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AVM Survivors Network

Scared of procedure

#1

Hi All,
Went to see my specialist in London a couple of weeks ago for initial appointment regarding my PAVMs. Dr Shovlin was brilliant and really put my mind at rest regards embolization. However, my appointment for said Op has now arrived and i’m scared, like really scared. I know this is totally irrational but can’t seem to help myself and stop worrying.
Last thurs I ended up in A&E as I was coughing up blood, my irrational fears came to the fore here when having to have a needle in my arm for them to take bloods. It’s as if the more needles/procedures I have, the more fearful i’m becoming. (I know Daft right!) I try to tell my hubby my fears but he doesn’t really seem to understand, it’s not that he isn’t supportive, he completely is, it’s just that hes not scared of things such as this and can’t get his head around why I am too. At least I can have a rant on here and feel like others understand …okay maybe not my irrational fears, but some of the fears i have. Thanks for reading this appreciated. Mandy

#2

Mandy,

I’m not good at this kind of thing, either. I’m not sure what to suggest but an embolisation is among the least invasive ways of tackling this thing, so we’ve got to hearten ourselves that we are doing only the minimum needed to fix the problem and we can get through it.

Have you had any other ops? I assume you’ve had bloods taken several times in the past. For me, I look away, I don’t encourage the nurse to talk about what they’re doing – no, no, “sharp scratch” is all the info I need! If I over-think things, I can go into shock just thinking about stuff, ridiculously limiting.

This is a challenge we need to do our best to meet. I’d say don’t think about it. Definitely don’t focus on it. For me, I’ve had a couple of ops before that were less worrying than (in my case a brain AVM embolisation) but I got through those. A bit of deep breathing and I got through.

Will they do your embolisation under a general anaesthetic? I don’t know whether you’ve got that planned already or whether it would be normal for PAVMs but because of my limitations, my brain AVM embolisation was under general. You still need to cope with one sharp scratch but otherwise, if it is important, they may consider it. If you’re currently booked in for local anaesthetic, they may need to reschedule the op.

So… 1. Don’t panic. 2. Don’t over-analyse. 3. Keep busy, don’t focus on it.

Richard

#3

Thanks Richard. I know I do overthink things and then get myself into such a tizz, I’m going to try breathing exercises and meditation see if that helps. Anything is worth a go!
My op is being done under general, so I suppose that’s a help as once i’ve had the canulla i’ll be asleep.
Thanks again for your calming words and being the voice of reason.

Mandy

#4

The breathing exercises and meditation sound like a good idea, too. Good thought.

Honestly, you know they’ll be fiddling to pop the cannula in and it’s uncomfortable rather than being anything else. For me, they did everything other than that first cannula under general. I can’t think what else they were going to do but they were very considerate and just put me to sleep first! Perfect!

We’re in this together, OK? We can do this stuff!

Don’t worry about it all till you get to the day. No need to spend 2 weeks worrying if you can do that on the day. Then, on the day, they’ll look after you.

The only other advice I can think of is to make sure you go in nicely hydrated. I hydrated for England the couple of days before and was fine in regard to the anaesthetic.

You’ll be fine.

Richard