Preparing Mentally and Emotionally Before Surgery

Surgery can be an anxiety-provoking and stressful experience. However, going into your procedure with realistic expectations and the right mental preparation, including well-wishes and support from loved ones, can help ease some of the common worries. Taking time to get your emotional, spiritual, and practical affairs in order prior to surgery, along with receiving ‘wishes before surgery,’ can also give you greater peace of mind.

As an experienced psychologist specializing in patient care and wellbeing, I have worked with hundreds of pre-op and post-op patients. In this comprehensive guide, I will share expert tips and research-backed advice on how to mentally and emotionally prepare for an upcoming surgery.

wishes before surgery3

  1. 💫May this surgery go perfectly smoothly so your recovery is swift and painless! 💫

  2. 🌟Wishing you positive thoughts and peaceful dreams in the OR today! 🌟

  3. ✨May the surgery be routine and the outcome better than imagined. ✨

  4. 💞May divine guidance steer the hands of your skilled surgeons. 💞

  5. 🌠May this surgery be a success and lead you towards restored health with each new dawn.🌠

  6. 😇Sending prayers up for a complication-free procedure and rapid healing! 😇

  7. ☘️Hoping this surgery marks a turning point towards less pain and brighter days ahead!☘️

  8. 🌷May your doctors perform this operation with great precision and care today! 🌷

  9. 💐Wishing you fortitude and patience during the challenges surgery and recovery may bring. 💐

  10. 🌈May the surgery be uneventful and usher in more ease. 🌈

  11. 🌻Hoping anesthesia, pain meds and nursing care provide you comfort.🌻

  12. 💖May loving caretakers pamper you through recovery with support and nutritious meals! 💖

  13. 🔆May inner wisdom guide you in making sound choices for self care post-op! 🔆

  14. 💥Sending you empowering vibes for persevering despite surgery woes! 💥

  15. ✌️Smooth procedure wishes coming your way for fast healing! ✌️

  16. ☯️Hoping pain proves transient but positive outcomes last forever! ☯️

  17. 💪May you surge ahead with resilience when surgery recovery gets tough! 💪

  18. 🙏 Wishing docs steady hands and you the patient a Zen mindset today! 🙏

  19. ⚕️ May each post-op day bring renewed energy and less discomfort than the last! ⚕️

  20. 💙Hoping supportive friends and family surround you with love after surgery! 💙

  21. 🧿 manifesting minimal surgery complications and maximum restfulness for you🧿

  22. 💚May the surgery fulfil its purpose so you can thrive in renewed health 💚

  23. 🦋sending tranquil thoughts for an unruffled surgery experience🦋

  24. 💛Wishing you the blessing of compassionate nurses when hospitalized 💛

  25. ☮️ Sending peaceful visions of a smooth procedure from start to finish!☮️

  26. 🕊 visualizing life-renewing surgical results and graceful acceptance of the temporary healing passage 🕊

  27. 💟Wishing surgical complications steer clear enabling your natural vitality to shine through!💟

  28. 🧡Sending courage for managing fears bravely and hope that optimism triumphs!🧡

  29. 💜Manifesting minimal discomfort and ample patience during your recovery period 💜

  30. 🌺Hoping supportive friends or family offer nutritious meals while you mend 🌺

  31. ☯️Visualizing fluid motions as surgeons repair delicate structures inside ☯️

  32. 💗May simple walks become victory laps building strength after this operation 💗

  33. 🌞Wishing a successful, ‘textbook’ procedure leading to renewed health 🌞

  34. ✨Hoping trust in your medical team brings calm before surgery today✨

  35. 💪🏻 May your fierce perseverance through surgery reward you with restored functioning 💪🏻

  36. 👼 Angelic care team wishes coming your way for grace and skill in the OR! 👼

  37. 🙌 Hoping surgery stabilizes what medicine alone couldn’t fix! 🙌

  38. 🌈 May colorful healing visions dance in your dreams during surgery 🌈

  39. 💐Wishing you stunning surgical successes today for optimal outcome! 💐

  40. 🌸 May you blossom into a stronger version of yourself after recovering 🌸

  41. ⚡️ Counting on zapping surgery complications so healing happens smoothly! ⚡️

  42. 💥Manifesting expelled pain and accelerated recovery after this operation 💥

  43. 🦋 May uplifting memories prompt plenty smiles during your hospital stay 🦋

  44. 🔥 Hoping fiery determination and grit helps you prevail post-surgery! 🔥

  45. 🧘‍♂️ Wishing tranquility and insight as anesthesia quiets the conscious mind 🧘‍♂️

  46. 🤸🏻‍♀️Somersaulting over surgery fears by focusing on reasons for optimism! 🤸🏻‍♀️

  47. 💆🏽‍♀️Visualizing melted stress as you receive therapeutic massages when hospitalized 💆🏽‍♀️

  48. 🛀 Relaxing recovery wishes coming your way after this taxing procedure! 🛀

  49. 🧖🏿 Manifesting renewed perspectives from surgery prep quiet time 🧖🏿

  50. 👩🏾‍⚕️ May your surgeons exhibit masterful expertise today! 👩🏾‍⚕️

  51. 💪🏿 Hoping surgery multiplies mobility so activities become easier! 💪🏿

  52. 😌 May peaceful optimism guide you through surgery’s turmoil into tranquility 😌

  53. 🙏🏻 Wishing grace as you temporarily surrender independence before surgery 🙏🏻

  54. 👨🏻‍⚕️ Manifesting colorful healing visions to dance through surgery dreams 👨🏻‍⚕️

  55. 🧑🏻‍⚕Sending patience as you withstand surgery side effects with grit 🧑🏻‍⚕

  56. 🙇🏼 Thanking body in advance for endurance through surgical marathons 🙇🏼

  57. 🌻Visualizing surgery leading the way to restored confidence and health 🌻

  58. 😇 May Divine guidance lead surgeons in rightly mending damaged areas 😇

  59. 🤲Hoping spiritual sources nurture mental peace despite surgery chaos 🤲

  60. 💞Wishing love and support fill challenging hospital days with joy 💞

  61. 🔮 Envisioning surgery causing a positive ripple effect for whole health 🔮

  62. 🙏🏾Gratitude for caregivers’ compassion during recovery sent your way🙏🏾

  63. 👼 Angelic care team wishes coming your way for grace and skill in the OR! 👼

  64. 🌟 Manifesting ordinary surgery leading to extraordinary Restoration 🌟

  65. 🤞🏻 Hoping surgery fixes functionality so activities get easier 🤞🏻

  66. ✨Sending inner spark to persevere through taxing surgery times✨

  67. 🌈Visualizing vibrant wellbeing blooming after post-op wanders 🌈

  68. 😊 😊 Smiling through surgery’s fleeting troubles with gritty optimism 😊 😊

  69. 💖 Heartfelt wishes for skillful surgeons steady of hand and mind 💖

  70. 🦋 May breezy thoughts float through your surgery without heaviness 🦋

  71. 🌱 Wishing nature’s restorative powers bless your surgery and recovery 🌱

  72. 🧘🏿‍♀️ Calm surgery manifestation through balanced mind and breathing 🧘🏿‍♀️

  73. 💚 Green healing light visualization for harmony after surgery 💚

  74. 🙌 Hoping released fears and physical issues make surgery worthwhile 🙌

  75. 🌟 Wishing colorful dreams fill post-op nights with comforting joy 🌟

  76. 🤗 Embracing unavoidable surgery pain for lasting gain beyond 🤗

  77. 😇 May otherworldly peace prevail when worldly troubles test you 😇

  78. 💪🏾 steeling strength and courage for surgery’s pivotal passage 💪🏾

  79. 👍🏽 Bringing thumbs up for doc decisions leading to surgery success 👍🏽

  80. 🦾 Robotic removal of disease without harming good tissues!🦾

  81. 🌻 Sunny disposition wishes for overcome surgery’s shadowy side 🌻

  82. ⚡️ Laser focused surgeons zap issues prompto ⚡️

  83. 🌳 Standing tall through surgery aftermath with resilient calm 🌳

  84. 💯 💯Wishing 100 percent surgical precision for success! 💯 💯

  85. ♥️ Heartening respect for my body enduring much to heal itself ♥️

  86. 👩‍⚕️ Supreme confidence in my world class medical team’s skills 👩‍⚕️

  87. 💐 Soothing scents of blooms to sweetly temper hospital stays 💐

  88. ☘️️ Lucky clovers for complication-free surgery leading the way ☘️️

  89. 🧘 Mindful equanimity through up and down surgical waves 🧘

  90. 🤝 Humble gratitude for caregivers guiding me post-op🤝

  91. 🌠 Shooting for surgery success and bright days soon 🌠

  92. 💫 Twinkling thanks for modern medicine’s gifts before surgery 💫

  93. ✨✨ Magic manifestation of minimally invasive surgical methods ✨✨

  94. 🙏 Blessing surgeons with keen judgement and steady hands 🙏

  95. 🦋 Fluttering elevated over worries by remembering surgery’s worth 🦋

  96. 🌈 Bright horizons after tearful surgical faretheewells 🌈

  97. 🧚‍♀️Wafting careful energy into overwhelmed surgery times 🧚‍♀️

  98. 🔥 Blazing optimism to combat surgery blues with grit 🔥

  99. 💃🏾 Salsa dancing fears away as pre-op day draws near 💃🏾

  100. 🌸 Encouragement blooms for tolerating surgery’s thorns 🌸

  101. 🤸🏽‍♂️ Tumbling optimistically through each post-op obstacle 🤸🏽‍♂️

  102. 😇 Divine mercy for courage when surgery’s pains distress 😇

  103. 💃 Fancy footsteps lead the postoperative parade with pride 💃

  104. 🚶‍♀️🚶‍♀️ One step at a time through surgery’s twists and turns 🚶‍♀️🚶‍♀️

  105. 🧗 victoriously facing surgery’s feats with fierce heart 🧗

  106. 🤸 salty surgery tears giving way to sweet success 🤸

  107. 🙆‍♂️ Bowing to my body’s wisdom revealed through surgery🙆‍♂️

  108. 💪 💪 Bold strength summoning to master surgery’s woes 💪 💪

  109. 🤝 Sincere thanks to angels of mercy guiding my care 🤝

  110. 🌅 Dawn’s hopeful light shines beyond surgery’s darkness 🌅

  111. 💡 Illuminating surgery’s purpose showing the way 💡

  112. 😌 Calming pre-op vibes sail smoothly from here😌

  113. 🙏 Graceful acceptance of surgery’s unknowns with faith 🙏

  114. 🌺 Optimistic blooms pepper post-op path with joy 🌺

  115. 🥳 Surgical success milestones celebrated in style 🥳

  116. 👯‍♀️ No solo surgery blues with family cheer squad 👯‍♀️

  117. 🤸 Upswing outlook brings zest for post-op best 🤸

  118. 🧘‍♀️ Peaceful perspective gained from stillness 🧘‍♀️

  119. 🦋 Floating over worries thanks to surgery’s worth🦋

  120. 🌈 Bright horizons emerge after surgery rain 🌈

  121. 💪 💪 Tapping fortitude to master surgery woes 💪 💪

  122. 🌞 Radiant optimism to combat convalescence gloom 🌞

  123. 🙏 Grace for this poignant passage toward better health 🙏

  124. 👩‍⚕️ Surgical savior gratitude before op day 👩‍⚕️

  125. 🌠 Wishing on lucky stars for benign operation 🌠

  126. 🙌 🙌 Hoping successful surgery fixes functionality 🙌 🙌

  127. 🤸 🤸 Rebounding rapidly after hospital release 🤸 🤸

  128. 💫Magic restoration manifestation for surgery success 💫

  129. ✨ Healing clarity and energy restoration intended✨

  130. 🤞🏼 Hoping surgery fixes functionality blessing activities 🤞🏼

  131. 😌 Visualizing peaceful optimism guiding through turmoil 😌

  132. 🙏🏿 Grace for surrendering independence before surgery 🙏🏿

  133. 🌈 Envisioning vibrant wellbeing blooming after wanders 🌈

  134. 🦋 Breezy thoughts float through surgery without heaviness 🦋

  135. 🔥 Blazing optimism to combat blues with grit 🔥

  136. 🧘‍♀️ Peaceful perspective gained from pre-op stillness 🧘‍♀️

  137. 🌠 Wishing lucky stars align for benign operation 🌠

  138. 💪🏽 Bold strength summoning to master surgery woes 💪🏽

  139. 🤝 Sincere thanks to angels guiding my surgery care 🤝

  140. 🌅 Dawn’s light shines beyond this passage into health 🌅

  141. 💡 Illuminating surgery’s purpose showing the way 💡

  142. 😌 Calming vibes sail smoothly from here 😌

  143. 🙏 Graceful acceptance of surgery’s unknowns with faith 🙏

  144. 🌺 Blooms pepper postoperative path with joy 🌺

  145. 🥳 Celebrating surgical success milestones in style 🥳

  146. 👯‍♀️ No solo surgery blues with family cheer squad 👯‍♀️

  147. 🤸 Upswing outlook brings zest for post-op best 🤸

  148. 🧘‍♀️ Peaceful perspective gained from stillness 🧘‍♀️

  149. 🦋 Floating over worries thanks to surgery’s worth 🦋

  150. 🌈 Bright horizons emerge after surgery rain 🌈

  151. 💪 💪 Tapping fortitude to master surgery woes 💪 💪

  152. 🌞 Radiant optimism to combat convalescence gloom🌞

  153. 🙏 Grace for this passage toward better health 🙏

  154. 👩‍⚕️ Gratitude for surgical savior before op day 👩‍⚕️

  155. 🌠Wishing on stars for benign operation🌠

  156. 🙌 🙌 Hoping successful surgery fixes functionality 🙌 🙌

  157. 🤸 🤸 Rebounding rapidly after hospital release 🤸 🤸

  158. 💫Magic restoration manifestation for surgery success💫

  159. ✨ Healing clarity and energy restoration intended ✨

  160. 🤞🏼 Hoping surgery fixes functionality blessing activities 🤞🏼

  161. 😌 Visualizing peaceful optimism through surgery turmoil 😌

  162. 🙏🏿 Grace for surrendering independence pre-surgery 🙏🏿

  163. 🌈 Envisioning vibrant wellbeing blooming after wanders🌈

  164. 🦋 Breezy thoughts float through surgery without heaviness 🦋

  165. 🔥 Blazing optimism to combat blues with grit 🔥

  166. 🧘‍♀️ Peaceful perspective gained from pre-op stillness 🧘‍♀️

  167. 🌠 Wishing lucky stars align for benign operation🌠

  168. 💪🏽 Bold strength summoning to master surgery woes 💪🏽

  169. 🤝 Sincere thanks to angels guiding my surgery care 🤝

  170. 🌅 Dawn’s light shines beyond this passage into health🌅

  171. 💡Illuminating surgery’s purpose showing the way💡

  172. 😌 Calming vibes sail smoothly from here😌

  173. 🙏 Graceful acceptance of unknowns with faith🙏

Managing Anxiety and Fear Before Surgery

wishes before surgery2

It’s very normal to feel anxious before having a medical procedure. Surgery involves pain, financial costs, anesthesia risks, and recovery difficulties. It also means relinquishing control to the surgical team. These uncertainties can trigger fears and anxiety for many patients.

Here are some of the main worries patients have before surgery and healthy ways to cope with them:

Fears about the procedure itself:

  • Complications from anesthesia
  • Experiencing severe pain
  • Medical errors or mistakes

Coping strategies:

  • Learn about the step-by-step process of your surgery so you know what to expect
  • Discuss anesthesia plan with your care team and convey any past issues you’ve had
  • Ask questions about pain management post-op
  • Vet your surgeon and hospital’s safety credentials

Worries about outcome and recovery:

  • Slow or difficult healing
  • Permanent disability or loss of function
  • Need for continued treatments or more surgeries

Coping techniques:

  • Follow all pre-op instructions closely to optimize healing potential
  • Discuss likely outcomes with your doctor and recovery process
  • Connect with others who have undergone your surgery
  • Remind yourself it’s normal to have some ups and downs in recovery

Financial concerns:

  • Uncertainty if insurance will cover costs
  • Unexpected medical bills
  • Loss of wages from missed work

Proactive steps:

  • Contact insurance to learn coverage details and out-of-pocket fees
  • Inquire about payment plan options if needed
  • Check eligibility for short-term disability or medical leave from your workplace

Stress over losing independence:

  • Relying on others for care post-surgery
  • Missing out on usual routines and activities
  • Feelings of isolation

Helpful mindset shifts:

  • View recovery period as temporary and focus on short-term goals
  • Talk openly with loved ones about your needs and limitations
  • Schedule video calls with friends or ask for company to prevent isolation

Taking constructive steps to get information, talk through your feelings, and put preparations in place can help ease some worries. But nerves before surgery are still very normal.

Here are helpful ways to cope with anxiety:

Relaxation techniques

Deep breathing, meditation, massage, music therapy, visualization of a peaceful scene. Can lower blood pressure and heart rate.

Talk to loved ones

Don’t bottle up emotions. Voice your fears and feelings to close family or friends. Their support can be calming.

Limit media overexposure

Graphic images or warnings related to surgery can heighten fears. Be mindful of what you read or watch.

Write down concerns

Journaling or making lists can help you process emotions rather than ruminating.

Stay busy

Distract yourself with enjoyable hobbies you can still do before surgery – games, books, crafts, movies.

Meet with counselor or clergy

Talking through spiritual or mental health struggles with a professional can be relieving.

While it’s helpful to acknowledge and work through fears, dwelling on worst case scenarios rarely helps. When you catch yourself catastrophizing or imagining things going horribly wrong, gently shift your mindset. Remind yourself of the positive reasons for having this surgery, your doctor’s credentials, and all the preparations you’ve made for self-care during recovery.

Putting Your Affairs in Order Before Surgery

Taking care of practical matters and getting your essential documents organized prior to surgery allows you to focus fully on your physical healing afterwards. It also gives you greater peace of mind going into the hospital knowing you’ve prepared for the recovery period.

Use this thorough pre-surgery checklist to put your affairs in order:

Medical Paperwork & Care Plans

  • [ ] Gather medical history paperwork
  • [ ] Sign any consent forms
  • [ ] Complete advance healthcare directive with wishes
  • [ ] Review aftercare instructions with doctor
  • [ ] Make post-op follow-up appointments
  • [ ] Arrange transportation to and from hospital

Work & Financial Updates

  • [ ] Notify workplace about surgery date and expected leave
  • [ ] Understand disability, medical leave and remote work options
  • [ ] Review health insurance coverage and claims process
  • [ ] Confirm you have funds to cover medical and daily living expenses

Home Preparation

  • [ ] Clean house and do laundry beforehand
  • [ ] Stock up on easy to prepare foods and supplies
  • [ ] Set up recovery space with pillows, blankets, supplies
  • [ ] Create list of helpers and visiting rules

Caregiver Plans

  • [ ] Confirm primary caregiver(s) and their availability
  • [ ] Discuss specific needs like dressing changes, ride assistance
  • [ ] Share surgery prep checklist with caregivers
  • [ ] Set up caregiver schedule for first few weeks

Pet Care

  • [ ] Arrange pet sitting or someone to help with walks, feeding
  • [ ] Prep pet kennel/bed in accessible area if you have limitations


  • [ ] Make childcare arrangements for day of surgery/early recovery
  • [ ] Explain to children about surgery in basic, reassuring way
  • [ ] Have children create get well soon cards to lift your spirits

Crossing these action items off your list prior to admission day lets you relax and mentally prepare the final days before surgery. Having logistics handled can take some weight off your mind.

Preparing Belongings for Hospital Stay

Packing thoughtfully for your hospital stay helps things go smoothly once you are admitted. While each facility may have particular policies, these tips cover the basics of what to bring.

For Comfort & Convenience

  • Loose, soft clothes – avoid restrictive pants with zippers or buttons
  • Slippers with non-slip soles
  • Robe
  • Eye mask and ear plugs for sleep
  • Chargers for phone, tablet, laptop
  • Headphones
  • Lip balm for dryness

Toiletries & Personal Items

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, denture supplies
  • Hairbrush, comb
  • Deodorant
  • Glasses, contacts, case


  • Books, magazines
  • Playing cards
  • Puzzle books

Important Paperwork

  • Insurance cards
  • Advance healthcare directive
  • Photo ID
  • List of current medications

Only pack essential, valuable items, and leave anything you would hate to lose at home. Be sure to label all belongings with your name for easy identification.

Having your bag packed ahead of time with comfort items from home can ease the unfamiliarity of the hospital environment.

Pre-Operative Testing and Clearance

In the weeks leading up to your surgery date, you will likely undergo pre-operative testing to ensure you are healthy enough for anesthesia and the procedure. This usually involves an appointment where your surgeon or a specialist will:

  • Take your medical history – Discuss any chronic conditions, prior surgeries, allergies, medications or dietary supplements you take.
  • Conduct a physical exam – Check your vitals, heart, lungs, abdomen and areas relevant to your surgery.
  • Review test results – Assess recent bloodwork, imaging scans, cardiograms or other tests.
  • Order additional testing if needed – Some patients require extra heart or lung tests to get surgical clearance depending on health factors. Large complex surgeries often warrant more screening.
  • Provide special instructions for medications, diet or activities – Your doctor may adjust current prescriptions, have you stop blood thinning medications temporarily, recommend a high protein diet to promote healing, or tell you to stop strenuous exercise in the weeks before surgery. Follow all advice closely.

The goals with pre-op testing and clearance are to:

  • Verify you are healthy enough for surgery and anesthesia
  • Catch any lurking infections or conditions that could complicate surgery or recovery
  • Create plan for managing medications and diet around surgery
  • Establish post-operative care plan tailored to your situation

While tedious, going through this screening shows how carefully your surgical team creates an individualized surgical and aftercare approach. It should reassure you that your doctors aim make surgery as safe and smooth as possible given your health profile.

Bring any questions or concerns about pre-op testing and clearance to your surgeon’s attention. Do not hesitate to ask for explanations if instructions seem unclear or overwhelming.

Meeting With the Anesthesiologist

In addition to seeing your surgeon, you will have a consult before surgery with the anesthesiologist to discuss the various options for sedation and pain relief during the procedure. This specialist physician is responsible for administering and overseeing anesthesia administration once in the OR.

Based on health factors and type of surgery, the anesthesiologist will recommend:

General anesthesia – For major operations, you are fully unconscious and unaware. Medications put you in a sleep-like state via IV or inhaled gas.


Local or regional anesthesia – Numbs a specific localized area only. You remain conscious or moderately sedated. Spinals, epidurals and nerve blocks fall under this category.

Be ready to share your medical history, any prior issues with anesthesia or reactions to medications, and concerns you may have about pain control or nausea.

Key things to discuss with your anesthesiologist:

Prior issues with anesthesia – Mention if you had complications like low blood pressure, breathing problems, nausea or slow to wake after past surgical procedures under general anesthesia.

Medication allergies or intolerances – Red wristbands signify drug allergies to operating room staff. Be sure to state any allergies verbally too.

Herbal supplements or medications – Some natural remedies, vitamins and even over the counter medications can interact badly with anesthesia or lead to bleeding risks. Share everything you take.

Fears about pain, nausea or awareness during surgery – Express any phobias or extreme anxieties you have so your anesthesiologist can address them and put extra preventative measures in place.

Preferences for certain medications – If you know certain pain relievers work better or certain anti-nausea drugs agree better with your system, speak up. historical reactions to medications guide choices.

Anesthesiologists ease fears for over 90% of patients just by explaining the process, assuring continuous monitoring, and advising how they minimize risks and keep you comfortable. Don’t be afraid to voice questions or concerns.

How to Choose a Caregiver or Advocate

Recovering from surgery often requires assistance with daily tasks like bathing, preparing meals, transportation and more. Enlisting trustworthy helpers during the period where activity is limited allows you to focus on healing. Family or friends usually fill this caregiver role, but you can also hire home health aides if needed.

When choosing your post-op caregiver(s) or advocate, consider people who:

Live close by – Shorter commute makes it easier to have someone readily available to check on you or assist with difficult tasks without advanced notice. Can respond quickly in an emergency.

Have some healthcare experience – Background as a nurse, doctor, med student or even just prior experience caring for a relative after surgery is preferred. Greater competence with medical instructions and wound care.

Embody a nurturing personality – Optimally caring, empathetic and patient. The recovery process can be frustrating at times. You need someone who uplifts you.

Exhibit responsibility and commitment – Punctual, responds to calls/texts promptly, follows physician instructions reliably. Gives your care consistent priority and attention.

Can safely assist with physical tasks – Ability to safely help with mobility challenges post-surgery like getting in and out of bed, sitting to standing, walking, ascending stairs. Make sure to select caregivers sturdy and physically able enough assist with your needs, or else have them enlist help for such tasks.

Have a flexible schedule or willingness to take time off – Recovering from major surgery may require more extensive care for 1-2 weeks. Desired availability 7 days a week and flexibility is a plus when selecting your primary post-op caregiver.

Live alone – Since infection exposure risks abound when living with large families or housemates, it’s ideal ifhelpers at least self-quarantine several days before interacting with you post-surgery.

Discuss your specific physical needs around the house transparently before surgery too. Setting clear expectations helps caregivers know how to best support you.

Having trusted and qualified people lined up to care for you after surgery gives you huge peace of mind. Leaning on others without guilt during the recovery process can be an adjustment, but is essential for optimally healing.

Talking to Children About Surgery

If you have young kids, having an upcoming surgery likely raises many questions and some worries for them about this unfamiliar situation. Children need simple, honest explanations to understand why you’re going to the hospital and how it will impact their routine at home.

Here are some tips for reassuring kids about parents’ surgery:

Use child-friendly language

Avoid scary medical terminology. Use simple phrases like “the doctors will fix my body part that’s hurt or help me stop having pain.”

Explain why surgery is needed

Briefly explain the health problem and why doctors recommended surgery for treatment, so they understand it’s for an important medical reason, not an arbitrary choice.

Describe what will happen at the hospital

Walk through the logistics of the hospital stay – checking in, getting into a gown, going into the operating room, awakening in the recovery room, being monitored by nurses. Avoid graphic detail but prepare them that things will look and seem unfamiliar. Let them know you’ll likely be in the hospital for X days.

Reassure them you are in good hands

Emphasize that the doctors and nurses will take excellent care of you and are highly trained experts at doing these procedures. Their job is to help you get better.

Encourage them to make you get well gifts

Having children make homemade cards, crafts or write you sweet notes to open after surgery reinforces that this a temporary period of healing after which things will go back to normal.

Involve them proactively in your recovery

Give children age-appropriate tasks like keeping your water bottle full, reading stories aloud or even singing songs to uplift you. This helps them feel helpful and less anxious.

Keeping kids informed with truthful but gentle language can ease worries they may invent if left to speculate. Encourage them to voice concerns and be ready to provide lots of comforting hugs. The calmer a parent appears to be about impending surgery, the less distressed children tend to feel.

Walking Children Through a Parent’s Hospital Stay

Young children often benefit from having the hospital experience described step-by-step so they know what to expect while a caregiver is admitted. The sights and sounds can seem alienating or frightening if unfamiliar. Use this walk through to paint a realistic picture of what the environment may be like:

Checking In: We will go the registration desk just inside the hospital entrance to check mom/dad in. You might see nurses and people in scrubs walking very fast down long hallways.

Pre-Op Area: Patients wait here in special reclining chairs for a little while before it’s their turn for surgery. Nurses ask lots questions and do some tests to make sure patients are ready.

Baylor Surgical Unit: This is the area just for surgery patients. You will see the transport team in colorful scrubs who will take mom/dad from the pre-op bay on a rolling bed to the operating room. Lots of machines, desks and sinks for handwashing here.

Operating Room: This is the room where patients actually have their surgery. Very bright lights allow the surgeon and nurses to see super clearly. There’s special equipment in here just for operations.

Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU): After surgery, patients wake up for close monitoring here before going to their hospital room. Nurses make sure patients aren’t in pain. You may glimpse patients attached to beeping machines and IV drips. Looks serious but it’s for safety.

Hospital Room: This is where mom/dad will stay for the rest of the hospitalization while recovering. Much quieter and more private. Better for resting than the earlier crowded areas. We can sit by the bed, tell stories and keep each other company here.

walkChildren through typical hospital surroundings normalizes the experience. Highlight comforting elements like special beds for napping, tasty cafeteria treats, waiting rooms with toys and games etc. Have them recount key details back ensure comprehension. Allow time discuss any lingering questions openly.

While facilities seem sterile and unfamiliar at first, children’s natural adaptability means they typically acclimate well. With preparation and parental reassurance, even young kids manage visiting hospitalized family without too much stress or fear.

An Emotional & Spiritual Pre-Surgery Checklist

Undergoing surgery shakes up daily existence requiring major adjustments physically and emotionally during recovery. This turbulence can also dredge up deeper soul searching questioning one’s mortality and life purpose.

Rest assured that anxiety before surgery is normal. Here is a checklist of common emotional and spiritual matters people contemplate during this pivotal life passage:

Coming To Terms With Vulnerability

  • Surgery surfaces our lack of control over the body and finite nature of life. Confronting physical or emotional vulnerability often brings turbulent feelings to manage like fear, anger or sadness. Know you aren’t alone in this.

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