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Hospital phobia

I'm waiting for the hospital transport to go to see the cardiology to identify a problem which arose in mid June in my pre op appointment for knee surgery. I never had heart problems before and am scared about this. Had a letter this morning from the surgeon saying that he'd been trying to rush the cardio appointment but hadnt heard. B`ut he says, I have significant medical problems which need to be sorted before the surgery.

Problem is that his letter has left me trembling and freaked out. I think i'm developing a phobia about hospitals which isnt helping as I'm not going there in a calm state. I've tried a meditation but that has only helped a little. Does anyone else have this kind of thing?

Sorry to be panicky, but that's how it is at the moment


23 Replies

Hello Cathie

I'm so sorry you feel so panicky. I'm sure I would feel the same. I don't have any words of wisdom but I am thinking of you and hope the appointment is a helpful one. Hopefully you will feel better able to deal with things once you have more of an understanding of what's what.

Love Tillyxxx


Thankyou. Last time I was so panicky that I'm sure it affected the Ecg result which has caused all this palaver. Thanks for sensible words


Oh Cathy , all I can offer is empathy . I'm on the same page and have ECG on 13 August. Co-morbidity is definitely my least favourite word. My knee op is being postponed yet again . We are pushing it forward till feb/march . In the meantime the RA and Polymyalgia rheumatica need. To be under control. I can't even sit up in bed this morning.

Fear is a real bugger. Perhaps there's an approachable specialist nurse with whom you can talk ? Don't. Forget that they have to be ultra cautious. I had so many tests last month - TB, lymphoma, HIV, various cancers, infective cardioitis. They were all clear !

I do wish I could help more.

This is typed on my back on iPhone so forgive clumsiness.




Jo, the thought helps so much. I'm hoping that once the hospital transport arrives I'll be sucked into a different world and that'll help. I'm glad they're taking care with op, but also feel that other problems would improve if I got my knees. I'm sorry about your postponement for the same reasons and really hope you can get some pain relief in the meantime. Do you see a physio?


I think for me it is a panic and the feeling of lack of control gets me. When they test you it feels like , what if..... And I get myself worried for them to say it's fine. Stress can obviously raise your heart rate but the functioning should not be adversely affected , mainly rate, and if you tell the staff you feel anxious they will take that into account.

Good luck with the tests. I had ECG, echo etc and they called me back loads just to discover the lump on the heart was " one of these things!"

Good luck on your visit and I hope it goes well xx

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Yes I do and can relate entirely. Every time I get sent back (sixth admission last week for possible stroke) my BP soars and I'm told that it's terrible that I'm not on BP meds.

Every time I see the nurse or GP (daily for wound dressings lately) I ask them to check my BP and it's bang on normal again. No advice I'm afraid - it just has to be born. But t I've more cause than many to have a fear of hospitals now having had a surgeon scoop infected tissue out of my belly with no pain relief and much else besides.

Your hospital experience is just bound to be better than mine Cathie because my hospital is notoriously rubbish for infection control, staff shortages etc. They even falsified ECG results for my husband and three sons who should be tested every 3 years for a hereditary potentially fatal heart condition but never have been.

My heart becomes arrythmic can now if I even pass the hospital in the car I'm so phobic!

I'm also thinking that your P's been through it recently and survived hopefully quite well - and surely so will you. So please hold on tight and keep breathing deep and tell your GP so she can maybe keep an extra close eye on you just now. Xxxx


I've just been given the all-clear in the heart department!!!

Had a series of tests, scans and a rather attractive doctor at the end who told me my heart was as good as his (I assume his was in full working order) and that I was good on several fronts like good LVs, no valvular disease and so on. I deliberately try to keep away from technical terminology.

So, phew. No impediment to scary knee op now.

Oh yes and I had a riot of a time with the ambulance driver and her mate. Big beefy guy who talked to me about chocolate and his holidays. Skilled at calming people down I think.

So big deep breaths - that was a relief!


That's great news. Onward and upwards now. So pleased for you. xx

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Well done that's great news Cathie - all that healthy living and mindfulness has obviously paid dividends! Tx


Thanks. But I suspect its my genes as Dr seemed v interested in my fathers score of 101. I don't think I'll make that. But I can recommend the ambulance ride if only for the company


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Well in that case I'm bu**ered as my lot have all died suddenly relatively young - mostly of heart failure. But all the more reason to try and get things better managed and aspire to packing my days with productive/ creative doings once more!

I was rushed in by ambulance about 2 years ago with a suspect heart attack. The paramedic was a youngish man with Parkinson's who had the most terrific way with him. At one point he was writing down something and I asked him what - he said "the name of that friggin' drug you were given - just to make sure I never take it myself or I'd be out of a job!" - it was a drug for Parkinson's which I'd been given for possible RLS and which had caused this awful chest pain with narcolepsy!


Oh I'm so pleased for you Cathie! Must be a huge relief. Lots love Tillyxxx


Great news so pleased for you x


Really pleased for you Cathie


Thankyou everyone. Let's hope it gets straightforward now. I really appreciated earlier messages they did help


So pleased to hear your news Cathie. Now for the knees, you'll sail through it!! Can recommend the spinal, much quicker post op recovery. Then just do the exercises!

You'll have a breeze!!

Best wishes

Mavis xx


So glad all has gone well Cathie. I've not been able to get on the site easily so behind in replying. xxx


Thanks everyone for kind and thoughtful messages. It does help to get your empathy and support. I've got more to go through before the eventual op and then quite a long process of recovery but it feels like I could be on my way. XXX


So happy for you! And I'm sure you will be thrilled to get your new knees soon! I've had a few friends that have had their knees redone and have been ever so happy with the results! Good Luck!! Hugs!


That's really kind, thanks. Doubtless I'll keep you all informed bit by bit



Cathy, I was so pleased to catch up on your story today. That is such good news. As I said in response to my Misery post, they decided that Enbrel had caused the problem in my case, so I thought of you and wondered if it had been playing cardio-mischief with you too.

I can't remember when your knee op is. It must be very soon?

I will catch up on the link that you kindly sent me. When fatigue and pain permits, I'm reading Gawande's Being Mortal. An amazing man. I wonder if you heard his Reith lectures.

J xx


I saw the anesthetist yesterday and he poo pooed the original reading of the ecg scan and was happy with the cardiologists views. Also that my blood sugar readings are right down. I dont have a date for the op yet, I have one of two Rituximab infusions due next week - second is on 1st September. They recommend a month after that in case of infection, but frankly they were more concerned with diabetes than the anti TNF. So we agreed it would probably be sometime in October before I get the first knee. In the meantime, P is doing really well (so far, its just over two weeks since he was having the op) and is doing regular walks and is a living advertisement for having done good exercises. So I'm pedalling away and trying to do the limited amounts I can.

Fatigue and pain are horrible arent they. I try to get up for breakfast and read the paper, but often I cant really understand most of it til lunchtime! I missed those Reith lectures (though we followed Grayson Perry's religiously!!) but he looks really interesting and I like the general direction of what he seems to be arguing about public health.

I hope you get a bit more support and relief from the pain and fatigue.



I wrote a response, but my swollen fingers pressed the wrong button and it's all been deleted too tired to do it all again.just yo say that I'm so glad P is doing so well. You were worried about how you we cope, but he seems to have been a positive role model and sometimes, it's healthy to think of someone else, if you know what I mean.

Wrist complaining badly.

Thanks for your support , Jo xxx


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