1. ___ Clean your house - or have it cleaned

  2. ___ Unless you fortunate to have someone who can cook for you, shop beforehand for recovery food and treats like frozen dinners, canned soups, pudding, Jell-O, etc; or cook your own and freeze it. 

  3. ___ Take out the trash, recyclables, etc. beforehand so you don't have to worry about it while you're healing.

  4. ___ Have all of your laundry taken care of before your surgery.

  5. ___ Make a "Honey Do" list (bills, thermostat settings, errands, whatever) for your caretaker. 

  6. ___ Purchase all of your medications, Vitamin C and dressings beforehand in case your pharmacy is in short supply.

  7. ___ Purchase a Thermometer if you don't have one, it is imperative you check your temperature regularly for any signs of fever over 101. Many times, a high fever is a sign of infection.

  8. ___ Place all medications either in a weekly pill "case" or in labeled containers, by day and time if need be.

  9. ___ Purchase some SinEcch Arnica Montana, Bromelain or Pineapple Juice if your surgeon approves.

  10. ___ A laptop is an awesome thing to have during recovery.

  11. ___ If no lap top, maybe a Gameboy or a Playstation/Nintendo set up near you - you will get bored. Having these items will keep you from doing things you shouldn't be doing.

  12. ___ Have lots of movies, books, magazines or videogames on hand.

  13. ___ Have someone watch your dog, cat, children, etc.

  14. ___ If you can't have them cared for, tend to their needs beforehand, i.e. put cans of food on the counter with the can opener so you don't have to reach for it. Change the litter box as well. You don't want to expose yourself to germs as well as no bending over!

  15. ___ A comfortable recliner is a great asset, if not the bed is perfectly fine, just keep your upper body elevated.

  16. ___ Have lots of fluffy pillows on hand. A good idea is to place two pillows under your top mattress where your head will be, finish it off with one or two pillows under your head so that you are properly elevated.  Additionally, two pillows on each side and one under your knees can keep you from turning over during slumber.

  17. ___ Have a bucket or pail with a lid at your bedside and on the ride home -- essential. (for vomiting)

  18. ___ Have seltzer or regular bottled water with you on the way home to stave off the nausea or to cleanse the mouth after vomiting.

  19. ___ A nightstand with all of your medications, ample light, bottled water, a few packages of crackers (NOT garlic or spicy flavored), remote control (with new batteries) & the phone (fully charged) is essential for a comfortable and hitch-free recovery area..

  20. ___ Extra blankets; anesthesia can give you rigors (the "chills") after surgery.

  21. ___ Freeze ice packs, bags of frozen peas, raspberries or blueberries beforehand if you were instructed to ice.

  22. ___ Have a heating pad, hot water bottle or microwaveable pack on hand.  These are great for a sore back -- remember not to sleep on them.

  23. ___ A "go-fer", a significant other or an older child can get you things so you don't have to . Please take it easy.

  24. ___ Place anything you may need at hip level so that you have no need to reach or bend down. This means canned and dry goods in the kitchen and toiletries in the bathroom. 

  25. ___ Have a robe and slippers (or several pair of thick socks) nearby.

  26. ___ Have a few comfortable oversized shirts that open from the front on hand, as well as some sweat pants or pajama bottoms.

  27. ___ Have a hand mirror nearby so you don't have to get up to preen.

  28. ___ Make time for yourself before your surgery; pour a bath, light some candles, listen to some music - relax. Try to gather your thoughts and soothe your mind.

  29. ___ The night before (and with some surgeons, for 3 days before) you will be asked to wash your face and neck and sometimes hair with Dial antibacterial or Hibiclens soap to help rid your body of its naturally occurring Staph on the skin's surface -- you do not want a Staph infection.

  30. ___ Wash your hair the night before surgery -- it may be a long time before you get to do that again.  As before, if you were instructed to wash your hair with anti-bacterial soap, do so.

  31. ___ Remove any fingernail and toenail polish so that the OR techs will be better able to  determine if you are getting enough oxygen during surgery. The nails turn blue-ish from lack of oxygen and reddish with too much carbon dioxide. Although there are oximeters for this purpose, it is still good practice. 

  32. ___ Talk to your spouse or about any concerns that you may have, they may have some insights or questions you haven't thought of -- they may be experiencing pre-op anxiety as well.

  33. ___ Ask your surgeon for valium if you have anxiety, suspect you will experience back pain from sleeping upright for a few weeks or if you need help sleeping.  Alternately, ask if you may take an over the counter sleeping medication.

  34. ___ "Black out" your windows with thick drapes, a blanket or other form of dark medium so that when you do get to sleep, regardless of the hours, you can stay asleep.

  35. ___ If you think television, video games and reading are eventually going to bore you or stress your eyes - have a discman (or walkman) on hand with your favorite relaxing CDs or audio books.

  36. ___ Have fresh film or a disposable "post-op photo" camera on hand. Especially if you are considering documenting your procedure online (on a personal site or a Plastic Surgery site like this one)

  37. ___ Have your journal and a few fresh, fully inked pens ready if you are wanting to document your post-operative thoughts in writing. Alternately, type it into your lap top or speak it into a miniature recorder. Remember fresh batteries!

  38. ___ Just in case the lights go out, have a flash light on your nightstand. 

  39. ___ Alternately, have a nightlight lighting your way to the bathroom should the need arise in the middle of the night.

  40. ___ If you don't have a laptop and you have online friends who are eager to hear from you -- have your significant other or friend post" or email them with your recovery news. Give him or her a list of the email addresses and URLs of the message boards.

  41. ___ Have an answering machine connected to the phone next to your recovery area. Getting woken up when you just got to sleep can be very unsettling -- you need your sleep. Don't forget to turn down the volume and turn off the ringer.

  42. ___ I know you may hear not to look at yourself for a few days but it is very difficult to do, I mean what are you going to do, close your eyes every time you are near a mirror? You know full well you can't not look yourself for an entire week.  But remember when you do break down and peek, your features change every day so please don't get discouraged.  You will have considerable swelling for quite some time.  Please know this beforehand and be sure to print out our Post-operative Emotions Reminder Checklist.

  43. ___ If you are choosing to document your recovery remember to take your post-operative photos.

  44. ___ Last but not least, RELAX. If you are super stressed out it can really affect your recovery. Try to remember that you will heal, you will be less sore and that you are going to look great! Just be patient.

    Notes:

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