So You’re Having Surgery: What Comes Next?
When I was told I had to have surgery, a million thoughts ran through my head. I had a lot of worries and fears about the surgery, with the biggest being put under general anesthesia. I think I watch too many medical dramas because all I could think about was dying. Yes I know it sounds paranoid and ridiculous, but it was a real fear of mine.
I know I can’t be the only one who feels this way, so I thought instead of focusing in on the fear, I would share my experience from beginning to end in hopes of giving others who may be having surgery in the future a little insight and peace about it.
After weeks of fretting about my upcoming surgery, I finally had my pre-op appointment. I was able to ask my ON/GYN all the questions I had and share with her my fears, even the irrational ones. At the end of the appointment, I felt a lot better about my upcoming surgery. Don’t get me wrong. I still had worries, but they aren’t keeping me up at night anymore.
What I advise is if you have a lot of fear, email or call your doctor. Don’t wait for weeks like I did with crazy irrational thoughts flooding your mind. No question is too stupid, and if they are good, they will answer every one of them until you are feeling better.
Aside from my crazy thinking, I was quite surprised at the things you could and could not do up to two weeks prior. Now medication I understand, especially if you are on something like blood thinners, but what I never realized is that even something as simple as ibuprofen can be harmful during surgery. Ibuprofen, along with aspirin can thin your blood and you definitely don’t want that during surgery!
Most of us are also aware of the no eating or drinking after midnight the day before surgery. This prevents vomiting during surrey. The bad part for me is that my surgery isn’t scheduled until 11:00 a.m. I am going to be one hungry person when I am done.
Along with the medications not to take, and what not to eat and drink, there was a whole list of things not to do/use the day of surgery. Most I knew or at least understood, but not being able to use lotion, body spray, hair products or even deodorant. My first thought when reading this was that I was going to be a scaly, smelly frizzy hot mess. Come on, no deodorant. Southern California summers are not kind, this one in particular with more triple digit days than I can count, and I have to go without deodorant. It is a perfect storm. I am already going to be sweaty and stinky from the heat. Add in stress about the surgery. I don’t want to think of how bad I will be smelling.
So why no beauty products? My doctor said to help avoid the risk of fire in the operating room. Great. Another thing for me to worry about. The chances of this happening are pretty low though. Because it can happen they must warn against it.
Now I know I have done a lot of joking here. I guess it is my way of dealing with my worries, but surgery is nothing to joke about. People’s fears surrounding it are not either. Through this series, it is my intention to share my experiences through post-op, and hopefully, provide some comfort to those facing surgery. My next article will be on preparing for surgery up until the day of. I hope this series helps!