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Recovery Room Kit

By Hana Kim

(Page 1 of 2)

Three years ago, my mom underwent major surgery to remove a brain tumor. The day of her surgery felt like the longest day of my life. Because she didnít have any family members in the area, I was going to be her primary caregiver. She worried how I would be able to handle things by myself. It was an emotionally draining experience, but I had prepared myself for the long wait.

Prior to the surgery, I prepared a backpack filled with items that I would need for the long day. To help with my momís recovery, I needed to remain strong, both physically and emotionally. My backpack was my recovery room survival kit.

If someone you love will be undergoing major surgery, it might be helpful to have your own survival kit. The day of surgery can be a traumatic experience for both the patient and the caregiver. If you make adequate preparations, you can make yourself as comfortable and alert as possible.

My own kit included the following essentials:

Notepad and pen: The patient will receive a lot of instructions regarding post-operative procedures such as medications and wound care. You and the patient may experience information overload. It will be helpful to jot down notes as soon as the nurse or doctor gives you those instructions. If certain instructions are vague, ask follow-up questions before the patient is discharged.

Chocolate or energy bar: You may be so stressed that you will forget to eat. You will need to keep your energy level up. A piece of chocolate has enough caffeine for a temporary boost. An energy or protein bar has enough calories to substitute for a small meal. You can also carry a bag of nuts or a banana. If you donít have an appetite for cafeteria food, keep some snacks in your bag.

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