Having any kind of surgery can be stressful for a person. It’s normal to feel a little nervous. But, being able to stay calm before organ transplant surgery can make the entire experience easier and less stressful.
As far as surgeries go, organ transplant surgery isn’t something to take lightly. It’s important to fully understand why you need the surgery and how it will benefit you in order to be at peace with it.
Surgery anxiety is a very real thing. If you’re feeling symptoms like nausea, irregular heartbeat, or even problems sleeping in the weeks leading up to your surgery, you could be dealing with a certain type of anxiety.
Thankfully, it’s possible to stay calm before organ transplant surgery. Keep these five tips in mind as your procedure draws near, and you can ease your fear.
1. Educate Yourself
One of the best ways to reduce your fear is to learn as much as you can about your surgery. This is different from going to a search engine and researching things that could go wrong. Instead, educate yourself about the medical condition that makes the surgery necessary.
Focus on the success rates of the surgery rather than possible side effects. Think about how much better you’ll feel once it’s done, and how you can take control of your life once more.
2. Talk with Your Surgeon
Don’t be shy about discussing your fears with your doctor/surgeon, medical social worker, counselor or other resource. Not only can they give you more tips on how to stay calm before organ transplant surgery, but you’ll feel more comfortable simply forming a relationship with them.
When it comes any surgery, if you’ve never met the person performing your procedure, it makes sense that you would find it that much harder to trust them. By getting to know your surgeon ahead of time through a few meetings, you’ll likely be more trusting of them when it comes time to have surgery.
3. Find Support
Family, friends, or even a specific kind of support group can be helpful if you have anxiety leading up to your surgery. You’re not alone in feeling this kind of anxiety. And you don’t have to be alone as you go through it.
If you know someone who has had the same surgery or something similar, talk to them about it. Ask them to share what was hardest and what was easiest about the experience, what little things they wish they had known beforehand to help them and even tell you a funny story or two about it. This is a “big life moment” and these moments are always unique and full of adventure. Talk with someone who has met a similar challenge before and get them to share their stories of inspiration. Or, even just talk to them about the process and take note of how well it turned out for them.
Hearing from people who have been in similar situations, whether helpful logistics or feelings, is often a huge help.
4. Journal Your Thoughts
Another effective way to stay calm before organ transplant surgery is to write down all your anxious thoughts. Keep a journal of how you feel in the weeks leading up to your procedure. This will help you to look closely at the negative thoughts that creep up over time, see how they change as you talk about them with loved ones and your treatment providers and keep them in perspective as you get closer to the procedure date.
Giving your fears a voice helps to weaken the intensity of those negative and anxious thoughts. Suppressing your fears and secreting them away would only make things harder for you. If you hold all of them in until the night before or the day of your surgery, you could really feel overwhelmed with anxiety and fear.
By writing those fears down, and talking about them with someone who supports you, you’re taking more control. The day of the surgery won’t feel nearly as overwhelming when you have been able to look at those fears, talk about them with friends, family and your physician and even just giving them a voice; speaking them aloud.
5. Consider Patient Counseling
Patient counseling can be a huge help for someone dealing with anxiety before surgery (and even the anxieties that sometimes follow surgery). You can learn techniques to keep yourself calm, all the way up until the moment you go in for surgery.
Talking to a counselor who specializes in this area can also help with those thoughts of fear and anxiety – especially with regards to losing power, even temporarily, over something as intimate as our own bodies. When you get them out in the open, your counselor can guide you on how to deal with them, and how to work through them.
Again, staying calm before organ transplant surgery may not be easy, but it certainly isn’t impossible. If you’re feeling anxious and scared, don’t be ashamed! What you’re experiencing is completely normal. In fact, I’ve been there and experienced my own debilitating illness. I know the courage it takes to face the fear of our own impermanence.
Which, is why I’d like to help you. Talking to a skilled counselor who understands the intense and complicated feelings that accompany medical challenges like the ones you are facing can reap numerous benefits.
Visit here to learn more about how I can help. Or, contact the office today at (7)-489-3329.