Having surgery can be a stressful time for even the most organized and prepared person. After various surgeries, I’ve learned how to prepare for a surgery to make it less stressful for everyone. Here are 10 things to do to prepare for a surgery.
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10 Things to prepare for surgery
1. Tell your support system
Let your family and friends know about your surgery. You do not have to include details if you don’t feel comfortable, but tell them the basics. Letting them know what is happening allows them to be better informed during the recovery process. It also enables them to better support you during your time of need.
2. Expect the unexpected
As I learned from my recent hysterectomy, the unexpected can always happen. Be prepared for anything and accept whatever can happen as part of your recovery.
3. Research the procedure
Often times knowing how a procedure works can be comforting. It also makes you better prepared to ask any questions you may have about the procedure. Knowing what will happen may make you feel less stressed. Remember – knowledge is power.
4. Get needed recovery supplies
Healing after surgery may need certain items. For example – After my hysterectomy, I needed large pads for the bleeding and larger panties to ease restriction on my stomach area. Get the needed items before your surgery so you don’t have to worry about someone else getting them once you are home from the procedure.
5. Freezer meals
Before surgery, double the recipe for your meals and freeze half of it. Prepare easy freezer slow cooker meals, too. Having freezer meals will make it easier to have frugal, healthy meals ready for you and/or your family.
6. Liquid diet
Most pain medicines will cause constipation. And, depending on the type of surgery, the first bowel movement after surgery can be painful. Starting a semi-liquid diet two to three days before surgery will make the first bowel movement easier on your stomach. A semi-liquid diet includes decreased meats, increase protein shakes, and warm liquids such as hot teas and soups.
7. Arrange child care
Make sure to have a plan A and B for child care in case plan A doesn’t work out. Arranging play dates will also help ease the kids’ restlessness while you’re recovering.
8. Fun bags for kids
During recovery, my kids still wanted to play with me while I was in bed. Before surgery, I made each of them a bag filled with an activity for us to do together. The activities included coloring books with crayons, card games, and other little fun games from the dollar store. My kids loved having one-on-one time with me doing something special. Try these activity bags.
9. Change of clothes
Be sure to include a change of clothes in with your hospital bag. And not just any clothes. Have clothes that are comfortable to wear over your surgery area.
10. Talk with kids about surgery
Having surgery can be scary especially to your kids. Sometimes kids are too young to understand what is happening, but letting them know changes are approaching will better prepare them. Let them know about the surgery, but in terms they can understand. Tell them what to expect while you’re having a surgery and during recovery. Be sure to include who will be caring for them, where they will stay during your surgery, how long your procedure will take, and how long recovery takes. Comfort them and tell them you know it sounds scary, but everything will be alright.