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GA tomorrow - the fear is building!

(92 Posts)
BillyDaveysDaughter Mon 20-Nov-17 11:48:18

I'm undergoing gallbladder removal tomorrow under GA. I haven't had a general since 1985, and I am very, very frightened of feeling or being sick afterwards (as in, emetophobic - the fear of vomiting is with me every day and has been for 40 years).

I'm pretty calm about being put to sleep, I don't think I'll want the pre-med - I'd don't like to feel groggy if it can be avoided. I have no fears of dying or not waking up, or of waking up during the op. It's just the sickness thing.

I've had a pre-surgical assessment, they were very kind and understanding and assured me that modern anaesthesia includes an intravenous anti-emetic anyway. I begged them to load me up with anti-sickness and they made a note and smiled indulgently.

I also asked if I could avoid the painkillers which commonly cause nausea, like morphine - I said I'm quite stoic and would like to stick with intravenous paracetamol at first, and see how it goes. The nurse said there are many alternatives to morphine, but paracetamol directly into a vein is just as good.

The majority of people I've asked said they felt fine after a GA and were actually starving hungry when they woke up. A friend who had a kidney removed via keyhole sent his wife for biscuits when he woke up, and he's the biggest wimp ever.

It's just day surgery, I'll only be under for an hour or so and I'll be home by mid afternoon. But I'm still catastrophising and having visions of all sorts of grim outcomes upon waking.

Please tell me your stories of it all being a piece of cake - and yes I have posted before, but now the op is TOMORROW and I'm bricking it.

Closetlibrarian Mon 20-Nov-17 11:51:35

GAs have changed massively in the past 30 years! I had one recently (about 2 years ago) for day surgery and felt bloody marvellous afterwards. No sickness at all. Unlike the GAs I had back in the 90s and early 00s, which made me feel terrible

BillyDaveysDaughter Mon 20-Nov-17 11:55:35

Oh thank you! That has instantly reduced my anxiety. My brother had one in the 80s and was sick, so did my stepsister and she was vomiting violently for hours. I haven't been sick after a GA, I had one in about 1979 and then the one in '85. I suppose I felt very faintly queasy after that one...

I suffer from travel sickness, I heard that was a factor?

BillyDaveysDaughter Mon 20-Nov-17 12:26:41

<cough> Any more?

wowbutter Mon 20-Nov-17 12:29:51

I have had 3 GAs in 3 years and each time I have felt great after. A bit cold and shaky, but so much better than I did after the spinal I had for labour.
So much so I am requesting a GA for my next planned section, as the after effects are much less shit.
I have never thrown up after.

BillyDaveysDaughter Mon 20-Nov-17 12:32:03

Ooh excellent. Thanks!

BillyDaveysDaughter Mon 20-Nov-17 12:33:41

I think the consultant didn't help me when I first saw him - I mentioned I might be a little anxious about sickness upon waking from the GA, and he pulled an "Oh dear that's unfortunate" face. Like vomiting after the op was a given. confused

Partyfops Mon 20-Nov-17 12:36:57

Shameless place mark. I'm having a GA on Thursday to have some wisdom teeth out.

I wouldn't say I'm emetaphobic but I do panic a lot about feeling sick.

Partyfops Mon 20-Nov-17 12:37:35

Meant to add, good luck with it!

BillyDaveysDaughter Mon 20-Nov-17 12:38:31

Party <fist bump>

Game on. I'll let you know.

Mynametodaywillbe Mon 20-Nov-17 12:45:49

I was very sick after GA on several occasions as a child and went into surgery a few years ago terrified about the whole thing but woke ecstatic to be alive and with no nausea and definitely no vomiting. Good luck.

TawnyPippit Mon 20-Nov-17 12:45:52

I had a GA just last week for some day surgery. I think I was out for about 30 mins. It was absolutely fine and certainly no feeling of sickness at all - literally zero. In fact they sad I had to eat and drink something afterwards before I could go home, so I drank about a litre of tea, had a biscuit, then went home and had some cauliflower cheese smile.

The surgery was around 6.30pm, I left hospital at about 9.15pm, was home at 9.45pm, in bed about 10.15pm and slept very well. Up the next morning and back to work as usual. I honestly did not even feel a twinge of nausea (not even after speed eating some cauli cheese!) Interesting that PP said they had added an anti-emetic to the GA because DH and I were commenting on how "normal" I felt.

Honestly, you will feel fine. Good luck

Dumbledoresgirl Mon 20-Nov-17 12:55:42

I am also an emetophobe so I understand why this is your primary concern. Hugs to you for that alone. {{}}

Re feeling sick after GA: I have only had a GA once, like you, back in the 1980s. I do not recall feeling sick afterwards, though I do remember the first time I got up and walked after the op. It was not the day of the op - I had extremely major surgery - and I had taken ages to creep a few yards when I suddenly thought I was going to throw up. I panicked like you can imagine, but was not actually sick. I think the movement brought on the nausea and standing still allowed it to subside. Anyway, I don't know if that was the after effects of the GA or the very strong painkillers I was on. I have always assumed it was the painkillers.

Two of my sons have had GAs, one of them twice. These would have been in the 2000s. They showed absolutely zero signs of nausea afterwards.

I hope this helps a bit.

Oh and I am prone to travel sickness too, a bit.

Good luck.

BillyDaveysDaughter Mon 20-Nov-17 12:56:21

That sounds promising! Apparently I must eat and pee before they'll set me free - but not much, half a sandwich and a dribble of wee will do.

I'm in at 7.15am, no idea when the op will be but lunchtime latest. Once I've woken up they'll ensure I'm not bleeding horribly or going blue, then they'll make me get into my own clothes and move around to start dispersing the pain in my left shoulder from the air pumped into my upper abdomen (which is the worst bit, they say).

Then it's an hour home (DH driving obvs), where I'm looking forward to lounging in bed for a day or two. I am debating taking a bucket in the car in case the sandwich doesn't stay put shockshock

I need a fit note for week 2 off work - do I ask the hospital for that?

BillyDaveysDaughter Mon 20-Nov-17 12:58:20

I am LOVING these stories, they are really helping. You have no idea how much.

Dumbledoresgirl Mon 20-Nov-17 13:53:27

I think the GP gives you the note for sickness leave from work. The hospital notifies your GP when you have treatment of any sort so it can go on your notes, and you or your dh can ring up the surgery to arrange the doctor's note once you are back home.

SmokingGun Mon 20-Nov-17 13:59:10

I react quite badly to GA and unfortunately vomit a lot, however the last 2 ops I have had I was given ondanzetron before I came round and have had no sickness at all. My ops did tend to last for several hours though. If you are in for day surgery you are likely to only have a very minor amount of GA on board which in my experience hardly affects you when you wake up

BillyDaveysDaughter Mon 20-Nov-17 14:00:38

Oh is that how it works - thanks!

I see you are a fellow 'phobe <waves>

It must have been very frightening having major surgery! shock

BillyDaveysDaughter Mon 20-Nov-17 14:03:11

Thanks for that Smoking - gosh that's rotten to have to have that so often. Glad they've found something that stops you feeling so dreadful after.

Yes I'm only expected to be out for 60-90 minutes. Quite brief by your standards! You are badass 😎

help1978 Mon 20-Nov-17 14:05:32

I had several knee ops late teens/early 20s. Was very sick after them and so when I needed to get more explained the situation and anaetheatist (sp!?) put anti emetic in and never sick again in the following few surgeries x

WasDoingFine Mon 20-Nov-17 14:16:56

I work in Recovery. It's actually quite rare that patients are sick nowadays as the anaesthetic techniques are so much better.

Tell them in the morning that you are concerned about vomiting and they will ensure you have plenty of antiemetics on board. There 5 that we use so there is plenty you can have.

Good plan for a bucket in the car. Highly unlikely you'll need it but knowing you have a plan in place will relieve that anxiety for you.

Dumbledoresgirl Mon 20-Nov-17 16:49:56

Ha! Not as scary as you might think. Being seriously ill beforehand meant that I was in quite an enclosed little world in my head, not really thinking about the wider issue like 'I could die now.' It sustained me for many years afterwards as I had an insight into what a final illness might be like, ie not as scary or as upsetting as a well person might think. In fact, it was obvious afterwards that my family had been through the wringer far more than I had.

But it sounds as though you are having something quite minor done, which is a relief. This time tomorrow, hopefully, it will be all over and done with and you will have 2 weeks off work to indulge yourself and recover.

BillyDaveysDaughter Mon 20-Nov-17 21:15:11

You work in recovery WasDoingFine? Wow. Hats off to you. Thanks, I'm glad it's a rare occurrence. I joked to the nurse that them having wall to wall carpets everywhere was a good sign that they didn't expect copious vomiting, and she laughed like a drain...

DumbledoresGirl sounds like you all went through it at the time - but yes, a dear relative had a serious accident and nearly died, and during all the rushing around in hospital and in HDU she said she felt very peaceful and just let everyone deal with it. She was only struck by how close she was to death afterwards.

I take it you are fine now?

I m trying to get an early night but I'm not sure how much decent sleep I'll really get. I was feeling pretty good earlier, but my 80 year old mum helpfully told me a very graphic story of her friend vomiting and coughing and weeping hysterically after an anaesthetic 35 years ago which has given me a bit of a wobble.

welshweasel Mon 20-Nov-17 21:21:32

I take out gallbladders for a living (well..I do other stuff too but hey!). The vast majority of people wake up feeling completely fine. Minimal pain and sickness. The gas pain can be a bit disconcerting if you don't know what it is, but they've obviously warned you so that's good!

Most of my patients are on their way home 4 hours after surgery and back to normal within a couple of weeks.

Make sure you get the sick note before you leave hospital. It is not the responsibility of the GP to do this! Also, they may expect you to have your own paracetamol and ibuprofen at home so make sure you've got some in.

Good luck, you'll be fine!

LizzyBennett Mon 20-Nov-17 21:24:08

Like everyone else has said vomiting is unlikely, but the anaesthetist will see you tomorrow pre-op so just tell them you're worried and they can give you an antiemetic iv while you're under.
For shoulder pain, I'd advise that you ask DH to pick up some peppermint cordial - it'll help disperse the air

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