View Full Version : Rollercoaster ride

01-15-2008, 08:48 AM
It's 9 days before my surgery and I've been really busy getting prepared - in fact my house, life and family have never been so organised !!! What I haven't expected was the rollercoaster of emotions. One minute I'm absolutely fine then I get upset for a few moments over something very tiny then I'm OK again. I'm not normally like this. Anyone else experienced this just before their op? I'm also exhausted, and in a lot of pain which constantly interrupts my sleep. I'm almost looking forward to the rest in hospital!!! I've just read the previous thread about lack of sleep post op and feel rather dismayed as it was partly the lack of sleep due to pain that sent me down the surgery route. Does anyone have a happy sleep ever after story?


01-15-2008, 09:15 AM
I'm right there with ya, Hazel ... my emotions can no longer be counted on as "friendlies".

My solution, thus far, has been to keep finding/ordering new gadgets - and organizing to the point even my Type AAAA friends are calling me anal retentive.

Wanna trade lists? ;-)


01-15-2008, 09:28 AM
I don't quite have a happy sleep ever after story, however I am almost 5 weeks post op and I sleep pretty darn good. I still don't nap like I used to, now its more like once every 2 weeks or so and then its a short nap. Even while I was in the hospital I didn't really nap. Most of the time I am pretty good sleeping on my back, except when I over do it and then everything aches and I just can't get comfortable. I was able to get some relief by sleeping on my side for a few hours, but now that I am back in my own bed with a 4 inch memory foam topper it hurts my shoulders when i try to lay on my side. I have found that I don't really have pain per say, more of an ache, and I was off of the heavy narcotic, Dilaudid at 13 days. I found I didn't need it so I started to wean myself off after a week. Now I take my pain killer, Ultram, every 6-8 hours instead of every 4 as prescribed.
I think the meds mess with our sleep habits and our body's ability to self regulate. I find I am either hot or cold without a happy medium very often. I also found out that I am a lousy patient. I can't stand not being able to do things for myself! My daughters ages 19 and 15 have been wonderful taking care of me for the last 5 weeks. It has brought us much closer together and my 15 year old has matured so much. I am a very lucky woman to have such wonderful young women in my life. I hope my story helps and gives you hope for some pain relief. I feel pretty good most of the time. When I don't feel good, it tends to be because I have done something I shouldn't do or because I have done more than I should have. Best wishes and keep us posted on how you are doing.

01-15-2008, 09:57 AM
My daughter napped quite a bit post op at home! She would be awake for an hour or two then nap for 2 to 3 hours. She woke up some at first during the night, mostly when trying to roll over. After a couple of weeks, she slept the night through. Not even severe storms wake her!

01-15-2008, 10:02 AM
I also had so many lists and sublists I'm sure my husband was thinking I was losing my mind. It's what we need to do to keep our sanity.

It was my son that had the surgery this past May, but I went through the exact thing you are going through. I'd be crying one minute and fine the next and my house too was organized beyond belief. Even had many meals tucked away in the freezer, I think some may still be there.

My best to you and will be looking for your posts when you report back how everything went. Take care,

01-15-2008, 10:44 AM
I think what worries me most is I'm NEVER organized!

(Ya'll please try to bear with me over the next few weeks - and I'm so damn organized I know when each of you had surgery/will have surgery! Will this affliction cease post op??? ;-)

01-15-2008, 11:47 AM
You would be abnormal if you were NOT on an emotional rollercoaster. Waiting and planning for this surgery is a real head trip. Believe me, it's a BIG relief to get it over with....even when it hurts!!!!

01-15-2008, 11:51 AM
Just look at my nutty posts in November - I was a basket case! I will tell you that, for me at least, the pre op stress was much worse than recovery because during recovery you KNOW things will only improve and the worst is behind you.

One thing I did to help pull myself together was I had a big dinner with my parents and friends, and we went out afterwards for a "last hurrah." One of the girls brought me a picture from that night while I was in the hospital, and it was so meaningful. Do something fun for yourself this week - perhaps a spa visit?

Be well!

01-15-2008, 01:04 PM
oh boy,
I'm backwards :rolleyes: I have 5 weeks left and I'm usually extremely organized(ok, anal) and I feel like things are getting all sorts of out of control. I guess it will get to the point where what gets done gets done, what doesn't oh well. My mom keeps telling me to rest up and not worry about stuff, she'll take care of it when she gets here. I'm not like that. I'm the kind that if I had a maid I'd clean the house before she came.

01-15-2008, 03:05 PM
Alright, I don't want to tick anyone off or make light of this surgery, but FOR ME, it was like Vndy says - recovery was easier than the pre-op emotions. I anticipated everything, went into hyper-preparation mode, and when all was said and done, I looked back at myself pre-op and smiled.

Not to say that I wasn't thankful for much of my preparation, and not to say any of it was a piece of cake. Yes, the sleeping thing was probably my biggest challenge post-op, but that eventually faded, and now I can sleep 10 hours straight! (I'm in Alaska and hibernating).

From all I've read and experienced myself, you are absolutely normal! The emotions will continue, and then you will hopefully get that calmness right beforehand. It is soooo helpful to go into surgery as relaxed as you can, and to know things will be OK. I'll be thinking of you and wishing you the best!

01-16-2008, 01:21 AM
Hi Hazel,

My first post on this forum was 9 days before my surgery and I was scared to death. I had read the forum for months before, but I was so scared I finally reached out to the people on here, and what a relief it was. Just knowing that I was not alone in my fear!!!

My range of emotions were also not typical of me. At times I was embarrassed that I couldn't control them, which was never me. You are normal!!! It's a frightning thing to face. And you are not alone on that rollercoaster. I know it takes time to go back and read some of the older posts here, but you would find that there are so many of us that have had the same reaction.

You will do just fine, and you will be in our thoughts and prayers!!!

01-16-2008, 07:08 AM
I have 13 days before surgery! I am busy too trying to organize my life. Did the blood harvesting again yesterday. Not a pretty picture. The well-hydrated vein moved on her. Ouch! The first one was so much easier. Also, in these busy days I have to fit in an heart angiogram. Just not pumping like it should. Here I am with everything in place for the major one and....... Another thing is I am a special ed. teacher so there's lesson plans, IEPs,etc. I'm sure some of you can relate!
Oh well, hoping for the best for everyone awaiting surgery. What a life-changer!


01-16-2008, 11:03 AM
Hazel--for goodness' sake, don't feel like you're not normal for having emotional swings! This is BIG in your life. I had that constant tug of war between being at peace and knowing this was right, and being scared to death of it all. I know that last week for me was SO busy, finishing getting things in order in two houses (my recovery has been in a different house than our normal house, because it is all on one level), tying up loose ends from running a book fair at school, making sure all was in order for my sub for the rest of the year and possibly the beginning of the next (HA! I haven't been back yet!), etc. I've mentioned this before, but I remember so well that I went to bed early a couple of nights just so I could cry and my husband wouldn't know! That makes me chuckle now, but it wasn't funny at the time!

As far as happy-ever-after sleep goes, I've always (in general) been able to sleep well--fall asleep as soon as my head touches the pillow, etc. I am almost back to that and have been for several months--I'm at 8 months post-op now. At first I had some problems with being awake when I wished I were asleep, but I'm sure I got plenty of sleep. I took naps in the afternoon up until 3 or 4 months post-op. I needed the rest, plus it gave me the opportunity to take my brace off and relax. Geo has me beat with her 10 hours, but I'm close behind with about 9. Occasionally, like last night, I have some problems. I woke up and couldn't fall back asleep for about 1 1/2 hours... otherwise most of the problems I've had when I woke up or couldn't sleep were all when medication changes were happening. Often they also produced a vertigo problem when I was lying down. It may take awhile to get into a sleep routine again, but don't cross that bridge until/IF you come to it.

Sharshe--that's great that you are a cleaner-upper. You'll find it hard to do any housework for awhile after surgery. I've still not been released to vacuum-- and I know I can't clean the tub/shower and other scrubbing type work for a long time. If you want to clean, do so to your heart's content. Or if it doesn't work out, shoot, you have your mom to do it when she comes. May not be like you would do, but will be sufficient. You'll find that it won't really matter post-op what you did or didn't get done. It's YOU that's getting done! Other things will fall into place and you won't care that much (I don't think!) about what didn't.

I agree with Vndy--once you wake up from the actual surgery, the worst is behind you and there's no where to go but up, in the post-op adventure.

CSC--don't feel too frustrated by the heart angiogram. If there's a problem, wouldn't you prefer they find out now rather than on the table? Hopefully all will be fine and your surgery date will stand as is--which is really soon! I know you must be swamped with all the paperwork preparations/sub stuff/IEPs, and all. Best wishes! And yes, you can have some true "down" time soon. :)

Best wishes to all of you still facing surgery. You are in my thoughts and prayers. It does get better and better, even though it takes a long time for some of us. That's not to say there aren't any frustrations or setbacks or emotional roller coasters to travel after surgery. But there are those for everyone traveling down this road called life, right????

01-17-2008, 01:09 PM
to all of you patiets and parents pre op..
Firstly, you are not going insane. I had the op 9 years ago, i too was an emotional wreck, and sometimes still am! my mummy was just as bad.. but she didn't think i could tell! I think my mum suffered as much as i did.The unknown is always scary. My advice is, cry if you want to cry and laugh if you want to laugh. everybody's experience is different and nobody should tell you how to feel, this is a big deal and cry if you want to!

please please contact me if you have any worries however silly they may seem and i shall try to help from my own experience

good luck