Preparing for surgery

UteMitchellTwo and a half weeks… that’s how long I have to prepare for surgery. My trip on the emotional rollercoaster is ongoing and exciting… and a little nerve wrecking, as I’m reaching a point where I just want to get it done and over with. The dark thoughts on what might go wrong sometimes make it difficult to sleep. I do fall asleep, but I have wild and weird dreams, and I toss and turn all night, and wake up with my entire body aching.

Also, my lumpy liver is giving me more pain these days. I suppose this, at least, confirms that surgery is truly the way to go. But how does one prepare for such a big event? Here’s what I’ve done.

1. Bought a book that was recommended to me by a friend. The book, “Surgery: How to rehearse before you see the nurse” was written by a woman, who had almost the exact same surgery as I did, with liver resection and gallbladder removal. Of course she also had a bunch of complications, that she wrote about in the book, and freaked me out a bit. BUT, on a positive note, I now have a better feeling of what to expect when I go in, and what to bring with me. Never thought of things like pillows, aromatherapy, and my own assortment of teas. Good information to have.

2. Started working on a list of what to bring to the hospital… pillows, aromatherapy, my own assortment of teas… ­čśë also, nightgown, slippers with grippy things, funny looking CrossFit socks, baked goodies for the nurses, music, lots of music, audiobooks etc.

3. Created a meal train on, and was absolutely overwhelmed by the response. Weeks of meals are covered. Meals from paleo and non-paleo people alike, willing to step out of their comfort zone to make a meal for my family, that we can actually eat. How sweet is that?

4. Put everything from homeschool classes, to ballet, to swimming lessons into a shared Google calendar for the family, so they know where to be and when.

5. Started eating clean. Like for realz. No joking around this time. I’m eating clean. Booyah!

6. Created a will and advance directive. Didn’t like that. Cried doing it, but hell, you gotta do it, right?

7. Ordered a necklace with a kettlebell and a ring around the kettlebell reading “Conquer”, because it just feels right.

8. Made sure to have paleo foods delivered to the hospital, so I can avoid hospital food.

What I have yet to do…

Get in a better place emotionally. I want to do some affirmations and meditation. I don’t like being in this emotional place I am now. I want to feel good and positive and expect a great outcome.

Also, I’m asking YOU! What do you think I forgot? What is it, that you would absolutely want to add to my list? I’d appreciate any and all feedback from you.

6 thoughts on “Preparing for surgery”

  1. My mother has had several major surgeries in the last few years with me as her companion/support person. (Dad passed a few years ago, and I am an only child now.) These are a couple things I’ve learned from that experience:

    That whole big list of stuff to bring? Don’t bring it with you when you go in for surgery. Have someone bring it later, after you’ve moved to your room on the floor. You won’t need it for at least a couple days – you’ll be way out of it in the initial recovery period of at least a day or two – and it’s just something else for others to try to keep up with. Everything you go in with will be handed to your husband/companion/support person, and they will have to keep up with it while in the surgery waiting area and move it to your room later. Wear minimal clothing – sweats, flip-flops, and leave jewelry, purse and other personal items at home, to be brought to you later. You will be naked under a hospital gown for surgery and at least a day or two after.

    I hope you’ve made arrangements to have someone there with you most of the time, if not around the clock. Even if you’ve made arrangements ahead of time to have your food brought in, they will pressure you to eat what their nutritionist wants you to eat. You will not be in any condition to argue or make a stand for yourself. You will need an advocate. Be aware that your diet will also be restricted initially to thin liquids, then thick, then soft foods before allowing a full, normal diet. Be sure your food preparers know this and can accommodate.

    Hope this helps some and you have an uneventful surgical adventure and swift recovery!

  2. Looks like you are one organized lady. I can’t think of anything to add. Just know that our prayers and positive thoughts are with you. You are a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman, and you will get through this.
    Stacey,& Family

  3. You have a great plan going. I noticed a note about baked goods for the nurses. Absolutely!!!
    The more your friends and family do for the nurses the more they will help you. Something as simple as cookies or candy and a big thank you will go so far in helping you and being sure you are more comfortable.I don’t know how long you will be in the hospital but have someone do things periodically for them and all the shifts.2 suggestions. Some people try to avoid taking pain medication and allow themself to hurt before getting relief. this can actually slow the healing by avoiding pain treatment. God bless you and there are positive prayers all around you.

  4. I had one more suggestion for post op but I ran out of room. Constipation after major surgery can be one of the most painful parts of your recovery. Everyone seems to forget about needing to help you and about 3 to 4 days after surgery it hits. My husband has had major surgery 3 times and myself once and it was the worse part of the recovery. ask your doctor to be sure and give you something to try and prevent it.Good luck to you!!!

    you something to try and prevent it before it happens.

  5. For the constipation? (Or as I like to call it “hung poo”). Colace. Over the counter. It’ll do the trick. My very best wishes for smooth sailing and quick recovery. Also: Be gentle with yourself.

  6. alleine schon, dass Du dar├╝ber sprichst und damit die Menschen zur Stellungnahme ermunterst, eigene Erfahrungsberichte zu schreiben, sind eine seelische Unterst├╝tzung, und kann sehr hilfreich sein. Zusammen mit Gedankenhygiene (ich wei├č, leichter gesagt als getan, aber stetiges sich daran Ermahnen f├╝hrt zu Erfolg) kann gut helfen und schlie├člich die Gewissheit dass wir gedanklich ganz bei dir sind.
    Ansonsten, wie gesagt, Deine beschriebene Vorbereitung finde ich absolut hilfreich.
    Es wird alles gut … alles gut.

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