A parent hurts for their child, especially when their child must undergo pediatric surgery. But if you prepare yourself and ask questions ahead of time, you will be better able to focus on taking care of your child when they need you most.
It is that very special time where we are getting everything ready for Rory’s pediatric surgery. We are filling out insurance forms, filling out pre-op forms, and getting every other piece of miscellaneous paperwork completed. Everything is already hectic, and I am so glad that I have began doing things in advance! It is important to prepare yourself for what to expect. Preparing for Rory's surgery is both physically and mentally draining. There are a few things that I am doing to help prepare me for my daughter’s surgery and the challenges that will arise.
The first thing that I began far in advance is to making sure I speak with our insurance company and find out what they are going to cover. This way, during this whole long and lengthy surgery, I won't be getting as many surprises, and I can completely focus on Rory. Although with insurance, there will always be some form of a surprise bill, but if you talk to your insurance company; (and when you do talk to them document your calls, who you talked to, date, time, etc…) it can make things easier for you. It will not only help you to understand what they will cover and why; but will also help you with how you are going to help pay for the surgery. With Rory's surgery, there have only been 150 (or so) performed EVER, and 125 (or so) have been performed by the man who created the surgery, Rory's doctor. She is going to get the best care regardless of money.
Another way I have prepared for this surgery is speaking in depth to her doctor. It is important to ask questions. I discussed in detail the pre op, op, and post op for this specific pediatric surgery. I wanted to be informed of the most common major risks of the surgeries. I am completely confident that nothing will go wrong with the surgery, but I still like to be completely informed. I didn't ask him about the little complications that can arise, just the most common issues that arise.
I also made sure to get the post op issues. The last thing I want is to see Rory after her surgery and to burst out in tears: she will know something isn't right and get upset herself. I also wanted to know how things will be like for Rory after her surgery. Rory is going to be in a full body cast. What will her range of motion be? When will she be able to be weight bearing? What about using the bathroom? How long will it take her to learn to walk again? You can never ask your doctor too many questions, and it is their job to answer them and make you feel comfortable.
Take Care of Yourself
I’m also preparing for the surgery by taking better care of myself. Many of you may know Jon and I are very big into being physically fit and eating healthy. My husband and I are vegetarians, Rory is a vegetarian herself (however when she gets older we will give her the option to eat meat. Just because Jon and I don’t eat meat doesn’t mean she has to not eat it. We want to give her that option.). I am fully aware that I will not always be able to get a home cooked meal while Rory is in the hospital, and that I will probably be eating a lot of hospital food, (which, don’t get me wrong can be delicious and healthy). However, I am working on my nutrition now, before the hospitalization, because I know Rory is going to need me strong and at my best.
Currently, exercise is the best form of stress relief for me. I get so much sadness and frustration out when I am out running. Although, I try to be a pretty healthy gal, I know I can always take better care of myself. I’m making sure I have time to do plenty of other exercises: stretching, yoga, and breathing exercises. My hopes is that the breathing exercises can help calm me down when I do become overwhelmed. I know I am not going to always be able to go on a run or exercise while I am down there, I will probably spend all my time by her hospital bed. You can always do some stretching and yoga by your little ones bedside so you won't wake them up.
Hopefully, many parents will never have their children have a pediatric surgery, I have four sisters and we only had a few broken bones. But, should it happen to your family, you need to be the best parent you can be.
Preparing with the insurance company, talking to her doctor, meeting with the child lift specialist, and taking care of myself are all things that I’m doing just to make this upcoming surgery better for Rory, for my husband and for myself. Although the whole surgery time is going to be stressful and hard, try to minimize everything you can far enough in advance so that during this time, all you have to worry about is your little one.
No parent wants to see their child go through pain but pediatric surgery can be especially difficult. Do what you can to prepare yourself ahead of time so you know what to expect.