Surgical Anxiety

When I was diagnosed with Endometriosis in 1988, it was done with Laperotomy.  I was fortunate enough to be Active Duty Military and had the tremendously advanced Health Care benefits provided to the US Military Personnel.  The excision therapies now known to preserve fertility and have the highest rate of remission for Endometriosis were in their infancy, and my diagnosis was so severe that excision would not be an option until 1999 on a very limited basis.

The first 2 surgeries I required in 1988 and then 1991 to slow the progression of Endometriosis by removing cysts and other tissue in an attempt to preserve fertility were extraordinarily hard on me.  I suffered nightmares and night terrors through the recovery each time.  The primary problem was incorrect Anesthesia dosage for the length of surgery.  When the surgeon plans a 45min surgery, the Anesthesiologist calculates the dosage accordingly.  When, in the case of each of my surgeries, the surgery length extends longer than anticipated, Anesthesia becomes a very critical component of the survival rate and the recovery success. 

In March 1999 for the most traumatic surgery, I educated myself on everything possible.  One of the things I found was Hemi-Synch.  I used all the materials available through the ERC and input from sisters on the WitsEndo, Endo Natural, and Endometriosis Support mailing lists. I also ordered and will use the Monroe Institute Hemi-Sync Tapes for surgery. I had the opportunity to listen to a few before I bought them (not the surgical tapes, a different series, the surgical tapes can only be purchased as a set). Some alternative book stores carry the Hemi-Sync series, and the stores will usually allow you to listen to the sample tape to “try before you buy”. They really do work! I had to wrench my mind out of the tape as I was sitting in the bookstore. I went home and ordered all 6 surgical tapes, I figure if it can calm me while I am in this permanent panic state, it can do wonders while I’m sedated!! (LOL!!) I listened to the Monroe Surgical Support Series Tapes in the days before the surgery. This helped tremendously in easing my panic, my anxiety and outright fear of the impending surgery.

During surgery the Nurses and Anesthesiologist followed the Medical Instructions provided with the Surgical Support Series.  While I still have had problems in post-op each time after surgery, there was only one time I did not have that anxiety.  In 2004 due to the location of the cyst in my sinus cavity, I could not have the ear/head phones on.  That was a rough awakening.

The tapes kept me relaxed and free from anxiety, which helped tremendously with my 12 week recovery.  In sharing my experience with other women, I have found we all shared the same experiences, of “hearing the surgical team talk as they work” and this method corrects the issue.  If it weren’t for shared networks, email groups and lists and other forums, we would not have this information available for our decision making during the surgical process.  After 13 years of “sharing” it is clear our experiences are real, tangible, and need to be taken seriously if we are to truly have success in forcing Endometriosis into permanent remission.

Photo courtesy of :

Massage Support For Fertility And Women’s Reproductive Care 
by Nicole Kruck

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