Saturday, October 20, 2018

Everyone with Pre-Op and Post-Op Anxiety should know about this…

Everyone with Pre-Op and Post-Op Anxiety should know about this… 

Outpatient procedures happen. So do in-patient, only that’s worse because we feel like crap and have to stay there.

Just thinking about what is approaching, making lists of all the stuff at work and around the house that we have to do beforehand, can raise our anxiety level. That’s not even counting appointments for blood work, x-rays, EKG, pulmonary exams, ct-scan and pre-op physical from our primary care physician. No aspirin, Motrin and herbal supplements 7 days prior to surgery. And what about your Living Trust’s advanced healthcare directive? Anxiety loves to get in our heads during times like this! And we need to approach the whole thing with a positive mental attitude?

I have found that putting a lid on all my brain chatter so I can allow myself the opportunity to focus, to create a mental list/schedule/timeline to follow leading up to surgery is primary, and my anxiety decreases with every checkmark I make next to my list. How I do it is with my iphone and Bluetooth lightframes and headphones. The Apple app is called mindLightz by Mindgear, Inc. and the Bluetooth lightframes and headphones are sold by Mindmachines.

There are six specific light and sound brainwave frequency sessions on my mindLightz Bluetooth mind machine that are definitely helping me. I want to stay feeling balanced, focused, and aware that my spouse is also feeling anxious. The mindLightz has 83 different sessions including a manual mode enabling the user the flexibility of choosing individual specifics such as Sound Effects, Binaural/Tone volume, Frequency adjustment, Pitch, Duty Cycle, Intensity and lightframe color selection. With all those parameters, finding sessions that meet your needs at any given time is quick and easy – simply use the slider bars for adjustments.

The six sessions I found that work best for me are the 15 minute Alpha Break (for relaxed attention), the 30 minute Deep Theta (a twilight state for deeply relaxed creativity), the 20 minute Problem Solver (for help in determining what comes first, then next, etc.), the 30 minute High Energy (for getting that fire lit under my rear), the 14Hz Trainer (smack in the middle of SMR) and the 45 minute Sound Sleep (for going to and staying asleep, much like a welcome power nap – not too long and not too short). I use various colors for my visual stimulation as they activate my brain’s  cortex into generating quite a colorful display for my mind to observe. I use cooler colors such as green and blue when targeting lower mental states like Theta and Delta, and warmer colors like yellow, red and orange while in high Alpha and Beta. Add the Bluetooth headphones, then choosing the music from my iTunes library and getting comfortable, and I am ready to spend the next mind entraining minutes shedding any anxious thoughts trying to barge their way in to my consciousness.

I have used my mindLightz for past medical procedures and I have been using it lately, prepping for my next surgery in two weeks. The mindLightz mind entrainment system keeps me relaxed, which helps everyone around me stay relaxed. Like I wrote in the beginning – medical procedures happen. Focus on yourself, focus on your family (especially the one who will be taking care of you during recuperation!) and forget about anxiety. High anxiety levels just screw things up.

The morning of an operation means having to fast. And plenty of time to think about what’s going to happen. A 20 minute Alpha session helps rid my vision of donuts, coffee, pancakes, and my mind of useless worry. And then it’s time to leave for the hospital, which causes my blood pressure to rise. A lot. 

After surgery and waking up in the intensive care unit after an operation, I’m struck by the realization that mentally, emotionally and physically I am in shock. My body is whacked, with IV lines in my neck, wrist and back of hand. The ICU nurses say multiple IV lines are necessary in case of emergency. OK. But it sucks.

Nurses are incredibly compassionate people. Normally I try to be, but after major surgery that’s not going to happen. When my wife comes in, we share our thoughts and concerns, and before she leaves she unpacks my iphone, mindLightz lightframes and headphones. We tell my nurse what it is, what I’ll be using it for, and she asks if I brought more than one. 

Since starting a regime of using mind machines for pre- and post-operative recuperation my body appears to heal quicker than expected and while hospitalized my need for pain-suppression medication has decreased without any major discomfort. The nurses have asked why I pass on my pain meds (I feel I don’t really need any at that time), the surgeons also find my response interesting, which has lead to several of them incorporating light and sound brainwave frequency stimulation into their answers to other patients interested in finding alternatives to (oftentimes highly addictive) pain medication.

The mindLightz light and sound mind machine is a non-intrusive method for dealing with the mental, emotional and physical discomforts of pre- and post-operative surgery.

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