Day 48- Dear Diary

Dear  diary,

I thought I would tell everyone about the 29th of June and the National Pain Report is doing a Live Support Group and the discussion is Chronic pain.  Check out their blog post about this discussion.

National Pain Report To Return to LiveSupportGroup To Discuss Chronic Pain

I am going to try to attend and then let everyone know what it was all about. The National Pain Report has wonderful blogs every day.  Sign up at the National Pain Report website at:

Homepage

It is definitely worth looking into whether you are a pain patient or a caregiver.

I’ve been trying to think about what else is that is or has happened in my life to share.  I don’t have anything special today, since it was a lazy day.  I really enjoy having those day and I like to be busy too.  I know that coming soon will be another surgery and mentally I’m trying to get ready, again.

Preparing for any type of surgery is always difficult.  There really isn’t an easy way to do it.  But the more prepared I am the easier it is for me to go into surgery. I’m not talking about just being physically prepared, but also mentally. I truly believe preparing for a surgery can be one of the hardest things to do.

Physically you can find my websites that give a pre-surgery “checklist”.  Instead of sending you to multiple websites to see what each one says,  I wrote down the most common ones and made a list for you here.

Pre-surgery Checklist

 
♦ Any changes in your health (even minor ones such as a cold or cough) should be reported to your surgeon or anesthesiologist prior to your surgery date. 
♦ Follow orders given to you by your surgeon or anesthesiologist, and obtain any lab work or tests your physician may have ordered prior to the day of surgery. 
♦ If you suspect that you are pregnant, please notify your physician prior to your surgery date. 
♦ Refrain from smoking. 
♦ Do not eat or drink anything after midnight. 
♦ Bathe or shower and brush your teeth (taking care not to swallow any water) the
morning of surgery. 
♦ Remove all makeup, nail polish and contact lenses. If you must wear contact lenses, please bring your storage case for use during surgery. 
♦ Leave all jewelry, cash and valuables at home. 
♦ Arrange for a responsible adult to accompany you, stay with you while you are receiving care, drive you home and stay with you for the first night following surgery. 
♦ Limit the number of people who accompany you. We suggest that adult patients be accompanied by only one person. We do welcome both parents of pediatric patients. 
♦ Bring all insurance cards and proper identification such as a driver’s license. It is important for us to have all the current and correct information. 
♦ Bring any paperwork your physician may have given you at your office visit. 
♦ Bring a special cup, bottle, blanket, pacifier, etc. for pediatric patient

Most of this common sense and your doctor will go over most of this with you.

Handling the emotional/mental side isn’t so cut and dry.  It can be stressful in so many different ways that the hormones that are released during stress might interfere with the surgery.  Hormones that are released during stressful situations can cause anything from a headache to high blood pressure.  Stress can also affect the immune system so staying healthy prior to surgery is so important.  Getting sick right before surgery isn’t healthy either. Also I saw this during my research and I know that this is very helpful.

Some experts advocate preparing for surgery through a series of relaxation techniques: deep breathing, positive thinking and visualization—imagining or mentally seeing—a positive outcome from surgery and a quick recovery period, for example

Other things that were suggested to help people out mentally is:

  1. Know all about your surgery or as an article suggested “be a know it all”
  2. Ask questions.  No question is dumb or stupid.  And if you don’t understand the answer, ask to have the doctor to reword the answer.
  3. Know that you will have the best doctors working for you and you will not wake up during surgery.  That is a huge fear of mine. But I’ve talked to multiple Anesthesiologist and  I was reassured that never happens.
  4. You may feel pain, pressure, or a burning sensation where you were operated on and as you start moving. Your muscles might be sore, and your throat may be uncomfortable. Tell your doctor if you need pain medicine while you’re in the hospital. And ask what your options are for relief when you get home. Besides medication, relaxation tapes, heat or cold therapy, or massage may also help.
  5. Do everything in your power to take the time the doctor says is important for you to heal.  Your doctor will  know best what is the length or time and how healing will go. Again, trust him and what his suggestions are.
  6. And one of the most important options you have prior to surgery is get a SECOND OPINION.  Most surgeons recommend this and hope you do.  They are only human and to have a second opinion can relieve your m ind of a lot of fear!

 

Now that surgery is done, the most important role you have is healing.  End of story.  After my first surgery fusion, I couldn’t do stairs at all, doctors orders.  We had two sets of stairs in our apartment all to get to my bedroom, so I slept on the couch for a week.  The great thing about that, my husband had this series on tv that was shown from 7:00am  and would show 3 reruns till 11:00.  My husband would run the kids to school and he would come home to watch his show. Since I was stuck on the couch and would wake early (early for me is 10:00am) and I began watching the show.  Needless to say, I became addicted to the show and to this day, my husband and I still watch it, on prime time and also all the reruns.  By the way, the name of the tv show is Supernatural.  Even if you don’t want to watch it because you don’t believe in the supernatural, watch the show for the eye candy!!  Two great looking guys in this show!

Now that I have gotten way off track, my whole point of that was to have things set up ready for you when you get home.  Netflix nights, and Hula days, and YouTube in between.  Great books to read and there is many ways to read a book now, tablet form or a real book.  Also have crafts ready to do; knitting, crocheting, puzzles, scrapbooking, planning (that’s how I got hooked on my Erin Condren planner), organizing (anything your doctor will let you do) paint, draw, and so on. There is many things you can do from a sitting position.  And now a days with so much on the internet, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your home.

Other things that can make your life easier is having caregivers line up, such as a neighbor looking in on you if your spouse needs to work.  Enlist the kids to help.  My kids love to help mom after surgery.  It makes them feel apart of everything, Stock up on food in the pantry and freezer.  You will want to come to home a house full of easy meals and nothing that requires anything more than 10 minute prep time. Also, make sure all the clothes you will want to wear is clean or get yourself some new jammies that are comfy and easy to wear.  Anything that makes your life and your caregivers life easier.

Whoa, that was a lot. But most of the things are things I’ve done and know that they do work because I’ve done it before surgery or after.  It’s ok to be a little selfish during this time all in the name of healing, but don’t abuse it all too much especially when it comes to those that are taking care of you. Unfortunately for my husband, he knows that right after surgery, I am very difficult and bitchy.  He luckily takes it all with a grain of salt and knows that it’s the medicine and the surgery that has me reacting that way.

Hopefully all this info will help you if you are preparing for your 1st surgery or your 5th surgery.

Until tomorrow……………………………..

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