Check Lists 12/31/2016
Recently I was sitting with a client as she was going through her pre-operation intake with the nurse before having surgery on her right eye. The nurse put a little sticker above her right eyebrow when they checked her in. Then just before she was wheeled into the operating suite the surgeon saw her and removed the sticker and made a small mark with a marker above her eyebrow. They explained this was done to make absolutely certain that they did not operate on the wrong eye. I've seen similar tactics used at other surgery facilities. It's common to see patients have the word NO written on their knee or elbow or hand that is not being operated on that day. And typically patients having surgery experience staff constantly asking them to confirm their name and DOB throughout their time at the facility. They have a very good reason to be doing this.
Post-Surgery Panic, Fear, and Anger 11/30/2016
Many years ago I had surgery, a reduction mammoplasty. This was a procedure that I very much wanted to have for many years and I was very excited to have it done. However, the first time I looked at myself in the mirror after the procedure I was overcome with panic and fear. My body looked so different that I hardly recognized myself and I was afraid I had made a huge mistake. This is not an uncommon experience for people who have just had surgery, particularly when it is a surgery that alters your appearance in some way. Even when the surgery is something that you want to have done, the shock of the change can be upsetting. The emotions that can arise might be confusing because it can be so unexpected.
Dressing for Surgery 10/24/2016
We often carefully plan the clothes we wear to parties or special events. We think ahead and consider our best options for the occasion. However we often don't take the same thoughtful approach to how we dress on the day we are having surgery. Thinking ahead and planning what you wear can make a difference in your comfort and recovery.
Preparing for Recovery 7/21/2016
We often think that the key to a successful surgery is in the hands of the surgeon and the other medical professionals caring for the patient. It's important to also remember that the patient plays a big role in a good outcome, too. I like to think of it as a team effort, the patient works together with the medical staff to have a good result. There are many things a patient can do in the days leading up to a scheduled surgery that can help in a positive outcome. Often there are prescriptions to be filled, supplies to be purchased, and your schedule needs to be cleared. It is also important to prepare your home for the recovery time. This step is very important, especially if the recovery will be for several days. I like to view it as transforming your home into a safe space for comfort and recovery.
Animals Just Know 6/22/2016
I used to own a very sweet but rather grumpy cat named Bacon. Like most cats he felt the house was his and he went wherever he wanted. He had a habit of walking on me and my husband while we were in bed. However I noticed that once my husband was sick he would jump over my husband's belly rather than walk on him. He was a cat but somehow he just knew my husband's stomach was tender and he should not walk on him. Animals just know when we aren't well.
Thoroughly read all of the pre-surgery instructions and follow all directions from your doctor. If you aren't sure about any of the instructions call your doctor's office and ask for clarification.
Preparing For Surgery 9/30/2012
One of the most nerve wracking times in one's life can be the days just before and after undergoing surgery. It doesn't really matter if it is a major procedure involving an inpatient hospital stay or if it is basic outpatient procedure in a clinic or surgery center, most of us are anxious about it. Going under general anesthesia and having your body cut open even a little bit is scary. Having been through multiple surgical procedures both big and small myself as well as supporting my husband and clients through this process many times, these are some helpful tips I've picked up along the way.