Things that can make surgery easier to handle…
Getting ready for your operation and waiting to be wheeled off the theatre is nerve-wracking and a pretty gruelling experience. Add to that waking up and knowing that your girls have had some serious work isn’t the most pleasant feeling in the world (although the drugs do take the edge off). …Cue No.1 support person/posse – its their job to make sure their smiling faces are the last you see as you head in towards surgery and the first you see when you leave the recovery area. You probably won’t make much sense after your op due to the heavy duty pain meds, but just knowing they’re there as you talk nonsense and nod in and out of sleep is a comfort like no other.
Life is undoubtedly better for hospitals and the wonderful treatment they provide, but they are also very ‘beige’ in décor and atmosphere at times. Here’s where your trusty entertainment package of Ipods, DVD players, trashy mags, good books, earplugs/eyemask/do not disturb signs or board games from home come into their own.
It’s a big cliché but its also no secret that hospital food is mass produced by big catering outfits on a limited budget. While its edible and the jelly and ice cream transport you back in time to tea at your Grandparents house, its not really the ‘food as medicine’ approach to speeding up your recovery. Loved ones and visitors that bring fresh fruit, juices, salads and (of course) treats are the best tonic for your tired bod.
This’ll help you get the anaesthetic drugs through your system, make sure you stay hydrated in the sauna like hospital environment and may go some way to helping with the dreaded painkiller (mainly codeine) constipation! The last thing you want right now is a sore bum.
There’s nothing like your own slippers and robe to make you feel less like a patient and right now (when that’s most definitely what you are) that’s a real plus. There’s something about getting up, showered and dressed (even if it takes you all day) that helps your mind feel more in control of this situation. Make sure you pack some loose tops as you’ll have dressings and the handbag of horrors to accommodate.
Now, you’ll think they’re stark raving mad when you have a physio talk the day after your operation, but you need to do what they say and get yourself moving – if you don’t you’ll have real problems down the track and it easier to prevent than treat.