The words, ‘we need to operate’ shook me in my boots. The next couple of days were a blur. I didn’t know what to expect so I didn’t really prepare myself psychologically or physically for that matter. I was told that it would be a day procedure, so I took a matatu to the hospital at 9am, and I planned to take a matatu back home. Only to wake up and find that the anesthesia would take hours to wear off, and during that time, my mouth would speak more words than usual and I would be floating and dreamy. Thank God for angels, who came just in time to save me from staggering err floating to the matatu stage.
When you hear the words, “We need to operate”, here are a few things you can do to prepare for the big day:
- Seek a second opinion
If you have any doubt about a suggested procedure, please seek a second opinion. Remember the factors to consider when seeking a second opinion.
2. Get more information
Read widely about the procedure and anesthesia options. Talk to other people who have undergone the surgery online and offline about the procedure and it’s effects on your body.
Discuss with your doctor any history of allergies or side effects to drugs. Don’t leave anything out, a small detail could save your life.
Find out what you need to do to prepare for the surgery, foods you should increase, supplements you should or shouldn’t take. Confirm if you they will need you to have bare nails.
3. Evaluate the options
If time allows, visit the hospital options then make an informed decision. Postoperative care is important as the doctor is not able to be with you during your whole stay.
Look at the other services offered by the hospital and see how prepared they are in case of an emergency.
4. Pray and keep hope alive
Pray! Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)
Make a thanksgiving jar, and write the things that you are thankful for, both the big and the small. Allow your mind to focus on the good aspects of life.
5. Prepare ahead
Inform your next of kin that you will be going to hospital and having an operation done.
Arrange for someone to drop you off and help you with the admission process. On the day of discharge, have someone help you with the process so that you can rest as you prepare to go back home.
Back at home, organize meals in advance that need minimal preparation. Plan to be off your feet for the next couple of days. Get someone to help you with the housework as you get your strength back.
6. Find a support group
There are many other women who are walking the same path that you are. Their first hand experience means that they understand the journey better. Find a group and keep in contact, let them remind you that you are not alone and it gets better. Some of the closest bonds are formed in times of pain.
All the best! I pray you have a successful surgery and a swift healing process.