When Someone You Love Is About To Have Surgery [Again]

August 29, 2015

 

I remember my doctor telling me when I was a kid that once I reached adulthood, I wouldn’t need to have surgeries anymore because my MHE bone growths would stop growing. I don’t think my body got the memo, because my bone growths still grow. Perhaps not as quickly as they did when I was a child (except for during pregnancy, it was like my bone growths were growing in time with my expanding belly), but they do still grow.

 

I’ve had roughly four (give or take) surgeries since I’ve reached the “adulthood” mark. I probably should have had more, too. But I’m stubborn and impatient and I have two small kids. Surgeries are no longer a pain in the literal sense; they are a pain in the figurative sense as well. Simply put, I don’t have time for surgeries.

 

Of course, sometimes you have to make time. You have scrape your resources together and bite the bullet, because the surgery can’t be pushed off any longer.

 

I have another surgery coming up sometime in the fall or early winter, and I’ve been stressing about all of the details. How am I going to get to the hospital? Who will watch my kids while I’m having surgery and recovering? Who will be there for me, because the patient always needs a little support, too. No matter how many times you’ve had surgery, it can still be an intimidating process and it’s nice to have someone nearby distracting you and just there for you.

 

I am stressing because my husband, as great as he is, can’t be all that on his own. He can’t be there, at the hospital with me, and home to see the kids off to school. He has a job and he can’t afford to take a lot of time off work – we still have bills to pay and if he wants to keep his job, he can’t take all that time off, although he would in a heartbeat. We are going to need help to get through this.

 

Because I hate asking for help from our families and friends, I decided to write this handy little blog post, because everyone needs a little help now and then.

 

So, what do you do when someone you love is about to have surgery…again? You help. In any way you can. Below are some suggestions. If you could do just one of these things, you’d really be helping elevate a lot of stress:

 

Reach out. Find out what time your loved one really needs help. For example, they might need help with school mornings and after school pick-ups. If you can only do one or the other, please don’t hesitate to offer.

 

If you can, take the kids for a bit. It’s boring recovering from surgery, and it’s even more boring for the kids. Take them out somewhere fun!

 

Come by for a few hours and toss in a load of laundry or two. Laundry is one of those things shoved to the bottom of the “to-do” list when a loved one has a surgery, and nothing sucks more than realizing the kids are completely out of fresh underwear and socks fifteen minutes before the bus comes. You don’t need to fold it; just having a huge pile of clean clothes to root through is helpful enough!

 

Bring food. It can be something really easy to make, or order some kind of takeout. Cooking isn’t really possible when someone is recovering from surgery, and chances are their spouses are completely frazzled and almost burnt out too. They’ve lost their partner in crime and are shouldering all of the responsibilities, as well as stressing about their spouse’s health and recovery. If dinner could take care of itself even once during this time frame, that’d make a world of difference on an exhausted, worried spouse.

 

If your loved one has a dog, and if you’re cool with dogs, maybe you could take the dog for a walk, because the dog will probably not be getting as many walks as he usually gets, and that will make him a little sad and likely very hyper.

 

Now if the loved one who has had surgery is a child, there are still a lot of ways that you could help out. Taking care of a meal or two of so stressed out parents can relax a little, tossing in a load of laundry and offering to help out with the other kids in the house if there are any. Another awesome thing you could do for a child recovering from surgery is bring the fun to them. A new movie they haven’t seen before, some books and activities, sticker books and paint sets, and send the tired mom or dad upstairs for a much needed nap. Recovering from surgery is painful and they probably haven’t been sleeping very well, between administering medicines and trying to soothe their child’s aches and pains.

 

A lot of people suck at asking for help, especially people with chronic pain disorders who require surgeries. They feel like a nuisance, or like they should somehow magically be able to handle all these things themselves while contending with an operation or two.

 

And if you are asked to help in some way, please don’t question! Chances are, they’re asking out of desperation. As annoying as it may be to “have to help” someone, it’s even more annoying to finally reach out for that help and have all of your worries and concerns of being a nuisance proven true.  Just remember: it’s not a permanent thing to help someone who is having or recovering from surgery and your help is greatly appreciated!I remember my doctor telling me when I was a kid that once I reached adulthood, I wouldn’t need to have surgeries anymore because my MHE bone growths would stop growing. I don’t think my body got the memo, because my bone growths still grow. Perhaps not as quickly as they did when I was a child (except for during pregnancy, it was like my bone growths were growing in time with my expanding belly), but they do still grow. I’ve had roughly four (give or take) surgeries since I’ve reached the “adulthood” mark. I probably should have had more, too. But I’m stubborn and impatient and I have two small kids. Surgeries are no longer a pain in the literal sense; they are a pain in the figurative sense as well. Simply put, I don’t have time for surgeries.  Of course, sometimes you have to make time. You have scrape your resources together and bite the bullet, because the surgery can’t be pushed off any longer.  I have another surgery coming up sometime in the fall or early winter, and I’ve been stressing about all of the details. How am I going to get to the hospital? Who will watch my kids while I’m having surgery and recovering? Who will be there for me, because the patient always needs a little support, too. No matter how many times you’ve had surgery, it can still be an intimidating process and it’s nice to have someone nearby distracting you and just there for you. I am stressing because my husband, as great as he is, can’t be all that on his own. He can’t be there, at the hospital with me, and home to see the kids off to school. He has a job and he can’t afford to take a lot of time off work – we still have bills to pay and if he wants to keep his job, he can’t take all that time off, although he would in a heartbeat. We are going to need help to get through this.  Because I hate asking for help from our families and friends, I decided to write this handy little blog post, because everyone needs a little help now and then. So, what do you do when someone you love is about to have surgery…again? You help. In any way you can. Below are some suggestions. If you could do just one of these things, you’d really be helping elevate a lot of stress: Reach out. Find out what time your loved one really needs help. For example, they might need help with school mornings and after school pick-ups. If you can only do one or the other, please don’t hesitate to offer.  If you can, take the kids for a bit. It’s boring recovering from surgery, and it’s even more boring for the kids. Take them out somewhere fun!  Come by for a few hours and toss in a load of laundry or two. Laundry is one of those things shoved to the bottom of the “to-do” list when a loved one has a surgery, and nothing sucks more than realizing the kids are completely out of fresh underwear and socks fifteen minutes before the bus comes. You don’t need to fold it; just having a huge pile of clean clothes to root through is helpful enough!  Bring food. It can be something really easy to make, or order some kind of takeout. Cooking isn’t really possible when someone is recovering from surgery, and chances are their spouses are completely frazzled and almost burnt out too. They’ve lost their partner in crime and are shouldering all of the responsibilities, as well as stressing about their spouse’s health and recovery. If dinner could take care of itself even once during this time frame, that’d make a world of difference on an exhausted, worried spouse.  If your loved one has a dog, and if you’re cool with dogs, maybe you could take the dog for a walk, because the dog will probably not be getting as many walks as he usually gets, and that will make him a little sad and likely very hyper.  Now if the loved one who has had surgery is a child, there are still a lot of ways that you could help out. Taking care of a meal or two of so stressed out parents can relax a little, tossing in a load of laundry and offering to help out with the other kids in the house if there are any. Another awesome thing you could do for a child recovering from surgery is bring the fun to them. A new movie they haven’t seen before, some books and activities, sticker books and paint sets, and send the tired mom or dad upstairs for a much needed nap. Recovering from surgery is painful and they probably haven’t been sleeping very well, between administering medicines and trying to soothe their child’s aches and pains. A lot of people suck at asking for help, especially people with chronic pain disorders who require surgeries. They feel like a nuisance, or like they should somehow magically be able to handle all these things themselves while contending with an operation or two.  And if you are asked to help in some way, please don’t question! Chances are, they’re asking out of desperation. As annoying as it may be to “have to help” someone, it’s even more annoying to finally reach out for that help and have all of your worries and concerns of being a nuisance proven true.  Just remember: it’s not a permanent thing to help someone who is having or recovering from surgery and your help is greatly appreciated!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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