Things to Do Before Surgery (Besides What The Doctor Tells You)

Things not to forget to do before you have that surgery besides what the doctor wants you to do. Most of these don’t physically hurt.

You are having surgery.  Your doctor(s) will give you a list of things to do.  Follow this list.  But, are there other things you should do?  You bet.

One.  Get your will in order.  Does this mean you are going to die?  No, most surgeons like their patients to survive, and usually won’t operate if they think the result will be bad.  But, you and I know something could happen during the surgery, or a problem afterward might crop up.  So, be an adult, get your will in order so as to no leave your family hanging.  Nolo Press has great books on how to do this yourself if your state allows it.  I have a handwritten will that I update every so often.

Two.  Decide if, and who, you want to make your medical decisions if you are unable.  Don’t appoint someone who doesn’t want the job, or doesn’t know they are being appointed by you.  If you can’t find someone who wants the job, leave it open for now.  Also, check who will be responsible for you legally.  I don’t have someone to make my medical decisions.  I don’t believe in that, but if the worse happens, the decisions will fall to my husband.  He is okay with that.

Three.  Decide if you want to make a decision about being brought back to life if your heart stops, and under what conditions you want to be maintained alive.  Make sure your doctors understand what you want.  You are wrong if you think that two medical personnel will interpret the same written decision the same way.  Often these things are confusing for what they don’t say.  Be as clear as possible.  Length is okay.  I don’t have one at this point myself.  My attitude is, as an RN, when the thing stops working, it stops working, machines or not.  I would have written decisions if I knew I had a fatal disease.  Doctors will tell you that CPR is painful and it breaks bones.  It is painful, especially for the one doing it.  Even if you are in good shape, CPR is quite a little workout.  My nursing speciality was geriatrics.  I never saw CPR break any bones in a patient.  Just be comfortable with your decisions. 

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