Do's and Don'ts

I'm sure you must have read so many blogs or heard advice from a lot of people before going for an operation. I know what it's like cause I've been in that situation before. So this is from my personal experience.

1. Packing to the hospital. Pajamas, sweater, sweat pants, towel, small pillow, toiletries, face and body moisturizer, lip balm, disposable underwear, toilet roll and toilet seat cover. Pack a set of clothes to wear when you get discharge from the hospital as well. Preferably a loose shirt or a button up shirt as it will be really hard to lift up your arm after surgery.

2. Shave or wax body hair (if that's what you usually do) BUT shaving your back may not be advisable just in case you get a cut and it causes an infection then your operation will be postponed.

3. Cut your nails beforehand, especially your toe nails. Don't leave nail polish on.

4. Make sure your room is ready before you leave for the hospital. Make sure everything is within a comfortable reach. Eg: hand phone charger closer to your bed, shampoo and body soap is within arms reach in the shower and not on the floor, clear your room so you have more space to walk around.

5. I was really nervous about my operation especially after the date was fixed but I realized that the more I spoke about my operation I became calmer and less nervous. 1 month before the operation I was just talking about my operation as if it was no big deal. You have to know what you want and once you make up your mind, don't let anyone talk you out of it. At the end of the day, it is your body and you are the one that's going to be living with scoliosis for the rest of your life.

6. If you aren't flexible, you can get a loofah with a long handle to wash your legs/body. I didn't need one as I'm quite flexible so I was able to lift my leg up (a little uncomfortable but I still managed) and wash it. Get a chair to sit down while you shower ( I didn't think I needed it but I DID!!).

7. Footwear. Try to get a slip on shoe. They are the easiest! Either that or you can just sit down and let someone tie your shoe for you. 😜

8. Bring a comforter and pillows when you get discharge. I sat on the passenger seat and had the chair down to almost 120 degrees. I didn't wanna put it all the way down as it would be very difficult for me to get back up. My (single size) comforter was folded 3 times and placed on the top part of the seat with a small pillow to support my upper back. This was the most comfortable position for me. Every scoliosis patient is different so you just have to figure out what works for you. The 30 minute journey home wasn't fun as it was quite uncomfortable for me but luckily for me there wasn't much pain.

1. If you receive any flowers/fruit baskets, take them home immediately because if you don't, you'll have a ton of things to bring back when you check out.

2. I wasn't able to bend forward or bend down so I was not able to help my mum pack my stuff but I was also not allowed to do so by her and the nurse. So yes, just sit there and let everyone else do the packing. 😝

3. It was quite far for me to walk to exit of the hospital so I had to sit in a wheel chair. Don't worry, you'll be back on your feet in no time! Your energy level isn't like before and even if you can walk out of the hospital, you have to think about the journey home and also getting to your bed. That alone can wear you out.

At the moment, this is all I can think of that I've experienced. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment in the comment box below! Thank you!

Cai Lin


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