Thursday, February 12, 2009

How to go into surgery.

Here are some tips that I'll share from my recent knee surgery.

Surgery IS a big deal. Mentally and physically. Take it seriously.

Information is power. You need to go into your surgery with a positive attitude. Ask lots of questions. Afterall, YOU are the consumer of this experience. Ask your doctor what would happen if you didn't have surgery. Ask the doctor the risks of your surgery. Ask your doctor how many times she has performed this surgery. Get a second opinion if you are feeling nervous about her ability or about the need for surgery.

Once you make the decision to proceed, believe in your surgery. Attitude is everything.

Plan ahead and "take care of business." Do as much as you can before the big day. Pay your bills, cut your grass, go to the grocery and fill your cupboard with what you might eat afterwards. I Christmas shopped, wrapped and decorated the house before I went in to surgery. Then, I recovered in a happy home, ready for the holidays.

Set up a support system for before and after the surgery. Who will take you to the hospital? Who will see you in the recovery room? You need an advocate at that moment, because you'll be hazy from anesthesia. Who will check in on you daily? Talk to the nurses and doctor if you need help? And finally, who will take you home from the hospital?

Prepare your body. Surgery and anesthesia are very hard on the body. One week before your surgery: stop drinking alcohol. Give your kidneys a rest. Take your vitamins. Stay healthy. Two days before surgery stop eating meat. Start eating lightly. One day before surgery, consider a juice and soup fast. You don't want your intestines filled with matter... While you are under an anesthetic, your intestines stop working. You don't want to be post surgery, sore, tender, immobile, and worry about pooping. You will have plenty of other things to worry about. Drink lots of liquids. You want to be very hydrated before surgery.

Your hospital survival kit. Hospitals charge you for absolutely everything, so take needed items and some comfort items. Washcloth, (not only for washing, but for having friends soothe you and refresh you) toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, lip balm, body lotion, sleeping mask, pashmina, light blanket, several changes of underwear, big baggy T shirt, slippers, book, knitting, cell phone, cuddly soft socks, Ipod.

Sleeping in a hospital is very difficult and the sleeping mask will save you. In a hospital the nurses come in all night long, turning on the light, to check your temp, give you meds, and interrupt you every time you manage to fall into a light sleep. The eye mask excuses you from having to make contact, be polite or even opening your eyes. You want the light blanket, because your hospital blanket will probably be heavy, and if you have had surgery, you want warmth, but not heaviness weighing on your sore body. The cuddly soft socks help, because you can keep your feet warm and then just lie under a sheet. The pashmina, is for keeping your upper body warm. Between socks, light blanket and pashmina, you are able to deal with all your temperature zones -- and this is crucial in your comfort.

I also brought two different shaped tempurpedic pillows. Getting comfortable in a hospital bed, especially when you've been lying in bed for days, is hard. You put them under your neck, your arms, your knees, your sides -- anything to do to get comfortable. If you are comfortable, you heal faster.

You check in. You go to your room. Be calm, listen to your music, and all will be well.


liposuction said...

Thanks, really it is very good things to do when you want to go surgery.

Pi said...

Would love to be indicated how to reach Elizabeth, I red her book maybe 15 or 20 years ago and would love to discuss with her my interest on a future project.. it has been a life since and is time I push t achieve it as a personal goal.

Thanking you in advance.

and... always best wishes,