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Irina
09-19-2012, 01:09 PM
I know that I am not the only one, and we are all nervous in anticipation of the surgery. I don't even have the date yet and wonder what I'd be like when I have it. I am trying to stay busy, take one day at a time, have a faith in my sureon, but still - some days I am worried nuts.

I've never taken any sort of antidepressants in my life and thinking - may be I should take them now? I've heard that it can be difficult to get off these pills and I am also concerned about having any chemicals in my system before the surgery. What do you guys think? Is it a bad idea?

JenniferG
09-19-2012, 09:21 PM
Irina, Nobody likes to take drugs, but I believe there is a time and place for most of them. When I first saw my surgeon and was told I needed major surgery, anxiety took over my life. I cancelled my first surgery date and spoke to my GP. She put me on a mild anti-anxiety medication, the name of which has long been forgotten. It helped everything. Within a week, I was sleeping normally again, thinking normally again, able to enjoy things again, think about things other than my surgery. It helped tremendously. I took the last one the day before surgery and never took them again.

This surgery is so scary, I believe most of us would benefit from a little help. I used to pride myself on not taking any medication. What nonsense! It's there for a reason and can be very helpful.

How long till your surgery?

Irina
09-19-2012, 10:51 PM
Irina, Nobody likes to take drugs, but I believe there is a time and place for most of them. When I first saw my surgeon and was told I needed major surgery, anxiety took over my life. I cancelled my first surgery date and spoke to my GP. She put me on a mild anti-anxiety medication, the name of which has long been forgotten. It helped everything. Within a week, I was sleeping normally again, thinking normally again, able to enjoy things again, think about things other than my surgery. It helped tremendously. I took the last one the day before surgery and never took them again.

This surgery is so scary, I believe most of us would benefit from a little help. I used to pride myself on not taking any medication. What nonsense! It's there for a reason and can be very helpful.

How long till your surgery?

Hi Jennifer,

Thank you for your response. Yes, thoughts about the surgery have taken over my life. I know this is the right thing to do and I trust my surgeon, but it's just so overwhelming. Plus I have a dental issue (failed dental implant that needs to be replaced) that doesn't help my anxiety either.

I am going to my surgeon on October 31 for a follow-up appointment to go over MRI and all the details. Hopefully we'll set the surgery date during that appointment. I am hoping to have it done in February 2013. I have to coordinate it with insurance, work etc. Wish I could do it tomorrow and be done!

jrnyc
09-19-2012, 11:46 PM
hi Irina
what is your expectation if you do take antidepressants for
the period of time before your surgery...??
i am asking because antidepressants are made to treat depression....
treating anxiety is not the same thing....
by now i think there are many more antidepressant meds
on the market than there are meds to treat anxiety....

i have dealt with depression both personally and professionally, as a licensed social worker....
i have seen antidepressants help many patients in wonderful ways....
as far as going off them, the one i have heard of most often
as presenting some difficulties is Paxil....

i think it might be good to discuss this with your surgeon now....
so if he/she thinks it would be a good idea, there is time to chose
the best medication for you, and time to see how it effects you....
some emotional turmoil could be expected facing major surgery...
you are the one who best knows what is a normal reaction for you,
and what is beyond that....perhaps discussing it with your doctor
could help you clarify it....it also might make it more clear as to
whether you are suffering depression, anxiety, or a combination of
both...

best of luck...
jess

Irina
09-20-2012, 12:06 PM
Hi Jess,

I probably need help with anxiety, not depression. I am just thinking about this surgery non-stop and talk too much about it. It is turning into obscession. I think there was not a single day when I didn't talk about it with my husband and thank God he is so patient with me. I don't want him to run out of patience though... On top of this, my mom doesn't know anything yet and I don't want to tell her until probably a month before the surgery because she has her own health issues. She keeps asking me why won't I change the front door, remodel back yard, buy this and that like I planned not so long ago, and I want to scream from the bottom of my lungs that I am saving money for the upcoming surgery, but have to keep my mouth shut and mumble something like 'I'll do it some day, mom'. So, I am slowly withhdrowing from her and she doesn't understand what's going on.

I was wondering that with the help of some medication I would be able to become not as obscessed with it and have my life outside of this upcoming surgery. I'll ask my surgeon about it during my appointment. Meantime, I am doing yoga extensively and it helps somewhat.

tae_tap
09-20-2012, 12:54 PM
Irina.
Don't feel like you are the only one that has anxiety. I too think about it quite a bit and wonder if I am making the right decision and such. My husband is being very patient because he knows that I am in need of the surgery, but somehow have to let go of the "What if's". He finally said this morning that I need to stop replaying every scenario out and just trust my decision and my doctor. This is tough for I like to be in control and not have someone else leading the way. His response to this was it should be easy because I really am not driving, but God is and when I gave Him control of my life I agreed to sit back and enjoy the ride. For some strange reason this brings me comfort. There is a plan in place and stressing over every little thing won't change it.
Maybe letting your mom in, even though she has her own things to deal with may ease some pressure. Sometimes all we need is the support from all of our loved ones and sometimes all they need is to be needed. Hope this helps a little.
Tamena

Irina
09-20-2012, 01:31 PM
Irina.
Don't feel like you are the only one that has anxiety. I too think about it quite a bit and wonder if I am making the right decision and such. My husband is being very patient because he knows that I am in need of the surgery, but somehow have to let go of the "What if's". He finally said this morning that I need to stop replaying every scenario out and just trust my decision and my doctor. This is tough for I like to be in control and not have someone else leading the way. His response to this was it should be easy because I really am not driving, but God is and when I gave Him control of my life I agreed to sit back and enjoy the ride. For some strange reason this brings me comfort. There is a plan in place and stressing over every little thing won't change it.
Maybe letting your mom in, even though she has her own things to deal with may ease some pressure. Sometimes all we need is the support from all of our loved ones and sometimes all they need is to be needed. Hope this helps a little.
Tamena

No, I absolutely cannot tell my mom now. She has a history of severe depression with bizare side effects that I don't want to discuss on the internet, she is on daily medication for that and goes to a specialist once a month. We've had a very rough time with that two years ago. Thank God, the medication is helping and she is doing well now. I strongly believe that letting her know now, five month ahead of time, will cause another severe episode that would neither help me, nor her. So, I have to smile and sugar coat everything even when I tell her.

tae_tap
09-20-2012, 01:40 PM
Oh my! You do have a load of stress. I will pray for you and all that you are going through. Take a deep breath, you will make it through. This forum is a huge help!

Tamena

jrnyc
09-20-2012, 03:12 PM
hi Irina
just my opinion, but i think you should contact
your surgeon to discuss trying to find an anti anxiety
medication that might help you....unless you feel your
GP could either handle it herself/himself, or refer you
to an appropriate specialist...
perhaps speak to surgeon first, since he/she needs
to know what you are going thru and what meds you
are considering...

you have the added burden of needing to hide this from
your mother right now...which must be adding to your anxiety
about surgery and making things harder to deal with...

why suffer if there is something that might help you....
i think it is at least worth a try...

best wishes....
jess

Confusedmom
09-20-2012, 08:14 PM
Irina,
I take Lexapro for anxiety, and did before the surgery. Dr. Lenke encouraged me to go off of it a month before the surgery because it has blood-thinning properties. Often time, SSRIs (that's the class of drugs) are used to treat depression and/or generalized anxiety. The exact same drugs. I did go on it when I got serious about surgery and started freaking out. Buy, like I said, I slowly weaned down so that I was completely off before surgery. At that time, you may be able to take shorter-acting anxiety meds, like Valium. Just temporarily before surgery. I also found Lexapro helped with weaning off the pain meds and probably reduced the depression that can be associated with a long recovery.

Evelyn

jrnyc
09-20-2012, 09:45 PM
different people, different reaction to meds...
Lexapro followed Celexa in treatment for depression...
it is sometimes given for anxiety as well...
if you survey patients, some report Lexapro helped with
anxiety, and some report it didn't help their anxiety at all...
not all antidepressant meds are used to treat anxiety....
there have been patients who reported feeling too "energized" on
an antidepressant for it to help their anxiety calm down....
they will tell you that the antidepressant either caused panic like
symptoms or made their anxiety worse....in the literature, they
state that for some, "SSRIs and SNRIs can help anxiety, for others, they induce panic attacks."

sometimes a patient has to try a few different meds before
they find the one that works best for them...
perhaps a talk with your doctor could help you figure
out, together, what would work best for you, or what to
try first...
if the anxiety is directly related to the surgery, then something
to calm you down might be recommended...something in the tranquilizer
family of meds....thinking being that you wouldn't need the medication
without the surgery, or once the surgery is done..
even then, some of those meds are preferred (for being shorter acting) over others....

jess

hasteffen
09-21-2012, 04:48 PM
I agree with Jess.
I just got back from seeing Dr. Lenke and Kelly told me no antidepressents, NSAIDS, and vitamins containing C or E for 2 weeks prior to surgery. So my suggestion would be to try meditation and yoga and walking like crazy! I know, easier said then done. I have been a little nutty this past month so I can imagine how you are feeling. I have been reading a lot as well.
Good luck!
Best,
Heidi