Waiting For Surgery: There's More To Do Than Just Wait
It is not uncommon for arthritis patients to have a long wait prior to a scheduled joint replacement surgery. The wait can be even longer for people in countries other than the United States. The wait in Canada, for example, depends on which part of Canada the patient lives in.
The long wait can be difficult as pain and disability worsens. The patient can use the time effectively though to prepare for surgery.
Use The Waiting Time Effectively
Learn about what you can expect before, during, and after surgery.
Knowledge is power. You will feel more settled and more relaxed at the time of surgery if you know what to expect.
Prepare your environment.
Do you have food stocked in the house so that getting groceries won't be a problem? Do you need adaptive equipment that you haven't yet purchased or arranged? Anticipate all that you will need in your surroundings after you come home to recuperate. Pre-plan and prepare as much as possible.
Prepare yourself mentally.
No one enjoys having surgery. It's a tough and difficult recuperation which lies ahead. But you can prepare mentally by being focused on the goal -- and the goal is to heal and get well. Project ahead in your mind to the healing phase. Never take your eye off the goal.
Arrange help if you will need it.
Have you anticipated what help you may need when you return home to recuperate? Has your doctor arranged for home health care? Have you discussed with family and friends what help you may need from them? You will likely find that people are happy to help, but they need to have a plan so they know what to expect too. Your helpers will appreciate having time to prepare and clear their schedule if necessary.
Anticipate what normally happens during the time frame you will be recuperating.
Are there activities or projects which will occur during the time you are recovering? Do as much as you can before you have surgery. For example, select and send out greeting cards a little early. Do some shopping online. You'll be glad you didn't forget some of the little things.
Practice your post-op exercises or gait training.
Has it been awhile since you've used your walker or crutches? If you know the proper use of crutches or a walker, dust them off and practice a little before you have the additional post-op pain. If you've never used crutches or a walker, wait until after surgery, when the physical therapist can properly teach you.
Don't forget to pamper yourself a bit.
Surgery is stressful. Do things you find relaxing in the weeks and days prior to surgery so you will start your recuperation with positive energy.
Anticipate how your recovery will impact your daily routine.
The important thing is to anticipate how you live your life normally and anticipate how your recovery from surgery will impact your normal routine. Any adjustments or preparations which can be done prior to surgery will surely make the process easier.