“Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty. I see a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be.”― George Carlin
I have learned from my peers over at valvereplacement.org that the time (days, weeks, months, even years) leading up to one’s heart surgery is appropriately nicknamed ‘The Waiting Room’. I still have a month and a half to go, but I have learned quite a bit about coping during this difficult period. I decided to make a Waiting Room rule list. Perhaps this list can help some future valve recipient.
‘Waiting Room’ Rules
- It is okay to be nervous, but do not let it consume you. Stay busy.
- Stay busy.
- Bring your loved ones, and trust that they will stay with you.
- Trust that your loved ones will be there (and still love you) when you get out of surgery.
- Exercise while waiting. Define restrictions and limitations and stay as active as possible.
- Daily responsibilities may be forgotten due to stress. Create daily checklists.
- Reduce stress with any or all of the following strategies: Exercise, Yoga, meditation, reading, attending social gatherings, traveling, blogging, talking, hugging, starting new hobbies, laughing, breathing.
- No yelling.
- Crying is okay.
- Do your research. Become as knowledgeable about your condition/ surgery/ recovery as your doctor.
- Stay positive by following this procedure: If life seems bad, adjust perspective. Repeat if necessary.
*ADDITION: I polled the audience over at valvereplacement.org to get feedback about this list. Other ‘Valvers’ chimed in with additions and constructive criticisms to my list. See that thread here: http://www.valvereplacement.org/forums/showthread.php?42161-Waiting-Room-Rule-List