Surgery Plan And My Anxiety.....
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
I will have to hand it to the professionals! They knew that this particular surgery is the type that can cause lots of pre surgery anxiety. My stress person went over lots of techniques and strategies yesterday, which is really helpful. I am up at 3am with anxiety. Let me qualify that with an explanation. With revision surgery on an existing knee replacement, there are many variables that come into play that just aren't part of an original knee replacement. Bones can break during the removal of the original prosthetic device, surgery is about three times as long so there are risks there and the doctors hedge when giving the patient recovery information because so many things come into play during the surgery. Sometimes this surgery requires a bone graft, depending on,the strength of the bone after the old prosthetic is removed. Sometime the patient bleeds more during the surgery since it is longer than normal and needs to be given a blood transfusion. Infections are always a risk and require extra care.
Yesterday, I spoke to the surgery coordinator at my doctor's office about the fact that my doctor said I could go home this time, instead of going to a rehabilitative hospital, but the hospital surgery coordinator wasn't so keen on the idea. My doctors coordinator said that unfortunately the surgery person in the hospital may be right. My doctor can't really make any plans for me until he knows what the results of the surgery are.
For those of you who know me, I'm a planner and an organizer. I love to have all the facts upfront so I can make informed decisions (usually in advance - LOL) which makes me a bit of a control freak. (Okay, my family could chime in here and say a big control freak! Not in a nasty way just the fact that I like things to be neat and tidy.) The recovery plans for this surgery are all up in the air since there are so many variables. The recovery will be anything but neat and tidy! Intellectually, that makes sense since we don't know what issues my doctor will run into once he starts the surgery. Emotionally, the vast uncertainty of everything sends me screaming in the opposite direction. My control freak side and worry wart side are going into overdrive. So, we shift to the stress counseling and anxiety medication. I think the hospital's reassurances that this happens often with this type of surgery are right on target. At least they are for me anyway.
So, my task, given to me by my the stress/anxiety counselor, is to listen and tune into my anxiety signs. I will need to visualize and do deep breathing and keep myself grounded all day long as any signs occur, when they occur. All full blown anxiety attacks will require medication because they tend to raise my BP. The key is to not be afraid of having an anxiety attack. Ride it out and use the tools I have been given to deal with it. It was stressed that I have to have some semblance of control as I head into this surgery. I will have much better results if I do. So......
God and I have our work cut out for the upcoming high risk surgery. The plan in is place. I have hand picked the best doctors for this operation and the best staff and hospital. My part is to prepare myself the best way I can and the results will be much more positive!
One of my strategies is to surround myself with positive, supportive people. DH has been absolutely wonderful with coordinating some wonderful visits, dinners or lunches out with friends. We are setting up some services on the smart television (which is now in the bedroom for me to watch as I rest ) so that I can watch uplifting shows and some old favorites. The emphasis is on positive, uplifting support and feelings. DH is also having some issues with anxiety over this surgery too, due to the high risk nature of it. Also, another issue that comes into play is the fact that this will be my fourth surgery in a one year period. I've had two hip replacements due to a bone disease, one cataract surgery and then this high risk surgery. Who knows if the bone disease will decide to raise its ugly head unexpectedly and cause issues. I guess the point is that nobody knows quite yet. That doesn't sit well with me and I guess I've just got to resign myself to dealing with it.
My mother said it well.....
"You've done all you can from your end of things. The doctors have been chosen for their skill and expertise and they will do their part. God is on your side and this too will pass!"