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A tip on preparing for post surgery support

I live alone and did not (I thought) have much of a support system. My view and post op course radically changed when a special friend stepped forward and volunteered to set up a"spa treatment"plan (her phrase, not mine). For each of my breast cancer surgeries, I had 2 weeks worth of people bringing meals, cleaning, doing laundry, visiting, bringing treats. It has been a transforming moment for me.

For my 2-level ACDF, my friend has volunteered to do the same organizing. She sets up an Excel spreadsheet w/all the tasks I need help with or would feel better as a result (like a visit). She gets names of friends and family from me and people who know me at work she thinks would be willing to help. Then she sets up who's going to do what when. Because this surgery is a more major one and my recovery will be longer, she's decided to do it for a month. She will also help with finding people in case someone cancels for driving me to an appointment, for example.

I highly recommend this approach where appropriate. It takes the weight off setting up my support system during pre op and no need for last-minute decisions or running around trying to figure out what to do. It has been difficult for me to accept help but I discovered that people are very willing to help, especially when they choose what they want to do and when they can do it. I recently spent several weeks helping out a friend with back pain. I was happy to do it and I felt I was"giving back" to the community.

Just thought I'd pass it on. Having a friend organizing support and fielding the inevitable can't do it tomorrow calls makes a huge difference.

Wishing everyone well,
2-level ACDF scheduled for 8/6/12
3 PLIFs: 2003, 2005, 2008
PLIF L1-3 6/13
ACDF (C5-7) 8/12
PLIF (L2-5) 2003/05/08


  • That is AWESOME! What a great friend. There is actually now an online website - wish I could remember the name where you can give the link and people can sign up for whatever she puts on there and see if there are gaps anywhere and the like. Anyway, that is terrific! Good luck with your surgery.
  • I don't know what the rules are for posting links so if you google carecalendar you should come up with a site like the one I'm talking about. There was a different name that someone told me but for the life of me I can't remember. The great thing is you can schedule rides, chores, errands as well as meals. Anyway, thought others might find this helpful so that someone can help you organize the help you need!
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