Author Topic: Preparing for surgery  (Read 2051 times)

Pbellovin

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Preparing for surgery
« on: June 03, 2019, 03:19:54 pm »
My translab surgery is coming up in 2 and a half weeks. I would appreciate any suggestions for preparing for surgery. For instance, what to pack for the hospital stay, including toiletries, clothing, etc. Also, what are the best foods to stock up on before surgery. Are there any restrictions on any food or beverages?  Honestly, I just don’t know where to start. What I have waited 8 months for that was just an abstract thought, has now become a reality and I’m very stressed and frightened. Any words of comfort or helpful suggestions would be most appreciated. I am a 70 year old woman with a 1.8 cm tumor. My balance is really bad and I’ve already lost 98% hearing in my left ear

Sharky

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Re: Preparing for surgery
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2019, 04:15:53 pm »
Hi Pbellovin,

I'm newly diagnosed and am on watch and wait for now. I don't have answers for you, but I wanted to say hello and to wish you the very best outcome. I'm sure people will come along soon and be very helpful and supportive.:-)

If/when I travel for treatment, I will have major concerns, too, since I'm single, no kids, no parents, no friends who could take two weeks off to care for me. It's a lot to think about and prepare for, no matter what the scenario! I have no idea yet what I will do, but I trust the ANA and this forum to help me through.

Hugs from Ohio,
Sharky
NF2 suspected--genetics assessment 08/2019
05/25/19 W&W until 11/26/19
05/20/19-AN found R ear via MRI--7mmx4mm

-fullness in R ear, minor balance issue, tinnitus, FATIGUE-

Pbellovin

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Re: Preparing for surgery
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2019, 04:57:51 pm »
Thanks Sharky. It’s good to hear from you. I, too, have no one to care for me right after surgery. My daughter and son-in-law both have very demanding jobs that will not allow them to provide the round the clock care I’ll need post hospital. I live in Dallas (only for the past 3 years) and have no friends to take on the care I might need. I spoke to my neurotoligist’s assistant about going into a rehabilitation facility and she told me that I would be able to work that out with the surgeons and social worker post surgery. Best of luck to you and thanks for responding

Maria Odete

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  • Micah 7:18-19 - Leviticus 20:26 - Luke 17:3-4
Re: Preparing for surgery
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2019, 06:45:39 pm »
Hello Pbellovin,

I hope you believe in the God of the Bible. If you do, here is an inspirational Scripture to sustain you during hard times:

1 Kepha 5:10 :  (1 Peter 5:10):" But may all-merciful Yahweh Himself - Who has called us to His eternal glory in Yahshua Messiah, after you have suffered a while - perfect, establish, strenghten and settle you." The Holy Scriptures

I wish you success on your upcoming surgery.

Maria Odete


Surgical Team: Dr. Fraser Noel, ENT/Otologist/Neurotologist,.Victoria, B.C. Canada  and Dr. Michael Boyd, Neurosurgeon, Vancouver, B.C. Canada
« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 09:41:49 pm by Maria Odete »
Dx: 3.5 cm Acoustic Neuroma. Complete Resection.
Year of Surgery: 1992

Psalm 83:18: "Let men know that You, Whose Name Alone is YAHWEH ,are the Supreme Head over all the earth!" -
Isaiah 54:17 - Psalm 37:23-24 The Holy Scriptures

jami

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Re: Preparing for surgery
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2019, 07:13:39 pm »
Hi,

I have many thoughts. My surgery was mid August, so thinking back...the biggest things to consider are:

Prescriptions and Meds:
Right after the surgery you will get a zillion prescriptions, and will need to think about how to get them filled, work with the hospital to see if they can be filled at the hospital pharmacy (my husband & father (2 separate people) had to drive to 3 different pharmacies to pick up my prescriptions).
Have Benadryl (for sleep when the steroid keeps you up), OTC pain reliever and a stool softener handy.

For your mind, try an app like CALM to help you meditate and rest. Prepare some good tv, pod casts or books to force physical rest.

Appointments:
My first appt was 2 weeks post surgery, with each surgeon. It was 3-4 week later with the PT. If you have Lyft or Uber nearby, this is the time to use them. I suggest sign up and use them for a few trial rides in advance so that you don t have to work through the process at the time.
If you can, set up Physical Therapy in advance. It could be good to have pre-surgery guidance, having that relationship already set up makes it easier AND you will know how far away s/he is.

Get the Home Ready:
Sleeping – it will be ideal to be able to sleep on the same floor as your food and bathing. Maybe do a deep clean in advance. I had someone come and walk the dog each day while I was recovering (even though my parents were there).

Get a chair for your shower, during recovery it helps, and if you have balance issues it makes things easier to wash your hair without falling.

I also set all my e-bills to paper delivery and updated my living will, just in case.

Prepare a number of meals in advance, even a menu, to remove a decision making process. The fewer decisions you have to make, the easier recovery is. I did a lot of smoothies.

Walking
This may be counter intuitive, but stand up, walk slowly and carefully. You will be assessed before you leave the hospital re: mobility. As soon as is safe, walk to the mailbox, or the corner. I sent my neighbors a note that I am NOT drunk at 8 am, just walking.

I wrote a messy blog (the ordering is wrong, and I need to fix it) but here is the section re: the first few weeks recovery. EVERYONE is different.  https://it-started-with-a-tumor.blog/2018/09/25/post-surgery-what-to-expect/

Breathe. Trust that time will help. Eventually your goals move from survive to live. This forum is amazing because it reminds us we are NOT alone.

-Jami
Jami
-----
5/17/18: 2.7 x 2.2 x 2.1cm
8/12/18 right retrosigmoid craniotomy @UNC
8/15/18: 1.0 x 0.4 x 0.4 cm
3/04/19: 1.0 x 0.8 x 0.5 cm
4/23/19 Cyber Knife treatment
10/23/19 0.7 x 0.3 x 0.8 cm

chrisabbott

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Re: Preparing for surgery
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2019, 07:27:38 pm »
I had similar thoughts - I am blessed to have my sister joining me for a couple weeks starting from the 2nd day after my surgery.  She doesn't drive though, so she will be a wonderful companion, but I'll have limited options for transport if my husband's shoulder isn't healed.  I have my pre-op appointment in a couple of days, and planned to ask them about what to pack for my hospital stay and will report back to you if they give me any useful information.  I want to take my own chamomile tea (got a great harvest this year) and glass mug for drinking if allowed as I think hospital cups stink and appreciate drinking plenty of clear fluids is a biggie.  I also plan to take dried fruit (prunes and apricots are a nice snack to help keep things regular if you're on painkillers), and my shetland wool shawl which is huge and warm but very lightweight.  I'd like to know about toiletries, and what is okay for washing my head post surgery.  Also should I bring light sneakers or slippers?  I'm sure these seem trivial, but anything that helps me feel prepared and comfortable will ease anxiety.

Someone mentioned an app for calming - I use the breathe app on my Fitbit and I like it (my heart rate goes down a few beats in 2 minutes which is all my ADHD self can handle).

Good luck with your surgery - I hope we can stay in touch?
Strange tastes, facial numbness symptoms led to MRI 3/2019: 2.4 x 3.2 x 2.6 cm VS on left side
Left hearing went 4/2019
Translab 06132019:  1.4 x 2.4 x 1.6 cm residual stuck to facial nerve & brain stem
MRI 12122019:  1.6 x 3.2 x 2.3 cm
Translab 01132020:  0.1 x 0.75 x 0.57 + 1.5 x 0.5 cm
GK next

Pbellovin

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Re: Preparing for surgery
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2019, 12:37:04 pm »
Hi Chris. Thank you for your great suggestions. When it comes to AN, no questions are trivial. I’m trying to glean as much information that I can before meeting with the surgeons the day before my surgery. I’ve researched the translab procedure and even watched a podcast of 3 hours of an actual tumor resection. It’s the time under anesthesia that concerns me the most. I did hear from someone who was able to shampoo her hair after about a week, avoiding the stitches of course. As everyone states, every case and recovery time is different. That’s why getting the given stuff(like what to bring to the hospital, etc.) is information that’s so helpful. Thanks and I look forward to hearing about your journey. Best of luck to you. Patty

samanthalambert

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Re: Preparing for surgery
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2019, 12:51:05 pm »
Hello! I thought I'd give my two cents since I had my surgery in January. I am 47 and my tumor was 3.5 cm. My surgery was in a different city, so my husband accompanied me and stayed in a nearby hotel. My translab surgery was 10 hours long, and I spent 5 days in the hospital. I didn't bring too much with me to the hospital. You have to wear their gowns and they give you the toiletries you'll need. I brought a toothbrush, deodorant, mouthwash and baby powder. I also brought a blanket and robe for when I was cold, and some fresh pajamas (button down) and an outfit to wear home. I couldn't get in the shower for 3 days and I remember apologizing to the docs and nurses because of how bad I smelled! :) I was allowed to wash my hair with baby shampoo before leaving the hospital. It felt so good to shower, but I needed the chair to sit down. When I got home I borrowed a walker and shower seat and a handle that grips to the shower wall with a big suction. I recommend you have these things in advance. Everyone is different in their recovery, but I had a few bad days of dizziness which quickly resolved. My surgeon recommended walking as soon as I could. I walked in the halls of the hospital with help, then at home, then down the street, gradually building up my stamina with increased distance. I ate soup for the first month of my recovery. My mouth couldn't open very wide and friends kept showing up with soup which I loved and appreciated. If you can, make hearty soups and freeze them for when you get home. Also drink lots of water and keep hydrated. Stay positive! Take deep breaths and pray or meditate if it helps you. I hope that someone - a family member or friend - can help you in the first week or two of your recovery. Best of luck!
3.2 cm AN (right side) diagnosed in 10/2018
Only symptom: mild hearing loss
TransLab surgery 1/2/19 @MUSC w/ Drs. Lambert & Patel. Sliver of tumor left.
Rt. Side facial paralysis (nerve stretched), tumor was "sticky", SSD, getting platinum weight implant 6/13/19
Doing fine otherwise!

Pbellovin

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Re: Preparing for surgery
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2019, 04:35:10 pm »
Hi Samantha. Thanks for responding to my post. My tumor is 1.8 cm and surgery is on June 30.  Over the past 2 years I have lost 99% of my hearing and I have been quite imbalanced for about a year.  Your information about what to take to the hospital is very helpful. If you can think of any more helpful suggestions I might need, I’d be so grateful to hear back. Thanks again and best of luck with your recovery!  Patty

Pbellovin

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Re: Preparing for surgery
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2019, 04:53:54 pm »
Hi Jami. I really appreciate all of the wonderful information you posted about post surgery treatment and care. So many of the subjects you touched upon I had not considered. Thanks again and if you can think of anything else I might need to know, I would love to hear back from you. I just got off the phone with the hospital and my pre-op appointment has been scheduled as well as my balance test. It’s becoming frighteningly real now, and having this portal to reach out is so terrific. Good luck and be well!  Patty

chrisabbott

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Re: Preparing for surgery
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2019, 07:22:01 pm »
I have an appointment with my neurologist tomorrow - it was originally set up for in case we didn't find out what was wrong with me (the MRI took care of that).  I plan to ask her about this kind of stuff + expectations for aftercare, and what my chances are of needing PT &/or other support post op since I already have some facial numbness and related issues.

I think/hope she will be a good resource as I can tell that the surgeons are experts on technique, but not necessarily on recuperation.
Strange tastes, facial numbness symptoms led to MRI 3/2019: 2.4 x 3.2 x 2.6 cm VS on left side
Left hearing went 4/2019
Translab 06132019:  1.4 x 2.4 x 1.6 cm residual stuck to facial nerve & brain stem
MRI 12122019:  1.6 x 3.2 x 2.3 cm
Translab 01132020:  0.1 x 0.75 x 0.57 + 1.5 x 0.5 cm
GK next

Maria Odete

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  • Micah 7:18-19 - Leviticus 20:26 - Luke 17:3-4
Re: Preparing for surgery
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2019, 09:09:52 pm »
Hello Pbellovin,

Thank you so much for responding to my post in the Personal Messaging section . (((((Hugs))))

Maria Odete
Dx: 3.5 cm Acoustic Neuroma. Complete Resection.
Year of Surgery: 1992

Psalm 83:18: "Let men know that You, Whose Name Alone is YAHWEH ,are the Supreme Head over all the earth!" -
Isaiah 54:17 - Psalm 37:23-24 The Holy Scriptures

 


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