Post surgery emotions

Posted , 9 users are following.

I am 6 weeks post-op scarf, both feet.

I am struggling emotionally. Inside beneath my lungs is a feeling of utter dread, regret and frustration.

The feeling isn't there all the time. Some days I feel hopeful toward the future. Even grateful for the insight into a disabled persons life, glad that the recovery, pain/wheelchair/crutches/physio/limp etc is temporary.

But some days, all of sudden, the tears come.

The most ridiculous time was when I was eating a sandwich and ate my tears as well as the bread! I had to laugh at the absurdity.

I wanted to post this, because if anyone else is feeling this way, I think it's normal.

All the free time time and the innability to go for a quick walk or grab a cuppa without thinking/planning plagues me.

Surgeons and hospitals are so clinical that i was never once told I may experience emotional pain as well as physical.

It is just as real, and needs just as much attention.

Does anyone else struggle with focussing on the long term positives? Getting caught up in the day by day frustrations?

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Poor you! I also had both feet done at the same time. I kept the blues away talking to people on this site. I also had the box set to Game of Thrones that I became obsessed with 😀 I didn't get as low as you seem to have. Though I did find the morphine turned me into an old lady. It sounds like your feelings of dread are anxiety attacks. Like fear mixed with self pity? Very scary. At different points to my recovery I felt like I had done the wrong thing because I couldn't resume a normal life for months and I had to ask for the smallest things like a cup of tea. In the end I just embraced it and used the time like a little holiday from life. When you have these feelings it's hard to pull yourself away from them but you really need some help. Check out the Mindfull site that teaches you breathing meditation I find that useful. Good luck
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  • Posted

    Hello Ness.b,

    What you're going through sounds really difficult. I can certainly relate in some ways, but I don't think I felt as bad by the sounds of things. It's normal to go through what you're going through, I felt as though I was told by everyone that it will be a quick recovery and that its not s big op-oh it is and anyone who goes through it can tell you that!

    Remember it's very important that you keep uourself positive and think this will all be over soon! You have to keep stove you do g want to spiral out of control emotionally, remember your emotional health will affect the physical, I actually found that because I was feeling so down it began to longen more overt physically.

    What helped me eventually was watching box sets, had so much fun watching house of cards religiously, had great friends who all visited regularly, brought food like pancakes and brunches and pasta nights! A glass of wine is always a good laugh. My mum came and stayed with me and we joked and laughed. Don't get me wrong I was a nightmare to deal with at times, I snapped at people that helped me and that made me feel awful, but they understood.

    During g my physio I suffered from so much pain as I had developed cramps, so after every session I cried for hours, but j had my boyfriend who knocked some sense into me. Things like you can't be defeated by this, think of how you are the only thing stopping yourself from getting better! And that helped so so much, was harsh but very much needed to get out of my hole!

    It will get better if you let it better!

    Best of luck and cheer up as you will be walking and going out for a cuppa or running to the shop to grab milk. And when that happens it feels amazing! I'm now one year and four months post op, but I only did one, and I will never go back to have the other one done until it gets so bad I can't walk anymore!

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  • Posted

    HI ness,

    surgury takes a toll on us emotionally, physically as well as trying to keep strong. It is a whole boat load of emotions while heeling. Tears is a good release.

    i think your last sentence said it all. "It is a very frustrating experience".

    Also tough to deal with all the do's & donts pain sleep bathing issues and so on.

    i get a nice dark chocolate bar sugarless ., no guilt attached...

    chocolate cures everything! 

    Soon you'll be dancing up a storm!

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  • Posted

    It's definitely fear Bev! I will look at Mindfullness, Thankyou smile

    Box sets, of course! I wanted to still be productive, but sometimes I don't have the energy for art or reading. That's when I get carried away with negative thinking. TV is good for switching the mind off!

    Hendk, you're right in that feeling so low lengthens recovery. It can be hard to pull oneself out of negative thinking, but it does come down to being brave - being afraid but still doing it anyway - and accepting that anything that impedes life isn't going to be happy happy joy joy! I'm glad you were able to have a cry and still get yourself back to physio. Now that I know you can do it, I can do it too!

    Hope4cure, chocolate...all I have to say is...yes! Haha

    This site has helped me greatly, and I do try not to get so caught up in the despair. I hadn't seen a thread on the sadness that can come post surgery & want to extend a hand to anyone who would like to msg me to chat about where they're at, because I will understand.

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  • Posted

    Good luck to will get better. I had the right foot done on December 1 and can well remember all the days I couldn't read, crochet or do much of anything thinking "oh no, I shouldn/t have had this done" but realized it was done and some day I would be back to normal self.  Yesterday, six months later, I spent hours cleaning the house  and didn/t one time think about the foot which looks great but is still sensitive.  These nerves are really disturbed during surgery but they too eventually settle down. Think of why you needed this surgery, in the first place, enjoy if you can the opportunity to rest as much as you like and focus on pleasant things...maybe planning a vacation (or anything which is a reminder that life does go on.)  Prayers for your speedy recovery sent.
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  • Posted

    Ahh Ness .... All your feelings are so normal and I wish someone had told Me what a roller coaster of emotions and panic the whole thing would be. But have hope there is light at the end of the tunnel and lovely feet. I now have a fab looking left foot no pain in walking just bit stiff after a long day but this passes. I'm having my right foot done in October and will be just fine because I know it's all ok. It's also weird to be stuck, relying on others and in pain. No one tells you prior to this. It will all be ok so don't panic. 17 weeks and I was happy happy. Between 6 weeks and 17 weeks I was panicking and in pain. I work in acute mental  health and was thinking ' oh oh' 😊  
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    • Posted

      Hi Fiona and Ness!

      ​I had scarf akin osteotomy 11 weeks ago. I won't bore you both with my post op details, but my did it make me feel low and tearfull.  I have experienced post general anasthetic- feeling down before so I put it down to that. Ness I really feel for you and totally sympathise with how you are feeling. All I can advise is that this won't last for ever, each day despite how long, will pass you'll be one day nearer to normality smile

      At week 11 I have just been to see my gp and I have been given 2 further weeks off work on account I am experiencing rigidity in my ankle and knee still! I am seeing a private physio and am again elevating.

      ​My issue is the length of time I have had off work- I feel awful. I work in the NHS and feel colleagues may think Im swinging the lead. By the time I return to work  I would have totalled 14 weeks off work!! I feel so guilty, frustrated and angry. I have been unable to concentrate on reading, tv, writing and I have put weight on too!

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  • Posted

    I am 7 months post op right foot & 4 months post op left foot - both were lapidus & metatarsal shortening. I too was totally unprepared for the emotional aspect of long-term immobility and I was also unprepared for the fact that my recovery was going to take a long, long time. I am still in physical therapy and I am still limping & in pain. The good news & bad news is that I was never willing to be immobile & so

    I used a knee scooter and rented a motorized wheelchair & ramp for the house. I continued working full time since I am fortunate enough to live next door to the office. However, I still spend most every day trying to figure out how to get through the day because I have a lot of walking around to do and I am constantly in pain! I can't even tell you how much money I've spent on shoes & expensive inserts but I finally had to face the fact that nothing is going to help except (I hope!) time! The physical therapist says this is all normal & what did I expect? He says it is a tough surgery to recover from and I went ahead and had both feet done which makes it even worse. So I am still struggling but I'm not willing to put my life on hold. I totally agree with you / why doesn't the surgeon or anyone else prepare us for the long, hard post op & recovery period???!!!

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    • Posted

      Recovery is wholistic, not just about 'cut here, stitch there, stretch this, elevate foot'. A bit of insight would have been handy! 

      I won't tell you to simply keep you chin up, because we all already know that. I understand what it feels like to be so down about it all.

      You have a friend in me Janice! 


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  • Posted

    Oh yes, Ness. B.

    I am about where you are in this adventure.i had the lapidus procedure and the straightening of the 2nd toe. I got my walking boot yesterday so I am making progress. But it's so heavy and between it and the knee walker, it's making my back hurt which doesn't help my mood. But I'm weary of it all and get down sometimes. It's tough, I think, but I do understand more and sympathize with the plight of those permanently disabled. Be grateful we are not there.

    Just got to keep our eye on the prize I guess. And you are right, the clinicians don't tell you anything about this side of it.

    Keep your chin up and I'll try too!


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  • Posted

    I felt that way when I got my right foot done, a lapidus procedure, back in March. I like to relax and stuff but I hate feeling helpless, I hate when I can't do things on my own, simple things because I was raised where if you want something you go get it, and I'd sometimes hate when my bf did everything for me for a month straight even though I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to do those things without help. I live in WA and it's hiking season and going for walks in the park and I can't do that, well I can but I'm still in crutches and can't walk without both of them. It really sucks and I was regretting getting the surgery done because I couldn't do anything but I just had to remember this is only temporary. Every day, you will get better and you're one day closer to being able to live as close to normal as you can and accept it for what it is. You'll have your ups and downs but you will be fine in the end.
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  • Posted

    It's difficult to imagine how long 6-12 months actually is. 

    I went in thinking I'd be able to make the most of this down time. I thought "Oh Yes, I'll learn how to make soap, I'll learn how to use clay, I'll read this big stack of books!" 

    Now, I know the only person who's stopping me from doing that is me. I'm not trying to pity myself. I simpy want other's to know that if they're feeling the same way, it is 100% okay.

    A little bit of realistic insight into what this down-time means would've helped. 

    Somedays I can't read. Somedays I stare at a blank canvas for hours, not painting anything. Somedays I find that I've watched 3 hours of TV and can't remember any of it. 

    I related down-time to productivity and I think in the end it's about not pressuring yourself to Be and Do everything imagined in this period of our lives. 

    I have moved my productivity into soul searching, instead of activities.

    For the first time in my life, I have taken the time to meditate, to learn about the ego and my fears. 

    I have had the time to truly connect to my thoughts and emotions. 

    It's one thing to look at this experience positively (which I think is very important) and another to disregard one's negative feelings. I don't want to supress my worries and anxieties about what is happening. I want to accept them. Not let them bog my mind down or validate them, but to notice them. Think about the true reason I'm scared, and simply let it be there. 

    I am scared about the pain of physio, I am scared that something will go wrong, I am scared that I haven't made the most of my "time-off", but I think that it's totally normal. I have a lot of times dwelled in these feelings and let them cause excess anxiety. But overall when I cry into my sandwich (this still makes me laugh at myself) I allow it, because I feel that my mind and body need to have a good cry! I will wipe my tears and realign my focus, but I don't think it's healthy to supress fears. 

    In this community, we're all here for each other. Everyone's recovery has it's differences, and it seems none of us really knew the time & effort it would take.

    I am very grateful you all have listened and related. 

    Thankyou for letting me spill my guts!  

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