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Tips for getting through waiting for surgery?

(25 Posts)
hiccupgirl Wed 08-Jul-15 18:38:13

I've been booked in for a major operation to remove a potential tumour in 3 weeks time which has a 2-3 month recovery time. I thought I was doing ok with it all in my head, but following the pre-op appointment yesterday, I had such an awful night. I can't ever remember feeling so angry and so like I wanted to hurt either myself or someone else. I ended up hitting the mattress a lot which got it out of my system but DH was understandably very worried.

So any tips on how to get through the next couple of weeks without completely losing the plot? I don't want to get ADs as I can't deal with panic attacks etc on top of everything else at the mo - this is what happened last time I tried to start on a AD and I don't want to risk that as I need to be in a calm place for the operation.

Shakey1500 Wed 08-Jul-15 18:47:20

Sorry to hear thanks

Ok. I would focus on your recovery after surgery and stock up. I mean on box sets to watch, books to read, something to research on line. A holiday for next yr perhaps etc?

I'm 7wks into a 3month recovery. I'd sky plussed a ton of stuff to watch. Loads of series, films etc for when I wasn't mobile. Then I did boring stuff online like compare energy prices etc (yawn but had the time unlike usual)

Schedule times for visitors, plan help if you'll need it for anything (I had help with school run for e.g)

tobee Wed 08-Jul-15 19:06:59

I have/had terrible health anxiety and failed a pre op because of raging/racing tachycardia. I even got the blue lights 999 the day after failing it, because I had a panic attack and spent the night in a&e, to my shame now. Anyway. I had prescribed diazepam to take in extremis by the gp. I was also prescribed beta blockers to deal with the anxiety which I am still on and had really helped me on a daily basis. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is please go to see your gp and ask if they can prescribe similar for you.

Also, be gentle on yourself. Sometimes just telling myself that yes, this is a hard time for me. It's not surprising I feel like I'm going lose it with what's coming up. I think trying hard to squash feelings of worry down and seem nonchalant ends up causing you more stress, and the champagne cork bursting from a shaken bottle that is a panic attack can be the result.

Best of luck to you.

MatildaTheCat Wed 08-Jul-15 19:46:48

Can I recommend some Mindfulness apps to listen to? Jon Kabat Zinn is huge in the world of health related Mindfulness and is extremely calming. You could listen to this in the wee small hours and hopefully be calmed back to sleep. Check out YouTube for freebies.

Very best wishes to you for a speedy recovery from this frightening time and surgery. flowers

hiccupgirl Wed 08-Jul-15 21:47:01

Thank you so much all of you. It def helps just to write it down and know that it's ok to have strange moments and feel worried. Because it looks like I've been incredibly lucky and the tumour has been found really early and shouldn't need any other treatment, it feels wrong to be angry about it. And everyone as so lovely at the hospital yesterday, it feels wierd to then be anxious about it all!

I've been unwell and not right for nearly a year now so it is a relief that this seems to be the cause of it but it's still not on my top ten list of fun things to do in the summer holidays!

I will go to my GP on Friday and see what options there are and also make sure she is aware of the need for the aftercare. I can't have the surgery at my local hospital so I'm worried about how it will be followed up once I'm discharged.

And def stock up on box sets. How do you feel after 7 weeks shakey?

Shakey1500 Wed 08-Jul-15 22:11:51

I feel less Shakey grin

Not too bad thanks. Different surgery to you (major gynae) so it's taken me a few weeks to be fully mobile but I'm getting there.

Do you know what your restrictions will be? Oh yes, totally agree ref getting the correct aftercare. I found making lists of what to ask consultant/GP helped as my mindset is "old school" where one just nods and smiles at anyone in the medical profession smile

hiccupgirl Wed 08-Jul-15 22:32:25

Good to hear you're on the mend....it's that not knowing how long the recovery is going to be that's tricky as well.

The consultants and the nurses all give slightly different timescales....it's not that common an operation tbh. The main consultant reckons 2-3 months to be back to normal and 6-8 weeks to drive. The specialist nurse felt driving was more like 7-10 days (!) but then agreed with a min of 6-8 weeks off work.

The op can't be done by keyhole surgery so it's a longer recovery time.

I ok with questioning things but I find my mind just goes blank and I can't remember what was said. I am so unbelievably scatty at the moment....like my brain is full so it's can't manage to recall anything new it's told!

Shakey1500 Wed 08-Jul-15 22:55:06

Hope it all goes well for you. If you get bored and don't mind a bit of daytime tv, there's a funny on-going thread about the series called Doctors (though it's on hold for Wimbledon atm). It's very tongue in cheek smile

hiccupgirl Fri 10-Jul-15 06:05:05

I haven't seen Doctors for a looonnnggg time but will look that one up once I'm sofa bound....assuming my DH takes the 5 yr old out of the way so I'm not forced to watch Scoobey Doo or Tom and Jerry on repeat!

Paying the price for getting stressed and angry on Tues night now - my IBS has flared again and I was awake at silly time as the bloating means I can't lie flat sad

Shakey1500 Fri 10-Jul-15 08:19:48

Will you be in hospital a while? You could get your bag ready? Don't forget vaseline, headphones ( for those noisy nights on the ward!)

A woman on my ward vommed ALL night. Poor her but I didn't sleep a wink!

gingeroots Fri 10-Jul-15 08:36:16

Oh dear about the poor vomiting woman . Surely that could have been dealt with ? There are anti -sickness meds .

hiccupgirl Fri 10-Jul-15 12:46:33

Hopefully I'll only be in for a max of 5 days afterwards.

I think I'm in denial about the whole thing at the mo or it could be as a teacher I'm focused on just getting to the end of the summer term and then I've got a week to get sorted out. Hadn't thought about headphones to block the other patients out....is it worth getting decent ones?

MatildaTheCat Fri 10-Jul-15 14:14:25

Hospital wards are notoriously noisy and light so eye mask and good headphones plus loads of zen music are a very good idea. Earplugs to a lesser extent as they never seem to really work. Sports water bottle for ease of drinking lying down and quenching the raging thirst after an anaesthetic.

hiccupgirl Fri 10-Jul-15 18:35:01

I'm making a list here...have only ever been in hospital before when having my DS and the focus obviously was more the baby and what they need.

So I ideally need,
Eye Mask
Earphones and music
Sports waterbottle
Flip flop type things for the shower
Towel

More ideas?

Shakey1500 Fri 10-Jul-15 19:02:32

Sounds petty but things like-

Hairbrush (I forgot mine!)
Toothbrush/paste
Holiday sized shampoos etc are great, ditto deodorant
Flannel/shower squidgy doobrie
Snacks (nowt like feeling peckish and nothing to chew on!)
Money inc loose change
Phone charger (so you can update us from hospital bed grin )
PHONE
Books

I'll add if I think of anything else. Yes, poor woman went all night, there couldn't have been much left. Not sure if she had anti sickness meds. I think she was very poorly though.

MatildaTheCat Fri 10-Jul-15 19:17:00

All things hydrating, face cream, lip balm, hand cream. Hair bands, dry shampoo, babywipes. Sweets to offer to staff to make them like you. Pen and pad, new pants, sanitary protection ( weirdly your period can start suddenly). And your own pillows. This point is serious and I would never go without having done this.

hiccupgirl Fri 10-Jul-15 22:46:52

I love the idea of holiday sized shampoo etc....make me feel like I'm actually off somewhere nice instead grin

I'm going to need a major shopping trip after I get paid to stock up on bits and pieces. Fortunately period should be over and done at least a week before the op so hopefully won't have to worry about that....fingers crossed!

Thanks for all the ideas...keep them coming...

gobbin Sun 12-Jul-15 11:50:18

I wouldn't take a sports water bottle, they'll give you a bendy straw to drink with if you need to be lying down. Anyhow, depending on what you're having done, you'll most likely be encouraged to be up and out of bed the day after if you're on an enhanced recovery programme.

I was up and walking to the hospital shops two days after bowel surgery (and then had big complications and ended up staying in 5 weeks, but that's another story!)

Don't be a pain hero, if it hurts and they are offering painkillers, say yes!

hiccupgirl Mon 20-Jul-15 13:14:13

gobbin that sounds not so good, hope you're all ok now.

Went to see my GP today and had a bit of a meltdown in the reception after there wasn't an appointment today initially...I know I sound like a complete diva and I'm normally the most laid back person who never demands anything, but my GP was only working today and tomorrow before my operation and I needed to talk through bits and pieces with her. So now I have a shiny diazapan perscription to help me sleep and be less anxious grin

tobee Mon 20-Jul-15 13:21:36

Diazepam was brilliant for me. I slept for a bit and then just didn't give a monkeys. And I could eat.

Re things to take, make sure your shower gel etc smells really lovely!

gobbin Mon 20-Jul-15 13:37:58

Also, as a teacher hiccup that was pretty bad planning, wot having surgery in the hols!! (Should'be been like me, have op 7th May, be complicated, return on last day of term, have school hols grin )

Anyway, hope you've been sleeping better and take one day at a time - recovery will seem like ages off so don't focus on that, focus on the here and now (especially when in hosp) and the recovery will take care of itself. My wound scab fell off yesterday (size of 5p piece) when two months ago it was a 5 inch mess. Things heal in time flowers

CharleyDavidson Mon 20-Jul-15 13:43:56

Same as Gobbin here. I had my op on 15th June, off for 4 weeks, back for half a day as I'm a part time teacher then off for the hols.

hiccupgirl Mon 20-Jul-15 16:52:56

I know, shit timing isn't it....but it's an urgent operation so no choice to change the date sad

But my GP is signing me off for 8 weeks from the operation which is 23rd Sept at the earliest grin

hiccupgirl Wed 05-Aug-15 07:18:58

Just to update I had the operation a week ago and came home last night. It was amazing to be back in my own bed.

I didn't use most of what I took with me as I was in a hospital gown most of the time and not able to get to the shower etc until yesterday. But I did use my iPod constantly and read tonnes of books.

Now it's a couple of weeks of sofa rest with more books, TV and mumsnet grin

Milliways Wed 05-Aug-15 16:50:32

Glad to hear you are home, make sure you let your family pamper you! flowers

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