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Thread: Emotional problems following surgery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Emotional problems following surgery

    Iím new to the forum, and itís great to read others peopleís stories. I wasnít sure exactly were to post this, but Iíve been experiencing some strange things lately that are related to my surgery about 20 years ago (scoliosis & Sheurmannís kyphosis T1 to L3). Iíve always felt very lucky to have had my surgery, and it was very successful. Iíve had some back problems from surgery, but nothing lately, but Iíve had some very strange memories, nightmares, fear, etc from the surgery and its aftermath.
    Iím a pretty heathly person - slightly prone to mild depression. This really caught me off-guard. A therapist mentioned that it could be post-traumatic stress disorder, but this seems I little extreme to me. One the nightmares is of waking up during surgery. I know this a common fear of many before surgery, but I don't remember ever being afraid of this. I was wondering if it could be fear of the wake-up test, but feels like actually waking up (can't see anything, can't scream,etc) I don't think the wake up test is done as much anymore, but I'm curious if it is possible to actually remember it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Visalia, California


    I never had surgery in my life but, that is something to look out for. I don't have any adviceto give about that but, I do send my best wishes to you on fighting that horrible deprssion.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern California
    Hi Nancy...

    The wake up test is still routinely done by many surgeons.

    I think it's possible that you were allowed to become too conscious during the wake up test, or at some other time during your surgery. It's a problem that has been reported in the literature. I had a bad time with a ovarian surgery I had about 25 years ago. I didn't have nightmares, but when I thought about the surgery, I became quite anxious. And, when I had to have another surgery several years later, I found myself more afraid than I thought I should be. I could swear that I remember being intubated.

    Anyway, here is a link that might be of interest to you:


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Thanks for the info- very interesting new report. Maybe I'm not so crazy after all. I hope I didn't scare anyone. I don't regret having my surgery; it really changed my life for the better. I wish there had been a forum like this back then because I think if I had dealt with some of these issues years ago, it won't be so hard now. This seems like a very supportive forum, and it's been so helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    new jersey
    I had one horrible experience........after an emergency surgery for a bowel obstruction the anesthesologist did not time waking me up and giving me pain meds.

    so I woke up SCREAMING to this horrible pain that I can still vision and feel now,

    post tramatic stress syndrom its real

    Surgery June 28th 2004
    fused T4 -L3
    Hip graft
    Grown 1 1/2 inches
    25/o upper T 15/o
    53/o T 15/o
    37/o L 6/o
    Dr. Micheal Nuewirth
    New York City

    August 6, 2004
    Pulmonary Embolism
    complication from surgery

    January 2007 currently
    increasing pain at the T4/5
    point irratation heardwear

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