Preparing for Hospitalization.
After many doctor’s appointments, hours of research, and months or years of discomfort, you’ve finally scheduled your joint replacement surgery. This will hopefully mark the end of a period during which you encountered some kind of disability or pain. Maybe you’re eager to undergo surgery, or you might be anxious or fearful about it. Either way, it’s a good idea to get ready for hospitalization – a phase that can last up to a few weeks post-surgery.
Here are 7 tips for preparing yourself mentally and practically:
• Meet the staff in advance. Find out who your surgeon is, and meet the anesthesiologist if possible. Getting to know the people who will operate you may reduce your anxiety and make you feel you’re in good hands.
• Learn about the procedure. Make a list of questions that you find relevant for you and get the answers from the medical staff. For example: how long will the surgery last? When will I wake up? When can I meet my family? How long do I need to stay in the hospital? Will I get assistance during the night?
• Get to know the hospital surroundings. Visit the hospital, find out where you need to register, where are the relevant units and where is the families’ waiting hall. You can even check where the cafeteria is and find out which food is served in the unit. The more information you get, the less fear of the unknown you’ll experience.
• Prepare your support network. Make sure your relatives have all the details they need about your upcoming surgery. Ask them to visit you during visiting hours, bring you essentials from home, etc. Being surrounded by your loved ones during hospitalization will keep you busy and relieve your loneliness.
• Make yourself at home – away from home. While packing for the hospital, take with you the things that will make you feel comfortable: your slippers, photographs of your loved ones, etc. These little things can lift your spirits!
• Mental preparation. In order to lower your anxiety levels, you can practice mindfulness or other relaxation techniques such as visualization. Remember that some levels of anxiety or stress are totally normal before orthopedic surgery, but if you feel it’s too much to handle, reach out for professional help.
• Remember that this is temporary. As difficult as it may seem to imagine, one day you will look back at this surgery as a memory in the past.
To receive additional support, around-the-clock physical therapy, and up-to-date gait analysis – check out the OneStep Physical Therapy app!