I’ve been through a few surgeries in my life. Four to be exact, five if you include wisdom teeth (which I don’t, since I was awake and remember the whole thing). And I’m about to undergo another one in a month, this time the most complicated of them all, brain surgery. I thought I’d make a list of what I’ve learned about what you can do prior to surgery (if you are able) to make your post-op recovery as stress-free as possible.
- Clean your house: If you are physically able before your surgery, give your house a clean. I’m not talking spring cleaning here, but if the dust bunnies are going to drive you nuts, dust the house. Vacuum all rooms. Maybe even mop the kitchen floor if you’re really feeling it. Make sure things are put away as much as they can be so there’s less risk of you tripping over things post-op.
- Get the laundry done: Wash your bedding so it’s nice and soft and fluffy. Do a load of towels (nothing like a shower with fresh, soft towels after surgery once you are able to shower or bathe!) Make sure all other laundry is done, including any important garments your family might need while you are recuperating (do you really want to be ironing your husband’s shirts when you can barely stand up?) If you have munchkins, make sure they have plenty of clean clothes and all uniforms/practice clothes/dance clothes are ready to go. And make sure you have plenty of clean pairs of pajamas for yourself to hang out in.
- Clean the bathrooms: I put this one separate especially if you’re going to need to do a bowel prep prior to your surgery. Because believe me, nothing is going to drive you more crazy during your prolonged time spent on the potty than that pile of dust in the corner. Oh, and invest in some flushable wet wipes. You’re going to chafe after awhile from even the softest toilet paper.
- Meal prep: If you’re the house cook, consider making a bunch of meals ahead of time that can be frozen and easily thawed at dinner time. You really don’t want the family to be eating cereal for dinner all through your recovery do you? Or maybe you do want pizza every night? That’s your decision.
- Transportation: Depending on the surgery, you may not be able to drive for awhile afterwards, and I’m not just talking the day of. Figure out what this means for you. Does this mean your spouse is going to have to get the kids to where they need to be? Or will you have to rely on another parent to do that? Get it set up ahead of time, that way everyone is on the same page and you won’t need to worry about how your family members are going to get where they need to be. In addition, do you have follow-up appointments you need to get to? Figure out how you’ll get there before the fact. If your spouse or partner is going to need to take time off work to get you somewhere, the sooner they know about it, the better.
- Get your nest ready: Will you be spending a lot of time resting in bed or on the couch? Get your favorite books or activities together in place nearby so you don’t need to be trekking all over the house looking for everything you want after the surgery.
I hope this list will help make your recovery as smooth as possible!