Tips for an Aspie having surgery

I am due to have surgery (ACL reconstruction) for the first time in a couple of months, and I am starting to get really anxious. I have stayed in hospital a couple of times before, but I’ve never had a general anaesthetic or surgery before, and I haven’t been able to find out much of what to expect - my GP said I would be told at my pre-op, but at my pre-op I was told that everything would be fully explained on the day of my surgery. As you can imagine, that’s not a very comforting prospect for someone who suffers from anxiety - I like to know everything to expect in advance so that I can plan my ways of coping and ask for reasonable adjustments where necessary. 

Given the above I am now really quite concerned that I will end up in a state of panic on the day of my surgery, simply because too much information is thrown at me on the day, and then my surgery won’t go ahead as planned. This would be terribly upsetting for me as I have waited since July 2017 for the surgery as is, and I will have 12 months recovery following it.

Therefore, could anyone possibly give me advice regarding what to expect when having (NHS) surgery followed by a hospital stay, and any advice regarding what problems my autism may cause during the experience? Also, I would welcome any tips for managing anxiety and communicating my needs (given my autism) whilst I’m in hospital.

Many thanks.

  • I've had surgery a few  times.  

    First to sew my ears back on as they were almost ripped off.

    Once to repair a strangulated Hernia.

    Then to remove a stone from the bladder itself.

    Often they send you information leaflets about the operation.

    With general anaesthetic they usually expect you to fast for at least 12 hours.  Only taking necessary tablets with water.

    The actual surgeon should visit you on the day  in the hospital bed explaining what procedure is going to be done.

    You will be asked to sign consent forms.

    Afterwards you wake up feeling dizzy.  And initially you get a lot of care and attention.

    Then it's back to a ward for recovery with less personal care.

    Each time my experiences were different.

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