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Thread: Spiralling anxiety over surgery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015

    Spiralling anxiety over surgery

    Hi, I hope that this is the right part of the forum for this post. My anxiety is spiralling quite badly at the moment and I wish I knew how to stop it.

    Next week, my lovely mum is going into hospital to have knee replacement surgery. Unfortunately I have worked myself up to think of the worst outcome to this. Logically, I tell myself the positives which are that although she is in her late 60s she is pretty fit - she goes on a long dog walk every day, eats healthy and looks after herself generally. She has had 3 general anesthetics in the past, for something unrelated to the knee, although the most recent of these was 10 years ago and I guess I am mindful about her being that much older now. She has been really suffering with her knee over the last few years and she was managing with steroid injections but now they have stopped working and she has had scans and seen a specialist and they have said that she does need the replacement surgery.

    My main worry is some kind of complication with the anaesthetic. I know that anaesthetic medicine has come a long way and my mum has all the positives going for her which I mentioned above, but it still doesn't stop me worrying.... You only get one mum after all. I've also found out today that some wards of the hospital she's going to be admitted into have got norovirus at the moment!

    I hold a lot of guilt inside me over the fact I live 50 miles away from my parents. This guilt is self-inflicted; my parents do not make me feel like this! I know that some of you from the USA for example (or any country bigger than the UK!!) will be thinking that 50 miles is not a long way in the big scheme of things but it is for us...I'm close to my parents and I really miss just being able to do little things like pop in to see them after work or arrange a last minute catch up over a coffee with my mum. Part of the reason we live here is due to my husband's job, however he already works part of the week from home and his company have said that they will support him fully if he wishes to work from home full-time. This is great news for us because it means that we can look at moving closer to my family because my husband has also been told that he is almost certainly up for promotion at some point next year. There is quite a difference in the house prices in the area we live in now compared to my hometown and so this increase in my husband's income will really help us with this. To be honest this potential house move is keeping me going as I get so down living where we do, I just want to be around my family and friends and the places I know again. I am mentioning all this because part of me is terrified that my mum is not going to get through the operation and something will happen before we have had the chance to move and be around them properly and spend lots of time together again! We always have a great time whenever they visit us here and occasionally my mum will come on her own for 3 days or so and we will spend time together going for lunch and doing mother and daughter things but because we try and fit a lot in is always rushed. we do sometimes visit them as well however this is a lot more of a mission because I will not drive on the motorway, and the back roads take ages and I still get panicky on certain roads anyway. My husband doesn't drive at all. So visiting them for us involves a train journey which is always fun with all our stuff and the dog in tow!!

    I regret ever thinking that moving away was a good thing all those years ago. I moved away initially for a job I had at the time (long story) and I feel like I was very selfish for doing this - when I moved away my parents were both still working and busier than they are now. However if I hadn't moved away I would never have met my husband, it has been a positive to it! But my parents have since retired, and they have just got so much older this last couple of years. I am 38 and due to my health I don't see that I'm going to be able to give them grandchildren anytime soon sadly - not that they have ever pressured me for this. But anyway I just want to be living not too far away from them so I can be a better daughter and just be around for them in their old age. I'm the only child and there isn't really anybody else. As I said, they do not make me feel this guilt, but I'm just being realistic about the future. I also WANT to live in the area again - really nice part of the country and so much nicer than where we are at the moment.

    In addition to that I am very overweight and my parents understandably worry about me, I'm going to start a diet soon - I've been saying that for a long time lol but I'm sure I will do it...And if something were to happen during surgery, I would be absolutely devastated for my mum's final memories to be me at this size before I have had a chance to sort myself out properly. I'm not lazy, I have blood sugar issues and a metabolic disorder so it makes things very difficult. Joking apart about the dieting, I'm always starting a new one and failing. I know that I need to change my life, I've got very down and stuck in a rut, largely due to hating living where I do and nothing being certain at the moment in terms of my husband's promotion and therefore when the house can go on the market.

    I am getting very emotional typing this because I'm just so scared of losing my mum next week. She has been given the option of a spinal or general anaesthetic and has said that she would definitely prefer to have the general. I can't say I blame her.

    I'm sorry for the length of this message but just wanted to get it all out but I really need to know how to control my anxiety and be more positive about my mum's surgery.
    Last edited by silver_shoes; 30-10-19 at 19:34.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Re: Spiralling anxiety over surgery

    I know quite a few people your Mums age who have had the same op without any complications. If your Mum hasn't reacted badly to GA before there is no reason why she should now. I've had GA 7 times without complications.
    It's hard not to be anxious for your Mum but try to think ahead to how much better she will be after she has recovered from her op. Think of it as a positive for her rather than a negative.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Re: Spiralling anxiety over surgery

    GA has a very, very small risk of complications at any age but let me tell you my Dad had stents and a major aortic operation at 76, a full hip replacement at 78 and was fine. His aorta repair is now leaking and waiting for a repair at 80.

    Tiny risk, she'll be fine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2018

    Re: Spiralling anxiety over surgery

    One of my worst fears was having a GA a few months back, like I broke down crying before I went in. I didn't want to get it done but my doctor somehow manged to talk me around- yet after I had it done. I nearly laughed about what had I been so worried about! They use it so many times a day, countless times. My Da got both of his knee's replaced under GA and he had no issues. Due to my work I've seen and helped people with recovery with knee/hip replacements and they all been fine! Like BikerMatt said, there's a risk and it's so tiny. Sending positive thoughts for you Mum xxx

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2015

    Re: Spiralling anxiety over surgery

    Thank you to those who have replied, my mum's surgery was supposed to be today but it has been pushed back to tomorrow (Tuesday) due to the consultant having a trauma case come in, and so the operation is now going to be with a different consultant.
    I have been doing ok and keeping myself busy but tonight I am really anxious. spoken to my mum a couple of times as usual and every time we ended the conversation I've been thinking oh my god what if that is the last time I ever speak to her :(

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