No, this isn’t a post on how to get in the greatest shape of your life so that the day after surgery you can go back to life as normal. This is a starting point for anyone who is looking to prepare for the upcoming day – I’m talking family, home, food, and animals, so that after surgery all you have to worry about is healing!
So the first thought that went through my mind when I found out I needed surgery was ‘oh, great…’. My second was ‘crud, I have a ton to do!’ Now I do realize that my surgery is a little different than some. Most the time you find out, schedule it and within a week or two you have it done. Mine however, due to the time of year (late summer with a full garden in), and the type of surgery (hysterectomy, that I knew would take a while for me to feel better) was pushed back 3 months. I did talk all my worries over with my surgeon and she agreed that waiting until the main gardening season was over and all the fall clean-up was done would be the best, and that waiting would allow me proper time to recover without having to worry about all the to-do’s.
As soon as I got home I started on a to-do list, mine might be a bit different then yours, but it could be a good starting spot. Here are the first two things that I did.
- Learn about the procedure – then you will know what you can and can’t do after surgery. As a coder I already knew what my surgery entailed – but that really didn’t help because the next time I coded one, I almost passed out – realizing that was gonna be me! eek!
- Make a list – without really thinking about it I made a quick list – what to do and what to buy. I knew this wasn’t going to be my final list but was a good starting point. That original list was tweaked and was never fully finalized – but it was a great place to start so I could actually “see’ what needed to get done and what had to be bought. Also, since my list covered months before the surgery, I assigned time frames to each item, it was loose and very fluid, but in the end – I am glad to say everything got done.
And here is what made it to the list of things I (and family) needed to do:
- Preparing schedules – time off (self/spouse/kids)
- Show people what you do. – animal care is the top thing that comes to mind, but it could also include cleaning, cooking, homeschooling, etc.
- Fill pantry/freezer – I am the main cook in our house, so I filled the pantry and freezer with easy to cook meals. My initial goal was to make slow-cooker freezer meals but I ran out of freezer space. Also – if applicable – buy stuff for you. I was having a hysterectomy; I knew I would want anything heavy the first few days. So, I made sure I had soups, crackers, juice, and teas on hand.
- Get animal food topped off.
- Get medications topped off – humans and animals
- Coordinate child care/animal care
- Get help for after the surgery – if needed
- Buy stuff for you after the surgery – I am a doer, I like being busy and usually have 2-10 projects going at any one time. My main thought was – ‘I’m gonna get really bored!’ So, I bought movies, a couple tv series, and magazines. I also figured it would be a good time to pamper my beaten and battered body, so I got some nice lotion, fun socks, a new coffee (or tea) cup, and some special treats – just for mommy.
- Prep where you will be sitting/sleeping/resting. I ended up moving our living room around so that I had a good place to put meds and drinks along with making it the best seat in the house to watch tv. I also cleaned off my bedside table, and prepped a bucket that had lotion, lip balm, and a hair tie in it. It also was big enough to put all the pain meds I would be using in it.
- Homeschool schedule – My daughters schedule got lightened for the week of surgery and we were back to normal after that. If anything during the surgery and early recovery period you can set them up with projects, unit studies, or online learning games.
- Presents – I bought a little stuffed animal for my daughter, that I snuck into her bed before I left for surgery so that when she got up she would find it. I also bought a thank you present for a friend that was helping with child care the day of.
These are what I did the weekend before surgery:
- Thorough cleaning of the house.
- Make sure all laundry is folded and put away.
- Make ‘after surgery’ clothes easily accessible.
- Put together a hospital bag – I was scheduled for day surgery, but you never know! Even though I didn’t anticipate any complications I figured I would feel better if I had a bag of little things , at least to make the drive home more bearable. Lotion, lip balm, hair tie, container for my glasses. It was also nice to put all my clothes in it so nothing got lost.
The night before I also gave the house a quick clean, and prepped where I was going to be sitting when I got home the next day.
It really was a lot to make sure everything was done, but well worth it when I came from surgery and didn’t have to worry about anything.
I hope this helps. Is there anything that you have done that really help you?
2 thoughts on “Surgery prep”
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