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Whats the last thing you do before your surgery??

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Depression and Coping
Ok, you've made the decision to go ahead and have the surgery. You are mentally and physically prepared. You've talked it over with your family....

But, in the one or two nights before the actual date, What are the thing(s) that you do, those important things to do before going in for surgery?

1 - Write a letter to your spouse and family
2 - Try to mend a broken relationship
3 - Live it up, party big time
4 - Retreat into silence
5 - Spend every possible moment with your loved ones?

There is no right or wrong answer here.
For my first Lumbar surgery in 1978, two night before, I went snow skiing. Even though I could hardly walk, I just wanted to ski one last time, I only did one run, but it was worth it.

Fast Forward to 2010 Shoulder surgery, and I wrote a lengthy letter to my wife and to my children. I asked them for their forgiveness for the times I let them down, I asked for their continued support. I told them just how much they meant to me and that my life was so meaningful because of them. Oh and yes, I had two snifters of a real fine Cognac!

Things change, times change.... But still I believe everyone has something on their minds the days before surgery
Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com


  • We all get the instructions not to eat or drink anything after midnight, so.....I plan for myself a gourmet meal to dine on at 11:30 pm lol. Last time I bought myself a filet mignon to grill. Hmmmm, time to start thinking of my meal for 11:30 pm on August 15th.....Thanks for the reminder Ron!

  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    ...Forgivness of all the wrongs I've done.

    ...The skills of the entire surgical team.

    ...That the mods at spinehealth don't boot me from the community for being such a wise AXX!!

    Warmest regards,

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    we would grant you a pardon.....

    However, you do have to show notarized forms of an upcoming surgery, place, time and details.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Once I have made the decision to have surgery I don't get upset or agonize over it. So I usually spend the day before doing stupid stuff like going to Costco or making sure the kids have what they need for the next few days.

    Before I know it bedtime has come. I'm lucky that I generally fall right to sleep. The morning of surgery I'm always the first one up - usually around 4 AM. Again no nerves. This last time I was trying to show my husband how to work his Itouch with the wireless in the hospital. What a joke that was :)

    I have considered recently the letter to family. But I am afraid that someone will find it too soon. I also think most of what I would write would be for my benefit not theres so what is the point? My theory is to correct the things I would write about now instead of hoping for forgiveness later.
  • I have to add: I actually went to a lawyer and drafted a will. Something that should have been done long ago anyway. I contacted some old friends, just to re-live some good memories. I prayed and read the Bible a whole lot, and got on a prayer list at my church.
  • not spine surgery-I thanked everyone in the OR before I went under and starting counting backwards and said a prayer.
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I always tend to focus my thoughts on the moment in pre-op when the anesthesiologist says, "okay, I'm going to give you something that will make you more comfortable" and then he pushes the plunger on the syringe. I then focus on the moment that the drugs hit my system and for the first time in months I either feel no pain or don't care about the pain I am feeling.

    Having something to focus on like that, helps keep my mind from wandering off and thinking about the "what ifs".

  • My hubby is always in the pre-op room with me before the wheel me away. Like C, when the Anesthesiologist tells me he is going to give something to make me more comfy, I know what's coming. I tell my hubby I love him, and get a last kiss....nappy starts! :-) It's funny because I am "out" before he finishes the kiss!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Before every surgery I have spent the night before with family and usually my bff. They have been there through thick and thin. We eat something good. Watch a movie or football (my surgeries are always on monday mornings) and try not to think of the next morning. Sleep very little and pray. Once at the hospital, I am always joking with the staff, and my entourage. I always make sure my physician has ordered Valium for me when I hit the door. If I didn't I would cry. My surgeon was late to my fusion. I had to ask if he stayed up too late watching the Pats/Colts game. He just laughed and laughed with me. I liked him better back then LOL. Anything that makes it less stressful is good.

    I can't imagine writing a letter of that magnitude before surgery. That must be stressful in and of itself. I have no significant other, maybe that's why!

  • On what ended up being my partial shoulder replacement surgery I so focused on when they did the nerve block and my shoulder STOPPED HURTING for the 1ist time in a year! I was so happy, well they had given me Valium or the like in pre-op before the nerve block room as my blood pressure was high and I admitted to being just a tiny bit stressed out.

    On my other collection of surgeries, which I won't go into detail on, lucky for you, my "thing" was to stay up till midnight and get a nice big bowl of ice cream :D oh, once I waited till 12:05 just to be bad image:)" alt=">:)" height="20" />
  • Ron,
    Knowing that given all the assessments I was doing the right thing, sometimes our condition is the determinant of what we need to do and the relevant time scale rather that any decision that we make and our physical limitation require some immediate strategy.

    We have given other options equal time to be effective and knowing that this is the right decision for the now, do not have regrets as with all the knowledge, experience and assistance you made an optimum decision and that leap of faith into the unknown is difficult for everyone.

    Anyone who knows the outcome before the process, is relying on expectation, the brave thing is that we did made a choice however difficult and problematic our future holds. Perhaps think of others who may not show how impacted this process is for them and they have limited control especially now and a vested interest in our success and recovery. It is as much about them as us, and even in our hour of need we can show some consideration for another. Thank them for helping us, this is a team event, I have had some life testing surgery and have never forgotten the impact this had on others concerned for my welfare and although I may have taken it stoically, they for my benefit showed true heroism.

    Be kind to yourself this has been a long and hard decision and we are at the start of impending change, take some time for you and be reasonable with yourself and keep the drama contained. Acknowledge how hard it has been and the success you have made and the road travelled. Think of the future and all those things you are going to do with the new you,be confident and progressive.

    That waking moment is a thing of beauty.

    Take care.


  • Pray and place myself in God's hands. :)
  • I have never been to concerned about any of my surgeries. My husband is disabled and his many surgeries were all life threatening. He has had bypass X 6. 5 stents and several heart attacks. But the worst was when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was given a short time to live without a major operation called a "whipple" the surgery in itself can kill a person. We had been under such an emotional rollercoaster we found it hard to even talk to one another as we would break down in tears. I learned alot from that surgery. By the way, the surgery was unnessary the surgeon made a boo boo. There was no cancer. So after removing half his pancreas, half his stomach, gall bladder, part of his small bowel and intestines: 4 days later the surgeon said "good news it never was cancer" Believe me we were elated and thank God everyday. This surgery caused my husband to become diabetic, worsened his heart and he cannot go out often as being near a bathroom facility is a must. He spent 45 days in the hospital. But as I said I thank God he is still with me. I now feel my surgeries, cervical fusion, complete tear rotator cuff a few others just are not really life threatening as we have been through so much with my husband. Sorry for rambling. I wish with his surgery we could have sat down the night before and just held each other and talked but tears came instead of words. All I can say is tell your loved one's how much they mean to you. How much you love them because I guess we never know really. My cervical fusion my neurosurgeon told me I had a better chance of dying on the table than losing my voice as this was a concern we had. We'll he severed my rt. vocal cord and now I can barely whisper. He said wait a good year it will come back. It's been two yrs and the ENT said it's not coming back. Okay I have veered all over the place and I apologize. So basically just kiss, hug, and tell your loved ones how much you love them.
  • As you probably saw in my reply to this thread, same thing, kiss and hug the hubby!!! :) My hubby knows I have an envelope with all my account numbers and access codes should the 'worst' happen. As he says, "I know I will never need to open that!" :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • tell kath i love her
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