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AIBU to be petrified of general anaesthesia?

(126 Posts)
keabby Thu 18-Jun-20 16:57:56

Hello all I'm scheduled to go in for a sinus op in two weeks time. I need a large polyp removed that originates from the cheek sinus as it is affecting my ability to breathe thru my nostril.

The closer this gets the more terrified I am! I hate the thought of losing consciousness and being on a ventilator during the op. It needs done under complete general as it is of the image guided variety and I need to remain perfectly still.

I feel a bit of an idiot because I know how much this is going to improve my life i.e. no nighttime woes like mouth breathing, congestion, snoring anymore but at the same time I think is it really worth the risk? I think well during the day I can breathe fine out of my other nostril etc.

I'm an anxious type and that certainly doesn't help. It all seems so serious as I need to go in for a pre-op appointment to make sure I can tolerate the GA (the need to do this makes me a bit uneasy)

I am petrified. Rationally I know many MANY very ill people go in to GA and surgery and they're fine but I keep thinking my heart will stop or I'll go braindead (more than I already am :D ) during the op. Or that I'll regain consciousness before my body is able to move again. Etc...

Any anesthesiologists on the board by chance? Or those who have gone in for an op?

I think one of the primary things is actually after the drugs are administered and before I go under, what is that like? People say the room starts spinning, I think I'm going to have a proper meltdown if that's the case.

I heard you can get some premedication for anxiety. Can anyone recommend that?

Thanks for letting me have a ramble xx

OP’s posts: |
Butternutsqoosh Thu 18-Jun-20 17:01:28

I love having a general anaesthetic! It's like the best sleep ever, and you can drift in and out afterwards like a never ending nap! When I was a kid it made me feel sick afterwards but I've had 5 as an adult and they were all completely fine. I never experienced the room spinning, beforehand they put the oxygen mask on and you count backwards from 10 and I think I made it to about 7 or 6! Try not to worry, it won't be half as bad as you're building it up to be x

Suzanne12 Thu 18-Jun-20 17:01:34

Honestly the time between full awareness and unconsciousness is so quick you barely notice it happens. I was terrified the first time I had GA but it really wasn't that bad.

Calic0 Thu 18-Jun-20 17:01:40

Hi OP. I had my first ever GA two years ago and was, like you, really scared beforehand. So much so that I was crying as they wheeled me into theatre and they asked me if I wanted to pull out! Obviously, all experiences will vary, but if it helps, it was absolutely fine for me. The staff were lovely and reassuring throughout and I was sitting up and drinking tea almost immediately after waking up. No spinning room at all, just counting backwards and out like a light.

MatildaTheCat Thu 18-Jun-20 17:06:34

It’s fine. Honestly. You might feel a bit weepy afterwards but that doesn’t affect everyone.

I wake up in recovery and start trying to chat to the staff, absolute nonsense but I’m sure they are used to that.

You might get someone to prescribe you a mild sedative beforehand but you don’t need it. A GA in a normally fit and well person is probably less risky that a car journey. Do tell the staff you are really nervous though so they can be extra reassuring.

bowchicawowwow Thu 18-Jun-20 17:09:11

I've had 3 GA's and the only one I had much notice for was a wisdom tooth extraction and the waiting around was the worst (pre mobile phones!) so make sure you have something to distract yourself with before the op.

I think I managed to get as far as seven when counting backwards. When you wake up it's like coming round from the best kip ever. The nurses are lovely and very reassuring. Please don't worry yourself.

Minai Thu 18-Jun-20 17:11:42

I had a GA but probably luckily for me it was an emergency (appendectomy) so I didn’t have the chance to think about it and worry beforehand. It was absolutely fine. The anaesthetist and other medical staff came to talk to me beforehand and put me at ease. They were so lovely because I was in hospital alone (DH looking after our babies). They explained everything calmly to me, as I was going to sleep I could feel myself going, there was no spinning the next thing I knew I was waking up and the doctor was telling me everything has gone smoothly. At this point I was drowsy and calm. I had a lovely nights sleep and was fine if a bit sore the next morning and went home. Hope everything goes ok, you will be fine

PickleKing Thu 18-Jun-20 17:12:17

I had my first 2 elective surgeries under GA last year for varicose veins (my other one was during an emergency C section, so I was barely even told I was about to be put asleep). I was a bit nervous but it was perfect. No room spinning at all, and I've never heard of that happening to anyone. I was just in the middle of a conversation with the anaesthetist about where I worked and next thing I was waking up after the surgery! The second time was a couple of weeks later and they asked me to count to ten and by 5 I was out... And waking up again! It's actually a really nice feeling grin

TheVanguardSix Thu 18-Jun-20 17:13:01

GA... it's the only way to fly! I love it! It's like having a holiday paid for by the NHS. grin I've been under 7 times in my life. I always get the heebie jeebies right beforehand, but you'll be in excellent hands, completely monitored throughout, and believe me, those guys know what they're doing. Trust those whose hands you're in and know that you're in the safest place. Above all, trust that you'll totally be more than alright and you'll come through this with a better quality of sleep and therefore life to look forward to!
It's normal to be a bit scared. Just make sure you avoid getting a headache after. You shouldn't, but it can happen. The anaesthetist will guide you on that one. Ask about it before they put you under so that you can have a lovely post-op recovery. Good luck!

Aquamarine1029 Thu 18-Jun-20 17:14:51

I've had GA 14 times. It's the easiest thing in the world. You fall asleep and then you wake up. That's it. The doctors are highly trained and know exactly what to do. You'll be perfectly fine.

iolaus Thu 18-Jun-20 17:15:06

I get scared of general anaesthetic and last time ended up in tears as I was wheeled down to theatre, the time before when I knew I beforehand I ended up crying and wanting my parents (I was in my 30s with 4 kids) - funnily enough I don't remember being scared for the 2 I had as a kid

As soon as I'm in there and they start doing it though I'm ok - the pre-op is scarier in many ways because they tell you all the things that can go wrong (all ops have pre-ops if they are planned - my last one I was admitted via A&E the night before and the anaesthetist came round at about 11pm to do it - telling me that I may end up with a tracheomy and in a medically induced coma for 24 hours depending on how close they have to go to my vocal cords - had ludwig's angina - thinking about it that may be why I was scared going down)

Literally they put a mask over your nose and mouth- so it's a bit of a weird taste then count down from 10 backwards - don't think I've ever got to 8

The anaesthetists are watching you closely all the time you are under and if they spot you are starting to rouse they will give you more to ensure you are still under - or to act if it goes too deep

TheDuchessofDukeStreet Thu 18-Jun-20 17:15:15

Hi Op. I’m a surgical ward nurse. Do tell the anaesthetist that you are nervous and that it’s the going under bit in particular. It takes only a few seconds for you to fall asleep. Tell your admitting nurse also, it should be possible for him or her to stay with you for a hand hold until you are asleep. You can ask for a premed, these as not routine these days and people can feel a bit more groggy afterwards but no harm in asking. Also, ask where you are not the theatre list. It may be possible for you to be seen sooner rather than later. Good luck, you will be fine. 💐

AriettyHomily Thu 18-Jun-20 17:16:00

I've had three and honestly, really rather like it!

Redcrayons Thu 18-Jun-20 17:17:10

Worrying about it beforehand is worse than actually having it.
It all goes really really quickly. First time I had it done I had to count backwards from 10. Second time the nurse was asking me questions. It’s like falling asleep, definitely no room spinning.
It seems like seconds between you having it and then waking up. I woke up crying, apparently that’s really common.

DappledOliveGroves Thu 18-Jun-20 17:17:54

I had a GA for the first time a year ago for an emergency appendectomy. I was absolutely terrified beforehand, convinced they wouldn't put me out properly and that I'd somehow be awake but paralysed during the surgery.

It was brilliant! Honestly, they inject the stuff and you're awake for about 3 seconds and then nothing at all until you wake up. It's such a lovely, chilled experience.

I then had another GA in December for spinal surgery and again it was wonderful! Peaceful, calm, relaxing. The drugs they give you are awesome.

Please don't worry about it - you'll have a great time!

Davros Thu 18-Jun-20 17:17:53

Butternutsquoosh I totally agree, I love that bit just before you go under. I also like MRI scans and have fallen asleep in those

DomDoesWotHeWants Thu 18-Jun-20 17:18:29

I was terrified but the anaesthetist was lovely and very reassuring. I wouldn't be as scared next time.

ImAncient Thu 18-Jun-20 17:19:52

I love love love GAs. As others say it’s the best sleep you will ever have. It’s like floating on a cloud. I have had 7/8 I think. Complete & absolute bliss.

ImAncient Thu 18-Jun-20 17:20:25


Butternutsquoosh I totally agree, I love that bit just before you go under. I also like MRI scans and have fallen asleep in those

Are you me?? grin

Don’t worry op you’ll be fine.

SummerDayWinterEvenings Thu 18-Jun-20 17:20:31

Phone and hospital. It might be possible for you to talk to the doctor doing the anaesthesia before hand. I do not respond well to GA -and never had. My daughter was terrified and it was twice aborted before a third an attempted. They gased her first. I suggest you talk to them before. They might phone you beforehand and talk it through.

VinoOlive Thu 18-Jun-20 17:23:48

I rather enjoyed my last GA, was a lovely sleep.

Bouledeneige Thu 18-Jun-20 17:24:08

I had my first GA in February and was quite nervous. I really loved it. It's just bloody lovely - the cold running up your arm, I felt it for a a few seconds then deeply deeply asleep. No wooziness or sick feeling waking up. As a lifelong insomniac it was lovely.

Iwalkinmyclothing Thu 18-Jun-20 17:30:52

YANBU to be afraid- I was before I had my first ever GA a couple of years ago. I was scared of two things- dying whilst under, and having the mask put on. The nursing staff I saw for the pre op consultation were amazing, the nursing staff and anaesthetist on the day were amazing and very understanding indeed. I don't know if what they did for me re reassurance and not putting the mask on until I was out were the norm or just for me but they were so, so kind and so caring and I was absolutely fine. Found it totally discombobulating when I woke up in recovery but it really was OK.

SadSisters Thu 18-Jun-20 17:31:28

I was really anxious before mine as well OP but it was fine. It takes so little time for you to drop off that you don’t really have time to get in a fret about it.

I was very sick afterwards, but well looked after by the nurses.

Praiseyou Thu 18-Jun-20 17:35:09

I love GA! It's the best sleep I ever have.

The room doesn't spin for me. They just get you to count back from 10 and I always think I don't feel drowsy at all and its not working but I never get past 6 before I'm out.

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