Schizoaffective Anxiety and Recovering from Surgery

January 18, 2024 Elizabeth Caudy

Schizoaffective anxiety and recovering from surgery are a particularly bad combination. Yesterday, I was picking up some packages from the mail room. The mailroom is down a flight of stairs from our apartment. Only one package of four free COVID tests would fit in my tote bag, so I had to carry the other one by hand. I have a system for getting the mail on such occasions since I just had double knee surgery, and it’s hard for me to get up and down stairs. Schizoaffective anxiety in recovery makes it harder because I'm scared.

My system is that I use my cane in one hand, and I hold onto the railing with the other. The tote bag is so that I can put the mail in it but still hold onto the banister.

Well, since I had an extra package in my hand, it was hard—but not impossible—to hold onto the railing. So, despite my schizoaffective anxiety, I decided to take a chance and go up the stairs with everything.

All seemed well at first. But as I got closer to the top of the stairs, I felt scared. I don’t know if this was my schizoaffective anxiety kicking in. It was almost as if I could feel all the stairs below me breathing up my back. I was so afraid I would fall. I was terrified when I had to take my hand off the railing to reach up as I progressed up the stairs. Finally, I got to the top of the stairs. Right before I got there, I threw the package I was holding in my hand into the hallway that led to my door. What a relief.

My Coping Skills for Schizoaffective Anxiety During Recovery

I was shaken about my surgical recovery after that because of my schizoaffective anxiety. Luckily, I had a glass of ice water on the table and Scarlet’s Walk by Tori Amos in the CD player. I tried to calm myself down with that, but finally, I needed to take a tranquilizer prescribed for anxiety. I also had a chocolate from a box that was a Christmas gift. Then I put on a ring that comforts me because it’s from my great aunt who passed away, and I ate a small serving of apple sauce. It took a lot of ritual to carry that one extra package.

My psychiatric nurse practitioner and I are working on lowering how much of the tranquilizer I take in one day. I’ve already gone from three pills a day to two. Other than that, I just wish I didn’t turn to food for my schizoaffective anxiety during recovery. That’s why music is so important to me—listening to music takes the edge off, and Scarlet’s Walk is one of my go-to albums for when I need to calm down. Hopefully, in the future, I won’t need to rely on tranquilizers or food when my schizoaffective anxiety acts up.

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2024, January 18). Schizoaffective Anxiety and Recovering from Surgery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 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.

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