Monday, September 24, 2012

Hints for getting ready for your little one's surgery!

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It is that very special time where we are getting everything ready for Rory's surgery.  We are filling out insurance forms, filling out pre-op forms, and getting every other piece of miscellaneous paperwork completed.   With Rory's surgery being rescheduled, things are quite hectic!  Preparing for Rory’s surgery is both physically and mentally draining.  There are a few things that I am doing to help prepare me for my daughters surgery and the challenges that will arise.  

The first thing that I began far in advance is making sure I speak with our insurance company and find out what they are going to cover.  This way, during this whole long and lengthy surgery, I won’t be getting as many surprises , and I can completely focus on Rory.   Although with insurance, there will always be some form of a “surprise” bill, but if you talk to your insurance company; (and when you do talk to them document your calls, who you talked to, date, time, etc...) it can make things easier for you.  It will not only help you to understand what they will cover and why; but will also help you with how you are going to help pay for the surgery. 

Another way I have prepared for this surgery is speaking in depth to her doctor.   I discussed in detail the pre-op, op, and post op for this specific surgery.  I wanted to be informed of the most common major risks of the surgeries.  I am completely confident that nothing will go wrong with the surgery, but I still like to be completely informed.  I didn’t ask him about the little complications that can arise, just the most common issues that arise.   I also made sure to get the post-op issues.  The last thing I want is to see Rory after her surgery and to burst out in tears: she will know something isn’t right and get upset herself.   I also wanted to know how things will be like for Rory after her surgery.  Rory is going to be in a full body cast, 
This is similar to the cast Rory will have, except hers will be longer in the legs since she will have her tensor fasciae latae cut and made into new ligaments for her hips and knees.

what is her range of motion going to be, when will she be able to be weight bearing, what about using the bathroom, and lastly how long will it take her to learn to walk again.  You can never ask your doctor too many questions, and it is their job to answer them and make you feel comfortable.  

Most hospitals also have a employee called a “Child Life Specialist.”  This is a person who helps children get ready for the surgery, helps them after the surgery, and tries to make things more enjoyable for them during the whole procedure.  After our pre op appointment with Rory’s doctor, we are meeting with her Child Life Specialist.  She informed me that she has puppets with casts on, special games, and will show Rory the special play room where they can play when she starts doing better with her therapy.  Call your hospital, see if they have a Child Life Specialist on staff and then schedule a meeting with them.  It is their job to make your child's life more comfortable during this crazy time.

I'm also preparing for the surgery by taking better care of myself.  Many of you may know Jon and I are very big into being physically fit and eating healthy.   My husband and I are vegetarians, Rory is a vegetarian herself (however when she gets older we will give her the option to eat meat.  Just because Jon and I don't eat meat doesn't mean she has to not eat it.  We want to give her that option.).  I am fully aware that I will not always be able to get a home cooked meal while Rory is in the hospital,  and that I will probably be eating a lot of hospital food, (which, don't get me wrong can be delicious and healthy).  However, I am working on my nutrition now, before the hospitalization, because I know Rory is going to need me strong and at my best.  

Currently, exercise is the best form of stress relief for me.  I get so much sadness and frustration out when I am out running.  Although, I “try” to be a pretty healthy gal, I know I can always take better care of myself.  I'm making sure I have time to do plenty of other exercises: stretching, yoga, and breathing exercises.  My hopes is that the breathing exercises can help calm me down when I do become overwhelmed.  I know I am not going to always be able to go on a run or exercise while I am down there, I will probably spend all my time by her hospital bed.  you can always do some stretching and yoga by your little ones bedside so you won’t wake them up.   

Hopefully, many parents will never have their children have a surgery, I have four sisters and we only had a few broken bones.  But, should it happen to your family, you need to be the best parent you can be.   By just preparing with your insurance company, talking to her doctor, meeting with the child lift specialist, and taking care of myself are all things that I'm doing just to make this upcoming surgery better for Rory, for my husband and for myself.  Although the whole surgery time is going to be stressful and hard, try to minimize everything you can far enough in advance so that during this time, all you have to worry about is your little one.

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