Stuff I Need To Do Before I Let Them Cut Me Open

I’ve made myself a very personalized to-do list in preparation for my upcoming surgery. In no particular order:

  1. Make sure all my loosest, most comfortable clothes are clean and ready beforehand.
  2. Check out some good mystery novels from the library.
  3. Go hot tubbing with my husband. I love water and won’t be able to bathe or swim for six weeks (showers are allowed, ).
  4. Have sex. I’ve been told numerous times “nothing in the vagina for six weeks.” Okay then. I am going for it while I can. Even if I dissociate some (a lot) of the time, my body enjoys it. Plus I think I have a fear it won’t be the same afterwards.
  5. Finish as much yard work as possible beforehand. See if I can get the spinach and lettuce planted.
  6. Take my dogs to the river to play.
  7. Write a short letter to the floor nurses in the hospital, expressing my need to know exactly what is happening before they touch me.
  8. Pick out glasses frames. I have had a new prescription for my glasses for three months and haven’t made time for frame shopping. But it will feel good to have new glasses; it will make it easier to read those mystery novels.
  9. Schedule a massage for the day before surgery, and go out for sushi that night.
  10. Go to the grocery store ahead of time and buy my favorite fruits and vegetables.
  11. Update my Netflix list.
  12. Thank my uterus for its years of service. Maybe not for all the period cramps, but certainly for growing my two children.
  13. Send loving thoughts to the child that started to grow in my uterus but who never came to be. I haven’t forgotten.
  14. Tell my abdomen I’m sorry for complaining so much that it should be smaller, instead of appreciating its smooth skin. Promise it that I will learn to make friends with the new scars, too, since they will remind me that I can take care of my health.
  15. Spend time every day doing breathing meditations. Make them a little longer than usual.



  1. Great comforting list Q. I found the worst part of my surgery was the anticipation and worry. Once I had it, there were lovely drugs, and all I had to do was lie around and recover and heal. It may be similar for you. So try not to worry! (If you are.) take care.


  2. I really am committed to taking better care of myself (in between periods of self-loathing and self-harm–which at least are not lasting as long as they used to when they show up).

    The hot tubbing was today, in a private outdoor setting with high walls, and gorgeous weather, really wonderful.


  3. Really thoughtful list – I imagine even if just one item on here gets done, it will help so much with the recovery period. Sending support for you, Q!


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