A perfect storm

by Jillian Bogater (Exile From Hysteria)


I finally have a date.

I will have an abdominal hysterectomy at 11:30 a.m. March 14.

Is it wrong to be excited?

All this waiting has been dreadful. Now I finally have something tangible to work toward. Lists to draw up. Shopping excursions to plan.

This is where I shine.

I keep organized with a turquoise/blue journal. Without it I’d be lost. I categorize everything, and keep track of medical details and things like what to pack for the hospital. I also use it to break down what to expect in each of the six weeks of recovery.

And I’ll admit it. I’m neurotic. Just a bit. (Ask Matt.) So in many ways, prepping for a surgery is the perfect storm. All these lists, all these phone calls, all these websites to read and appointments to check off one by one.

I heard this lap pillow will become my best buddy in recovery.

I heard this lap pillow will become my best buddy in recovery.

In my blue book, I have a list of things I need to buy in advance of the surgery. Last weekend I bought the first item: a lap pillow.

Matt actually spotted it while we were late-night shopping at Meijer.

“Hey, didn’t you say you need a pillow?” he said, pointing up at a shelf filled with what looked like fluffy puppy dogs. “How about this one?”

He tossed me a bright, multi-colored pillow shaped like the head of a flower. I held it against my belly. It was perfect.

The research I’ve done suggests getting a small pillow to hold against my stomach incision. This will ease the pain when I cough, or when I put on a seat belt.

I also purchased a pair of oversized men’s sweatpants. Yeah, I know. Sexy. But after the surgery I’ll be going for comfort. I’ll have to save fashion for “Project Runway.”

Four weeks sounds the perfect amount of time to prepare for a major surgery. Not too far out. Not this Friday.

In some ways, this reminds me of preparing for a hurricane. When I was 10, I hunkered down in southern Florida as Hurricane David powered through. I remember the shopping trips, taping up the windows, putting batteries in the flashlight and radio. Nervously looking up at the ceiling as I heard the rafters moan. Rejoicing with my Barbies out back once the sun reappeared.

Four weeks. Just enough time to cross everything off my lists.

The perfect storm? You bet.

And I’m riding this one out.