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Feeling traumatised after surgery?

(8 Posts)
WhosNextPlease Mon 01-Dec-14 18:46:21

I had an unexpected eye operation 2 weeks ago. I went in for an appointment and they ended up carrying out a surgical procedure that day. The pain afterwards was excruciating. I was not prepared for it or the extent of loss of vision over the next few days.

My physical health has improved greatly and my vision is what I would call functional. I feel I 'should ' be back at work but feel fragile emotionally as well as physically. It's as if I haven't quite processed the last fortnight (which still seems like a blur).

Could this be shock of some kind?

mawinter Mon 01-Dec-14 22:25:19

I feel this way after surgery every time. It lasts for a few weeks and then vanishes. I think it is quite common because at least for me and what I have seen they always make sure you have someone around after surgery. Not just to get home mind you, but in the days afterwards, so you have some support if needed.

WhosNextPlease Tue 02-Dec-14 08:37:21

Thanks mawinter. Good to know I'm not alone. Thinking about it, I too have felt like this with previous surgery, but the return to work time has been longer, so I've never felt 'pressured' to return to work whilst feeling like this. My current situation is a little different as I can almost self certify that I am ready to return to work. I'm not being pressured by my employer- quite the opposite, but I'm pressuring myself, iykwim.

My physical symptoms are still there, but at a more manageable level, yet I still feel quite detached from the world outside my little bubble of recent ill health, and as a result don't feel resilient. I think I've only just acknowledged that there may be non physical issues that relate to a return to work. But it makes me feel almost like a skiver/ fraud to include this in my decision making.

magso Tue 02-Dec-14 08:57:48

I get the impression some people bounce back from surgery better than others. I always seem to be the one that doesn't! I just don't think my body likes being messed with. Surgery is a big stress on the body (anaesthetics and healing).
I hope you are feeling better and your eye surgery was successful. Go back to work when you feel ready. I was once told by an occupational heath specialist that I should not return to work until I was fit enough to run for a bus! At the time there was no way I could do that (couldn't have walked for it either), and like you felt guilty at not returning to work sooner, despite not being fit enough to last the day.

WhosNextPlease Tue 02-Dec-14 09:10:47

Ha yes, magso, that's quite a useful indicator, I guess, depending on the type of surgery! I probably could run a short distance as most of my body is fine! I just feel so tired and emotional, as well as having a lot of discomfort and unresolved vision problems. I guess my dilemma is do I wait to feel better or do I accept that I will feel below par and that it will be a struggle returning to work?

I think the shock of not being able to see for several days has affected me, tbh.

magso Tue 02-Dec-14 10:48:33

Hmm well I think you should wait till you feel at least mostly well - and coping with your vision if it different. Try and do ordinary things at home first (assuming there are no limits put on for your recovery)- and see how you manage. Once you can manage a supermarket shop/ walk the dog/ clean the lounge etc without exhaustion, you are more likely to be fit enough for work.
(I am hopeless at taking my own advice - but that is what (MN) friends are for)


This is normal. Your body has experienced a big change so you will feel emotional/unsettled for a while. Please rest and follow doctors advice. It will speed your recovery. I hope you feel better soon.

mineofuselessinformation Sat 06-Dec-14 22:50:31

For any planned surgery, I've found that it takes two weeks to feel somewhere near normal - but that's without the added trauma of the surprise element that you've been through, never mind the difficulty of the visual changes that you've had. Don't return until you feel absolutely ready.

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