My Surgery with Schizoaffective Disorder Was a Nightmare

March 31, 2022 Elizabeth Caudy

When people ask me how my knee surgery for a torn meniscus went, the first thing I blurt out is that I had a nightmare while under anesthesia. Talk about being socially awkward. I definitely wasn’t expecting that to happen, but when you live with schizoaffective disorder, I guess all terrors of the mind are possible.

Schizoaffective Disorder and Planning for a Surgery

My nightmare (which featured the head-spinning antics and projectile vomiting of the girl from The Exorcist) wasn’t the only way my schizoaffective disorder made my surgery go less than smoothly, even though, looking back on it, and all things considered, it went pretty well. But I had to have my surgery done at a hospital rather than a clinic because my care team was concerned the anesthesia would interact badly with the several psychiatric medications I take.

Okay, so I actually did feel safer at a hospital than I would have at a clinic. But the way my care team went about the switch did not just trigger my schizoaffective anxiety; it sent off sirens. Basically, after we’d scheduled my surgery at the clinic and I was a week away from the surgery, I learned my surgery would be switched to a hospital, and I had to wait a whole day to find out if it would be the same day that I had scheduled at the clinic. I should mention here that the procedure was scheduled for my husband Tom’s day off so he could drive me to and from the appointment. No one else could drive me.

Well, it did turn out that they got me the same day at the hospital that had been originally scheduled.

Schizoaffective Disorder and Recovering from Surgery

Now I want to talk about recovering from the surgery. My doctor had told me the worst thing that could happen was the possibility my knee wouldn’t get better, and, of course, my schizoaffective depression turned that into, “I’m not going to get better.” So, for a while, I was convinced my knee wouldn’t get better. I was also discouraged that the fragments of bone found in my knee joint were an early indicator of arthritis. The x-rays and MRI hadn’t shown that.

Things turned around a week ago, though, at least mentally. An auntie told me that the joy of an injury is watching the body heal itself. And one of my brothers told me it was a really good sign that I wasn’t in more pain after the surgery than I had been before.

I remain skeptical, though. Maybe it’s just that my knee has been in pain for so long that I can’t imagine it getting better. Maybe my schizoaffective brain is lying to me and telling me my knee won’t get better. I had the surgery eight days ago as of this writing, and I’m still in a lot of pain. I guess I’ll just have to be patient.

In the meantime, though, I have a question for my readers: have you ever had really intense dreams or nightmares while under anesthesia? Please leave your answers below in the comments.

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2022, March 31). My Surgery with Schizoaffective Disorder Was a Nightmare, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 18 from

Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

John Caudy
April, 2 2022 at 11:58 pm

Im sure you'll be feeling fine very soon. Thanks for sharing Bidit. I love you so much ❤️

April, 4 2022 at 3:09 pm

Thanks for your comment, John. Whenever I think of you and this blog, I think of the earrings you gave me that I always wear when I make videos! Ha ha. I'm barely able to walk right now. It stinks. But I'll try to believe you when you say I'll be feeling fine very soon. I love you so much too.

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