Let me preface all this with, if you’ve got someone helping you out get ready for surgery, AMEN! For me, cleaning on my own is a way to keep my mind off surgery, and I count it as exercise, knowing I won’t be doing much for a while. (Like lifting over ten pounds for six months.)
Stock up on food you can store—canned tuna or salmon, vegetable broth, pasta, canned or frozen vegetables (you won’t want to chop much.) Make things in personal serving sizes if you live alone, or if you’re bringing food over to someone who lives alone. Keep one in the refrigerator, and freeze the rest. A large container is too heavy after surgery and takes up too much freezer space, and too much time to thaw. Make fiber muffins and freeze them or get a box of Belvita breakfast bars (blueberry’s their best.)
Stock up on water if you buy in bottles, juice and something like prune juice, 7-Up, or some other taste. For me, nothing taste good for several days after surgery. I’m more comfortable having broth and Saltine crackers (I love the fresh stack pack, packaged in smaller portions.) Drink lots of liquid, and keep food low salt, low-fat/grease. (I forgot and this time had chicken broth instead of vegetable—and it didn’t stay down. it was too greasy for me.) Things like pudding or Jell-O will feel good going down your throat after surgery.
Paced over two weeks, and dog-tired at the end, the count-down for surgery and an incredibly clean house (all 600 square feet of it) begin. This last time I even re-arranged my bedroom. A deep clean never goes as quickly as planed, does it? Usually, I prepare for surgery by sticking to the normal house cleaning, keeping in mind that after surgery I may not be able to much of it for a month or more, and I enjoy clean surroundings as much as my guests do.
I dust. I shred papers. I do laundry and hand wash sweaters that have hung on a chair far too long because I couldn’t be bothered to hand wash anything before. Windows and mirrors get clean. Plants get watered. Toilet paper. I stock up, and move some to a lower shelf, and in the front. As the chores check off and the calendar approaches surgery, I notice things like the floor isn’t as clean as it should be, and decide to get creative. I discover things like baking soda work better than Method, or other floor cleaners that haven’t done their job, even though I’ve been using them for years. One-third across the floor, I’m exhausted, but proud of how great that floor looks! Hint: If you do this, go easy on the amount of baking soda, or you will re-do the floor with a sponge and water to pick up the grit you left behind. A clean bathroom floor only shows the outer tub/shower needing attention, and while you’re on your knees, you may as well dust behind the toilet.
It’s not like I plow through these chores one after the next. I pace things out. Work top to bottom. Nap. Each chore triggers a thought of something else to clean. The vanity, the oven and oh, better remember to vacuum—which gets done three times in two days. I love those vacuum lines on the carpet! It’s at this point I realize nerves, not necessity have stepped in-charge.
Stop. Breathe. Meditate. Pray. The eve of surgery: Allow calm. I enjoy listening to soothing instrumental music and fading in and out of meditative thoughts. Let’s be real. . . . This is also the time to eat as much as you want until midnight! Before I get ready for bed, I post my NPO signs (Nothing Per Oral, reminders not to eat or drink anything) on my water bottles, the counter and refrigerator. My very last eve of surgery ritual is to clean my kitchen sink. Wipe, wipe, wipe. Man, it sparkles!