Jump to content

*Updated* Any tips for fears of general anaesthetic?


  • Please log in to reply
53 replies to this topic

#1 OneProudMum

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:06 PM

I have my admission time for my colonoscopy next week and I can't keep my emotions in check. I was a blubbering mess on the phone to the admissions nurse. I am so fearful of being put to sleep.

Does anyone have any tips?

Edited by OneProudMum, 07 February 2013 - 05:29 PM.


#2 Katie_bella

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:13 PM

I suppose it depends on what your actual fear is. Are you afraid of not waking up? or waking up during the procedure? or of allergic reactions? Something else?

The anaesthetic they use for scopes is a light, quick anaesthetic with a very low rate of complications and side effects. Hospitals do hundreds to thousands of scopes safely each year.

Is it worth asking if you can see the anaethatist to chat about your concerns, prior to the procedure on the day? Most hospitals do this, but not all.

#3 whoisme

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:13 PM

Why are you fearful of an anaesthetic?

I had a colonoscopy 7 months ago and it was a breeze.  I was only under for 15 minutes and they call it "twilight sedation" I don't know why cause by goodness it knocked me out well and good, best sleep I ever had.

The nurses and doctors and theatre staff do a great job of occupying your thoughts by chatting to you and you should let your Dr know that for such and such reason you are scared and they will put you totally at ease.

#4 epl0822

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:14 PM

I totally sympathise with you. I was freaked out about being put under GA too. I had so many outrageous and irrational fears I must have sounded like a complete nutter. It really helped when I talked to a family friend who works as an anaesthetist. He basically described the whole process to me, step by step. I talked to him about all the stuff I was scared about (which I'm not going to detail here because I don't want to freak you out with my irrational fears) and instead of laughing at how silly I am, he told me calmly that while freakish things have happened to an incredibly small number of people, the chances of anything happening to me were extremely unlikely given my age and the fact that I had no major health problems. I realised some of my fears were due to my own specialist being a terrible communicator who didn't explain anything to me. If you can, talk to your doctor and ask them to explain to you exactly what is going to take place.

When I actually did go under GA it was not even 1% as bad as I imagined it to be. The only pain I felt was a prick on my arm when they administered the anaesthetic. Then literally a few seconds later I fell asleep and when I woke up, I wasn't in pain and the nurses were lovely and caring. It was a little weird waking up and totally losing the past 2-3 hours of your life and having no idea what happened...but I guess it's like that at night time when you sleep, too! It was like waking up from a hangover and I said some silly things to the nurses but they were used to it and treated me really well.

Relax, OPM - chances are, you're going to wake up and think "gee that wasn't worth all the fussing" - just like I did! Good luck original.gif

#5 CharliMarley

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:15 PM

The anaesthetist can give you some calming medication beforehand and you will feel wonderful.

#6 OneProudMum

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:15 PM

QUOTE (whoisme @ 29/01/2013, 03:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why are you fearful of an anaesthetic?

I had a colonoscopy 7 months ago and it was a breeze.  I was only under for 15 minutes and they call it "twilight sedation" I don't know why cause by goodness it knocked me out well and good, best sleep I ever had.

The nurses and doctors and theatre staff do a great job of occupying your thoughts by chatting to you and you should let your Dr know that for such and such reason you are scared and they will put you totally at ease.


I asked the nurse how long I am under for and she said usually around 45 minutes.

I am scared I will stop breathing, or I won't wake up.

#7 Gegemite

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:17 PM

I've had GA twice and loved it. Best sleep I've ever had biggrin.gif

#8 OneProudMum

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:18 PM

QUOTE (Gegemite @ 29/01/2013, 03:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've had GA twice and loved it. Best sleep I've ever had biggrin.gif


That's awesome. I wish I felt the same. Instead I feel like running away... fast.

#9 BetteBoop

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:22 PM

Do you have to have a general? My father had knee surgery recently under a twilight anaesthetic.

Usually they prefer to use general so you won't move during the procedure, but there's no fixed rule.

Is there any reason in particular why you fear stopping breathing? I understand it's a small risk overall and is usually an issue for people with other health problems.

#10 Katie_bella

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:24 PM

QUOTE (OneProudMum @ 29/01/2013, 03:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I asked the nurse how long I am under for and she said usually around 45 minutes.

I am scared I will stop breathing, or I won't wake up.


Ok, 45 minutes would be the total time you are in the operating theatre (anaesthetics then theatre and recovery) not under the anaesthetic in total, most people are under for 15-20 minutes, depending on what they have to do. Most hospitals can push about 2-3 people through in an hour and thats with cleaning between patients.

The anaesthetic is NOT a full general, yes you go to sleep, but you don't stop breathing, you don't get put on a respirator, it's just not that deep. It wears off quickly and you don't remember anything.

I've been a surgical nurse for 12 years, 15 with my training and i've NEVER, EVER seen someone not wake up from a scope.

#11 pitzinoodles

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:28 PM

Well the good news is you are not having a general anaesthetic - just some strong sedation. Well I can't say for sure, but that's what they usually do for a colonoscopy.

I has one last year. It is normal to feel anxious about not waking up, I know I did. When I did wake up I actually felt like I'd had the best sleep in a long time (having just had 1 year of very little sleep, thanks to unsettled DS it was great!). I have had a long GA 5-6hours and I did feel a bit strange for a few weeks after that, the sedation for a colonoscopy was a walk in the park!

Tell the anaesthetist you are very anxious and they may be able to prescribe you a sedative to calm your nerves on the day.

Honestly the bowel prep is by far the worst part of the procedure!

Hope it all goes ok!



#12 Justaduck

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:29 PM

Are you certain you are going under a general?
I have had a colonoscopy and multiple endoscopies before and all times they were under a local anesthetic.

Only times I have needed a general was for appendix/tonsills & big oesophageal surgery

#13 Country (deci)Mel

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:30 PM

Twilight Sedation is AWESOME!

DP was in the theatre with me when I had mine and I wasn't even asleep - I kept everyone entertained with a long story about a duck apparently.

The one I had was what Michael Jackson abused and I understand why - it was the greatest feeling ever waking up from that!

Generals are a bit blah... but Twilight? Three thumbs up from me!

#14 lucky 2

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:39 PM

QUOTE
Twilight Sedation is AWESOME!

This.
I used to be terrified of having an operation or anaesthetic, I was frightened that they wouldn't notice I wasn't getting any oxygen and I'd die.
It was very hard the first time I had one, I was almost impossible to give a pre-med to, in the past it was usually given by IM injection.
I got over it eventually but things are much better these days, the drugs are better and the methods of giving them.
You'll get a small needle in your arm/hand than thats about the worst of it.
As pp's say you will only be getting sedation and it is great, I love the premed (midazolam), it relaxes me well.
So try not to freak yourself out, it is a waste of energy, the anaesthetist and assistant etc will look after you well, they do it all day every day.
I've had numerous colonoscopies and they are the easiest procedure I'd had.
I'm even ok with GA's now.
You'll be right mate original.gif .


#15 OneProudMum

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:39 PM

I wish I could share your enthusiasm.

#16 OneProudMum

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:42 PM

QUOTE (lucky 2 @ 29/01/2013, 03:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This.
I used to be terrified of having an operation or anaesthetic, I was frightened that they wouldn't notice I wasn't getting any oxygen and I'd die.
It was very hard the first time I had one, I was almost impossible to give a pre-med to, in the past it was usually given by IM injection.
I got over it eventually but things are much better these days, the drugs are better and the methods of giving them.
You'll get a small needle in your arm/hand than thats about the worst of it.
As pp's say you will only be getting sedation and it is great, I love the premed (midazolam), it relaxes me well.
So try not to freak yourself out, it is a waste of energy, the anaesthetist and assistant etc will look after you well, they do it all day every day.
I've had numerous colonoscopies and they are the easiest procedure I'd had.
I'm even ok with GA's now.
You'll be right mate original.gif .


I think my biggest worry is that the drugs wont mix well with the medication im on (Zoloft) and that maybe he might perforate my bowel. And then there is the results too! One of these days I will harden the f*** up.

#17 lucky 2

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:44 PM

Truly, when dd was little and I had my regular colonoscopies I'd be excited that I'd be getting an extra sleep.
I'm much less enthusiastic about the bowel prep, but once I discovered those flushable bum wipes it was much more manageable (sorry, alluding to things tmi).

#18 lucky 2

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:48 PM

Would it help if I said I have been on SSRI's for every procedure and never had my bowel perforated?
I suppose all you can do is keep talking about it IRL and with us if you wish, we can hold your virtual hand, keep calm and carry on!
Tell the Dr and the anaesthetist and the nurses on that day that you are anxious, it works well for me and that's what I do when I fly, different I know but that's another situation that presses my anxiety buttons.
I think it is very understandable to be worried and anxious and I don't think you need to harden up at all, you need to do what you can to get through as best you can.
As for the results, that's a different source of worry and it's a hard one to experience. We all get through it though as you will too yyes.gif .

Edited by lucky 2, 29 January 2013 - 02:52 PM.


#19 Holidayromp

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:51 PM

They gave me a valium beforehand and whilst waiting while they were prepping the operating theatre I got a syringe full of this marvellous stuff that made me feel very drunk as though I had had a great night into my canulla!

Mention your fears to your anaesthesologist and he/she will organise something for you - this is what I did.

Edited to add: I had very involved knee surgery.  biggrin.gif

Edited by Holidayromp, 29 January 2013 - 02:53 PM.


#20 OneProudMum

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:52 PM

QUOTE (lucky 2 @ 29/01/2013, 03:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Would it help if I said I have been on SSRI's for every procedure and never had my bowel perforated?
I suppose all you can do is keep talking about it IRL and with us if you wish, we can hold your virtual hand, keep calm and carry on!
Tell the Dr and the anaesthetist and the nurses on that day that you are anxious, it works well for me and that's what I do when I fly, different I know but that's another situation that presses my anxiety buttons.


I just wish I could get my sh*t together. If something this small gets me so worked up and so "dysfunctional", how can I cope when the hard stuff comes?  closedeyes.gif

#21 steppy

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:55 PM

It is frightening isn't it? I don't like it either. I talk nervously at them the whole time. My only tip is that you honestly won't care once they've done it and will have no worries the entire time you are under. It really isn't that bad. Being woken up again is the less pleasant part.

#22 lucky 2

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:56 PM

Self-understanding and self acceptance. Easy to type, not so easy to do but it's a worthwhile goal IMO.

#23 OneProudMum

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:58 PM

There are probably a lot more deeper issues at play here, I know.

#24 Maple Leaf

Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:06 PM

Odds are you will be having IV sedation. A lot less risk than the GA.

I have worked in the recovery room at a day surgery where we did a lot of scopes and every single patient (over the course of 2 years averaging 3 lists a week of GE patients) woke up just fine, relaxed and happy. Only issue has been they were convinced they didn't have the procedure yet and were angry about still waiting, yet had already been done.
One of the drugs commonly used has that effect. original.gif

You may have some residual gassy pains but just tell the nurse and it's usually relieved with a hot pack and when you get moving around.

You will be ok..I know it's scary but these people do this EVERY day and it's like second nature to them. original.gif

Complications with this procedure are pretty rare!



#25 Amy 1976

Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:22 PM

I was a bit fearful about not waking up before I had my first anesthetic. I had a chat to the anesthetist and he reassured  me that if I was to have an adverse reaction, the very best place to be was in a hospital.

He pointed out that they would notice straight away if I stopped breathing and they would revive me.

As it turned out, there was nothing to worry about and I felt fine. Small prick, fall asleep, wake up feeling refreshed.

I imagine it's very natural to be scared but anesthetics have improved so much in recent times that unless you have an underlying health problem, it should be very safe for you.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Special Ticket Offer, Save $8!

The Essential Baby & Toddler Show is back this April! Save $8 off the door price for a limited time only!

Why I breastfed my son until he was three

The fact that I not only breastfed my son, but breastfed him for three and a half years, seems pretty incredible in retrospect.

Do babies and young children see ghosts?

Do babies and young children see ghosts? If you’ve pondered the question, you’re not alone.

15 years with Essential Baby: meet Therese

"Life has a funny way of giving you what you need when you need it the most."

Mum causes a stir by taking a stand against leggings

A mum has found herself the subject of debate after claiming tight bottoms cause lustful thoughts in men.

Don't set a parenting goal for 2015 - do this instead

The problem with goal setting as a parent is the measure. How do we really know if we’re succeeding?

5 pregnancy myths that just won't go away

When you're expecting, it often seems like everyone is keen to offer advice about what you should and shouldn't do in the interests of your health and wellbeing.

RPA hospital contacting mums after discovering vaccine storage fault

Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) is trying to contact women who had babies at the facility after discovering a fault in a refrigerator containing vaccines.

'Nutella' not a baby name, French court says

A French court has blocked parents from naming their baby girl after the hazelnut spread Nutella, arguing it would make her the target of mockery.

Why I'm never calling myself 'just a mum' again

I’ve grown three human beings. I feed them, dress them, teach them, care for them and love them 24 hours a day. Yet for eight years, when I meet new people and they’ve asked me what I do, I tell them: “I’m just a mum”.

Rosie Batty named 2015 Australian of the Year

One year ago, Rosie Batty could not have imagined she'd be where she is. Tonight the grieving mum who put domestic violence on the national agenda was named Australian of the Year.

Five reasons to hug more

Hugging – some of us thrive on it, even depend on it – and then there are those who don't care for it really. So, are they missing out?

Help - my three-year-old has started throwing tantrums

My daughter never went through the "terrible twos" but began throwing wild tantrums shortly after her third birthday.

That's commitment

First peek at Sonia Kruger's daughter Maggie

"She smells so good, I could eat her," Kruger tells co-host David Campbell.

Mum assists in own caesarean surgery

A mum who partly delivered her own twins during a caesarean has encouraged other women to take control of their birthing experience.

How to handle common childhood regressions

Regression can be a natural and common part of development prompted by a variety of factors, but that doesn't make it less frustrating.

Disgruntled dad's pram ad goes viral

When buying a second hand pram, there are lots of things to take into consideration. 

Man discovers he's a dad after finding 55-year-old letter

Discovering you are about to father a baby is startling enough - never mind finding out you have a 61-year-old son.

15 thoughts mums have during a tantrum

Ranging from mild to feral and triggered by events both minor and major, tantrums certainly keep life interesting.

Natural pain relief in the early stages of labour

While managing labour pains on your own can be daunting, there are a number of natural pain relief options to help you cope until you are admitted to hospital.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Forgotten Baby Syndrome claims the life of toddler

One baby dies every eight days in the back of a car in the US, victims of 'forgotten baby syndrome'.

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel. You stole my heart, and changed me into the women I am today.

Chinese woman gives birth to quintuplets

After six years of trying for a baby, a couple’s dreams have come true many times over after the mum gave birth to quintuplets this week.

Chrissie Swan has reached her "sex quota"

Chrissie Swan says she and her partner have sex once a year due to her fear of falling pregnant.

Stars help save choking babies

It's an important lesson to learn, but one that busy new mums and dads might overlook until it's too late.

New Girl star Zooey Deschanel pregnant

Actress Zooey Deschanel is expecting her first child with her producer boyfriend Jacob Pechenik.

16 times 'dad reflexes' saved the day

Of course, in some cases they may be the ones who actually got their child into a precarious position in the first place, but we'll ignore that for now.

Couple's 'non-traditional' pregnancy announcement goes viral

Knowing you are not the father of your pregnant wife's baby would usually indicate a rocky relationship ahead for traditional parents.

The trials and tribulations of identical triplet newborns

Pip Donnelly is still playing spot the difference with her newborn identical triplets, Isabelle, Georgina and Frankie.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Earthquake baby thriving five years on

Jenny Alexis is lucky to be alive after spending four days buried in the rubble of the 2010 Haitian earthquake, but now she's a thriving five year old.

Please don't say I'm lucky because I was adopted

On the one hand I was having a regular life with friends and sports and sleepovers and school. But I was also always wondering: Did my mother love me? What was wrong with me?

An open letter to non-parents who offer advice on child-rearing

Kitty, when you’re the parent of my child you’re welcome to wade in with an opinion – but until then, I’d prefer you to have a supportive ear and a glass of wine ready.

Couple arrested over baby gun video

A US couple faces charges after investigators say they found mobile phone videos showing the woman's 12-month-old daughter putting a handgun in her mouth.

NSW Health dumps 10-year limit on frozen embryos

A 10-year time limit on storing frozen embryos that were created with donor sperm has been dropped by the NSW government.

How my happy-go-lucky husband became a monster

Sharan Nicholson-Rogers watched her husband change from a happy-go-lucky police officer into an unpredictable man prone to violent and emotional outbursts.

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes, too

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes in line with their pregnant partners, a new study shows.

'They were just doing their job': mum of toddler killed in police chase gone wrong

"They were just doing their job. I feel so sorry for them. It is all just too sad."

Miscarriages to be formally recognised by NSW government

Women who miscarry will be able to obtain an optional "recognition of loss" certificate as a formal recognition of their often heartbreaking loss.

Cafe cubby house 'too noisy' for neighbours

Teenage parties, domestic disputes, or raucous late night pubs are the things that usually come to mind when you think neighbourhood noise complaints.

Dad films baby playing with snake

Most parents would not consider a snake an appropriate playmate for their baby, but a US dad who filmed his daughter playing with a python has defended himself against criticism.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.

 

Back to School Offer

Findababysitter.com.au

We've got you covered for this school year. Use www.findababysitter.com.au to meet local nannies now.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.