HealthBoards

HealthBoards (http://www.healthboards.com/boards/)
-   Phobias (http://www.healthboards.com/boards/phobias/)
-   -   Cast Claustrophobia (http://www.healthboards.com/boards/phobias/553085-cast-claustrophobia.html)

PDing 11-15-2007 01:29 AM

Cast Claustrophobia
 
I had the cast put on yesterday after 10 days in a splint. I had mentioned to my Dr. that I have cast claustrophobia, but my doc wanted to see how well I'll hold up in a cast since I have been in a cast for 3 weeks before. Unfortunately being in the cast previously for 3 weeks increased the severity of the claustrophobia. I went to bed at 11:30pm and woke up at 12:30am in sweat and freaking out about the cast. The foot was elevated and iced while I slept, but didn't help the situation. There is about a 1/4" of the cast that's slightly touching my little toe and it's the main reason why I'm freaking out. It's making my toes feel confined because I can't freely wiggle them. Controlling my breathing only helps for a short moment.

I can't even go back to sleep now because of it and a scissor and a flat-head screwdriver is looking very tempting right now.

becky060599 11-15-2007 07:11 AM

Re: Cast Claustrophobia
 
I am sorry about that. I had claustophobia with my cast also. But, in the long run, I wish he had not taken it off. The think that was one of the reasons my bone has not fused is because he took it off and put me in a air boot. Less stability in the foot.
What kind of splint did you have? I have to have pins put back in my foot tomorrow and he is going to put a splint on my foot. Said it has more stability than a air cast, but lighter than a cast. Can you give me a description of your splint, and did you like it? Why has he put a cast back on?

PDing 11-15-2007 08:46 AM

Re: Cast Claustrophobia
 
I'm in a cast now. I just visited my Dr. who made a 2 1/2" cut on the side of the cast to slightly loosen the toes and he said it's the best he can do without loosening the ankle area support. He strongly believes that a cast is necessary for the ankle to heal properly. So I'm stuck with it for a while. I destroyed my last cast I had. I only had it on for 3 weeks when it was suppose to be 4 weeks, but I completely lost it after 3 weeks and removed it myself. I'm stuck in this for 5 more weeks. :(

The splint I had on was custom molded (molded to the bottom of my foot, ankle and calf). It was lighter, but you have far less mobility in it. My splint goes right up to the back of my knees, so it was hard to bend the knees. Because the splint was so long it needed up causing accidents with the crutches (toes hitting the ground). The only thing that I think the splint is better than a cast is that you can remove the bandages to air out, but it's also more problematic if you don't wrap it properly (too tight can cause compressed nerves which is very annoying and painful).

becky060599 11-15-2007 10:47 AM

Re: Cast Claustrophobia
 
Why did he take you out of the splint? did he feel you had more stability in the cast? Do you have any pins in your foot?
I have been NWB for 8 weeks, and I do not want less mobility. With the cast on can you put some weight on your foot?
Could you put any weight on with the splint?

PDing 11-15-2007 11:50 AM

Re: Cast Claustrophobia
 
You can't put weight on the splint at all, there's not enough support that prevents you from turning and twisting your ankle; it limits it a lot, but not nearly as much as a cast. I was put into a splint because I needed to have the dressing changed and it was easier and quicker (and also cheaper) to do it with a splint than in a cast.

There's definitely more stability in a cast and I'm allowed to put very light pressure on the toes to preventing from falling while standing on one foot. Depending on what you mean by mobility; I find it easier to bend my knees and travel around in a cast, but it is far more restricting if I want to move my toes (which is what's freaking me out). I don't have pins in my foot, but I have screws that the suture is anchored to.

becky060599 11-15-2007 12:14 PM

Re: Cast Claustrophobia
 
thanks for the information.
I do not like taking medications or sleep aids but have you thought about something to help you sleep? I finally got a rx for a sleeping aid, and I can tell you, it can really can put you out. I used to wake up with foot pain, but with the sleeping aid, I seldom wake up.
Good luck with your cast.

PDing 11-18-2007 02:48 PM

Re: Cast Claustrophobia
 
I had to call my OS today telling him I can't take the cast any longer, I haven't been getting any sleep and I am extremely uncomfortable. It's not the cast was put on wrong, but I have really bad claustrophobia; I can't even wear a watch.

I've started picking apart the cast because it's so uncomfortable; I've removed 1/5 of the cast. The long time I've slept so far is only 2 hours.

I want to heal correctly but the discomfort is unbarable.

PDing 11-18-2007 03:47 PM

Re: Cast Claustrophobia
 
I just googled 'Cast Claustrophobia' and of the few results that returned, only one result has a solution I would like to give it a try.

Someone had a cast put on and she was cast claustrophobic, so when she visited her dr. they removed the cast and put her in a new one. Once the cast dried, they saw and split the cast in half and used elastic bandages to secure it back into one piece. She said knowing that she can remove the cast when she panics helps with the claustrophobia. I'm surprised how little documentation is out there about cast claustrophobia.

I want to heal properly, but the panic attack is getting worse by the day. Most likely I will need a new cast since the current one is pretty torn up from the panic attacks. I have crushed a corner of the cast with my bare hands because it was so bad. This is arguably worse than any sort of injuries I've had.

becky060599 11-19-2007 12:10 PM

Re: Cast Claustrophobia
 
Sorry you are having such a bad time with it. This past Friday I had two pins put in my foot into the bone to hold my bone graft together. Was not looking forward to it at all. THe procedure went well but the next am after the drugs wore off, I was in excruciating pain. And I mean pain. My husband gave me the percocet the doctor prescribed if I needed it, but did not work. I took it every two hours and got real sick, threw up and was compeletely miserable. That continued for the entire day. I took probably 10 percocet, morethan the daily amount recommended and still did not work. We called our doctor and he recommended more percocet. The next am, I told my husbnad that we had to go to the hospital. THey gave me more pain meds, and morphine and took over my splint. And guess what,,,, it felt better. I beleive the majority of my pain was due to the splint being put on too tight. IT was just awful. I really wanted to die that day. SO, I know what you are going through. I wanted to pull that splint off, but didnt. SHould have but did not.

PDing 11-19-2007 03:10 PM

Re: Cast Claustrophobia
 
I tore apart the cast this morning because it was unbearable. Went to the surgeon later on in the day and told him what happened. Basically told me that without the cast and keep it immobilized there's a chance that it won't heal properly. Rather than being put back into a cast, I was put into a boot and still have to be NWB for 4 more week.

relteach 11-19-2007 05:04 PM

Re: Cast Claustrophobia
 
I spent 15 weeks in casts and I understand the sense of urgency and claustrophobia. I did not feel near as badly as you, I did have moments when I just was panicky about my foot and ankle in a cast. I was given breathing exercises and my family tried really hard to engage me in activities when they could see an episode coming on.

When I got in the boot (for another 10 weeks), there was enormous relief because I knew I could take it off if needed and that assurance was all I needed to keep the panic at bay. Just be sure to keep the boot on as much as you can so the bone can heal properly!!!

Good luck!! I hope the boot makes a difference for you.

PDing 11-19-2007 09:02 PM

Re: Cast Claustrophobia
 
When I'm awake I don't have too much issues with the cast. It's when I sleep the anxiety kicks to over-drive. Ever since I got the cast on, everytime I slept I'll wake up an hour or two later in a complete panic that I can't control. I live alone so there's no one else to keep my sanity in check.

Besides, I can't wear a watch for more than 8 hours a day and sometimes that's pushing it.

BadAnkleBrian 01-23-2008 06:32 PM

Re: Cast Claustrophobia
 
[QUOTE=PDing;3307602]I had the cast put on yesterday after 10 days in a splint. I had mentioned to my Dr. that I have cast claustrophobia, but my doc wanted to see how well I'll hold up in a cast since I have been in a cast for 3 weeks before. Unfortunately being in the cast previously for 3 weeks increased the severity of the claustrophobia. I went to bed at 11:30pm and woke up at 12:30am in sweat and freaking out about the cast. The foot was elevated and iced while I slept, but didn't help the situation. There is about a 1/4" of the cast that's slightly touching my little toe and it's the main reason why I'm freaking out. It's making my toes feel confined because I can't freely wiggle them. Controlling my breathing only helps for a short moment.

I can't even go back to sleep now because of it and a scissor and a flat-head screwdriver is looking very tempting right now.[/QUOTE]

Oh my god. I just searched cast clautrophobia and found this thread. Finally I'm not the only one. I just had achilles tendon surgery and I have major cast claustrophobia. In fact, my claustrophobia was getting so bad before the injury that if I wore a tight shirt under my work uniform and it was hot I would completely freak out. I remember thinking if I ever hurt myself and needed a cast I was going to go insane. I have fully explained my situation with my Doctor and I think he thinks I want a boot so I can take it off sooner. Zero sympathy.

I wake up at night in a full panic. I turn on the fan and open the door so the cool air can come inside and I try to get mind off it in some way. What helps calm me down is knowing that i can take off the temporary cast that is on now, even though I never have. Unfortunately I'm scheduled for a full cast next wednesday and I have a feeling it will be coming off in some sort of panicked rage. I'm trying to find a way to get a different doctor who understands my situation and is willing to work with me.

I'm a total mental midget being held hostage by something that is only in my mind! LOL

Anyway...how did it all work out?

tigerlily11 01-24-2008 12:14 AM

Re: Cast Claustrophobia
 
Hi,
I was in a cast for a couple of weeks...doc was trying the conservative treatment first, which did not work..I will have to have surgery on Feb. 21 to repair a chipped bone and torn ligament. I, TOO, HAVE CAST CLAUSTROPHOBIA!!!!!! I didn't even know such an official term existed!!!!! My heart starts to palpitate and a terrible panic takes hold!!!! I DREAD THE WHOLE PROCESS BECAUSE I ALSO FEAR GENERAL ANESTHESIA AND WILL HAVE AN EPIDURAL INSTEAD, which I am fearing because I know I will panic as my lower body begins to go numb!!!!!!!!!! I know the fear is irrational but I have it !!!!!!! I cannot tolerate any type of sedation !! I am going to beg the doc to just give me a regional block which would numb just the area below the knee into the foot instead of the epidural which will numb the entire lower half of my body!!!!!! I am so glad to have read that others have this irrational fear and claustrophobia and therefore understand it.....I am trying to prepare by practicing deep breathing and visualization!! Even as I fall asleep at night I try and rehearse being numb from the waist down for the surgery and then having the dreaded cast afterward which will cause terrible claustrophobia!!! What a dilemma... I am going to beg for a splint then a boot, but I don't think doc will go for it!!!!!! Yikes!!!!!! from tigerlily AKA windrunner !!!


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:04 AM.