Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Preparing for the Laparoscopy

Less than two days until my surgery. I'm really nervous. Mostly about the anesthesia. This will be my first time going under the full anesthesia with the breathing tube and that freaks me out. I'm feeling okay about the actual surgery though. I feel really comfortable with my doctor and I'm looking forward to getting this over with and finding out what's going on. If there even is anything.

Since we scheduled the surgery, I've been doing a ton research to figure out what the recovery will be like and what I can do to make that easier. Luckily (for me, not them) I have two friends that have had laparoscopies to remove endometriosis in the past so they were able to give me a bunch of tips as well. I figured it would be a good idea to make a list of what I have and, after surgery, what was actually helpful in case I ever need to do this again or in case anyone reading this needs to go through surgery as well. So here is my           Pre-Laparoscopy Checklist:
  1. Loose clothing - Doctor will make three incisions in my lower abdomen and I'll also be puffed up with CO2, so it's a good idea to wear loose clothing to the hospital. I bought a cotton t-shirt and a pair of PJ-ish sweatpants that are a few sizes too big. Seth was surprised that I "needed" a new surgery outfit. Duh.
  2. Prescriptions - Picked up all of my prescriptions a few days ago so I don't need to worry about it on the day of the surgery. They, and all of my other OTC supplies, are in a box next to my bed.
  3. Heating pad/hot water bottle - I've heard that one of the most painful things about the recovery is when the CO2 moves around and gets trapped around your shoulders/collarbone. A heating pad should help the gas get re-absorbed more quickly and ease the pain. I have a really awesome memory foam heating pad. It was a birthday gift from Seth. He also gave me a TempurPedic pillow and a bottle of vitamins that year. I believe I was turning 65 25.
  4. Over-the-counter supplies - Your throat may be sore from the breathing tube, so I picked up my favorite throat lozenges. Gas-X can help with the extra gas and bloating. I've also seen Colace (stool softener) recommended many times. I forget why - either the pain killers or the anesthesia can mess with your digestive system and since your abdomen is already in pain you don't want to get...blocked up. I also grabbed some baby wipes and tissues. Just because I felt like I might want them.
  5. Mild foods - The anesthesia and pain killers can make you feel sick, so it's a good idea to have some bland foods handy. My friends recommended saltines, graham crackers, ginger ale, and mashed potatoes. I also picked up some gatorade to help with the bloating.
  6. Movies/books/activities - My friends told me that they weren't in too much pain for long, but they felt a general crappiness for a few days after the surgery and spent a lot of time in bed or on the couch. I picked up a few books from the library and I have my yarn and crochet needles to keep me occupied.
  7. Clean sheets - Tomorrow, day before surgery, I'm going to wash my blankets and put fresh sheets on the bed. I hate when sheets feel "old" and if I'm going to be spending a few days in bed I want everything to be nice and clean.
  8. Pillow and plastic bag - Apparently it is a good idea to bring a pillow with you so that you can hold it over your belly during the car ride. I think I'll ask my dad to drive. Seth's a wild driver - too many years driving in Guatemala City. The plastic bag will serve as a barf bag. Yay.
  9. Baby gate - This one makes me really sad, but I think it's necessary. We're going to put up one of the gates in my bedroom doorway so Binky and Bear can't get in. I know they'll want to jump in bed and snuggle with me, but it's probably not a good idea. They think they're lap dogs, which I love, but I might not want 50 lbs resting on my stomach for a few days.
They hate being separated from us. They also haven't figured out that they could easily
A) jump over the gate or B) bust right through it.
I think those are the highlights. We'll see what is actually helpful (the new surgery day outfit is going to be key, I know it).

This morning, I went to the hospital so they could collect some blood. I'm scheduled for 5:30 AM on Thursday, but they'll call me tomorrow afternoon to confirm that. My parents are arriving tomorrow morning and I can't wait for them to be here. Having them here will make the day go by quickly. Before I know it, it will be Thursday afternoon and all of this surgery bullshit will be over. I can't wait for that!


  1. I love check lists :) Sounds like you've got most things covered. I sincerely hope it goes well and you have a speedy recovery! You may also be surprised at how your dogs behaviour may change. In my family, we took turns with surgeries, haha, and you wouldn't believe the difference in our pups - it's like they new something was up and were much gentler and less raucous-y around whoever was ill/injured/on crutches. Dogs really are amazing :)
    Wishing you the best, I'll be thinking about you and sending good vibes tomorrow!!

    1. Thanks Jaytee! I really appreciate it :) I bet you're right about the dogs. They always know when I'm upset so hopeful they'll sense that something different is going on tomorrow!