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Author Topic: Fear of General Anesthesia  (Read 232 times)

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Offline matt1990

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Fear of General Anesthesia
« on: May 31, 2014, 10:52:40 PM »
Well my surgery date is set and as the time ticks down my anxiety shoots up. Not so much of the surgery, but rather being put under. I know general anesthesia is pretty safe, but I have read horrible stories of it going awry.

How do I know if I am allergic to the drugs? They say an allergic reaction causes hyperthermia with a poor prognosis of recovery. I have only been put under once before when I was a little kid to have my tonsils and adenoids removed. To my knowledge everything went fine. If I was at risk of an allergic reaction would I already be aware due to that surgery?

I'm also afraid of collapsed airway causing lack of oxygen and eventual brain death. I read a story about a patient in the UK who this happened to during an elective surgery, and they died.

I usually dont have the best of luck and I'm just afraid something will go wrong. I have a fear of losing control and dont like the idea of having my life in somebody elses hands.
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Offline Toasted Butter

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Re: Fear of General Anesthesia
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2014, 12:50:41 AM »
I hear you on the fear of losing control. Ultimately that's what you have to do; surrender control and trust over your well-being to the professionals. That's not easy to do. But, think of it this way; when you let someone drive you, you give control over your safety and well-being to them. Not only that, but to all the other drivers on the road as well. This is different, but only on the surface; ultimately you are trusting a lot of people, most of whom you never even meet, with your safety and well-being every single day. Can things go wrong? Yeah, they can, but the odds are highly against it, or they would not risk it.
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Offline mollyfin

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Re: Fear of General Anesthesia
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2014, 02:26:45 AM »
Totally normal fear to have!  Even people without HA have it pretty often.  But the odds of something going wrong are slim, and even if it does, you're surrounded by people trained in how to deal with it. 

To give you an idea, my friend's dad had some pretty serious hernia repair surgery.  The guy has heart problems, etc, he's an elderly man far from in the best shape of his life, so keep that in mind.  He did stop breathing at one point during the surgery.

When my friend's mother was being given the report on how he was, the surgeon said something like "we ran into a bit of trouble when he stopped breathing, but he's fine now" like he was saying "oh, it's raining out, bring an umbrella." 

So even when things that sound horrific to those of us with anxiety, to them it's just a little bump in the road.  They don't go to school for a decade or more for nothing!
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Offline ivyt73

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Re: Fear of General Anesthesia
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2014, 08:07:09 PM »
Hi Matt,
I know how you feel, I just had my first real surgery on April 8th and I was terrified of going under anesthesia.  I even posted on this site for help which everyone was great.  I literally felt like I was going to my funeral.  Everyone here and everyone that I know told me that it was a piece of cake and that I would just go to sleep and wake up and not remember anything.  They were absolutely, perfectly right.  Before the surgery I was crying and really scared and then when it was time to go to the operating room I was given something to calm me down (I think Versed) and after that I was laughing and chatting with the nurses and the anesthesiologist and then I was waking up four hours later all done and feeling fine.  Like you I was scared about allergic reaction, breathing issues etc. and my anesthesiologist actually told me that I would not be breathing on my own due to the muscle relaxers they had to give me for my particular surgery so that totally freaked me out but I am fine, it really was fine and I would do it again if I needed to.  They know how to deal with any possible issue so you are in good hands. The chances of having a problem with anesthesia are like .001 or something like that.  You will be just fine.
Ivy
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Offline mollyfin

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Re: Fear of General Anesthesia
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2014, 09:33:06 PM »
I should add that I've been put under twice.  Both times, no ill effects except feeling kinda crappy coming out of it.  But seriously the worst thing was the horrible dry mouth.  And having to have my pee measured in a special bucket before they'd let me go home.  Overall, I've had much worse experiences in life.
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Offline soaringfalcon

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Re: Fear of General Anesthesia
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2014, 09:35:42 PM »
My family has a genetic trait that makes us allergic to anesthesia and narcotic pain relief.  You only find out the hard way that you have it by having surgery, it's very, very, very rare.  Since you've already had surgery, you're in the clear. 

Even with this, everyone in my family does just fine.  The Dr's are very, very well prepared.
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Offline AbeLinkedIn

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Re: Fear of General Anesthesia
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2014, 10:02:38 PM »
I've been put under twice and I came out alright in both times, except I was extremely tired/woozy, but that's to be expected.
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Offline AOKAY

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Re: Fear of General Anesthesia
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2014, 10:45:44 AM »
I just had general anesthesia a week ago Wednesday for removal of a golf ball sized kidney stone.  I'd had two previous bowel surgeries, so I knew anesthesia would not be a problem, but in this case I had 2 months to worry about the surgery from the time it was scheduled in March to when it took place in May.  Those two months were torture worrying about whether all my pre-admission testing would be okay and whether my slightly high blood pressure would prevent them using general anesthesia.
By the day of surgery I had myself all worked up.  As I expected, my BP was high at 170/90, even on meds.  The anesthesiologist came to talk to me before surgery and seemed totally unconcerned.  He instructed his assistant to administer something into my IV line and that's the last thing I remember until waking-up post surgery. 
Surgeons and anesthesiologists are trained to work on all kinds of people.  Some are calm, some are high-strung, some have high BP, some have low.  That's why they make the big bucks; to keep you alive when you are out.
Now that my surgery is done I can advise you to just take it as easy as you can on yourself. Let the doctors do the heavy lifting; you are just along for the ride.  My best to you.  You will be fine.
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Offline xxAmyxx

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Re: Fear of General Anesthesia
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2014, 04:32:27 PM »
Considering you've been knocked out before, you should be just fine. I've been put under twice for colonoscopies, both times an Anesthesiologist was at my side the entire time. Their only job is to monitor you. That being said, I'm having a couple procedures done this Friday and I'm still nervous about it - totally normal!
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