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[TKR] Post op knee replacement...panic/anxiety attacks

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by bfw7, Jul 13, 2019 at 2:35 PM.

  1. bfw7

    bfw7 new member
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    Hi to all...I had a total knee replacement on June 24 and am having wave after wave of anxiety or panic attacks. I think the Oxycodone is to blame. They tend to hit me early evening or even sooner. I have all the scary symptoms including extreme anxiety, sense of impending doom or danger, trembling or shaking, fear of loss of control or death, shortness of breath, chills and other symptoms. They are supposed to last up to an hour but I had one last night that lasted 4 1/2 hours and I have never been so afraid as I was last night. I tried to do everything to calm myself but nothing would work.
    Somehow, I finally got myself out of it. It is the next day and I feel another panic attack coming on and am afraid it is going to happen again today or tonight.
    I don't see my doctor for a few days and don't know how I am going to get through this and even wonder if my doctor can help.
    Has anyone else gone thru this and what did you do?
    Also I am trying to taper off the medication but can only go for about 5 hours before the pain forces me to take another one.
    Any advice would be appreciated.
    Thank you, Teresa (bfw7)
     
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  2. dogwalker2

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    Oh I know those panic attacks, really awful aren't they! When you think about it then it is no real surprise yr body is having a real panic. What a lot it has gone through - the pre surgery anxiety and fear, the actual surgery itself (a major trauma to yr body) and then the pain, sleeplessness and anxiety of recovery. Honestly, it is realy quite natural for yr body and yr mind to react by gaving a panic attack. I found the following helped: understand that it is quite natural to feel like this, remind yourself that the feelings will pass, get up and do something when you feel it coming on, find a helpful mantra - I used "I am on the road to recovery now,there is no need to panic as everything is going well, its all ok". Also, go see your GP and talk to him, he may provide some tablets that will help you. And remember, it is perfectly understandable that you feel this way, but it will improve. You are not alone in feeling like this xxxx
     
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  3. Pumpkln

    Pumpkln FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    @bfw7,
    Welcome to the Otherside!

    You may need a step down pain reliever such as Norco or Tramadol to help with your anxiety attacks. Call your OS first thing Monday morning and request something else for your pain.

    Here is your copy of the Knee Recovery Guidelines, the articles are short and will not take long to read.

    Knee Recovery: The Guidelines
    1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary
    2. Control discomfort:
    rest
    elevate
    ice
    take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)
    don't overwork.
    3. Do what you want to do BUT
    a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you
    b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​
    4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these
    5. At week 4 and after you should follow this
    6. Access these pages on the website

    The Recovery articles:
    The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
    Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?

    Energy drain for TKRs

    Elevation is the key

    Ice to control pain and swelling

    Heel slides and how to do them properly

    Chart representation of TKR recovery

    Healing: how long does it take?

    Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
    Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

    There are also some cautionary articles here
    Myth busting: no pain, no gain
    Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
    Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds


    We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.

    While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask that each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
     
  4. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hello @bfw7 - and :welome:

    I'm sorry you're having these panic attacks. Do you have anyone at home with you, who can help you to make them less severe?

    I do think you should tell your doctor about them, as soon as possible. It's possible that a change of medication could help to calm them down.
    If your surgeon can't see you, try your family doctor.
     
  5. Tykey

    Tykey Sr Bonesmartie

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    Oh dear, I've not had panic attacks, but I've been through them second hand, but helped someone through them. They are horrible secondhand, so must be really terrible firsthand.
    Firstly I wouldn't be at all surprised that your medication might be making things worse. I'm not certain what oxycodon is, but I had the strong painkillers and hated the side effects, so very quickly moved onto regular paracetamols, which worked extremely well for me
    Secondly, understanding anxiety is important to controlling them. The attacks are real, but what you are worried about ISN'T! It's your brain working against you.
    I can't explain it properly, but I found a book which was an amazingly helpful. It's on Amazon and on special offer. It's called Anxiety Relief (or something very similar) by John Crawford. It's available on download here in the UK for £3.79. There are many others.
    Good luck.
    It's no good telling you to pull yourself together, that's impossible unless you get rid of the causes (pills?) , and get your friends on side ie knowledge (eg John Crawford)
     
  6. winemama

    winemama senior

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    I have panic attacks also, and know they are scary. Are you alone?? Definitely put a call into your Dr Monday, reading these blogs will help you realize you aren’t alone, I know it is a scary time, but someone is always here for you. Good luck , take everything hour by hour. Hopefully soon you will be off the heavy meds.
     
  7. marieltha

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    I didn’t have those reactions, but they could make me dizzy and nauseous. I could only tolerate taking a half of a pill (either Norco 7.5 or tramadol 50) at a time, and always with food.
    Also, my primary care doctor told me to lie down, be still, keep your head still, and rest right after taking this strong Rx pain medication. She said they work in your brain and will concentrate on your pain if you take them this way (less likely to cause other side effects).
    Hope you feel better soon.
    PS Can you not call your dr after hours and get a message to him/her?
     
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  8. Tmgrl3

    Tmgrl3 junior member

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    I haven’t taken a narcotic in 30 years. Anything with codeine exacerbated my mood disorder. Nausea. Panic. After my double knee tramadol 50 was perfect. No panic. Didn’t take all the pain away but made it very manageable. I made it very clear to anesthesiologists and my OS. NO NARCOTICS. We were to discuss my needs. Worked out great. Thus will pass. I have suffered with anxiety. And panic since I was five but when I stopped drinking at age 47 and proper psychiatric care I got so much better. I am 76 now!
     
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  9. bfw7

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    Hi again. This is Teresa (bfw7)
    I am not sure how to answer to your replies individually but have read all responses and I really appreciate all the help.
    I want to address your kind responses but am in the middle of another long severe panic attack. I have a call into a nurse in a call center and am waiting for the call.
    I will be back tomorrow. In the meantime. thank you so much for all your help. You are all so helpful.
     
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  10. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hang in there, Teresa. We're all here, to give you virtual support. :friends: :friends: :friends:
     
  11. HoneyB

    HoneyB senior

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    @bfw7 - I had the flu last year and was prescribed Tamiflu. I had an anxiety/panic attack after each dose. I felt like I needed to flee from my house. I would have to repeat to myself over and over and over, "I'm in my house, I'm on my sofa, and I'm ok." You're right; it's very scary. I also felt like I couldn't breathe and wasn't sure if it was the panic attack or if I actually couldn't breathe because of the flu. I went back to my doctor after the third day, he told me to quit taking Tamiflu, and the panic attacks stopped. Unfortunately, my ears started ringing after the very first dose and that still hasn't stopped. I hope a change in medicine will help you. Maybe have some calming meditation music on standby for when it happens.
     
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  12. Jaycey

    Jaycey SUPER MODERATOR Moderator

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    @bfw7 Teresa - I do hope things are easing for you. Looking forward to hearing from you again. You are not alone!
     
  13. Benay

    Benay senior

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    Hope you have some relief soon.
     
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  14. kneeper

    kneeper FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I hope the nurse was of some help and that you can talk to your doctor tomorrow. As others have said, perhaps a change in medication will help. In the meantime :console2:
     
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  15. bfw7

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    My goodness...where do I start? Thanks to all of you for your much needed advice.

    dogwalker2-I so appreciate your words and mantra. I am hoping to get into my GP tomorrow but I think his schedule is very busy. He is the one I want tp talk to. I don't see my OS until Tuesday and I certainly don't want to make it that long.

    Pumplant-I do have a filled prescription for Norco ( I use it for migraines on occasion) but am afraid to take it until someone gives me the go ahead.-

    Tykey-Thanks so much for the book recommendation. It sounds very helpful and I will check it out first chance I get.

    Celle and Winemama-My husband is my caregiver and though he is trying his best, his patience is limited. He tends to make fun of me when I go thru the panic attacks. I have given him suggestions but he is frustrated and I think, the responsibility scares him. Obviously that does not help.

    Celle-I love your cats!

    Marieitha-I tried your advice about relaxing after taking the medication and that does help some. Sadly, there is no way to get ahold of my OS, after hours or to leave a message. He was completely gone over the 4 day weekend of fourth of July holiday when I first started getting the panic attacks. I tried to call his office last Friday but he had already taken a 3 day weekend. On Mondays, he does surgery all day and it is very difficult to get ahold of. I feel that he has really dropped the ball, in my case and am not happy with the Home Health that comes either...the therapist comes twice a week quite regularly but my nurse came only once this week on Tuesday and I haven't seen her since. I tried to call her first thing on Friday morning when I couldn't get ahold of the OS but she never called back. It's really strange that I had the luck to be put in this situation but it certainly is frustrating, to say the least.

    Knieper-The night nurse was not very helpful last night. (She was my GP's after hours nurse but was from a different state all together.) The only advice was that she gave me was to call 911, which I was not going to do. One of the other nurses helped talk me down from the panic attack when it first started a week or two ago but I guess late Saturday night is not a good time to be sick or need help.

    At bedtime I take a medicine for sleep called Temazapam and it seems to really help me get to sleep and relax for 4 hours or so but then I wake up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep. I read that it helps panic attacks but don't dare take another one without the GP's okay.

    I think I am in for a bad day again and cannot seem to will it away even though I know I am causing it.

    I was always big on exercise but as my knee was bone on bone, I had to stop running and start walking plus doing weight machines at the gym. I walked 5 miles, the day before my surgery and many times I wish I could go back to that day.

    I think that I am fairly tough and thought this would go much easier. I didn't even find your Forum until right before the surgery and got very little info pre-op so this was all something that I did not have any facts on, for the most part.

    Once again, I have read every word of advice and taking it to heart as best as I can. Thanks so much to all of you.

    I hope I answered everyone's questions and am sorry if I got any of you mixed up. I can't thank this forum enough.
     
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  16. dogwalker2

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    Stay strong and tell your GP office that you have urgent need to talk to your GP after your op. You may need some tablets or a review of your meds to help you over this bad patch. Don't blame yourself, you have been through a major trauma and need time to recover. Let us know how you get on tomorrow.☺☺
     
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  17. Indygo

    Indygo junior member

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    Best of luck to you! I had frightening hallucinations from the long acting oxy, and my doctor took me off and told me to go back on the temazepam, which I also take for sleep. I waited until I’d weaned myself off the short acting Oxy as well, which took a couple of days. For pain, I upped the icing. It wasn’t perfect, but the hallucinations (which I’d never had before!) went away as soon as I stopped the oxy as did the late afternoon feeling of doom that you describe. It will all get better!!! Believe me!
     
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  18. marieltha

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    If you do not hear first thing from your GP and/or cannot get through first thing, sometimes calling the pharmacist where your meds were filled and asking her/him to contact the GP will get a quicker response. I’m assuming you are in the US, where it is common practice for a pharmacist to contact a doctor.
     
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  19. bfw7

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    This picture was taken is about a year ago when both of my knees still worked. I can't wait until I can walk normally again. Hopefully this will all go away soon.

    Indygo-other than the hallucinating, our stories are pretty similar. Did you go off the Oxycodone cold turkey or did you have to taper?

    I have been taking 10mg every 4 hours but am attempting to get the dosage down to every 6 hours.

    marieltha-Yes I am in the US. If I can't seem to get thru to my GP, I will call my pharmacy and give that a try. Thank you!
     
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  20. Indygo

    Indygo junior member

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    I was taking both OxyContin and oxycodone at first. I wasn’t taking the benzo while taking the two painkillers because it seemed like too much. I went off the long acting (OxyContin?) cold turkey and then tapered off the oxycodone. My doctor said it was fine to take both the oxycodone and the temazapam but to keep 90 minutes between taking one and then the other. It worked. I think the first three weeks are hard, though, no matter what. It’s a journey. This site helped me a lot!
     
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