<b>Panicky Nurse Has Hysterectomy without Her Usual Shivering, Shaking, Trembling or Sweating</b>
We got a wonderful thank you note from someone who breezed through a complicated surgery, in spite of a history of panic disorder, generalized anxiety and depression...
I just had to write with thanks and good news.
I was scheduled for hysterectomy on May 1, 2008 (due to huge fibroids), with rectocele repair and vaginal re-suspension a few weeks ago. I downloaded your Surgery preparation mp3 April 23rd, approximately one week prior, and began listening immediately.
I am a nurse with a history of panic disorder, generalized anxiety and depression, as well as chronic, negative thought processes. I have been improving over the last year with help from counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy, and recently began yoga and breathwork, but still have a long way to go.
Incredibly, my surgery was a breeze! I was eight hours from home, realized I had to let go of the expectations I had for this surgery (for instance, I found I had to have general anesthesia instead of regional, and a midline incision instead of a "bikini"), and, to top it off, I was several hours late going into surgery.
I listened to the surgery preparation in its entirety prior to going in as well as some positive, uplifting music that I enjoyed.
Despite the things that could have been perceived as having "gone wrong", I was calm and unstressed. No shivering, shaking, trembling or sweating. No teeth chattering (all reactions I''ve experienced in the past). I had nothing but pleasant, peaceful feelings and thoughts.
My last awareness was going down the hallway from the pre-op area to the OR. I have no recollection from that point until peacefully awakening in recovery hours later, with little pain and pleasantly speaking with the nurses, happy smile on my face.
My blood loss was minimal at approximately 450ml. My incision was considerably smaller than was expected. I had no nausea or anesthesia difficulties.
Postoperatively, my pain level has been 0-5 at most and I haven''t needed a whole lot of medication. My incision is healing without incident. I am eating and eliminating without difficulty.
I cannot thank you enough. I plan to use imagery more, as I work a very stressful job. I''m sure they will help me to cope. I mentioned guided imagery to anyone who would listen in the hospital and will also discuss this with my psychologist. Please feel free to use my comments any way you see fit.
Peggy G, RN
Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award