I’m not just talking about the number of speeding tickets I have had. (although that number almost equals the number of years I have been driving) YIKES!
I’m talking about the number of times I have been “put under”. When you get general anesthesia, you’re “put under,” which means that you’re totally unconscious and immobilized. You “go to sleep” and don’t feel, sense or remember anything that happens after the drugs begin to work on your system.
My very first surgery was having my wisdom teeth removed when I was 16. Between that time and my most recently scheduled surgery (having screws and a plate put in my right foot on 9/4/2018) I have lost track of the number of times I have been put under.
I really do need to keep better records.
The most notable surgeries were:
- an emergency C-section with Thing One
- a hysterectomy
- CMC joint replacements in both my hands
- the power port being placed in my chest (on valentines day…smh)
- a laminectomy of my thoracic spine
- and my every few months Botox in the BLADDER surgeries.
You could almost call me a professional surgeree? I don’t really think that’s a word though, so let’s stick with patient.
I’m not writing this post to elicit sympathy, but rather to share some of the things I have learned over the years to help me prepare for going under. For me, preparation for surgery begins more than a week before surgery.
The FIRST thing I do is take a look at the amount of recovery or down time that the surgeon is recommending, then DOUBLE IT. (Most people probably don’t need to double it, but I’m going with MY past experiences, AND the whole plan for the worst, but hope for the best scenario) Make a list of all the things that you are responsible for during that time period and begin to look for someone to COVER for you. Your list should include the basic necessities of adulting like eating, bathing, paying your bills etc.
In my case I have purchased enough groceries for a month. I won’t claim that they are the healthiest options available, but this will allow me to be as self sufficient as possible. All of my bills are set up for automatic bill pay. I have hired someone to take care of my lawn. My kids will be grabbing my mail for me a couple times a week etc. As far as bathing goes, I just won’t do it. I’M KIDDING!!!!! I have a shower chair and after the number of medical procedures I have had performed, I have no modesty left, so my kids and some close friends are helping with that.
If you are not comfortable sharing that much with your family, they do sell bathing wipes that you can use by yourself.
While on the subject of modesty, BEFORE surgery is also a good time to PUT away anything you might not be comfortable sharing with friends or a caretaker. (Don’t put spare cash for food delivery in the same drawer you stash, “OTHER” things. If you catch my drift.
Most importantly, don’t try to be a hero, super or otherwise. Just because you THINK you can do something, try to error on the side of caution, at least while you are on pain meds. If you wouldn’t do the task after drinking a 12 pack, maybe wait just a little bit longer or ask for help?!?!?
While I have figured out, kind of, how to drive with my left foot, I will be relinquishing my keys for the next couple of months. While I have proven to myself that it CAN be done, it’s really not safe and is against doctor’s orders. I would hate to have the issue come up if I had a flat tire, or worse was involved in an accident.
I have more that I would like to share about preparing for surgery, especially about the night before and day of, but I still have more to do and a few days before surgery, so I will write more later.
Have you ever had surgery? Can you think of anything I have missed? Any funny stories to share?