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Am I crazy.

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Mylexigirl, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. Mylexigirl

    Mylexigirl junior member
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    Hi all. Have been reading bonesmart since 2016. That is how long I have needed a total knee replacement. Now I am sure who ever is reading this, you are wondering why haven’t I got it done. It’s because of fear. Now some will say that “we were all afraid” but this fear that I have IS NOT NORMAL.

    Yes I know all about getting on with my life. This pain that I'm having now will get worse etc. but I just can’t get past this. My Dr at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC has been giving my cortisone shots for years and before him I got them for a year with another orthopedic Dr.

    Just the thought of surgery for this procedure is so frightening for me, cutting, sawing, hammering etc., puts me in a fear and that’s not counting the pain I will have when I come home. And yes I know that I will have meds but with the new guidelines for pain that is now in place I don’t want to suffer.

    Can someone who had this procedure that was very, very, very afraid tell me what you did to get through this. As I have stated I have been reading this site for years and I have never came across this problem. Much thanks.
     
  2. skigirl

    skigirl SUPER MODERATOR Moderator

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    For me, I was afraid that a TKR would be the end of my life as an athlete. I dreaded the surgery and found all sorts of reasons why I was not ready!! In the end, one day I wrote down all the things that i no longer did because of my knee. I was shocked at how long the list was!!! Really I finally realized that I had to face the surgery or I was going to be crippled by my knees.
     
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  3. Bionic

    Bionic post-grad

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    @Ginny12 was afraid of everything before her op and she came through it ok. I have tagged her so hopefully she will respond to you at some stage
     
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  4. rosieNZ

    rosieNZ member

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    Its understandable xxx
    I just did a wee inventory of how my life is restricted now and what I can achieve going forward. It helped me take the plunge and now I am having my second TKR (if I hadnt had TKR no 1 I probably would not be walking now).
    I am 67. I really really really want a better more mobile life especially as I am not getting younger. I focus on that aspect and not the mechanics of the surgery and have gotten everything possible in place using the comprehensive info on this site. So I am in control of everything I can be. Hope thats helpful for you.
    Rosie
     
  5. Mylexigirl

    Mylexigirl junior member
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    Much thanks for everyone that responded to me.
     
  6. maryo52

    maryo52 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I have no wisdom to offer. But apparently you are determined to get beyond this obstacle. Are you considering seeing a counselor?

    I was very very afraid this time because I was afraid of history repeating itself (nightmare experience in 2010/11). I have known for years that sooner or later my TKR would need to be revised. So this past Fall the implants came loose and I no longer had a choice. A date was set, and I had 2 months and 8 days to wait. I kept myself busy busy busy. The last day I was gulping hard. But then once you check in and start the process at the hospital, the routine of it all lowers one's apprehension. And my nightmare did not repeat itself. I've had a wonderful experience this time. And if you're a patient at HSS, most likely you'll have the same. That's the main thing, picking a very good surgeon. I considered going there for my revision but the logistics were a little too daunting for me, living in Maine.

    I have also worked in surgical settings and know that OR staff always do their utmost to make the patient comfortable. Hopefully you'll hear from someone who has had your same issue.
     
  7. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

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    I agree with the idea of some counselling. Even a few sessions will help. But if I were to tell you that in my 55 year career as a theatre (OR) nurse, if I had a £1 for every patient I'd spent time with, reassuring them in regard to the fears they had, I'd now be a very, very wealthy woman!

    I will also tell you that most of these scared patients admitted to a variety of reasons for their fear which would include
    dying during the operation
    waking up during the operation
    not being in control of one's body during the operation/anaesthetic
    hearing or seeing the equipment all around
    feeling pain during/after surgery
    choking/being unable to breathe
    being unable to cope afterwards - mobility, eating, sleeping​
    Hardly any of these - pick any one! - actually manifested into reality.

    There was many others and it might help you to know that they are ALL common and I suffered from most of them before my surgeries and as you can see in my signature, I've had no less than SIX surgeries since my first knee in 2009! So you see, your fear IS normal and it is for almost everyone else. You are not alone in this. I'd be more surprised - and concerned - if you said you weren't afraid/scared/worried/terrified at all!

    But there is one other thing you could discuss with your GP and that's alight anti-anxiety medication to help you through these remaining days.
     
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  8. HoneyB

    HoneyB senior

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    While the post-surgery pain was real, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I agree with @maryo52. Once you check in at the hospital, the routine of the process and watching so many other people going through the same routine is calming. Best wishes to you!
     
  9. Roy Gardiner

    Roy Gardiner FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    :wave::wave::wave::wave:

    I was a gibbering wreck. I refused to read ANYTHING about recovery, or contemplate what TKR actually meant.
    You've been reading my stuff, then, and I've confessed to being the Biggest Girls Blouse any number of times.

    Eventually I just scheduled the date. Rock and a hard place, yes I know. But once scheduled, each day is one less in fear. I almost quit on The Day, but having my wife with me made that impossible; even I couldn't be that chicken.

    I think it's a Just Do It problem. It was for me. The fear didn't go away :blackcloud:but I knew it would be over sooner, not going on forever.
     
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  10. skigirl

    skigirl SUPER MODERATOR Moderator

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    Ray, that last sentence is brilliant. Sometimes, we just have to do things that we don't want to do!!
     
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  11. Roy Gardiner

    Roy Gardiner FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Thank you...
    Yes, it's a lesson I learnt from giving up smoking, I never 'wanted' to but knew I just had to.
     
  12. SusieShoes

    SusieShoes FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I too was afraid. I needed knee replacements for 10 years on one and 6 years on the other before I finally bit the bullet and scheduled the surgery. My reasons for fear were of the possible complications. I have a bit of a medical background and read too many medical textbooks! I also have a relative who had a bad result, so I feared that. And what if my pain was worse, not better? It was so bad already, and... well, you see, there was fear everywhere.

    It gets to the point, as the others have said, that it’s surgery or facing a lifetime of pure suffering. I scheduled the surgery and dove into researching how to recover. Something to do. Something that might better my odds.

    We all handle fear differently. Some people want to know/control everything in hope it helps, and others don’t want to know anything at all, just get it over with. Counseling is a good suggestion because it might help you identify how you can best handle yours.
     
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  13. Mylexigirl

    Mylexigirl junior member
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    I can not begin to tell you all how thankful i’am from all the responses I received. I have an appointment for a cortisone shot on feb.25th of this month.i don’t think I will get it instead I will try and talk to my doctor about my issues.i did touch on them briefly in the past. I canceled this surgery in the past because of my fears and as you all can see this only made my knee worse. Hopefully I can get past all my fears,tears,and frustration and get my health addressed. Thanks again ALL OF YOU.
     
  14. Ginny12

    Ginny12 member

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    Hi @Mylexigirl

    Yes, as the lovely @Bionic said i was afraid of absolutely everything pre-op. I resisted having hip surgery for over 5 years. In the end i was basically left with no choice, have it or end up in a wheelchair.

    I would put serious money on the fact that i could have matched your fears. Of course you have fears, that is normal and totally understandable. Please don't answer this if you don't want to but do you have anxiety issues anyway? I am asking this because i do, in fact i have had anxiety all my life. It does not take much for me to get totally stressed out about the smallest thing. Anxiety can manifest in many ways and my big thing is health anxiety. That said i can get anxious about anything, but, the thought of surgery nearly drove me to madness. I even thought about suicide. It is not that i wanted to die but i just wanted some peace from the Gremlins tormenting me in my head. However, i now realise that it was not the surgery per se that was causing my extreme reaction/fear but the fact that my anxiety was not controlled well.

    What i would really recommend that you do:

    Stop being hard on yourself if you can, how you feel is perfectly normal and understandable. Unless somebody has had/or is having surgery they cannot understand our fears. That is not their fault but also not helpful when an able bodied person tells one to just have the surgery as if it was like having a facial.

    Please consider seeking professional help in an effort to work through your anxiety and fears, it helped me immensely.

    This fear is not going to go away by itself. You can ask your GP for a referral or a recommendation. These sessions are not cheap and if budget is an issue (which it is for most of us) you may have to to be a bit creative, but often you can get reduced rates if you ask.

    To sum up, i sailed thru my surgery, not one single one of my worries happened. I am doing very well and the experience has taught me a lot about myself. I am still getting help for my anxiety as it is like a magnet and moved on to other things. My goal is to live with my anxiety and not let is call the shots. Most days that works. What also works for me is to take care of the basics, good food, lots of rest and to cut coffee to a minimum.

    I wish you the very best and what you feel is normal and we all at Bonesmart have your back.

    Love

    Ginny x
     
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    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2019
  15. Ginny12

    Ginny12 member

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    @Mylexigirl

    Part two of my unsolicited advice:

    You will know when you are ready for the surgery because the fear/consequences of not having surgery will out way the fear of the surgery and post op potential complications. This was such a relief for me when it happened as i just knew i could not put surgery off any longer (well i could if i was happy to live in a wheelchair). I had so much peace, still frightened but not as frightened as the chair. You are in no mans land at the moment, that takes up so much head space and energy. Also being in a high alert mode for any amount of time makes even the most innocent concern into a massive issue. Trust me on this one i am an expert!

    I suggest that you re frame how you are thinking about your fears. You have quite sensibly realised that surgery has potential complications, this is a sign of intelligence. You have not jumped in straight away and have had the cortisone shots to manage your condition. Again (in my opinion) very sensible. Trying all the non surgical options first. You are a young woman and it is a big shock to accept this surgery. It takes time to process on many levels, i think your fear is trying to buy you time till you can. Your fears are just trying to keep you safe that's all. Nothing really to do with you consciously so try not to give yourself a hard time.

    So what is the antidote? Information (in my opinion) gather as much as you can. Don't let those fears (let's call them Over Attentive Friends) take over. One way to do this is to write a fear down, let it all pour out, but then write down how you and your team can deal with this fear. For example, post op pain, this is a fear that can very easily be shown to be extremely unlikely that it cannot be managed.

    Lots of good books out there too. But what i think is the best thing ever to get thru this is this forum. I cannot ever express how grateful that i am that i found it. The support i had/have received is priceless.

    You are not alone, hang in there. xx
     
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  16. Sunnyo

    Sunnyo junior member

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    I am now scheduled for rtkr on March 5. Had ltkr May 31 2016. Was so afraid for that surgery but the pain relief at standing, walking, every aspect was so worth it. My right needed doing but wasn't as painful so I waited. Last winter vacation we walked tons and a couple weeks in my right got really painful.
    I came home went to my orthopedic surgeon and got on the list.
    The replaced knees aren't perfect but it is so nice to walk without pain.
    I'm not looking forward to the immediate weeks after surgery but I am looking forward to walking normally without pain.
    You will do fine. Remember ice is your friend.
     
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  17. Mylexigirl

    Mylexigirl junior member
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    Sunnyo thanks to you and many whom responded to my fears. Yes i’Am at that stage where it is painfull to walk...to say the least.hopefully I find the strength to get past all of this.
     
  18. SusieShoes

    SusieShoes FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    @Mylexigirl. :friends: You'll find plenty of support here. You do have the strength. What gave me courage going into the surgery was the vision of myself walking normally again and playing with my grandchildren.
     
  19. Tricialen

    Tricialen junior member

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    I have no solution for you. I am having surgery on Feb 27th and I am terrified. But I know that I need to do this and I have had surgery before and 3 children. I know I can get through it. I wish you all the best and hope that you figure this out.
     
  20. Mylexigirl

    Mylexigirl junior member
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    Tricialen thanks for being honest....it helps me to know there are others out there who feel the same...best of luck
     

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