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Giving Myself The Gift Of Being Prepared

Sunday, May 22, 2016

I learned a long time ago that one sure fire way to keep myself from doing something I'm not supposed to do after surgery, is to do the task before I go in for surgery. Thus, I make all these to do lists for myself before I even get to the day of surgery. I look at the month of surgery and the two months following surgery and decide what tasks need to be completed in order to keep myself from doing what I know I can't. Then, I break the list down into chunks that I can complete over the weeks prior to my surgery. I never have a huge list to complete because it is spread out over time. Some of the tasks are fun - like picking out birthday or Father's Day cards and gifts. Some are relaxing - like making cupcakes or casseroles and freezing them. Some are tedious like doctor's appointments, medical tests, laundry and cleaning.

Someone asked me last week why I bother to drive myself crazy trying to cram all of these "tasks" into the weeks before surgery. Why do I stress myself? Well first of all, because I am so systematic in my approach, the only thing that stresses me out is trying to cram several months of doctor's visits into three weeks, while dealing with three sick dogs. All of the other tasks were parceled out over several weeks. I don't look at it as stressing myself out. I look at it as preparing to give myself a huge gift of just taking care of myself and healing after my surgery. Everything will be done, so my main task is to get better. Whatever needs to be done while I am laid up can either be done by my family or I can hire someone to do it for me. Either way, my own part in preparation is complete.

You would be surprised what inner peace I find in knowing that I have prepared in advance and can just relax. To some, I may seem obsessive and compulsive. Oh well! So as I wind down and come close to completing my to do list, I no longer feel stressed. I feel a sense of accomplishment.

Here are my remaining tasks for this week:

Clean two bathrooms
Clean the kitchen counters
Pick up medical records and make two copies
Pack my bag for the rehab hospital
Pack a small bag of toiletries for the hospital
Groom and bathe the dogs
Visit with a friend
Mail 3 books to my aunt so she doesn't get too board being in bed.

That's it!
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