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Awaiting my surgery and scared to death. Awaiting my surgery and scared to death.

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  #1  
Unread 11-28-2001, 02:06 AM
Awaiting my surgery and scared to death.

Hi ladies,

It's great to see that I have some support out there. I am 39 years old and a single mom of 2 boys. I am scheduled for a subtotal abdominal hysterectomy on January 8. I have fibroids and a cyst on one overy. My doctor feels he can remove the cyst and hopefully keep the overy. Anyway my questions are as follows. Does anyone need to go to the hospital with me? How much help will I need afterwards? I am trying to plan everything now. I really have no support, my friends and family are not here they live an hour and a half away. I really hate to bother anyone with taking time off. I have scheduled my dog to go to the kennel for the hospital stay, but need to figure out a way to get him back. How much can I do on my own?
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  #2  
Unread 11-28-2001, 05:50 AM
Awaiting my surgery and scared to death.

Molea,
Can any family members come and stay with you for the first week to 2 weeks? I stayed with my family for several weeks and had a friend help me take care of the cats. Do you belong to any organizations or a church? Often times these types of groups will help out when someone is in need. How old are the boys? Can they be in charge of some things to help you out? If I lived closer I would help you out! s to you.
  #3  
Unread 11-28-2001, 06:00 AM
Awaiting my surgery and scared to death.

You sound like a very independent woman.

You really need to have some help. Don't under estimate your friends and family. They probably would be glad to help you.

You should have someone take you to the hospital and have them stay until you are out of surgery. The doctor always comes out and talks to the people that are in the waiting area. That person can then call your family and friends to let them know how everthing went.

I don't know how old your kids are, but I think it's good to have someone bring them to see you the night after surgery or atleast call them so they know Mommy is ok.

When they release you, you must have someone take you home.
They'll probably give you perscriptions that you'll need to get filled.

I don't know if much money is an issue, but if you can, keep the dog in the kennel for at least a week. Also if possible have someone keep your kids (if they're small) or stay at your home for a week. Your body needs time to heal and that first week is it's chance to begin recovery. You don't want to go back to the hospital, because you were too proud to ask for a few days of help.

Let me know how everything goes,

Cora
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  #4  
Unread 11-28-2001, 08:03 AM
Awaiting my surgery and scared to death.

Molea,
Cora is right. You will be unable to drive for awhile. Who will be picking you up and bringing you home from the hospital? Who will be taking you to and from your appt. with the doctor after you are released from the hospital? Who will be going to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions and stop at the grocery etc. etc. etc.?
I hope you can get some family to come and stay with you for awhile. You will need help from someone.

Hugs,
Patty
  #5  
Unread 11-28-2001, 08:07 AM
Awaiting my surgery and scared to death.

Helpful links below:
  #6  
Unread 11-28-2001, 08:19 AM
Awaiting my surgery and scared to death.

Will I need help?


How Others Can Help You
  #7  
Unread 11-28-2001, 09:00 AM
Awaiting my surgery and scared to death.

You've already gotten some great advice. You WILL need someone to drive for you, and help as mentioned above.

I have some suggestions that may help prepare your home for your recovery, to make it easier when you are alone:

Once you're at home, you'll need to have some comfortable clothes to wear. I found men's pajamas very comfortable, because the large, drawstring waists came up well above my incision, and the button-up tops didn't have to go over my head (hard to get my arms up). You will probably want to have large, "granny-panties" in a size or two large than you normally wear (you will be swollen and sore!).

Have a tummy pillow handy at all times! This would be a small pillow that you hold against your abdomen when you have to sneeze or cough. Keep it where you can grab it with only a second’s notice! I had a sneeze sneak up on me once when I couldn’t grab my pillow – ouch! It felt like my insides exploded.

Have plenty of no-preparation foods on hand, like fruit, soup, cereal, snack bars, etc. I had absolutely no appetite for a couple of weeks, and my frantic husband finally convinced me to drink some Ensure, which went down ok. You may want to have some of that in the fridge for times you just don’t feel like eating, but need nourishment.

Also, buy PLENTY of juice! You will need to drink LOTS of liquids when you get home to help with the gas. I got bored with the same type of juice, so my husband bought lots of different types, and put them in small containers for me (I found it difficult to lift and pour large containers for awhile). Don't drink anything carbonated, and don't use a straw (makes the gas worse).

I also found a shower chair very helpful. Standing up long enough to shower wore me out! You could also use any plastic chair that will fit in your shower.

VERY IMPORTANT: have anything you might need at waist-level. This includes toilet paper, pads, clothing, cups, food, plates, etc. Believe me, you will NOT want to bend or reach for anything! The house may look cluttered for awhile with everything sitting out on counter tops, but it's worth it!

If you’re going to be alone, make sure the phone is where you can reach it at ALL times! Several of us have gotten “stuck” (couldn’t get off the couch without help, problems in the bathroom, etc.), and have needed to call for assistance.

Once you’re feeling a bit better, you might start getting a bit bored. Unfortunately, you will be very limited in what you will be able to do. These are some things I did to pass the time, along with some suggestions from other hystersisters:

Reading LOTS of books
Writing long letters to friends and family (real letters, not e-mail!)
Organizing photo albums
Drew out plans for the garden
Bought a tape to improve Spanish skills
Watching lots of movies
Crafts, quilting, etc.
HYSTERSISTERS site!

Good luck!
  #8  
Unread 11-28-2001, 11:23 AM
Awaiting my surgery and scared to death.

Hi Molea,
How old are your boys? I'm asking so I can figure out what they may be able to help with.
Do you have health insurance? Will they cover a home health worker (I'm married, but mine company would have helped me if I was alone).

You will not need anyone to stay with you at the hospital before surgery (but you will need to be dropped off by a friend or a taxi).
You will have a post-op visit before you are driving also.

Everyone heals differently and overdoing will set you back. I honestly would have done all right by myself post-op (TAH/BSO 3 weeks ago). My doctor did not even want me out of the house until I had been home a week and no driving for 2-3 weeks. How will you get groceries? Also no lifting (none, nada) so who will put it away. Are your boys old enought to walk to a store, is there one close enough? Are there stores that deliver in your area? If so who will put it away, no bending or reaching.

I did stock up on lots of non-perishables: juices, soup, toilet tissue, frozen foods, etc. Also post-op I only wanted lighter foods, chicken soup, stuffed baked potato, chicken, etc.

Are your kids old enough to do laundry with some guidance? They are if they can reach the machine. There's a great new product called Dye Magnet you can put whites and red together and nothing gets ruined. Wish they had it when our son was in h.s. he wouldn't have had purple underwear all of junior year.
Jan
  #9  
Unread 11-28-2001, 05:54 PM
a different perspective

I am a single and a highly independent (if not stubborn) woman. I took and will take the train to the Hospital on my surgery day. They will (as they always do) look at me like I have three heads when I say "no, no one will be in the waiting room, he'll come later on." I prefer not to have my sweetie waiting and worrying. They have the number to get ahold of him if necessary, but ya know, it's not been necessary. So that's my take on getting to the hospital.

Getting home is a different story. You'll want a friend to take you home. This I've never done any other way.

At home. Nah. I live alone and recover alone. Sweetie checks up on me daily with a phone call and sometimes a visit, but I prefer to be alone. I have never given this a second thought. My Family is 3000 miles away. They would only iritate me while I recover.

You're not going to be able to drive for a few days or maybe even weeks. That will depend on how you heal and on your doctor's advice. If you work, and a co-worker says "If there's anything I can do for you ...." You might want to mention the dog thing. As someone else mentioned, your fiends will really want to help you, you just need ask. (mine always say this, I know they truly mean it with all their heart, but I've never called on them cause dangit I'm a stubborn woman and can do it!)

You will have to be careful that you don't push yourself too hard, and make sure you get your rest and juice and nourishment. The rest ... it's not all that bad.

Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions. I'm a bit of an old pro at this abdominal surgery recovery solo thing.

BSQ
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