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LynetteG
03-24-2010, 10:23 PM
I'm TERRIFIED!!!

Not all the time, but there are moments that I feel so terribly scared about my upcoming surgery - am I being a baby? Has anyone else felt like that a week out from surgery. The time seems to have flown by from when I met Dr. Cronen and booked my surgery till now, of course I know it was only six weeks ago, but boy it's flown by. I do think positive and look ahead to the healing part, but I can't get rid of this silly fear inside me.

titaniumed
03-25-2010, 01:45 AM
Lynette

I was a zombie. The last week I was absorbing about 10% of everything that was said to me. No attention span at all. The lights were on, but nobody was home.

What you are feeling is perfectly normal.

The last 2 days I felt a release. It was like a fish that gives up fighting while being reeled in. Its a realization that I would no longer be in control, and I was putting myself in the hands of professionals. I guess this was where I released all my tension, a total release.

I waited all those years, committed, and could not back out.

I was ready.
Ed

JenniferG
03-25-2010, 03:04 AM
Lynette, of course you're terrified! But I hope you get that calm that Ed mentioned. It's a kind of letting go. Letting go of the fear, letting go of the control. Allowing trust to take over. Trust in your surgeon and in the ability of your body to cope. That's my take on it anyway. It allows for a little bit of excitement to flood in, and that's really nice.

If I'd had any idea how well this was going to turn out, I'd have been a lot more excited!

LynetteG
03-25-2010, 05:19 AM
Thank you sooo much Ed and JenniferG - I was beginning to think that maybe I was being a pathetic little baby. I hope with all my heart that I get that calmness that you talked about Ed - I really do.
God bless both of you - again thank you!

jsully
03-25-2010, 05:19 AM
It's very normal to be scared. I am already scared and have not even set a date. It's very hard to do something going in with little pain and coming out with a lot. I wish you the best of luck and cannot wait to hear how you are doing afterward!
Janet

debbei
03-25-2010, 06:36 AM
Lynette,

of course you're terrified--most of us were. You will get through this. Be good to yourself during this time.

Vali
03-25-2010, 07:47 AM
Lynette, that sense of calm will come. I know it doesn't seem that way at the moment, but, it will. My anxiety came and went a lot in the last two weeks pre-op. I even broke down in the pre-admin office, one week before the big day. The nurse said, she felt i should postpone it. I knew i couldn't because my pain had got to the point of "give me the drugs"! (Visualize Kisty Alley in Look Who's Talking!). I cried and cried as she explained how i would have this tube and that tube (now who sounds like a baby?), then went home a little unhappy and doing the whole "why me" thing. On the morning of the surgery, i cried again as i said "catchya later" to my family and was wheeled down to the holding bay. Once there, Dr Hall introduced me to the theatre team, who would be assisting him. After this, anxiety seem to fly out of the window. "If you think it - it will come - this sense of calm". Cheer up :)

ADMoul
03-25-2010, 11:01 AM
My time was so short between initial app't. and surgery date (Jan 6 to Feb. 2) and I was frantically busy trying to get my teaching job ready for a sub, plus we were making arrangements to do this in a strange city 4 hours from home. In some ways, that was good because it kept my mind off what I was about to do (after years of agonizing about my back.) I had one night where I just had a complete nervous breakdown, cried my eyes out and after that I was pretty much OK. It all happened so fast, sometimes now I can't believe I actually did it. I look in the mirror and think "OMG, that's my new back." It will never be perfect, but for me, it's awesome. You reach a point where, as someone said, you have to relinquish control to the professionals and know they (and any Higher Power you believe in) will take care of you and get you through it. You're not being a baby. We've all been there.

LynetteG
03-25-2010, 03:10 PM
I LOVE ALL of you guys - thank you so much for being there for me - thank you from the bottom of my heart!

allycat
03-25-2010, 04:29 PM
Lynette sweetheart, if you weren't terrified, you wouldn't be human! If you're being a baby then I can't imagine what I was being before my surgery! But Singer has offered these words 2 times that I know of, once for me and once for someone else "I have to say that the anticipation of this surgery is worse than the surgery itself because once the operation is over, you live in the present. Anticipating the unknown is agonizing....." For me, those words made a huge difference! It is hard to know you are here, right now, but you are living for the future. But that future WILL become your present, and it will be so worth the wait. Hang in there, hon, and lean on us. That's what we're here for!

JenniferG
03-25-2010, 05:34 PM
"I have to say that the anticipation of this surgery is worse than the surgery itself because once the operation is over, you live in the present. Anticipating the unknown is agonizing....."

We should post that to everyone when they first come here. It's so true.

LynetteG
03-25-2010, 05:39 PM
Becky that totally and utterly makes sense to me - especially as I study all of Eckhart Tolle's books, where he constantly emphasizes about living in the present moment. He says the present moment is all we have, be consciously aware of the present, the past has gone, and the future is not here yet, and so on... Having said all that, it's not so easy to put into practice, surgery is on my mind the minute I wake up in the morning till I go to bed at night.

I've had some strange dreams too where I've had the surgery, and then I'll be playing with my kids and one of them screams "Mommy, what's that hanging out of your back." And then I see my spine hanging out of my back, which of course is plain insane, but in the dream, my thought is "Oh no, now I have to have more surgery for him to put my spine back in." LOL!!! :) :)

I'm losing it! :)

ShariMSU
03-25-2010, 06:03 PM
I am three weeks from surgery and this all helps so much.
I love the statement from above. I will hold onto that. The one about anticipating future....
This forum feels like a family of support. Thank you to all of you that have been through surgery and still come onto the forum to share and support.
Shari

RitaR
03-25-2010, 06:32 PM
That totally and completely is understandable. It's quite an undertaking to say we'll go through this surgery, fully knowing it's way off in the future and we won't have to even worry about it for a long time. Then, the day keeps getting closer and closer. Sooner than we think it's the day before or week before and yup we're nervous, terrified and down right SICK. I had all those feelings. But, thanks to dear friends, wonderful family and this forum we reach out for comfort and understanding and we're always here. My surgery was scheduled for this July but I was given a cancellation and I look at that as a true sign - someone up there was truly looking out for me and saying "give this girl a cancellation and move her up". Does this sound weird? Starting with the insertion of my central line on Fri morning until the exact minute the anesthesiologist was talking with me in preop I felt a total and complete "CALM", as they said, didn't know if I would. Yes, there were a few tears shed as I went down the hallway to the OR , my mother and hubby with me in preop, as we were all a little uneasy as to what the next few hours, days, weeks would be like. But, I am here to tell you, this surgery is NOT as bad as you are expecting. The pain was never HORRIBLE and not to the point where I couldn't stand it at all. They have drugs for that. And, I made full use of them. Everyone at St. Louis was very, very nice and understanding. But, feeling terrified is totally understandable - my 9-1/2 hr surgery was a long time - but, now it's all behind me - YEA!!!!! You too will be on the "other wise" very soon. I will greet you ALL THE WAY!!!! You Rock! You can do this!!!! I have full and complete faith in you!!

allycat
03-25-2010, 08:21 PM
Lynette, I felt the exact same way when I read Singer's words. It felt like that one statement took all the thoughts swirling around in my head and made a nice, neat, tidy stack and I felt a new level of peace. Your dream made me chuckle out loud though. The way your response sounded was almost matter-of-fact, sort of like, "Oh darn, I have more laundry to do", like it was just one more thing to add to your list for today. I hope I didn't make light of a dream that was frightening, because you gave me a moment of comic relief. Thanks!

By the way, The Little Engine That Could ain't got nothin on you, girl! I know you can, I know you can, I know you can!!!!

Radiogirl
03-25-2010, 09:39 PM
Lynette, I'm right there with ya babe! Mine is Wedneday. Phew...can't believe it..but you know what? I am sorta feeling that wave of calmness come and go..It's nice when it' here, then it leaves and I say What The Heck am I doing??? Then my back starts hurting, and I realize I'm doing the right thing. I do not want to be in a wheelchair when I am older. Others get through it..we will too. Stay strong with me!!!

LynetteG
03-25-2010, 11:03 PM
Laura - that's exactly how I feel - waves of calm then waves of aaaggghhh!!! and then just like you I feel pain in my neck, and back, and know this is what I have to do. I promise to stay strong with you - we'll look out for one another :). I just feel so blessed to have found this forum and all the amazing wonderful people on here, it truly has saved my life facing this surgery with all the support from everyone on here.

Alleycat - I'm glad my dream made you chuckle out loud, when I woke up I was laughing about it too, it was only while I was in the dream that it felt so horrible, but I thought it was funny how your dreams convey such weird stuff when you're worried about something.

Rita - I hope I feel that sense of calm when the anaesthesiologist is talking to me before knocking me out.

Shari - I agree with you - this is like a family of support, I call this place my scoli family! :)

TexEx
03-26-2010, 06:14 AM
My surgery is also March 31 and I am having the same ups and downs. Last week I spoke to two of my surgeon's previous patients and that helped alot! They gave me confidence in my surgeon and a little insight on what to expect. This eased alot of anxiety of the unknown.

I also keep thinking and telling my son that things may get a little worse before they get better, but he will have his mom back after my recovery. For the past four months I have not been able to do much with my kids, ie: ride bikes, walks to the park, shoot a basketball, etc......we are just keeping our eye on the prize!

This forum has been so helpful to me to keep my anxiety level down, I have been reading for a couple of month and am glad to finally contribute.

Good luck Lynnete and Laura!

Melissa
60% Lumbar
T9-L5 fusion
Dr. Hanson
Houston,TX

JenniferG
03-26-2010, 05:59 PM
And good luck to you too Melissa. Welcome to the forum. Let us know how you go, won't you?

LynetteG
03-26-2010, 10:58 PM
Good luck to you also Melissa - and thanks!

Shari
03-26-2010, 11:39 PM
It's hard for people to understand that haven't been in this situation. Just like any other life altering conditions.

We are a family. Sometimes we are so focused on ourselves, which is normal,
we neglect to recognize the fear and concerns of the people that love us. And in a way they are terrified too. I tried my best to explain everything that I had learned from my Dr., and this forum, to the support group that was going to be around me.

I must not have done very well, because they all looked at me after the second surgery with a blank stare of disbelief. They truely had no clue.

Try and be patient with them as well. But I was so scared a couple months prior, if you looked at me wrong, I would tear up.

God Bless,
Shari

LynetteG
03-27-2010, 12:19 AM
Shari - thanks for sharing that with us. Today I've felt very very teary - but managed to keep it in. And sometimes today I got this horrible feeling of panic in the pit of my stomach, thinking "Oh God am I doing the right thing, I'm so scared, what if something goes wrong, my little boys need me etc.etc.". I've faced a lot of stuff in my life, but this is absolutely the scariest I've ever felt in my life!

Nitram
03-27-2010, 05:33 AM
LynetteG, much of what you are feeling I felt 2 weeks ago prior to my surgery, I made some more notes on this in another thread you might want to read and I know how nervous you are....I have 2 kids and am about the same age as you, we have similar curves and similar surgeries. It's going to be fine....yes the first week after surgery is going to be tough, but I'm telling you that you will get better really fast..granted, I'm in no position to run a marathon mind you but I can certainly function fine. My two kids have laid in bed with me watching tv several times since I've been home...my son seems to have taken to "reading me a story" at night before he goes to bed. :)

Anyway, hang in there, you ARE doing the right thing and you ARE going to be fine. You'll look back on this a month from now and feel such a sense of relief that you got it done and can now move on with the rest of your life and not have to worry about being crippled by pain.

Take care,

Rich

LynetteG
03-27-2010, 07:55 AM
Rich - I was really glad to hear that you were able to have your kids lay in bed with you - I wondered about that and whether that would be okay. I kept thinking what if one of their feet kicked near my back, would it be safe to snuggle them up in bed and read stories etc. It's so cute that your son is reading you a story at night - that is adorable! I know it sounds crazy, but I miss my boys already and I haven't even gone to the hospital yet!

I will try to find the thread you are talking about, as I'd like to read about how you felt prior to surgery.

Thanks Rich!

TexEx
03-28-2010, 07:31 AM
Hi Lynette:

I too have been trying to deal with how to handle my kids (12 and 7) during my recovery and pre-op jitters. My oldest has wanted to take the Helper roll. He carries my chair I take to sit in when I am out, I have given him my Ipod to load songs for the hospital, etc. It makes him feel important and gives him a sense of control I think.

Also, I have bought travel games that we can play in the bed while I recuperate, like travel scrabble and yatzee.

As Wednesday approaches we are all getting a bit jittery without saying anything to anyone, I can just tell the boys are more affectionate and needy. Just keep giving hugs and know that they are resiliant and when all is over they will have a better mom and remember very little of all of this in the long run (at least that is what I keep telling myself)!

As a mom I understand how hard it is to just focus on ourselves during this time, but that is what people keep telling me to do and come Wednesday for me and Thursday for you we will have no choice.

This forum has been a great savior for me in that respect and my best wishes to you and thanks for your words that have inspired me.

Good luck!

Melissa

debbei
03-28-2010, 07:37 AM
Hi Lynette:

I too have been trying to deal with how to handle my kids (12 and 7) during my recovery and pre-op jitters. My oldest has wanted to take the Helper roll. He carries my chair I take to sit in when I am out, I have given him my Ipod to load songs for the hospital, etc. It makes him feel important and gives him a sense of control I think.

Also, I have bought travel games that we can play in the bed while I recuperate, like travel scrabble and yatzee.

As Wednesday approaches we are all getting a bit jittery without saying anything to anyone, I can just tell the boys are more affectionate and needy. Just keep giving hugs and know that they are resiliant and when all is over they will have a better mom and remember very little of all of this in the long run (at least that is what I keep telling myself)!

As a mom I understand how hard it is to just focus on ourselves during this time, but that is what people keep telling me to do and come Wednesday for me and Thursday for you we will have no choice.

This forum has been a great savior for me in that respect and my best wishes to you and thanks for your words that have inspired me.

Good luck!

Melissa

This surgery does affect the kids in the family. All 3 of mine went through different sorts of issues before/during my surgury and hospital time. After I came home they were a lot more relaxed. Although they saw that I was fragile, they also saw how I was getting better and better. During my recovery, I'd do something new that I hadn't been able to do when I first came home, and they were all cheering for me like they would for a baby who just learned to walk.

Keep giving those hugs & kisses. Will your kids be coming to visit you in the hospital? Mine did once, 4 days after surgery, so I didn't look quite as bad as I did immediately post-op. They stayed about an hour, then I was worn out and they left.

Editing to add--I also spoke to my kids teachers in advance to keep them in the loop. In my oldest 2 sons cases, I spoke to their guidance councelors, and for the youngest, spoke to her teacher directly. I think it really helped so that they could keep a special eye on the kids and be aware of their nervousness.

LynetteG
03-28-2010, 07:40 AM
Thank you so much Melissa for your lovely words of encouragement. You are a great lady. I love the idea of travel games, I think that's what I'll do today with my boys, go out and buy some travel games for the boys and I to play during my recovery :) Thank you so much for that suggestion!

God bless Melissa - you are also in my thoughts and prayers. I didn't realize that you were having your surgery on wednesday, I know Laura is having surgery also on Wednesday. I just know we will all do great :)

foofer
03-28-2010, 08:02 AM
Hello Lynette,

I am new to posting on the forum, but I have followed your story and been cheering you on silently!

This is not an exact parallel by any means, but I was recently talking about the possibility of surgery with my youngest son, now 23. He reminded me of my knee surgery from 15 years ago- an event that turned out to be a bit more extensive than I had planned, and all during the holidays. Every evening when the kids got home from school, they would get in bed with me, do their homework there, and we would watch TV together later. He remembered it as a very special time!

It's not what gets thrown your way, it's how you handle it, and there will be blessings in all this...

The best to you on your surgery day and in your recovery!!

naptown78
03-28-2010, 06:43 PM
Lynette,
I haven't been posting much on the forum lately because I've been so dang tired but wanted to let you know (and Melissa and Laura) that it will be okay! God has you in his hands along with your very skilled surgeon. I know how you feel, take some moments for yourself and your family the day before to (try) to relax. All your forum friends will be right here waiting for you....

LynetteG
03-28-2010, 06:53 PM
Thanks Amy and Kristy for all your positive words of encouragement - I appreciate that more than you know :)

Radiogirl
03-28-2010, 09:37 PM
Hi Lynette and Melissa...wow...can you believe it? It's almost here! I leave tomorrow (Monday) to head to St. Louis. My central line will be installed Tuessday morning, then my surgery Wednesday. Melissa, I will be thinking of you probably going through very similar things at similar times as I. Lynette....I know you will be great going through your big day on Thursday. Let's all meet back here as soon as possible to compare notes! My prayers and good thoughts are with both of you strong women!!!
Laura

LynetteG
03-28-2010, 11:04 PM
My prayers and good thoughts are with you too Laura, and Melissa. We will be the next three superwomen with steel in our spines :)

JenniferG
03-29-2010, 09:22 PM
Best of luck girls! I am positive you'll all soon be very relieved and grateful to your fantastic surgeons.

TexEx
03-30-2010, 06:53 AM
Laura

Hope you had a safe trip and everything went okay.

Will be thinking of you tomorrow as I go in. I know we will be fine, as will Lynette on Thursday.

Will check in when all is over and we are back home safe and sound.

Best wishes.

Melissa

nora
03-31-2010, 07:24 AM
Hi Lynette,

I don't post here often but I've been sporadically following your posts and those of other women in their 40's b/c your situations are similar to mine. (I'm 45 and I've got 2 boys, S curve, avoided surgery and now reconsidering). I actually logged on today b/c I remembered your surgery was 4/1 and I wanted to see how you were doing.

I wish you the best and remember all of us will be thinking of you....funny how a faceless person miles away can occupy your mind! I look forward to hearing about your great results and recovery. I'm sure you will be just fine.

Nora

LynetteG
03-31-2010, 12:17 PM
Thanks Nora - I can't believe how calm I am today - pretty amazing really! Thank you for your great wishes :)