaredycat I will keep posted after I go to the doctor.

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Saturday, December 16, 2017 12:14 AM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,906,026 posts in 318,913 threads.
View Active Threads

Who's Online
This forum has 158256 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, 1success.
240 Guest(s), 2 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
Nostalgic Cowboy, Fauntleroy