My Pre-Surgery Checklist

Nine surgeries later, I’ve become very good at compartmentalizing my surgical anxiety.

For awhile, I was having surgeries so frequently I became vaguely numb at the thought of yet another one.

I’m anything but numb this time around.

At my last visit with Paul Newman, he wanted to talk about Surgery #9.

“NOOOOOOOO!!!” I yelled, startling the hell out of him.  “I don’t want to think about it yet!”

The subject was changed.

Until tomorrow.

Tomorrow we will have to talk about “it.”

(I know it sounds weird, but I can write about IT without really thinking about IT.  However, when I have to actually talk about IT, then IT will become real.)

I have no idea what goes through other people’s minds before a surgery.  We all know my mind isn’t normal, right?

I thought I’d share with you my pre-surgery checklist.

24’s Pre-Surgery Checklist:

•  Make sure I’m lined up with the best doctor possible for the surgery.  DONE  Dr. Painless is the very best at what he does.  I love him.

•  Feel exceedingly confident about my post-surgical therapist.  DONE  Paul Newman has won my trust, completely.  He understands me, my arm, and *most* of my other abnormalities.  Poor guy!  (Also?  Thank God!)

•  Get my hair cut  (that way I don’t have to worry about it for awhile post-surgery).  DONE

•  Find an assistant to help me with work after the surgery (and beyond).  DONE   Miss Kay is going to be a great help.  (Waving to Miss Kay!)

•  Get the car washed.  I won’t be at car washes for awhile post-surgery.  This makes sense, right?  My car is full of sand.  DOING IT TODAY

•  Get my nails done.  One less thing to worry about post-surgery.  DONE

•  Get a pedicure.  If I die during surgery, I’ll look nice for the funeral.  Oh wait, I want my ashes sprinkled in the ocean.  (No one cares about my toes?)  DONE

•  Get cash from the ATM.  I don’t know why.  There’s absolutely no reason for this one, but it’s on my list anyway.  NOT DONE YET

•  Brazilian bikini wax.  Strangers are going to see me naked during the surgery, right?  I wouldn’t want to neglect something as important as this.  DOING IT TODAY

•  Or do I need to buy Granny Panties?  Will I be naked or not?  Part of the surgery will be on my abdomen.  Should I buy granny panties?  UNDECIDED

•  Get my sensor cleaned.  (This is not the same thing as a Brazilian bikini wax.)  My camera needed a complete professional cleaning.  DONE

•  Get my kitchen knives sharpened.  OK, I know this seems like a weird one.  They’re in need of professional sharpening.  The sharper they are, the easier they will be for me to use as I get back to cooking post-surgery.  NOT DONE YET

•  Grocery shop to really stock up the kitchen.  My family members are probably incapable of taking care of themselves so I need to do this for them in advance.  HAPPENING OVER NEXT WEEKEND

•  Cook as many things ahead of time as possible.  (See previous item.)  HAPPENING OVER NEXT WEEKEND

•  Say good-bye to my college-aged son as he returns to college.  HAPPENING THE NIGHT BEFORE MY SURGERY

•  Buy Washable Magic Markers.  During my last surgery, the nurses “forgot” I had a warning medical bracelet on, and “forgot” they had just discussed my (severe) allergy to a particular medication.  I ended up in the emergency room and the entire ordeal was a NIGHTMARE.  This time I plan to write “allergic” all over my body with magic markers prior to surgery.  My biggest surgical fears revolve around this “accident” happening again.  NOT DONE YET

•  Make sure the car is full of gas.  It might be hard to fill it for awhile post-surgery.  Hell, it’s hard for me to do this left-handed NOW.  NOT DONE YET

•  Go to the drugstore.  Have a way-too-long conversation with my pharmacist who thinks he loves me.  Stock up on whatever it is Dr. Painless thinks I’ll need post-surgery.  NOT DONE YET

•  Feed the hummingbirds so they can get by for a few days without me.  NOT DONE YET

•  Make a list of books I want to read and movies I want to watch.  (Related:  buy magazines!)  NOT DONE YET

•  Have my last pre-surgery visit with Paul Newman.  Try really hard not to sob on him.  HAPPENING TOMORROW

That’s it so far.

What am I forgetting?

I’m sure I’ll be adding to the list every day between now and Monday …!

12 Responses to “My Pre-Surgery Checklist”

  1. Meg

    Holy crap you’re organised! I’m not even that organised for going away for two days…let alone surgery! I’m so in awe of you.

    I’m sure IT will go just fine. I can’t wait to hear about you getting even better. 🙂

    Meg (previously of Mind of a Mad Woman)

    • Suzanne

      I know it will be FINE.
      It isn’t a complicated thing … but for some reason I’m dreading it a LOT. I guess because I thought I’d never be faced with another one.

  2. karen

    Sending good vibes your way, hoping this next surgery is uneventful and you heal quickly.

  3. Denise

    Wow, I need to do some of those things too. And I’m not planning for surgery. I send you my very best thoughts, Suzanne, for fast healing and everything back to “normal” soon. xoxo

    • Suzanne

      I appreciate it.
      I think it will all go well.
      I just wish it was over with instead of looming on the horizon.

  4. Missy

    Wishing a successful outcome for you and maybe this could be the last? It realy sounds like you have an amazing team of professionals taking care of you. It takes a village…….

    • Suzanne

      It does take a village.
      I wish I’d started off with as strong as a village as I have going into this one.
      I know I’m in good hands ….
      And, thank you! : )

  5. Erica

    Good luck!

    (You know there are panties between granny and thong, right? Wear low rise bikinis. They can be very pretty without causing you either shame or discomfort. :-D)

  6. Judi

    I am sending you lots of good thoughts and vibes, and here’s my little bit of advice re: granny panties. If you’re only going to be in the hospital overnight, chances are you will need undies. If you’re staying longer, in my experience, they’ll be catheterizing and you won’t. Gross, but that’s been accurate for my 4 most recent surgeries.

    • Suzanne

      OK …. this is a simple, out-patient, surgery.
      Slice me open, rip out the hardware, sew me up.


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