I'm 18 and three weeks ago I had my first surgery. It was a PAO (hip reconstruction) so it was pretty major. Physically I've healed amazingly well, I was only in hospital for three days (whereas the average is 7) and I've hardly experience any pain from the surgery at all. The only thing I struggle with was not feeling hungry (therefore I didn't eat for four days as I couldn't eat before the surgery) and I wasn't thirsty at all. So the only thing that filled my stomach/that was in my stomach was very strong medication. On one of the days I was in hospital and the first day I actually tried to eat something, my body completely rejected the food (it was only salad) and I was sick. Except nothing came up as I hadn't eaten. I'm so scared of vomiting it triggered a panic attack the next day and the same thing happened.

But ever since I came out of hospital, I've struggled hugely with anxiety. I'm an anxious person anyway, but at the moment I am REALLY struggling. I went out in the car with my mum a week ago whilst she had to do some shopping, and because I can't walk very far right now I had to wait in the car. But the whole time I was waiting I was panicking.

Everyday I worry. I'm so nervous and anxious and it is ruining everything. At the moment I can't even go outside my own front door without getting nervous. Sometimes I have to stop eating during meals because I suddenly feel anxious. I can't go outside or be without my Mum and it's utterly pathetic.

I've dealt with anxiety for years but I feel like this is the worst it's ever been. I know all the natural remedies; the breathing techniques, the relaxation stuff, everything, but I can't get out of the "what if this happens" mindset.

I don't know what to do at the moment. I stay up all night so I can sleep through the day and avoid certain time periods. I'm trying so hard to get myself out of this bubble but I can't and I don't know what to do anymore.

6 Replies

  • Check with doctor about your meds. I had an anti-biotic cause me some issues.

  • Hi. sorry to hear that you are struggling so much. Post-surgery can be a really tough time for anybody. I had major reconstructive surgery on my ankle 4 years ago and I felt like a victim trapped in my own house. Couldn't leave the house even if I wanted to. It is so important at times like these to take it one day at a time and to not be too hard on yourself. Try to substitute in more rational thoughts; most of those intrusive ones that pop up in your mind are delusions and do not serve you in any way. The way we think will affect how we feel and dictate how we behave. Modifying our negative thoughts will go a long ways towards helping us feel better and more relaxed. Do you have a doctor that you can go see? Cause, that would be even more helpful. If you feel like you are losing all control over your thoughts and feelings, sorting them out with a professional would be a good idea. Good luck to you.

  • Hi, I understand how you are feeling, I had emergency surgery 6 weeks ago. Spent 3 weeks in hospital. My bowel perforated, had some of it removed and now have colostomy bag.i also had pneumonia, had a litre and a half of fluid taken off my left lung. They told me I have Crohn's disease. Anyway when I came home emotionally I was a mess!! Crying, panicking, I still couldn't breath properly as my lung still had quite a lot of fluid in there.unable to eat, I didn't eat for a week after operation, I wasn't allowed too. Then only small amounts of mash, ice cream, soft foods. I've never been travel sick but going in the car made me feel so ill . I had to have an anti sickness tablet before I left hospital to travel in car as 2 days before I was discharged I started feeling sick. This continued when I got home for 5 days. I just want to say to you it does get a little easier each day. I nearly gave up!! It seemed just too hard to cope with!! But one day I thought your not going to beat me!!! So I kept myself busy!! Distracted myself when I felt the anxiety, listened to anxiety hypnotherapy. Walked!! Could only manage up and down the garden due to my surgery but it helped my mental state.forced myself to eat as I never felt hungry for 3 weeks but I knew I had to eat to help my body heal. Small amounts but often. What your feeling is natural. Although your body has healed well your mind takes a lot longer. Your body has been through a prob had morphine or something like it. My partner works 12 hour shifts so I was on my own for long periods of time. I hated it!! I was getting v depressed and couldn't cope!! But in the end I knew I had to help myself. It's not easy, harder some days than others !! But all you feel, I've felt too. You will get better, it's just a slow process and I found that hard to accept. Set yourself a challenge each day!! A little walk, read a book. Tidy your room, something to distract yourself from anxious thoughts. It works for me. Good look with your recovery🙏🏻

  • I just want to say that I have gained a tremendous amount of inspiration from your reply to KEddie. I recently had surgery (nothing like as severe as yours). I've been struggling with a higher than normal sense of anxiety, nausea and fear of food too.

    This is just one of the many things I love about this forum. I often find that whilst I'm trying to encourage or help someone else I read a reply that really resonates with me. Your reply to KEddie was such a response.

    I think you are very brave and also kind hearted. Your words are more than encouraging they are an inspiration.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Your words have really helped me.


  • Hi Jack, that's kind of you to say, I know we are all on here because sometimes we feel so desperate and afraid and just need someone to hold out a friendly hand however brief that may be. Your story made me feel sad, because you have suffered so much in many ways. But what made me smile was the fact through everything you're dealing with you found the courage and the strength to build yourself back up again. Don't doubt yourself Jack, you're made of strong stuff. I do sympathise with you with the nausea, it's so horrible!! I used to wake up in the hospital to the sound of the breakfast trolley!! It made me feel ill just the smell. But I found I could manage a banana, I didn't want it!! But I knew if I could eat it it would settle my stomach and give me some energy. The anti sickness tablets made me sleep but gave me bad headaches. But I welcomed the sleep anyway. You and I and lots of other people have anxietys about our futures at times, but I know having the right mind set helps. (I know that's hard to do sometimes) but I refuse to let it get the better of me. Any things possible Jack, but you have to believe and you have to fight. Keep strong 😀🙏🏻

  • Be gentle with yourself. You have had major surgery, and although you were obviously anaesthetised your body instinctively knows it has been through something traumatic. Anxiety is a common side effect after surgery and for someone that is prone to it, it is bound to be quite severe.

    You are certainly not "utterly pathetic". You suffer from anxiety and whilst it may be a very misunderstood and often ignored condition, we all know here that it is a real and severe condition. On top of this you have had surgery.

    I recently had surgery too (3 weeks ago). As a result of the surgery I had I've had the most horrendous nausea since I came out of hospital. I have cyclazine but that only helps a little.

    I totally understand how anxiety can affect a persons eating. Anxiety can affect a persons appetite and is well known to cause various stomach and GI complications. The vicious cycle of feeling nauseous, anxious and fearful of food can be hard to break. I'm finding it difficult. There is a medication that has been specifically designed to treat nausea in chemotherapy patients and those who are recovering from surgery. It is called Ondancetron (not sure of the spelling). I've heard it is very effective.

    You don't need to suffer like this. Your GP should understand the post surgery side effects well and if he/she knows your history of anxiety should be sympathetic and eager to help.

    I hope you start to feel better soon and I really hope you are able to get a handle on your anxiety and especially the vicious circle of food anxiety.

    I can truly empathise with your experience because I'm dealing with very similar issues at the moment.

    Wishing you well and a speedy resolution to these horrible symptoms


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