Thursday, February 28, 2013

how to prepare for a major surgery {a guide}

I need one more surgery in connection with all of the brouhaha from last summer. And it is a whopper. Ten to twelve hours on the operating table and a recovery time of 8-12 weeks. How DOES one prepare to be a little, or a lot, out of commission for so long when managing a busy family and a job? In particular, what is the most efficient way to spend the final week before surgery? Here's a guide.


Get traditional pre-childbirth/miscellaneous surgical procedure pedicure with eldest daughter. Because every other part of you might look like hell warmed over, but at least your feet can look good. So far, things are right on track.


Learn that Girl Scouts stepping stone project that you were organizing back in November, but which had sort of died on the vine due to bad weather and lack of interest, has been resurrected. Haul 160 pounds of concrete in a wheelbarrow to the back of the library and mix/pour/bedazzle concrete with ten 8 year old girls.

Realize with troop leader that the decorative stones are not really sticking to the concrete. Go back home and google "stepping stone decorative stones not sticking to concrete" and similar searches highly unlikely to yield any helpful hits. Try random searches that seem to make some sense to your non-stone mason brain like "clear drying outdoor epoxy" and "mortar" and then spend an hour or so wading through home and garden and DIY forums that are discussing things that are not remotely relevant to your problem.


Ask school nurse to check daughter's head because she's been itching, but you don't see anything in there. Learn from school nurse that kid has lice. Learn that other kid has lice too. Go to CVS to buy Rid, spend entire day shampooing/nitpicking/bagging up stuffed animals and pillows, washing and vacuuming. Oldest daughter is completely distraught, youngest daughter proclaims this to be "the best day ever!!" Do not want to leave this problem for the grandparents, so make appointment with a professional lice removal salon for the next day.


Spend the day at Nit Wits with the girls. Learn a whole lot about lice from these kind women, who went into the lice removal business when their own families were hit with it. They say that their lives are divided into "pre-lice" and "post-lice" and they will never be the same. You are one of them now. Watch them work and think that they could pretty much charge you any amount of money and you will happily pay it to them; you feel it so strongly that you have to remind yourself not to say it out loud. Also think that NO WONDER lice is so rampant in elementary schools, as the Rid did absolutely no good whatsoever, and there is absolutely NO WAY that the average untrained parent can do what these women are doing. The grandparents take the kids later in the afternoon and you spend the next 6 hours doing this:

Fun fact: lice can only survive off a head for 24 hours. Therefore, should this ever happen to us again (and with God as my witness, I will devote my life to seeing that it does not) I plan to get the infected person(s) treated and then move out of the house for the next couple of days. It would be a whole lot less work! That night, David comments that a few days in the hospital might be a nice break from vacuuming and stepping over stuffed lawn and leaf bags. Friends start texting to ask if I'm ready for the surgery:


Realize that Sally's Beauty Supply has quadruple charged you for the Barbicide you purchased yesterday:

I could be lining up a ride to the soccer game for Elizabeth, or drafting a list (spreadsheet?) of the kids' weekend activities/social events to help the grandparents, or running into the office for the first time all week to turn off my computer and say "hey, see ya in 6 weeks!" OR I could go get my $27 bucks back from Sally's Beauty Supply. I do the latter.


I had lunch with Elizabeth's class (I'd chosen this date to cover the class for teacher time out way back at orientation), ran into the office for a bit, and then drove to the surgeon's office for the final pre-op appointment. On my way into his parking lot, I ran over a curb:

Luckily the appointment only lasted 15 minutes, so David had plenty of time to change the tire, follow me to the gas station to get air in the (also flat) spare, follow me to Goodyear to get three new tires (I mean, we were there anyway!), and make it home in plenty of time to collect the girls to go to their school open house!

I think I'm ready.


Mom to 3 C's said...

Oh my! I don't think you could have made this stuff up if you tried! Praying that all goes well for you!

Jessica Whelan said...

I'm not quite sure how you can make me laugh in a post about pre-op, but you did! Best of luck, Cathy. I hope you can focus on resting and recovering and not on the lice.

Pamela said...

Cathy! I'm late in reading blog posts, but I so enjoy reading yours. Sorry to hear about the lice. I'm so afraid of that happening here. I hope the surgery went well. I agree with Jessica...your posts always make me laugh. Take care and I look forward to reading along with the next post. Thinking of you!

Kayte said...

How you keep your sense of humor in the worst of times is beyond me. I wish you could bottle and sell that! I am resurfacing after a long time of not...Mark's mother passed away so all the caretaking portion of that is over and we miss her dearly but she was in so much pain at the end that we are relieved that part is over. Big Tens are over. Only NCAAs left at the end of the month, but all I have to do for that is show up and cheer. Thinking of you and hoping it all went well. xo