View Full Version : My surgery(s) are next week

04-09-2007, 11:40 AM
Hello everyone again! First I want to thank all of you for your postings which have really helped me. I will be fused from the sacrum to T2. WHEW :eek: I am a former ICU nurse and never thought I would be on the receiving end of ET tubes,ventilator,art line etc. I am so lucky in that I have lots of support, love my surgeon, and the hospital is great. They even let me wander around the ICU last Friday so I could be familiar with the place.
What helped you get through the week before surgery?? I do plan to do some "fun" stuff - legs waxed, pedicure.. but I wonder is it best to keep busy??
I find that I am very worried about my family during the time I will be in surgery - 4 hours anterior, 10 hours posterior. I'll be out of it - but they will be going nuts waiting.
Any suggestions about getting through this week will be most appreciated!

04-09-2007, 02:41 PM
Hi Julie,

You are entering the home stretch. I think you are on the right track pampering yourself. It will be a little while for some of that to be done later. Don't for get to get your hair done too if you need to. I would say do all the lunches or dinners with friends, shop for comfy lounge wear and just enjoy yourself the week before your surgery. It is also a good idea to freeze some meals for later.
As for your family waiting around while you have surgery, mine did not do that. I couldn't see any reason for them to wait at the hospital. I was in for 8 hours. Everyone pretty much has cell phones so they can reach family when you are almost done if they are not at home. It is a long wait for them I thought it best they stay busy elsewhere. Besides you won't know if they are there or not till you wake up and even then you might not. The meds make you wiggy. I'm sure you know this from experience with the former patients of your own. Best wishes.

04-09-2007, 07:31 PM
My surgery is next week as well...
I wish I had thought to do all the pampering that you have planned... It sounds like a treat I need.
I just wanted to comment and let you know that you and I are in it together this week! I hope you are doing better than I am!

04-09-2007, 09:43 PM
I am 4 months post op and the week before my surgery I stayed REALLY busy-it helped me to not dwell on the surgery. I got my hair done, had my legs waxed, bought lots of cute clothes I could wear comfortably after the surgery- (shopping is a great diversion!) It will be overwith before you know it- we will be praying for you! (By the way I am fused T4-S1-almost the same as you). Keep us posted!

04-10-2007, 07:30 AM
Well my surgery is just less than three weeks from now and I plan on having my house totally spring cleaned by then, my stained glass shop cleaned up and some outside things done. That stuff in itself is going to keep me so busy that I won't have time to worry. And...I plan on some serious "one on one" time with my hubby! ;)

04-10-2007, 08:21 AM
I did all practicle things before my surgery. Scrubbed my house from top to bottom, got all caught up on laundry, did grocery shopping for a couple of week, etc. The best thing I did was to make a couple weeks worth of dinners and put them in the freezer. I numbered the containers and left directions on how to cook each, so that my husband and kids could do all the cooking for two weeks!

04-10-2007, 08:11 PM
I kept busy and pampered myself as well. I also slowly packed for the hospital a little each night. I was less anxious this way and didn't want to do it the night before and stress out
Best of luck

04-10-2007, 08:34 PM
I am five months post op but I remember clearly the last week before surgery. I enjoyed packing a nice bag for the hospital. Things that I really made use of in the hospital are:

* chap stick
* waterless hand sanitizer gel
* nice smelling lotion and soap
* a nice light quilt
* a container with a handle to keep within reach with these personal items and my phone fitting in it
* a lion beanie baby to symbolize courage, I hugged it a lot
* a phone list for my relatives to make calls for updates
* a nice button down the front night gown and robe for the last days when I felt like getting out of my hospital clothes
* facial wipes to wash my face a couple time a day without water
* a picture of my kids

When in the hospital, I usually wore two hospital gowns. One tied in the back and a second one like a robe with the ties in the front. It was more comfortable and a mooned less people getting in and out of bed and walking around the room once I was up.

I also shopped that week for some comfy lounge wear for at home. Button down front, capri pant, knit outfits were so useful. I also purchased some beanie pillows that can be fit into places to make lying and sitting down easier when you get home. I bought a little cubbie shelf to put next to my recliner with items I might need when no one was around to fetch for me (snacks, water bottles in a cooler, medication, chapstick, lotion, tv romote, telephone, bell, paper towel, trash bags, thank you notes, and other favorites.

Do be sure to cook a few of your favorite reciipes and freeze them in single servings for lunch and dinners. I made chicken noodle soup, spaghetti sauce, and stew. Each recipe made 6 - 8 servings and came out of the freezer like a dream.

Get a grabber tool so you don't have to bend over to pick things up and a shower chair. A raised potty seat was really helpful for several months (it is a long way down when you are shakey on your feet). I borrowed some and bought some so it was not too expensive. Insurance paid for the potty chair which I was glad was at home waiting for me the day I got home.

Hug everyone a few extra times and before you know it, you will be counting from 100 backwards in the OR...

Take care,

04-10-2007, 09:21 PM
Yes, yes, yes! Things I never thought of....I am teaching my family how to cook my favorite things (and the meals that they will need to survive :D 1
And of course....SHOPPING!! I have finally "loaded" my Ipod nano with my favorite music. I bought the thing for my 65th (ughhhh) birthday in Feb. and have been afraid of it ever since.I even downloaded a program today that calculates the bill with tip for a restaurant and divides it by the # of people. It takes 10 sec. (I am Woman..hear me roar!)
I think I should explain my "loggo"...I truly am a Gator- graduated from U.Of Florida in 1963.I attended every game. They lost. Sigh...Then came the football championship last year, and then..this year. And then came March Madness. Heh,heh,heh.
Tomorrow the pedicure.(and a visit with my internist and friend of 30 years) thursday..I am having my lower legs "waxed". How is that for a mixed agenda??
Luv to you all

04-11-2007, 07:41 PM
Sounds like you got it covered!

We are thinking about you.


04-12-2007, 09:26 AM
The week before surgery is usually quite stressful. Take the time to pamper yourself. You mentioned getting your legs waxed. If you can, get your hair done also, maybe your brows (if you do that). Have a professional massage. Spend time with your family and loved ones. Go out to dinner and have a cocktail (or two!). It's a good idea to keep busy but take some time to smell the roses and savor the moments before surgery. As far as your family goes, there isn't a whole lot you can do to ease their worries. They will likely worry no matter what (think of how you would react if it were them). Just remind them that you are doing what you feel is best for you and in many ways for them. You are increasing your quality of life which will benefit not only yourself, but those around you as well.

I'll be thinking of you :)

Linda W
04-13-2007, 11:44 AM
Dear GATOR aka Julie,

While shaving my legs this morning, I thought of you and your newly "waxed" legs in prep for your surgeries next week. I hope your legs look and feel great and that it was a painfree experience for you!

Earlier this week I attended a wonderful 2+ hour session at The New England Baptist Hospital in Boston for patients having spinal fusion that was lead by RN and PT staff. It boosted my trust and knowledge of what to expect as your tours of your hospital seem to have done for you. They told us that one of the most important things to bring to the hospital is an Ipod! My husband and 12 year old son gave me an Ipod as a present so I can be ready for my upcoming surgery. Although it was humbling to have some serious Ipod tutoring from my 12 year old to become comfortable with it, I now love it too. If anyone picks it up in the hospital, however, they will undoubtedly know that I am a crazy woman -- it is loaded with selections from Bob Dylan to Bach!

Monday is the running of the Boston Marathon. I will be thinking of you running your own "race" next week and feel confident that you will be in the "Winner Circle" and standing tall! Without question, all of us on this board will be cheering for you when you cross the finish line. Sending you warm wishes and positive thoughts for surgical success and a recovery that is both speedy and progressive.

Linda W.

04-13-2007, 08:57 PM
You all are the best :) now I know why so many of you remain as our guides. You experienced what I (and others) are going thru.. and you come back with really practical suggestions....and then there are those hugs! I never knew one could experience hugs via e-mail! Thank you all so very much!

In my never-ending attempt to keep busy with fun things- today I had lunch with four dear friends. We met in the antique business and have remained friends for years. What fun to see them all today, have great talks and get their support. Then I bought a new purse ! All in all- a good day. On Wed
I did talk to my internist (and friend of 30 years) and asked him for some Xanax ( a mild anti-anxiety med) I only take it at night, when I find that my head won't turn off....what if I cancel the surgery...after all it is an elective procedure etc,etc. My best friend says, and sure Julie and you can just spend the rest of your life in the pool, taking pain killers. My MD did carefully measure me and my height is 5'3. i used to be 5'6. Wow...
Tomorrow I am going to a private prayer meeting, and they are going to pray for me :) I feel so lucky and blessed to have so much support. I have really spent most of my life as an RN supporting others, never dreaming that it would someday be my turn.

Azalea - my thoughts and prayers are with you most of all....we are sisters in this week to come- and as you must already know...we have a big family that is rooting for us!
Luv to you all,

04-14-2007, 02:07 AM
You are blessed to have so much support. There are many of us out here to add to that group. I personally found the suppport that I recieved from this forum made such a difference on my outlook on my upcoming surgery.

There are many of us here that are more than willing to help you in any way we can!!!


04-14-2007, 09:22 AM

Thank you. I have been thinking about you alot as well. Wondering if you are going through the same mental battle as I am and hoping you are not. My surgery is bright and early monday morning, and you will be with me. Thank you. I wish you a successful and speedy recovery.

04-14-2007, 09:30 AM
Gator and Azaelia,

I wish you both the best of luck this coming week. My thoughts and prayers will be with you both and your familys.


04-16-2007, 11:22 PM
Dear friends,
thank you for all your support. This has been a dark day. One of our little French Bulldogs, Dixie Belle, a lovely little cream girl died suddenly this am in my arms coming home from the vet. We were on our way to the Emergency hospital with her because our own vet couldn't handle it. She probably had a heart attack and went very quickly. She was only 7. All of our hearts here are heavy. My dear husband and daughter were with me.
We think that this may have been a blessing---I can't imagine her dying alone while everyone was with me in the hospital.
And now tomorrow...and I thought I was ready.
Please pray for me?

04-17-2007, 01:07 AM
Hi Julie,

I realize you probably won't see this until after your surgery, but I wanted to wish you all the best, you and your loved ones will be in my prayers.

Being an animal lover myself, I just wany to say I'm sorry for your loss.

Good luck with your surgery and God's speed in your recovery!!!


04-17-2007, 10:45 PM
Dear Julie,

You are in my prayers! I know that today was your day. You're probably coming out of surgery around now. I have a feeling it's been a success. I'm looking forward to your next post, when you are better enough to think of such things.........

I'm so sorry to hear about your pet dying. I can hardly believe that it was so soon before your surgery. Yes, it's good though that it happened before you were all gone to the hospital. She got to be with those she loved best.

With Warm Thoughts,