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THR Can Extreme anxiety affect THR Surgery outcome?

Sheltie

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Hello all. I am scheduled for May 6 for LTHR. I had the right one done 11/19/2018. Things went really well. You would think I would not be so scared this time, but I am absolutely terrified. I have the same excellent surgeon. But, I'm so terrified and anxious all the time. I'm obsessed with it. I take Xanax and buspirone medicine for anxiety, but I don't think it helps enough now.

I need the surgery, since my arthritis is bone on bone, but I have had thoughts of cancelling. I know things will only get worse, but I'm so scared.

Does anyone know about how anxiety affects surgical outcome? I'm afraid my anxiety will make it worse. Thanks so much!
 

Going4fun

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Well I don't know that much about anxiety. Depression I know quite a bit more about and lots of depression gets linked to anxiety.

Well I'm not telling you any secrets, but depression can make everything harder as it makes life harder and depression makes every little stumble on the road a potential catastrophe.

I imagine anxiety (depends on how severe of course) can complicate your recovery--mentally and emotionally. Recovery has ups and downs and your anxiety will find opportunities to present itself. As long as you get out there and follow the surgeon's recovery guidelines and guidelines here, you'll be fine most likely. But you'll drive yourself batty with all the worry and catastrophizing and fear along the way. There are all kinds of random aches and pains in the early months of recovery.

My first question to you: how does anxiety affect you when you get a cold or injure yourself or go to the doctor's office for more "minor" conditions? That's probably a clue as to how anxiety will affect you after hip replacement. Hip replacement has a recovery that throws a lot of people into the doldrums at some point.

And what's the fear here: that you will pass out after surgery?

My second question is this: is there a reason you're not having the anxiety treated? Either through therapy or meds? Seeing my therapist regularly (via video pre-zoom!) definitely helped me through the recovery. My nurse practitioner also was at the ready to adjust meds if I needed that.
 

Schaargi

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Hi @Sheltie

First, do you have a sheltie? Our family has had shelties for years.

I'm so sorry you are having so much anxiety. I suffer from anxiety, too, and it certainly ramps up before surgery. I'm not a physician, but I can't imagine that it would directly affect the outcome of your surgery.

It's very common to have increased anxiety before your surgery, and I can imagine it feels out of control. Like you are waiting and there is nothing else to focus on, right? It's good that you are taking your prescribed meds as directed. Do you have any coping methods that you have worked on (breathing, etc.) ?

Is there anything in particular that is triggering your anxiety? It helps me if I write down all the things that I'm worrying about. Just writing it down takes me down a notch.

It will be ok. You have done this before and have come through. You can write to us and we are here for you.

Talk to your surgeon or the assistant about it. They might be able to further reassure you.
 

Zmak

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Do you have a support system, a family member that can be with you so your not staring at the ceiling with your thoughts running wild?
A close friend asked me if I was nervous and I told him the truth, I will go to sleep and then I will wake up with a new hip because that is the real truth. Try to focus on just that
 
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Sheltie

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Going4fun,

Thanks for your reply. I don't really get scared or anxious after a cold or the flu. To answer your question, I guess my fear is not waking up and getting through the surgery. I know it's irrational, especially since I got through it well 2.5 years ago.

Also, I am being treated for the anxiety. I am taking Xanax and buspirone, but I don't think they help enough now. Plus, I meet with a psychologist virtually every week. I just wish I was on the other side!
 
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Sheltie

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Schaargi,

Thanks so much for your reply. Yes, I do have a big Sheltie! I love him, but he's rambunctious, so I think I'll have to board him when I first have surgery.

I fear not waking up and not getting through the surgery, even though I know these fears are completely irrational. I wish I could just relax and get through it without being so anxious. I had the right hip replaced 2.5 years ago, and it was fine.

The medicine helps, but I'm still really anxious. I use a relaxation cd, but I'm not sure how much it helps. Plus, I read my Bible and pray a lot. I know to trust God and my excellent surgeon.
 
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Sheltie

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Zmak,

I wish I could be as brave as you! I have my husband, whom I hound and worry constantly. I keep asking him if I'm going to be okay and get through it. I know this makes no sense, since I went through it fine before.

I have friends to call, and I do. My sister lives far away, my brother won't see people because of COVID, and my parents are gone. I do see my in-laws, but their lives are very stressful, too, so...
 

djklaugh

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@Sheltie I am so sorry you are struggling with this horrid anxiety! It sounds like you are doing everything you can to address this problem. Has your therapist given you techniques that help?

One thing I found that helped me before my surgeries was to repeat positive affirmations as often as possible - I taped the list to my bathroom mirror and read it out loud every time I went in:

My surgery will take place as scheduled
I am relaxed and calm as I prepare for this surgery
My surgery will be successful
I will wake up easily and feel refreshed after surgery.
When I wake up after surgery, my pain will be managed.
My body will work efficiently to heal after my surgery.
I trust my health care team to use their skills for my good and to promote healing

One other note - if you put this @ in front of a member's name they will get a notice that you have replied to their post - this is called tagging ... for example @Sheltie
 
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Sheltie

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@djklaugh ,

Thanks so much for your reply. I will try the positive statements! My therapist suggests that I put negative thoughts out of my head, and try to keep myself busy and focus on other things. She also says to keep thinking of the many more likely positive outcomes. But, this is so hard sometimes. I need to trust in God and trust my excellent surgeon!
 

DGrant

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Sheltie, I really don't have words of wisdom for the anxiety aspect, or any great tools on how to deal with it, I wish I did, but I just wanted to wish you well on your journey, and pray you find peace in the coming days.

I do know what it's like to be nervous, apprehensive, and have anxiety to some degree. To me it's perfectly normal, and to be expected, but to someone that's hurting or in pain over it my heart goes out.... It's not something to take lightly of course. As far as these things affecting the physical outcome of the surgery, I honestly doubt they do. Physically we will heal... and then eventually emotionally/mentally as well... once we calm down by whatever means or reasons.... and that part might take longer for some then others. Hopefully you can calm the waters before your surgery, but if not I'm sorry, I do think though it will still come out fine.

I see you've been there before too, and it sounds like that went very well. For me, I think that's what has me at peace this time, is my last one went very well. I'm going in a day before you(May 5th) for my RTHR this time, and in talking with my wife lately, we're more focused on the future, and now starting to rediscover the possibilties, once again. Those thoughts are really what's driving me, and many more happy thoughts.

I do hope you find your happy thoughts, and they flow like a river to you when you do. That's about the only tool I have in my box right now, and I will look forward to reading you in the recovery forum, and hearing how you're doing. You're not alone, and many of understand exactly what we/you are going through.

I must say too, I'm a huge Sheltie lover! I had mine for 15yrs, and now that I'm finally going to be able to walk again freely, it might be time for another one for us. I've held off because they need walks and activity, but I'd encourage you when you're ready to take that big doggie out for some walks and such. Maybe right there might be the best therapy you can get, for both you and your beautiful Sheltie. :)
 

Schaargi

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Hi @Sheltie

It seems you have some tools in your toolbox. Even though they aren't working the way you would like, trust that they are working at least a little and your confidence will grow stronger as you practice.

You are praying and reading the Bible, which is great. Another tactic might seem silly, but telling your dog about your worries will also help. Science shows that petting a a dog lowers blood pressure, so if your rambunctious furball tolerates it (my mom's dog gets a little antsy), I think that might help. Can't hurt, right?

Ask the physician or assistant to explain how the sedation works so you can have some reassurance. They have experience helping patients just like you.

Give your dog a big smooch and keep talking to us.
 
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Sheltie

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@DGrant , @Schaargi ,

Thanks so for your replies. My anxiety is still really high. I know I've been through this before, and that helps somewhat. But, it's still so scary. I will continue reading my Bible and praying, doing my relaxation CDs, and taking my meds, of course. I try to look at the positives, which are many, but the anxiety and worry are there. I don't know why I irrationally look at worst case scenarios, which are very unlikely to happen. There are so many positives to this surgery, and I know this!

I lost my previous sweet Sheltie at 16 years. The sweet, rambunctious boy I have now is 5. He loves to play fetch, so we can do more of that when I'm recovered I'll try telling him my troubles--I probably already have done this!

Thanks so much, and prayers for your surgeries!
 

DGrant

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I feel for you. I lost my buddy(my little girl Sheltie) in 2009 and it killed me... my doggie wouldn't leave my side..... she was with me ding to dong.. ,.. long before arthitis/hip issues.. Fantastic companion!!

My wife and I decided to head on and do stuff and travel..... and we did. We've been thinking about another one lately though.... and some prospects are out there.. I know the personalities are way different.. as we have other Shelties in the family as well... and I've spent time with them.. and our particular Sheltie just hasn't found us yet... but it will.. :)

Keep the faith!!!
 

BigDon

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Hi @Sheltie

I can speak of anxiety and the lead up to the surgery. Knowing anxiety, you will ask many questions and every positive response you get will help minorly. Idle time is anxiety's best friend. Try to stay busy. Anxiety will peak in the lead up to the surgery with a lot of irrational thoughts. Try to stay open minded and bring yourself back to what is real and your current state.
Every major surgery is a big undertaking let alone with mental illness. Try your best to have faith in your surgeon / anaesthetist and team. As you have said, you have done this before and you will do it again and be fine.
In writing this i know that it will not assist you all that much as anxiety is hard to crack, but with everything in life, you need to have faith in your ability to make sound decisions. You have hand picked your surgeon / team, you have committed to removing a bad joint and getting a new one and you have done all of this with a sturdy mind.
You will get to the hospital, they will know of your anxiety and they will remedy this before the surgery.
No one is going to put you in harms way. You will receive the best of care and you will be fine.
 

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