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Old 08-05-2007, 06:42 AM   #1
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Anxiety after surgery

Has anyone experienced anxiety after back surgery? My husband is two weeks post-op and is having such a bad time. He has never suffered with this before. Thanks.

Last edited by honey7; 08-05-2007 at 06:44 AM.

 
Old 08-05-2007, 06:52 AM   #2
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Re: Anxiety after surgery

Hi,
Welcome, I have never heard of this happening but I can see where it could. Perhaps it has something to do with the meds he's taking? Have you asked his Dr. about this? I would at least let the doc know what is going on. I was given Soma (muscle relaxant) and I never told the doc I couldn't sleep for more than an hour at a time, turns out 2 months later I mention the sleeping problem and it is a side effect of the soma. So you see you never know what is causing crazy things. Hopefully it will be as easy as changing some meds to get rid of this for him. I'm so sorry that you both have to go thru this added problem, it's hard enough to deal with the normal recovery but then to add anxiety attacks to it, oh how terrible.

God Bless

Carol
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Old 08-05-2007, 06:56 AM   #3
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Re: Anxiety after surgery

Hi, sorry I can't speak to having anxiety after surgery as I felt like I had such a huge burden lifted from me. Even after coming to in the hospital I was happy that it was all done and hopeful that my prior pain would be gone. Thankfully it was.

Is he having actual panic attacks? Or do you know what he is anxious about? Is he worried that the surgery didnt help or make things worse? Or worried about his job or somethign like that? Maybe you could coax him to get on this board and ask us some questions or try to ask for some advice on here, every one is willing to help out.

 
Old 08-05-2007, 07:30 AM   #4
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Re: Anxiety after surgery

I know before surgery I was extremely anxious and lost 2 stone in weight (28lbs) which I didnt have to loose so I looked extremely gaunt and sick looking. But I just couldnt eat with the worry of it all. After surgery I felt great eating all round me. But as a few weeks went on, and I was expecting to feel better than I did, I would wake feeling anxious, panic did I do the right thing, what if this happens, how will I cope with this.... etc. It is a very vunerable time for the person going thru this, while one minute everything seems okay next you wonder what do you do this for. Also as mentioned medication, I know Zanex to help with anxiety helps, but also can make you feel depressed, It is worth checking out what medication your husband is on as some can also lead to anxiety. Just be there for him, and let him know it is a hard time, and just reassure him that you will get thru this together.
I found this forum a blessing and especially the days I was down and ready to scream, Put the computer in front of him and let him read a few posts, just so he knows others who are suffering can also help. Or you could read out a few interesting ones to him. If you told me 4 months ago I would be spending my recovery time chatting on a computer I would have laughed. But that is how I pass some of my time up, as I am limited in what I can do.
Best wishes,
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Old 08-06-2007, 05:04 AM   #5
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Re: Anxiety after surgery

Oh yeah , I have anxiety pretty bad, I know some med's can cause it but I think its the stress from not being able to do anything any more. My surgeon gave me some zanex and it helped but affraid to ask for it because of these Dr.'s thinking all I want is drugs. My script ran out and its high again. tell his Dr. about this.

Shawley

 
Old 08-06-2007, 06:01 AM   #6
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Re: Anxiety after surgery

It would help to know what procedure your husband had. Did he have a fusion?

I wonder if part of his anxiety is because he feels helpless as he recovers from the surgery. If he had a fusion, the recovery is long and he'll need a lot of help. I hope he's not acting like a hero and trying to do everything for himself. He needs you more than ever right now, your compassion and understanding and your practical doing of stuff for him. Don't let him get away with trying to do everything for himself. He needs to rest and obey doctor's orders, which for a fusion include no bending, lifting more than 5 pounds, or twisting.

Some people on here have been given some anti-anxiety meds to get them over the hump. Would he be open to that if it comes to it?

Sorry, this may not be much help. A little more detail about what' going on may get more responses for you.

I hope it gets better quickly for both of you. Thanks for coming on here and trying to get some help for him.

Blessings,
Emily

 
Old 08-06-2007, 06:12 AM   #7
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Re: Anxiety after surgery

[QUOTE=BlueAtlas;3139057]It would help to know what procedure your husband had. Did he have a fusion?

I wonder if part of his anxiety is because he feels helpless as he recovers from the surgery. If he had a fusion, the recovery is long and he'll need a lot of help. I hope he's not acting like a hero and trying to do everything for himself. He needs you more than ever right now, your compassion and understanding and your practical doing of stuff for him. Don't let him get away with trying to do everything for himself. He needs to rest and obey doctor's orders, which for a fusion include no bending, lifting more than 5 pounds, or twisting.

Some people on here have been given some anti-anxiety meds to get them over the hump. Would he be open to that if it comes to it?

Sorry, this may not be much help. A little more detail about what' going on may get more responses for you.

I hope it gets better quickly for both of you. Thanks for coming on here and trying to get some help for him.

Blessings,
Emily [/QUOTE]
Thanks Emily. I am doing everything for him. He is my heart and I'll do it all to help him get well. The doc gave him xanax, 1 mg every 4 hours. Nights are the worse. We are just hoping it gets better as he heals. He did have a fusion and lam....three weeks ago tomorrow. 4 hour surgery. God bless...Jen

 
Old 08-06-2007, 06:36 AM   #8
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Re: Anxiety after surgery

Thank you so much. Your encouragment helps me as a care giver. My husband does not feel like getting on the cp yet. Jen

 
Old 08-06-2007, 11:10 AM   #9
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Re: Anxiety after surgery

Hi Jen,
3 weeks is not very long. He's probably still in a lot of pain. It took several months for me to get to the point of being able to switch from Percocet to a little lighter med, Vicodin. I took the max I was allowed for a long time, even made sure I had a drink with a bendy straw within reach at night so I could easily take a middle of the night dose. I've found from my own experience and from talking to others that many, many doctors don't (can't?) give a true picture to their patients of what recovery from this surgery is like. They see the patient in the hospital for a few days and then send them on home. They see them for an occasional office visit after that, but they don't see the nitty gritty day to day of recovery. Reading this board helped me so much to be mentally prepared for a long time hanging out in my bed watching movies. The doctor made it sound like after a week or two, I'd be getting around pretty well and just had to be careful not to lift too much. That's very unrealistic. Maybe they just don't want to make people so anxious that they'd back out of the surgery they need, but I really think most people benefit from having an accurate picture of what's to come.

If you read the thread at the top called "post surgery tips," you'll get lots of great ideas that will help him. The very best tip for me was to get a grabber tool. Mine was $30 at CVS and was worth every penny the very first day I was home. Don't waste your money on a cheap one. They have one called The Gopher which was worth it's weight in dirt, in my opinion. It was way too flimsy. The one I got is blue and is back in the section with medical supplies. Any large pharmacy or medical supply store will have some good ones to choose from. Your husband will be able to reach things that are just a little out of reach without having to call for help all the time. It will make him feel a little more independent and just more comfortable, as he'll be able to get what he needs, pull the covers up, push them down, pick up a dropped remote, etc. It's also helpful to have a little notebook to keep track of meds he's taken and to write himself little notes. The meds tend to make us a bit fuzzy, so I kept my notebook nearby so I wouldn't forget things I needed to take care of, etc. I always kept a running list of questions for next time I saw my doctor, too.

Has he experimented with sleeping positions? I found that two pillows under my knees when I was on my back or one between my knees if I was on my side helped a lot to relieve my pain. I put a satin bottom sheet on my bed and wore slippery pj's and that made such a huge difference in my pain! I was able to slide to turn rather than actually lift my weight or fight friction. At 10 months post op, I still have the satin sheet on (actually, a cheaper version but just like satin. Satin's not in my budget! ). My husband commented recently that he's grown to appreciate it, too, and maybe we should just keep it on even after I don't really need it anymore. I probably don't need it at this point, but it just makes it so much easier to turn, I don't see any need to take it off!

If your husband has questions during his recovery, please come on and ask them, or show him the site and let him read the various posts from others who have been where he is now. We'll do our best to help you and him. I hope he knows how fortunate he is to have you!

Take care,
Emily

 
Old 08-06-2007, 01:53 PM   #10
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Re: Anxiety after surgery

Hi Jen! Anxiety is part of the recovery, unfortunately, you feel so bad that you cannot see how you can cope with this, many questions in your head, will I be able to work, travel, have fun, enjoy life etc...again? In blue days I had a big help from this wonderful group, I'm 8 months post fusion and still have bad days, sometimes I feel that I'm doing three steps further and two backward... you can imagine why you fell anxious!! I tried anti anxiety medicines but I hate to feel dizzy all the time, I prefere to get my muscle relaxant and read a nice book or watch a good movie...Hope that your husband will have the shortest recovery possible by the way he's so lucky to have you beside him!!! Keep in touch!!
Pat
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Last edited by italiandachshund; 08-06-2007 at 01:54 PM.

 
Old 08-14-2007, 05:53 AM   #11
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Re: Anxiety after surgery

Good morning..My husband has been told he is suffering from Post Tramatic Stress after his surgery. It has been a nightmare. He was put on two drugs for depression and is so much better. We have had three nights of good sleep. He is calm now and manageing his back pain very well. Don't know how long he will be on these meds but what ever it takes to manage this anixiey. He told me he never would have had the back surgery if someone had told him about the anixiety after. It just broke my heart seeing the love of my life so broken. I praise God for this improvement. Jen

 
Old 08-14-2007, 07:29 AM   #12
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Re: Anxiety after surgery

Thank you for letting us know and I am so happy that he is being treated and experiencing some relief. PRAISE GOD.

 
Old 08-14-2007, 08:36 PM   #13
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Re: Anxiety after surgery

Well I still have anixety lol. But I have more of a chronic longterm diagnosis and they say mine is post traumatic stress disorder which usually isn't long term like my case.

However, anxiety is alot of times worry, and think of all he is worry about right now, was this a mistake, will I ever get better, will I ever be able to work, what about money, what about this, what about that, was this a mistake, was this a mistake, what if it gets worse, what if I need more surgery, what if my wife leaves me.

And then theres the whole factor of pain and men trying to be tough...sorry guys. This is a very major painful surgery I would compare it with childbirth if that gives you a clue. And the hard part is, that even at three weeks out the improvement isn't that great and you realize, hell this isn't going to be a quick easy thing, or is this ever going to get better.

Then the meds to can do wonders to your brain, the oxicontin made me have severe hot and cold flashes. I would wake up freezing put on extra blankets and lcothes, then wake up hot take all my clothes off open the window put cold towels on then repeat over and over.

Sorry I guess I have the anxiety thing down.

The other thing is that alot of people post op get valium for the anxiety and relaxation and muscle spasms. I still just took my xanax, which i have taken for years, but they make me sleep like a baby and take the edge off all this stuff.

He's lucky to have you by his side, sorry for the long post.

 
Old 11-14-2007, 08:48 AM   #14
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Wink Re: Anxiety after surgery

I have had 4 back surgeries and on my third operation a lower back fusion when my doctor came in to check on me he ordered ativan for me and I tell you what I could actually relax and let the pain medicine work. When I had my 4th operation a fusion on my neck I requested the ativan and to my surprise i did so well with the pain. I only took it at the hospital. So do some research on the medicine and see if it would work for you.
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:55 AM   #15
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Re: Anxiety after surgery

All part and parcel of it and some people do not understand..... had the surgery whats the problem now !!! you should be fixed (makes me so mad)

Yes i never ever suffered from anxiety but now i sure do since my surgery. I wake with a knot in my stomach wondering how i am going to get thru the day. The need to go the bathroom, and sometimes again !!! other days I am fine, but wake with that knot in my stomach.......... its like how am I going to cope..... Just reassue him as best you can, and even small things sometimes feel like mountains to us.

Best wishes round 1

 
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