Your surgery day is finally on the books! Yay! You've jumped through all the hoops the insurance company asked you to. You've researched what to pack for the hospital. In fact, you've replayed in your mind over and over all the things leading up to the big day. You're experiencing a range of emotions from excitement to worry. Preparing your home before surgery can ease some of that anxiety. Here are some tips to make homecoming day and the days after smooth sailing.
- Clean up your house before surgery. This one is HUGE! Vacuum, sweep, mop - do whatever needs to be done so that when you walk in the door, your focus will be recovery, not clean-up. Or hire someone to clean your house. If possible, get someone to help with cleaning for the first few weeks post-op.
- Stock up on groceries for your family. While your meals will consist of liquids and soft food for the next few weeks (it seems like an eternity now, but it really isn't long at all), your family still has to eat. Plan what they'll eat and make sure all the groceries are waiting. Prepping meals in advance will make your life easier. If you have help, delegate meal preparation to that person and have them prepare it ahead of time.
- Prepare your bedroom for post-surgery comfort. Make sure the bed is made with clean sheets and plenty of pillows. Place a chair next to the bed so you can easily get in and out.
- Get all your prescriptions filled. Make sure you check with your health care team for any new restrictions. You may no longer be able to take NSAIDs (like Advil or Aleve) or some of your prescription medications. You may also receive new prescriptions in the hospital. Be sure to have a helper that can make sure you have all of your medicines available.
- Stock up (but NOT too much) on foods you will need for your first few weeks. But don’t buy anything in bulk, yet. What they said is true. . . YOUR TASTES WILL CHANGE! The protein powder that you just couldn't get enough of just two weeks ago will make you gag. And you'll like things you had no interest in before. (Side note: I HATED chocolate milk, protein drinks, anything liquid and chocolate before surgery. . . now I LOVE it!) Another side note. . . with My Bariatric Box, you'll have several things on hand to try when one of your old favorites lets you down.
- Plan for movement. Though strenuous exercise will have to wait until you get the green light from your surgeon, your healthcare team will likely prescribe movement like walking or chair exercises from day one. Ask before surgery so you can be prepared when you go home.
- Be prepared for an emergency. Though unlikely, if you have a complication, an emergency situation could arise. It's best to be prepared just in case. Have the numbers of your doctor programmed on your phone. Talk to your healthcare team before surgery and before coming home to know which symptoms can be handled on your own, which ones require a call to the doctor, and which ones you should seek immediate care for. Arrange for someone to be on standby just in case.
You'll never be able to anticipate everything, so prepare as well as you can. Get clear instructions from your healthcare team. And follow them. Even if it is around the house or with transportation needs, don't hesitate to ask friends and family to lend a hand during recovery. This is the start of a new chapter for you! Congrats!