View Full Version : Getting a little nervous

03-10-2010, 11:28 PM
As the time gets closer to my surgery date, I'm having all these thoughts run through my head. Most of the time, I'm absolutely fine about everything, and then suddenly I feel this fear inside me, thinking what the heck am I doing? I'm going into the hospital to have steel rods put in my back, a very large fusion, my whole life is going to change - aaaggghhh!!! How will I manage with my boys? Will anything go wrong through my surgery? Will I be able to cope with this kind of pain afterward? All these thoughts fly through my mind at intermittent moments in the day, and mostly at night. Anaesthesia scares the heck out of me, I have this fear sometimes of what if I don't wake up. I know that it's pointless to think these things, and believe me, as soon as these crazy thoughts enter my head, I immediately shoo them away and focus on being very positive. I look ahead most of the time thinking how great it will be to be straighter, less pain eventually (I hope), more height, and hopefully to be able to do more things with my boys than I can do right now.

Anyway, just sharing my thoughts with all of you :). How is everyone else doing who is about three to ten weeks away from surgery?

03-11-2010, 07:15 AM
Lynette, what you are describing, i feel, is quite normal. I had a high level of anxiety the week before surgery to the point that i broke down at my pre-op appt. I scheduled another appt with my surgeon to go through the surgery procedure again and ask more questions. I felt happier when i left. On the Monday morning of my surgery, i had tears as i said 'cathchya later' to my family and was wheeled down to holding bay for surgery. Once there all anxiety seem to go out the window. Think positive thoughts and you should get a postive outcome. Best wishes.

03-11-2010, 09:42 AM
Vali - Thank you so very much for your advice and insight. Glad to hear that these are quite normal feelings, sometimes I almost think to myself, what could I do to get out of doing this surgery, but ultimately I know that my future would be bleak without fixing this bent spine of mine :). The one thing I'm dreading more than anything, is when I have to say "Catcha later" to my boys at my house when my friend comes to pick me up for the hospital - they are already feeling sad that their mommy is going to be away from them, as I never am away from them. I always say uplifting stuff back to them and say won't it be great though that mommy's back will be all fixed and we'll get to play more stuff together once my back is healed? I won't be gone long etc.etc. - but inside it tears me apart. I love my boys more than my own life, and will feel torn apart saying cheerio to them. Still - stiff upper lip (as we say back in England and Ireland), onward and upward! :)

03-11-2010, 10:25 AM
Lynette - I agree - these are the very feelings I had - It wasn't me having surgery, it was my dd. I would also shoo them as best I could - could not let her know just how scared I was. We stayed on the positive side always looking ahead to the prize in the end.

The "catcha later" moment - wow. Once they wheeled her through the doors the flood gates opened. More then a year of hiding the fear came flooding through. I remember thinking I can believe I was doing this NOW! My husband was lost to help me - he later said he thought I was so strong throughout this process, and realized i was stronger then he thought to not let the feels show. It took the better part of an hour to compose myself (very embarrassed). Once it was out it felt like a weight I'd been carrying so long had been lifted.

Try to give more time to the positive results you will get (easier said then done). Best to you as you go through this - all will be fine.


03-11-2010, 10:40 AM
Thank you Dee - I appreciate your advice! I'm doing my very very best to stay positive at all times :)

loves to skate
03-11-2010, 10:58 AM
My thoughts and prayers are with you. I remember how scared I was the few weeks before my surgery, so I got a little notebook and I wrote down my fears and I also wrote notes to my son and grandsons for them to read if I didn't make it through the surgery. Such awful thoughts, but writing things down really helped getting the bad thoughts out of my head and on to paper. Then I would lie down and listen to relaxation tapes and imagine myself doing all the things I love to do and would be able to do after my surgery. I may not be as physically strong as I was before the surgery, but I can do all of the things that I imagined I would be doing. The power of positive thinking. Trust in God and then trust your surgeon.

03-12-2010, 10:45 AM
I am also 44. I had my surgery on Feb. 11th, and I'm doing great! I was absolutely terrified about the surgery, but just tried to focus my thoughts on the positive outcome. When you have bad thoughts (EVERYONE does), think about how happy you will be when you are healed from the surgery, and carrying on your normal life. Don't let the negative thoughts take over. This is a huge surgery, but you will get through it! I never thought I would be here giving advice instead of asking for it. It will happen for you, too!!

03-12-2010, 03:27 PM
Ashley - thank you ever so much for your advice. Great advice and an inspiring for me - you made me feel a gazilion times better :)

Sally - thank you also. I was considering writing a note to my sons and asked my brother's advice on that, he just said that it would be emotionally draining to do that and cause me to have very negative emotions about the surgery, so I decided against doing that and focus instead as Ashley says - on a positive outcome and being healed afterward :)

03-12-2010, 09:45 PM
Hi Lynette,

I glad to see that you got a new surgery date. What did they do with your sugar situation.


03-12-2010, 10:03 PM
Shari - that wasn't me you're referring to - that was Melissa!

loves to skate
03-13-2010, 07:04 PM
Sally - thank you also. I was considering writing a note to my sons and asked my brother's advice on that, he just said that it would be emotionally draining to do that and cause me to have very negative emotions about the surgery, so I decided against doing that and focus instead as Ashley says - on a positive outcome and being healed afterward :)

Lynette, It wasn't emotionally draining for me. It was a way of making sure the men in my life knew how I felt about them in case I died. Once I had done that, I was free to start thinking positively. It's kind of like writing a Will. I'm sure it wouldn't work for everyone, but since I didn't know about this Forum, I had no one to ask questions of or anyone who knew what I was going through. Strangely enough, I never cried, not even once, and just trusted God to get me through the whole thing, whatever came my way.
God Bless, Sally

03-13-2010, 08:02 PM
Lynette, I also wrote notes to my husband and daughter and found it to be very cathartic -- like I'd made every possible preparation before heading into this huge surgery. It also made me appreciate and love them even more when I put into words, in writing, just how much they meant to me.

I was still scared of the surgery, but felt a bit more peaceful about my family.

I struggled mightily with negativity and fear before the surgery but felt weirdly calm in the few days leading up to it. Yes, a positive attitude is best, but it's simply not always possible for everyone. One way or another, we all get through it -- and you will too.

03-13-2010, 09:26 PM
Thanks Chris and Sally, you know, you have me thinking. Just not sure if I can sit down and write those kinds of letters, just thinking about it upsets me.

03-14-2010, 10:24 AM
Hi Lynette, I know exactly how you are feeling...being just 26 days post-op today myself.
My best piece of advice, stay positive and believe in your spinal surgeon. I was fused on February 17 from T2 to L2, with 2 titanium rods and 23 pedicle screws. I was in the hospital for 7 long days, thankfully I do not remember a lot of it, and then came home and that was the best thing. I have 3 Siberian Huskies and a wonderful fiance to take care of me.
ALSO, I grew 3 inches. I was only 59 inches pre-op and now I am 62 inches post-op! I could not believe it! :)
3 days ago I walked 2 miles outside with my fiance...not a fast pace by any means, but a good pace. I started rehab this week, the exercises I have to do stink I have to be honest.
The pain does get less and less each day. I do have a lot of muscle spasms because all these new muscles are having to work that have been dormant in my back for so long.
I have to tell you, I do not regret this surgery at all. It is so nice to have a nice beautiful back. If you want, send me your email address, mine is nitnub@hotmail.com and I will send you some pictures (pre-op and post-op)

Again, just believe in your surgeon. And it is okay to be nervous. :)
Let me know if you have any other questions.

Fused T2 to L2 on February 17, 2010
Pre-op = 64 degree thoracic and 56 degree lumbar
Post-op = 19 degree thoracic and 10 degree lumbar
AND 3 inches TALLER!!!

03-14-2010, 03:28 PM
Lynette - I am about 5 weeks from surgery and I am feeling really good, positive, even a little excited. But, like you, every so often the fear creeps in. I am person of faith and the day I learned I needed surgery I went to mass and the song, Be Not Afraid was sung. I downloaded it through itunes and whenever a fear sneaks in I listen to the song immediately and it gives me peace again. I know my Dr. is one of the best and know he won't let anything go wrong. He just instills confidence in the whole process.
Good luck and blessings to you as you get closer.

03-14-2010, 06:24 PM
I was considering writing a note to my sons and asked my brother's advice on that, he just said that it would be emotionally draining to do that and cause me to have very negative emotions about the surgery, so I decided against doing that and focus instead as Ashley says - on a positive outcome and being healed afterward :)

Respectfully, Lynette, I don't think your brother can fully understand your position.

Like others, I prepared for every contingency - including "that" one. I wrote notes, I cleared up crap on my desk, and organized all my affairs. I put my DNR and MPoA in place, and made sure all my insurance and other beneficiaries were set.

Let me stress, I had *every* intention of coming home. That said, I didn't want anyone unsure of my wishes/lost in a pile of paperwork because *I* was sloppy. I never even saw "not coming home" as an option: Planning ahead certainly didn't begat "very negative emotions" for me. Looking forward empowered me.

It's no different than writing a will or buying life insurance. You do those with small kids, right? I raised my kids single most of their lives ... and I don't understand how planning for your family is inviting bad stuff into your life.

IF "bad" happens, planning PREVENTS a perpetuation of bad.


03-14-2010, 06:43 PM

I have written those letters and have put them away in the case that they need to be used. They have made me feel better that my children will have a tangible item to hold on to to read and reread over and over again and again. Your children are much younger than mine and I certainly think that you should put aside your feelings and write letters to them in case the awful thing happens

You will be fine but this is just in case

god bless


03-14-2010, 08:28 PM
Thank you Melissa, Pam, and Shari. I really appreciate your good words of advice, and I agree with you all, it will make me feel better to do that. I will sit down and write out a letter to both my children, and letters to my mum and brother also. You're all absolutely right, it would give me peace of mind, and give them all something to have from me - just in case. Having said that, I also have absolutely every intention in coming home afterwards.

Without going into too much detail, I'm undergoing unbelievable horrific stress from my childrens father right now. He is pushing and pushing me and making my life almost unbearable at times, the whole situation with him and the court case is horrific, and I wish that I didn't have to deal with him or that whole mess, so that I could simply focus on this surgery and getting better afterwards. All of this recently has shown me that their father simply has no compassion, and is so very cold-hearted, and manipulative, it's very sad. My brother and my mum both worry for me and hate what this man is doing to me and how he affects my sons with the things he tells them, however, I don't want to put off this surgery any longer. I know that I wouldn't get as good a correction if I put it off any longer, and I don't want to have this kind of surgery when I'm older. Anyhow, just telling you guys what's going on and why I think I'm maybe more nervous than some others might be approaching surgery. My biggest fear is for my sons to be left behind with me gone, and having to go live with their father - which would be horrific for my boys. Having said all that, back to the positive outlook, and having trust in my surgeon and trust in God, I KNOW that all will be well and good :)

Thanks for reading this far, hope I'm not sounding like a whiner, and hope you all didn't mind me sharing this with you.

03-14-2010, 09:24 PM
You're not whining, hon. I seriously doubt anyone here can say they ~never~ had pre-op worries. Maybe some can ... I know I can't.

The only thing you can do going into this (or, really, at any time) is control what you can.

Whether it's faith or whatever that covers that uncontrollable part, you have to let *that* part go.


03-14-2010, 10:30 PM
Thank you Pam :) You're an extremely smart lady, and I admire your knowledge on so many subjects and your great advice to all of us on here!

03-15-2010, 11:44 PM
Sorry Lynette,

I got off track.