Welcome back to Wednesday Wisdom. A big topic in our family right now is my husband’s heart surgery. Last week I shared How to Make Good Heart Surgery Decisions. Today, I’m sharing with you…
Things to Do & Get BEFORE Heart Surgery
Yes, today I’m going to share with you some things that my husband and I did along with things we wish we had done prior to his surgery.
Modify Your Diet
There are many advances in heart surgery that are allowing for more minimally invasive procedures along with shorter recovery times. However, you will probably be in the hospital for at least a week. While in the hospital, you will be on a low sodium diet along with limited (or no) caffeine. The surgery will cause you enough discomfort so who needs a caffeine withdraw headache too? Also, once you are discharged, you will be placed on a low sodium diet with limited (or no) caffeine. So, any modifications you can make prior to your hospital stay will make the entire process much easier.
Stop Your Vices
If you smoke or consume alcohol, it will do you so much good to quit, if possible. I know that in Ohio, all hospitals (along with all public places) smoking is prohibited. Also, there is no alcohol served at hospitals. Like modifying your diet, ridding yourself of these vices will make the process more manageable.
A Good Bathroom Scale
When your arrive back home, you will be weighing yourself daily, watching for weight gain that will indicate the possibility of fluid build up. Our old scale was a poor quality scale where you could take your weight 3 times in a row and get 3 different answers. So check this out.
A Food Scale
In order to stay on your sodium controlled diet, you will be reading all the nutrition labels with a new gusto. Some labels will have the serving size specified by the number of pieces or by volume. However, there are quite a few that have nutrition facts on a serving size based on weight. Trust me, a kitchen scale will come in handy.
We didn’t own a recliner and learned about this while in the hospital so I was scrambling to find one as soon as we returned home. Why a recliner? Well, this chair is not only comfortable to sit in, you may find that there are nights that you sleep much better in a recliner rather than a bed. It’s true! I found a great recliner from Value City that didn’t rock and was “powered” so my husband didn’t have to yank the handle to recline (easier on the healing breast bone).
Clean (Especially Dust) Your Home
Yes, deep breaths, coughs and hiccups are quite painful after having open heart surgery. However, these don’t hold a candle to sneezing. So, I highly recommend you give your home a good cleaning, especially a thorough dusting.
Prepare Sleeping Arrangements on the First Floor
You may or may not be allowed to climb stairs after your surgery. So, to be on the safe side, I would prepare sleeping arrangements on the first floor.
Have the Same Person be Your Hospital Health Advocate & Home Caregiver
I know everyone is incredibly busy and so this suggestion may not be feasible. However, if the loved one who was your health advocate at the hospital is the same person who will be your caregiver at home, your recovery will go much more smoothly. This person will know all the details of your recovery while in the hospital and will provide a seamless transition to your rehabilitation at home.
I hope some of these tips help you and your loved one with the transition home. Although we did do some of these items prior to my husband’s surgery, I know he would have been happier if we and completed all of these items.