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Preparation for Surgery

What Do I Do? What Do I Take?

This is a list of Ideas and suggestions put together by Spinal Cord Tumor Survivors who have learned through experience what to do and what to take to the hospital with you. These are only suggestions since each person and surgery is different we strongly recommend that you consult with your Doctor regarding this list and chose what is right for you.

How do I prepare for this?

Get some exercise like walking, swimming, etc. ( This course this depends on your situation and your doctor’s advice ).

Get your finances in order. If you are unable to pay up your bills in advance have someone you trust either bring them to you or pay them for you. You may want to call your creditors in advance and make arrangements depending on what your surgeon expects for you and your recovery.

You may need to have your local post office hold your mail and/or stop paper deliveries if you live alone or household members plan to stay with you while your in the hospital.

Stock up on easy to prepare meals. Frozen dinners that can be cooked the microwave are the easiest. Next are canned meals like soups and noodle dinners.

Prepare your home. After surgery, your mobility may be temporarily impaired. Remove any loose carpeting to avoid tripping. Bring

frequently used items down to a level that will reduce excessive bending, stooping or twisting. Make items readily available. Don’t forget any necessary items such as toilet paper, extra blankets, shaving cream, razors, soap, etc.

Get a short, easy care hair cut. Hair care can be a real challenge after surgery.

Trim nails, both fingers and toes, It maybe a good idea to get rid of polish and fake nails because upkeep may be hard for a while.

Do something fun. Go out to dinner with family, take a long bath. Do what ever makes you happy brings peace. A good frame of mind helps prepare you mostof all.

What should I bring with me to the hospital?

First, ask your doctor how long he/she expects you to be in the hospital and what your condition should be. Also ask about the hospital, what do they allow and if you’ll have a private room or shared room. You should arm yourself with as much information as possible.

Someone with you in the hospital. Depending on your circumstances, you may need someone to help you eat, comb your hair, be a go between with Drs. and nurse, etc. (Highly recommended ).

Phone numbers and business cards of family, friends, doctors, insurance, and others you may need to call while you’re in the hospital.

Phone card. Self-explanatory and a great invention.

Pen, paper, Thank you notes, stamps, personal journal.

Comfortable/loose fitting clothes. T-shirts, elastic waist pants/shorts, front hook sleep/leisure bra, socks, non-skid slippers, bathrobe [non-bulky light weight], and underwear. —Not Recommended/ sweat suites and sports bras because of their bulk, heaviness, and tight fit.

Good support shoes with strong sides, not too heavy. Walking can be difficult after surgery.

Food/snacks. Hospital food may not be enough or that good. Also if you’re on steroids you will be hungry all the tim



* Walkman/Radio with CD’s, tapes, books on tape, headphones and batteries.

* Personal photos

* Dry shampoo. It may be a while before you can wash your hair with water.

* Small fan

* Clock

* Books/magazines

* Book light

* Spiritual supports, Bible, Rosary, Buddha, ETC.

* Lotion

* Lip Balm

* Favorite soap

* Deodorant

* Tooth brush/ tooth paste

* Nail clippers/ file