Rigid External Distraction survival
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Basic Tips
          Pre-Op Tips
          The Op Tips
  • Apply the numbing cream to the IV site before going to the hospital.  Make sure to talk to your surgeon or the anesthesiologist ahead of time about how and when to do this.

  • For patients with long hair, part the hair along the scar line and braid the hair away from the scar so surgeons have a clear and clean area to work.  Talk to your surgeon if you have questions about this.  It's easy to do in the pre-op room if you want to wait until after talking to the doctor.  Trust me, it's the latest trend in surgical hair styling

  • Get to the hospital early.  You'll probably be waiting a long time whether you get there early or on time, but for your own sanity, it's better to get there without having to rush.  You'll need the time to fill out all those forms and get your snazzy hospital bracelet and everything.

  • Make sure your hospital bracelet is accurate.  If they spelled your name wrong, forgot to include any allergies, or got your DOB off by even a day, make sure they fix it.  It's important that your only piece of hospital bling be accurate before surgery.

  • Distract yourself.  A lot of pre-op rooms are equipped with distractions like TVs and VCRs.  If those aren't available, make sure you bring a good book or some magazines.  Sometimes the wait can be way too long and just sitting there in that awful hospital "gown" will get old very fast.

  • Remind the anesthesiologist and nurses of any past negative reactions to anesthesia.  There are a ton of options these days, so if you've had bad experiences with particular medications just let them know and chances are, they can find you something that is just as effective as a substitute.  I used to start bawling uncontrollably whenever I got a particular medicine put into my I.V.  Once I started telling them about this, they switched medicines and the pre-surgery hormonal bawling sessions stopped.

  • Go to sleep.  It's interesting that the dreaded operation part is the part that we stress over the most, because you're not actually conscious for any of it.  When the time comes, you simply go to sleep, then you wake up!  The period of time right before an operation can be absolutely awful, I know.  You're mom is crying, you're crying, the nurse is trying to find a vein to put the IV in, you're hungry, random people walk around with blue masks as if they're trying to hide their identity, and that awful hospital gown you have to wear is an unacceptable piece of cloth no one can justifiably call clothing!  It's tough, no doubt about it.  The good thing is that this part of the procedure is the shortest of all.  Just trust God, He'll take care of everything while you're asleep, don't worry.  Before you know it, you'll wake up!

  • Parents: relax.  The actual operation can be really hard for parents since they're fully awake and have all the energy in the world to spend on worrying.  Stay near a phone, because they may give you hourly updates, but try to occupy yourself by doing something other than sitting around worrying (my friend's mom made sushi while her daughter had the RED surgery).  Take comfort in the fact that God is in the operating room with your baby.

  • Once the surgery's over, just wake up!  Now the fun starts!  Don't worry about this part, when it happens, it happens.  You already know the drill from all your past surgeries, so there's no need to go over all that right now.  Just remember, you're stronger than you realize and you can handle whatever comes at you.

          Post Op Tips
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