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