Thursday, March 27, 2014

Preparing for Anaesthesia

One of my terrors has been having general anaesthesia. As I was about to undergo a major operation, it was something we worked on in one SE session. T (Therapist) gave me some good tips. In addition to some skills I thought I could use myself, and/or ask medical staff to help me with, T suggested the following:

Before Anesthesia:
  • To try and avoid dissociation by being in the here and now - looking at something in the room, feeling a blanket, working out what I could hear. 
  • Try and have someone with me before (and after surgery)
  • Ideally be relaxed, aware and calm as possible
  • Prepare self - for the altered sense of consciousness
  • Have a local anesthesia/pre-med (relaxation) - e.g. Diazepam which was my suggestion after discussion with other doctors
  • Counting backwards from ten to zero before having the anesthetic. My idea also - but so I could hear myself saying the numbers etc. 
  • Let them know of all of my various needs
  • Use my imagery (e.g. 'feeling at peace with myself, deep and strong inside), feeling like a king.
  • Bring in my Guardian Angels (as I felt they were - to the right of my body)

Post Anesthesia:
  •  It will be a gradual return - ideally have someone there (but if not, fine too)
  • When you are able to open your eyes - look around, say "I'm in hospital" I can hear... I can see... I can feel... etc
  • Try and make early eye contact with someone as coming round from the anesthesia
  • If you feel shivery, let the shivers play themselves out, whilst asking for extra blankets
  • Notice needs - e.g. can you hold my hand, give me my glasses back
  • Try and regain a sense of yourself and your body (e.g. could use palpation).

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