Welcome, Home! – Now What?
Oh boy, how I wished I had read something like this before my first surgery…. who am I trying to fool more like my first, second and third surgeries. You see before these 3 surgeries I had never been in the hospital (well other than having my children) and never had surgery. I thought I’m strong, I’ll muscle my way through this – mind over matter. Well, you might say one, I was wrong and two, I’m a slow learner. I can almost (nothing is 100%) guarantee if you even have a few post-surgery supplies life might not be easy as it once was, but it will be easier than if you did what I did – return home with no supplies and WOW what a surprise.
What if I don’t have supplies on hand – EEK
Can you survive without having post-surgery supplies at home – sure – but you can also survive on a desert island but again who wants too. Think about something as simple as putting on your socks but your knee doesn’t bend enough yet and you end up playing horseshoes trying to throw your sock over your toes -sounds like someone experienced this…hmm I wonder who that could be. Then there’s the oh no you dropped the remote and can’t bend down to pick it up and now you’re stuck watching more Kardashian drama (just kidding). Not being able to pick up the dog poop in your backyard – your neighbors will not be happy. Have you thought about food or what you will eat once you are home?
On a more serious note – what about slipping in the shower or taking your pills at the wrong time – these things can be catastrophic. I did do the second of these. I was taking my pills and then I couldn’t remember, of course after swallowing, if I had already taken my prescribed dosage of this particular pill? I usually wrote it down but this time I didn’t. I was alone and what if I had taken a second pill would it cause any bad side effects or something even worse? I ended up calling poison control because I literally did not have a memory if I had taken one or two of the pills – what an amazing representative I talked to there. We went over the pills I might have taken and by pure luck, it was okay if I had taken two-the dose was low enough, however, they did call me back a couple of hours later to be sure I was responsive. If I had a pill dispenser it would have stopped what could have been a tragic mistake. Why go through all of this when there are solutions to all of these situations.
Are there other options out there?
Now I’m sure some of you will have a home health aide or caretaker – there is certainly nothing wrong with that and you are blessed to have them. However, what about those times when they are not there, or you don’t have that service available to you. What about not having the money to hire someone or if you do have someone with you what happens if they have to leave. Then you do have other options.
You can order food through many online companies – not only the delivery of neighborhood restaurants but the services that you order online and they prepare your meals and are delivered every week. This is so helpful, and I suggest doing that. Not only are you sure to have food which you need when recovering but you won’t have to cook for yourself. You can hire a service to pick up the dog messes – maybe a neighborhood teenager looking for some extra money. Again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with these types of services and if you have the money and the need, then go for it. Some communities have a “medical closet” and you can take some post-surgery supplies on loan – what a great service.
Anything else I should prepare for?
I can’t stress enough at least at the beginning of your recovery you will be tired. You need to be mindfully ready for things that might come out of the blue that you weren’t expecting. Do you have a family member, neighbor or friend that will be willing to help out – even something as simple as checking the mail, making you a meal or two?
Don’t forget that with most surgeries you are not able to drive for some time after – try to have in place someone who can drive you – even a driving service to take you to your appointments. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – you’re going to need it. You may not be sleeping well and that is to be expected so you may not want a lot of company in the beginning. But as you begin to recover and get stronger and stronger you might want to have someone stop by for a chat or a game of cards. It can become lonely staying in the house all day with no social interaction. As you prepare for your surgery my advice is to have as many post-surgery supplies on hand that you can. It will make your life less stressful, less frustrating and you will be able to be more relaxed and doing the job you need to do – recovering.
All in All
Surgery is not an easy event in life. One day we may be feeling great and the next we’re in the hospital feeling helpless. As you are released from the hospital and arrive home you may feel overwhelmed. This is okay and completely normal. There are so many services and post-surgery supplies that can help make recovery easier. And though you may have a caretaker there will be times when they may not be available and having some of the products available will help you. My hope for you is a restful, relaxing and full recovery. As you progress through your recovery and when the day comes that you are on the other end, feeling well and back to engaging in your normal activities pat yourself on the back – CONGRATULATIONS you did it!!