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Good Post-Op "Game Plan"? (kids mentioned) Good Post-Op "Game Plan"? (kids mentioned)

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Unread 01-13-2009, 12:11 PM
Good Post-Op "Game Plan"? (kids mentioned)

Hello All! I apologize if this gets lengthy. I've been gone for a while, because I've been SO busy and things are just finally calming down around our house! In the meantime, I've had some questions pop into my head and while I have a few minutes I thought I'd post them for those out there who are post-op.

As I am getting closer to my surgery date, I'm making lists of everything that needs to be done before I go in. I know... I still have 3 weeks to go, but I'm a planner and feel much better when I know that things are taken care of prior to something major like this. Especially since there will be certain things I won't be able to do right after my surgery. So... any recommendations for what needs to be done to prepare the house, (other than cleaning, grocery shopping, etc) family, etc prior to surgery?

Also... my doctor told me he doesn't want me to do any driving for two weeks after my surgery. No problem there. My mom will be here for the first week of my recovery so she'll be able to make trips to the grocery store and things like that if the need arises. During the 2nd week, my SO and friends have all said I can lean on them for whatever I need until I'm behind the wheel again. My ex husband will be taking care of my boys at his house for the first two weeks of my recovery and is even willing to keep them for a few extra days if needed.

SO... that said, being a single mother of two boys who works from home, (my office is in our basement) yet drives the kids to and from school each day - at 2 weeks post op, is my energy level going to be up enough for that kind of activity and taking care of the kids on a daily basis on my own? My SO's work schedule is very demanding and while he will be around some in the evenings, he won't be able to handle driving the kids to and from school for me.

Also, what about navigating stair cases? How long did it take before any of you were walking up and down stairs?

I just don't want to be unprepared and I don't want to over-do it either. I have a tendency to do that, (over-do it, that is) since I'm used to running at "mach 3 with my hair on fire" (as my SO puts it) all the time.

Any suggestions and/or advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Unread 01-13-2009, 12:35 PM
Good Post-Op "Game Plan"? (kids mentioned)

Hi IrishLass. What kind of surgery will you be having? That makes a big difference in what you're able to do and when. My surgery was vaginal, and I returned home the morning after my surgery. The first thing I did was head upstairs. After that, I managed to go up and down the stairs easily, although I learned the hard way that once or twice a day for the first week is the most you should do that.

I dropped my kids off at school when I was 10 days post-op. Their school is only a mile away, and even that was a bit much. By two weeks post-op, I was okay driving short distances. Before you try to drive, you may want to have your SO drive you to the school. Pay attention to how your innards feel. For a while, I felt like everything was being shaken inside and it was really uncomfortable to be in a moving vehicle. I'm now 2 1/2 weeks after my surgery, and driving hasn't been a problem--but it tires me out and I have to lie down when I get home.

If you have any questions about whether or not you should do something, you probably shouldn't. And some days are better than others. Being comfortable driving one day doesn't mean it won't be uncomfortable two days later.
Unread 01-13-2009, 12:52 PM
Good Post-Op "Game Plan"? (kids mentioned)

Chris has already given you great advice but thought I would add in my 2 cents!

I was able to do stairs slowly from day 4 but I did try and limit the number I went up or down for about 2 weeks.

When you are cooking try to freeze small portions for when you are in recovery, it makes it so much easier.

And when you do the grocery shopping don't forget things like toilet tissue, soap powder, cleaning products and that sort of thing. They can be heavy too. I made sure that I stocked all cupboards in the house (bathroom, kitchen, drinks, snacks, larder) with enough to get me through 6 weeks. It made life so much easier and meant that I didn't have to rely on friends and family to do the shopping except for fresh milk, bread, vegetables etc.
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Unread 01-13-2009, 12:55 PM
Good Post-Op "Game Plan"? (kids mentioned)

Yes, get toilet paper! And those handy flushable toilet wipes! Anything you can do in advance will 1) make your recovery easier, and 2) help you feel more prepared and in control before your surgery.
Unread 01-13-2009, 01:08 PM
Good Post-Op "Game Plan"? (kids mentioned)

Hi Chris! Thanks for the response. I'm having a vaginal hyst. (keeping ovaries). They say I, too, will only stay one night at the surgery center (I am not having my hyst at the hospital).

My biggest concern is just being too tired to do much of anything during my recovery. As I said before, my ex did say that if I need a few more days beyond the two weeks to recover before he brings the kids back home that he would be willing to help out if need be. So, at least I have that. I guess I have a bit of a guilt complex and feel like a complete slouch when I can't do what I need to do due to being sick, etc.

The kids' schools are about 7 or 8 miles away from where we live and the roads between here and there aren't too bad. No major bumps, pot holes, etc. Thank God! It's just a pretty rigorous schedule, especially in the AM. We're out of bed by 6 AM and there is over an hour time gap between when my oldest son has to be at school and when my youngest one has to be at school. So the routine is to leave the house by 7 AM, drop oldest one off at school, come back home, finish feeding, clothing youngest son, leave at 8:30 AM to take him to school and am back home around 9 AM. Then, of course I have to pick them up in the afternoon. There's also a huge time gap between when they are released in the afternoon, so usually my oldest son and I will run errands to kill some time while we're waiting on my youngest to get out of school. We usually wind up getting to his school about 20 minutes before release time and just have to sit and wait for him.

I also plan to (God help me!! *chuckles*) teach my oldest son how to sort clothes and use the washer for doing laundry - just in case I'm not up for it. He's used to carrying laundry baskets loaded with clothes up and down the stairs for me, but has never operated the washer!! Doc says I am not to lift anything heavier than a newspaper for 3 weeks and then after that, nothing over 10 lbs. until my 6th week.

I'm trying so hard not to worry about any of the post op stuff, but I'm struggling. After my last two procedures, which were minor, I felt like crap for a full two weeks (I was only supposed to be down for 3 or 4 days) and felt so bad that I wasn't able to do certain things for the kids.

Thanks again for your response!
Unread 01-13-2009, 01:21 PM
Good Post-Op "Game Plan"? (kids mentioned)

Thanks for the "2 cents" Katy! Any and all suggestions are absolutely welcome at this point. I definitely plan to do some major shopping for food and other household items before I go in for my surgery. I plan to stock up on as much as my cabinets (kitchen, bathroom, etc) can hold. My mom will be here just a couple of days prior to my surgery, so we plan to do the shopping together. I figure two heads are better than one!

I'm a fairly decent cook, but I'm never sure about what kind of food can be frozen to be used/reheated for later. I do plan to make a lasagna the night before, though. That will last for at least a couple of days. I also plan to get some of those Bertolli (sp?) frozen pasta meals that come in the bags (I know, I'm so bad - I just don't know how to do my own freezer meals!) so that we'll have some easy to make food to eat!
Unread 01-13-2009, 01:57 PM
Good Post-Op "Game Plan"? (kids mentioned)

Although I think it's a great idea to teach your son how to sort laundry, it might not be necessary. When I was younger, my mom broke her leg and was in a cast for 4 months, so we had to be her legs for all the laundry chore. She would sit on the couch and we would bring her all the dirty clothes along with every laundry basket in the house. She would take one small basket at a time and sort all of our dirty laundry into piles. Then she would write down all the information for each load: temperature, water level, strength, drying time, and drying heat. My job was to do the laundry, but she did all the decision-making related to it. You might do something similar.

One of the first household chores I resumed after surgery was laundry--sort of. I did none of the carrying (still don't), and I would have one of the kids hold the basket up where I could put the pieces in just a few at a time. It helped me feel like I was contributing to the good of the family, although I didn't do it until I was ready and I made sure to lie down afterward. That said, it's good for kids to learn to do laundry, so it won't hurt your son to have to do it.

As for the before and after school driving, I feel tired out just reading about your trips. My husband dropped our son off this morning. Normally he walks home, but it's something like 2 degrees outside so I'm going to pick him up in a while. Knowing that I can't take a nap just yet is pretty tiring. It's important to sleep when your body tells you it's tired. Is there anyway you can find people to help you out with the afterschool driving at least?

Although I'm sure you'll miss your kids, it might be a good idea to take your ex up on his offer--and have the kids be back at your house for a whole weekend before you have to start driving them to school so they can truly see that you are recovering and better understand why they'll have to do more around the house.
Unread 01-13-2009, 03:35 PM
Good Post-Op "Game Plan"? (kids mentioned)

Hi, some great suggestions already. You didn't mention how old your sons are but if they are over ten they should be able to handle laundry duty for a while. It may not be up to your standards but they can get their own clothes done. I had a LAVH on Jan 5th and your driving schedule sounds brutal. Can you ask some of their friends to car pool for a while? Just having the kids home again will be tiring for you initially without the trips.
One thing I didn't do prior to my surgery and made no arrangements for was mail. I am the mail sorter in the house and this morning I finally tackled the mountain that has over taken the dining room table. It sounds trivial but there was checks and school notices strewn about with junk mail. If I were to do this again (hahaha) I would assign someone to address the mail daily.

If your boys are like mine they like basic foods best. For simple kid friendly dinners you can cook chop meat and then freeze in zip lock bags. You can fix tacos, sloppy joes, hamburger helper, meat sauce ect. You can also cook pasta give it a cold water rinse to set and freeze in zip lock bags, thaws great. (can precook pasta for mac and cheese also).

Try not to feel guilty about asking for help. You didn't ask for this situation but you can ask for help taking care of your children while you can't. Being ill does not make you a slouch. Coming to that conclusion was probably one of the hardest things I have learned in life.

Good luck it sounds like you have a good handle on things.
Unread 01-13-2009, 04:44 PM
Good Post-Op "Game Plan"? (kids mentioned)

My boys are 10 and 15. My 15 YO isn't driving yet. I have always dreaded the day that he would be old enough to have a license and car, but now, I'm almost wishing that day were here already!! It would be such a huge help if that were the case.

Yes, our driving schedule is absolutely brutal, but I just don't think about it. I can't. Even on my good days! We're quite used to it, even though I'm not fond of it. I know that once I drop them off at school, I can come home and rest/take a nap if need be. My 15 YO has a friend that lives not too far from us, so I may ask his mom if he can catch a ride with them periodically. I also have another friend who can do some driving for me in the afternoons if I need to stay home and rest or nap.

The only reason I haven't let my kids tackle laundry yet is because I have a very vivid memory of my sisters and I doing laundry for my mom when we were about my own kids' age. Disaster struck! Water and suds everywhere! We never lived it down. To this day, our mom doesn't let us do laundry at her house! LOL! So... I've kind of kept the reigns a bit tight in that area, just because I don't want a similar situation in my own house. Anyway, they do know how to use the dryer though and they put their own clothes away for the most part.

My kids are absolutely the most easy going kids when it comes to food. They'll eat whatever you put in front of them! I'm SO grateful for that! They're content as long as they're not going hungry.

I hadn't even thought to cook ground meat in advance and then freeze it. Or even pasta for that matter. That's actually a great idea! Thanks! Definitely another thing to add to my list.

Thanks everyone for all of your advice, suggestions, tips and ideas!! Feel free to keep them coming if any of you think of anything else, please!
Unread 01-13-2009, 04:53 PM
Good Post-Op "Game Plan"? (kids mentioned)

Hi, I had TAH w/vertical & horizontal cuts, so I ad to wait 4 weeks (but didn't drive until 5) to drive.
The 1st 2 weeks I was so tired I would not have been able to do anything for my kids, including waking them in the morning. I would lay in bed for a long time before I had the energy to get up.
My 8 year old dd helped fold & wash clothes, after my mom showed her what to do. You will be surprised how kids will step up to help. My 13 yr old ds helped cook.
I had my mom or mil here for 2-3 weeks to help.
I am not one to take help, but I really needed it. I felt I needed to make sure I did not hurt myself & delay my healing & I am so glad I did. I am one who vacuums daily (sometimes 2x) & my poor vauum felt neglected (lol).
Good luck!

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