It's completely normal to feel a bit anxious before surgery. Even if you know that you will feel better when the procedure is over, you're sure to worry about the possibility of side effects, a painful recovery, and surgical errors. What you should not do, however, is let your anxiety get the best of you! Here are a few ideas to help calm your worrying mind in the days leading up to a surgical procedure.
1. Get plenty of sleep.
You might have trouble sleeping if you're feeling anxious, but the more sleep-deprived you become, the more you'll keep mulling over your anxious feelings. Try playing some soothing music and turning the thermostat down a few degrees to bring on sleep more easily. If you still can't sleep, ask your doctor if it would be okay to take a natural sleep aid, like melatonin, in the days before surgery. Of course, you should go to bed early and avoid -- if possible -- getting up too early on these days, too.
2. Ask questions.
It could be that the fears you have about surgery are completely unfounded. So bring them up to your doctor, and give your doctor a chance to ease your fears with real information. Having had your questions asked and worries addressed should ease your mind. Most doctors are more than happy to discuss worries and concerns with their surgery patients; you can even make a separate consultation appointment to ask your questions, if needed.
3. Follow pre-op instructions closely.
Chances are, your doctor gave you a list of ways to prepare for your surgery. Maybe you have to quit smoking or eat a certain diet for a few days. Focusing on these instructions will ease your anxiety in a few ways. First, it will reassure you that you're doing everything in your power to ensure the surgery goes well. Second, it will keep your mind focused on something other than your concerns.
4. Schedule some fun activities.
If you are physically able to do so, try scheduling some fun activities in the days leading up to your surgery. Having something fun to do will take your mind off the surgery. Even if you're not able to be very active, you could play board games with a friend or go to the movies.
Some anxiety before surgery is normal, but with the tips above, you can keep it from getting out of hand. For more information on surgical procedures, contact your local medical office.