Having to process that your child will need to have surgery can be very emotional and stressful time.
April 7, 2016, marked one year since Love had heart surgery. It was a surreal time in our lives, with many questions, doubts, and fear. It was a really hard on us as her parents. The countless appointments and test that she had to endure were overwhelming.
After getting past the initial fear I understood my purpose in her care. As her mom, I was an important and a crucial part of her health care team. I was there to provide necessary information, to comfort her, and to be an advocate for her needs.
Below are some tips that helped me prepare for her surgery.
Become Informed/Research – Once we found out that Love would have to have surgery we did our own research. We looked into everything from natural options to not having the surgery. We got a second opinion from a different doctor on a different network. We armed ourselves with information from books, the web, and others that had experienced the same surgery. We made it our goal to understand the purpose of the surgery. What will happen during surgery, how long will it take, recovery process, and any long term effects.
Ask Questions – We asked questions. The same questions over and over, the silly questions, the hard questions. We asked every question that went through our head and then we asked more.
Get Support – Having the support of my family helped a lot both emotionally and physically. My mom was able to assist with my other kids while we stayed in the hospital with Love. Also having family there on the day of surgery helped to keep me as stress-free as possible.
Rest – Yes you will need to get some rest the days before surgery. Allowing yourself to get some rest is important for the days ahead. I know it is easier said than done, but it is important.
Prepare Your Child – Inform your child with information on what is about to happen. Read books, have open conversations, and show them support and provide them with a sense of security. With Love being so young there was not a lot we could do to prepare her, but with older kids it is important to prepare them as much as possible.
Love’s surgery was planned and we knew the date in advance. Having that information gave us time to plan and prepare. I know there are times when parents can not prepare themselves for the process. But I believe these tips can still help in that situation. It was also helpful to have doctors and nurses that were very supportive and informative during the process.
In upcoming posts I will share day of surgery advise, hospital stay tips, and recovery to do list.
Peace & Love