Afraid of Being "Put to Sleep"

Updated on October 02, 2011
F.S. asks from Whiteland, IN
21 answers

I go in to have surgery to repair an umblical hernia october 3rd... and Im so nervous about being put to sleep for the procediure. I know another option is to get an epuderal and thats a deffinate no.. Ive had three they've all ended in horrible experiences. So im asking has anyone had this proceidure or a surgery in which you were put under and what were your expeirences? I have a fast heart rate and slightly high blood pressure im worried this will affect me negitivaly while being under. Im so nervous!! I have never been under.

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answers from San Diego on

For me it was only a D & C but I was afraid, too. My BP is quite low and I'm on a tricky medication so I was worried for that reason.

I had a wonderful doctor who joked around with me, then asked me to think about the best vacation I could think of. Then off to dreamland I went. Woke up quite 'loving.'

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answers from Elkhart on

tell them you have anxiety. They can give you something that will help you stay calm when you come out of the anesthesia. They have to give me something everytime I go under because of a panic disorder. talk to them before you go in.

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answers from San Francisco on

I've been put out three times. Once when I was a teen and had oral surgery. They put the needle in my arm and had me count backwards from 10. I got to 8 before a veil fell over my eyes and I passed out. I woke up groggy in another room, very disorienting, and I was grouchy as all get out. Mom said I took a swing at her when she tried to get me to my feet.

Second time was when I had my emergency c-section. I fell unconscious as they were prepping me for surgery and woke in the ICU to beeping monitors and hissing machines. I was groggy but not in pain because of the drugs.

Just last year I had to have my gallbladder out and they gave me a shot to "make me comfortable" which was really just a heavy duty sedative that had me feeling on top of the world. I think I professed my love to a passing doctor that was really cute.... Shortly after that, they wheeled me into the OR and put something in my IV and before I knew it I found myself waking up in a hospital room with an oxygen tube in my nose and my husband snoring in a chair next to me.

Don't be afraid of going under. Be afraid of the pain of recovery afterwards... that's what'll kick you in the behind.

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answers from Charlotte on


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answers from Seattle on

I work in a hospital and get patients ready for surgery and work with them afterwards and I also was terrified before I went in. I had to be "put to sleep" for my C-Section. I didn't know this we went in for a scheduled C-Section but found out my platelets were way to low for a spinal. I was terrified due to one it being so short noticed and didn't have time to even process. I walked into the OR they had me lay on a table they draped me and they put the mask over my face and I counted back and was done. It was fine. You should talk to the anesthesiologist before you go in and he/she will answer any question you have. Also if the doctors feel you might be at risk for anything they might do a EKG. That just checks your heart for any irregular beats. I hope all goes well!

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answers from Dallas on

Hey, I'm having an umbilical hernia repair on Oct 1st! Unless baby is born before then. They are doing it when baby arrives with an epidural/c-section. I was glad because I really didnt' want to be put to sleep. And, luckily, I have had good experiences with my two epidurals.

My hubby works in the medical field and says to make sure to tell the anesthesiologist about your issues, and it should be fine as long as he is aware.

Hope it all goes well and your hernia repairs well! They are going to try to fix my muscles too to prevent another hernia from coming. It has mixed results when done right after birth...guess we'll see. It's free, though! My dr isn't charging me for it. So nice!

Oh, and I should add...

I've been put out a couple times. Once was due to some bladder issues as a kid. They were going in to enlarge my bladder hole. I woke up during that. I remember the nurse looking very surprised. I was only 10 yrs old. I didn't feel any pain. I was just awake briefly and then put right out.

The other time was when I was having a stomach scope because of some stomach issues (suspected ulcer), and I woke up as they were putting the scope down my throat...lots of gagging and weird noises. But then I was out really fast when they saw I was awake. My dad later told me that they had a hard time keeping my IV in. They got it in, my arm fell, it fell out. They tried again, a similar thing happened. And I don't remember the rest. So, it sounded more like the dr was being dumb.

Even though I woke up twice and remember it, they responded fast, and I was out again.

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answers from Springfield on

I don't want to make light of it, but there's nothing to it. You'll need an IV, but once you have that, they administer most of the drugs through the IV. The last time I had a procedure (last week, actually) they had me breath through an oxygen mask. I vaguely remember the doctor telling me to breath in through my nose and out through my mouth. I know he said something else, but I don't remember. The next thing I knew I was in recovery.

Just make sure you are completely upfront about any medical conditions you have. Lots of people have high blood pressure. It's important for them to know, but they know which drugs are the right ones to use. Tell the anesthesiologist about your fears and past experiences. They've heard it all. Hopefully he/she will be able to answer your questions and calm your fears.

Try to relax. You'll be in good hands.

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answers from Portland on

I've had several surgeries. I was especially afraid with the first one. The nurse told me I had a better chance of being killed when I cross the street than when I had anesthesia. After several surgeries I'm no long frightened. A bit anxious but not frightened. You'll be fine.

The anesthesiologist will talk with you before surgery. Tell him of your concerns. He'll reassure you.


answers from San Francisco on

I just had a procedure two weeks ago and it was also my first time going under. And like you, I was pretty freaked out (I'm healthy but I do have a heart murmur.)
The best part is, you go out REALLY fast and when you wake up it's like oh, what happened? You don't remember, you don't dream, it's like you're switched off and back on a minute later!
I am sure you will be fine. Can someone (a friend, sister?) sit with you and keep you distracted before you actually go in the OR? My bff was with me and that really, really helped :)



answers from Detroit on

I've had general anesthesia twice - once to have my gall bladder removed, and once as an emergency for my c-section. I really did not have any problems at all. There was more time to prepare when I had my gall bladder out, but they placed an IV catheter and I first got some medication similar to Valium to help me relax. I wasn't even aware of actually falling asleep - I was out and then I was waking up with no awareness of time passing or anything else happening. I did feel sick to my stomach from being given morphine for pain but otherwise nothing else really unusual or noteworthy. If you have a history of fast heart rate, elevated blood pressure, etc., the anesthesiologist should be aware of this and be able to treat you accordingly. Anesthesiologists are doctors too - they have specialized in anesthesia and have all the training, experience and credentials to handle whatever situation may arise.


answers from Denver on

I was put under for a hernia and i was nervous too but came out of it just fine, bad thing is the hernia is back and they say to just let it be unless it is creating problems. I think going in knowing you have a fast heart rate and high blood pressure they will monitor what needs to be monitored. Have you ever gone fully under?


answers from Phoenix on

I feel for you so much. I too was nervous. I had gastric bypass and I was put under. I was shaking so bad out of fear. Going under anesthesia is very scary, and yes there are risks involved. But do remember that the person who is doing your anesthesia is very experienced, and knows what to do in order to keep you safe and to bring you out of anesthesia safely. Ask any questions that you have to either the Anesthesia doc, or your surgeon in order to help you feel more at ease.



answers from Columbus on

I've been "under" twice and have had no problems. I was very nervous too and the nurses and doctors were all very understanding and very reassuring and telling me to take a few deep breaths and relax. It all turned out fine. The only problem I had was nausea upon waking up.
Just make sure everyone involved is aware of your fast heart rate and high blood pressure and any medications you may be taking. Even if it's just over-the-counter vitamins, etc. Good luck!!



answers from Colorado Springs on

I have been put under for a major surgery (femur break-had to have a rod put in my leg). It was fine. Actually very peaceful. I almost died from the actual surgery, so I don't remember anything for a couple of days afterwards. It would have been a peaceful way to go. ;)



answers from Toledo on

I have been put under way too many times that I can count. I have a problem with my neck after surgery a couple years ago so I have injections in my neck to "help" that. It hasn't really helped yet...but that's besides the point. I also have high blood pressure, but I have never had any problems with anesthesia. I think you will be just fine if anything it will calm you down and bring your high blood pressure down for the time being anyways. I don't think you have anything to worry about. God Bless



answers from Chattanooga on

I had to be put under for an emergency surgery once before. The last thing I remember was my mom arguing with my doctor about the possibility of me being pregnant (lol) and the next thing I remember is waking up and asking my dad for some water... and my hospital bed felt extremely comfy. lol.



answers from Cleveland on

The 1st time I was "put to sleep" was when I was 10 for major surgery. My dad was a fireman, so all I was thinking about (in my barely 10 y/o mind) was "What if the hospital catches on fire? Will the dr.s leave me open on the table?" etc. I was SO worked up that the anastethiologists (sp?) gave me the max. amount for my height & weight but I wasn't fully asleep b/c I was SO worked up. The drs. came out & asked my parents if they could give me an adult dose. Moral of the story ~ try to stay calm! Granted that was 21 years ago & I'm sure there are things they can do now to help you remain calm before going under. I've had other surgeries since then, some minor (teeth pulled), & some not so minor (deviated septum, then last year gall bladder). For my gall bladder they kept asking if I had false teeth, any partials, or anything that could easily come out of my mouth. The also asked me to open my mouth & move my jaw foreward. Turns out they put a breathing tube in. When I woke up, my throat was a bit sore & my voice was gavily. I've been totally fine going under & coming out of surgery (except for when I was 10). I made myself stay calm & trusted the drs. Please tell them that you're anxious & of you medical conditions though. Good luck, I bet you'll be fine!



answers from Sacramento on

I had my umbilical hernia repaired with just a local. I was scared stiff about being put under. when i got to the hospital the anesthesiologist talked me into doing it with just a local. he said if i could feel anything during the surgery he would gladly put me under, but it would be better for my body all around if i went with the local. so i did. and i didnt feel anything except a slight pull at the beginning. i was higher than a freakin' kite. but then i love being higher than a freakin' kite. and it was legal! i was aware in that lovely haze of highness of the doctor and what was going on, but didnt feel a thing. i was never even offered the epidural option and wouldnt have done it anyways. ask if a local will work for you and if the answer is yes, go for the local!


answers from Washington DC on

I had my gall bladder out 5 years ago and I too was terrified. I remember I was shaking and crying and I even warned them that I am allergic to major pain meds and it will make me very sick. Of course they didn't listen. They didn't do the iv first because I was so freaked out. I just remember they said they were giving me oxygen, but that's the last I remember. When I woke up, I was horribly naucious and they kept forcing me to wake up, walk, eat crackers and made me leave and go home. I threw up maybe about 5 times before leaving and about every 30 minutes when I got home. I couldn't even take my pain meds. My husband ended up taking me back to the ER because of the pain and throwing up. Now, I am normally extremly sensitive to pain meds. I can not take anything stronger than motrin. So, my experience most likely will not happen to you. Being put to sleep really wasn't all that bad. The thing that I didn't like was no knowing exactally what was going on when I was asleep. Good luck!



answers from Glens Falls on

Do you know what kind of anesthesia you are having? Truly going under is considered a general anesthesia. Sometimes they give you a lighter anesthetic - we used to call it "twilight" -where you think you are out and you don't feel or remember anything...but you really aren't under a general anesthesia. I've had that several times and it's great. I had general recently to have my thyroid removed. I was out before I got to the OR. It's a little harder to come out of it with general, I kept falling back asleep. And it made me grouchy and constipated after the procedure. But in either case, you will be carefully monitored and unaware of what is going on during the procedure. Don't worry, the anesthesia is the best part!



answers from Portland on

It is really quick and painless. The anesthesiologist will give you some happy meds in your IV before you go to the OR and once you get there all they do is put a mask over your face and you fall asleep within seconds. It seems like you wake up only minutes later and it is all over. During your surgery, the anesthesiologist will monitor everything about you and if something starts to look abnormal, he will make sure it is taken care of immediately. I have been under a general and a conscious sedation on 2 different occasions and did fine both times.

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