I’ve been using lists to keep organized for decades. When I was in elementary school, my mother found a list on my desk that said: “Things not to worry about.” By high school, I was keeping a list of the outfit I wore to school each day so as not to repeat one too soon. Before my last surgery back in December, I wrote this blog post about all the to-do's necessary to prepare for four to six weeks of recuperation.
As Yogi Berra would say, it’s déjà vu all over again…and I’ve got a list!
Earlier today, my father and my aunt (my mother’s sister, the one who’s going to stay with me when I first come home from the hospital) drove into to the city laden with shopping bags full of “stuff” to help ease my recovery once I'm home: homemade chicken soup and noodle kugel (each frozen in portion size containers), several packages of Jell-O (not the pre-made kind, but the powdered version that you make at home with boiling water and sliced bananas), marinara sauce, disposable plates, bowls and cups (so we won’t have to wash dishes), noodles (for noodles and cheese), and miscellaneous other items including bouillon cubes, cereal, canned fruit, pasta and, of course, tuna. Aunt Claire also brought her suitcase and her shower bench, which she suspects I’ll be glad to use as well. The last shopping bag was filled with button down oxford shirts and blouses (the wardrobe item of choice following this type of surgery) from my mother’s closet—and, no, we still haven’t finished cleaning it out. They still smell of her perfume and, in an ironic twist, it will be a comfort to wear them as I heal.
A short while after my father and aunt left, Hiram, the building’s handyman, installed the handheld shower head I bought a few weeks ago, and I crossed that item off my master list as well.
So, here’s what’s left to do – organized by day:
- Doctor’s appointment
- Clean (I mean really clean) my apartment: dust, vacuum, scrub the tub and toilet, swab the floors, change the linens, do the laundry, and tackle all those other lovely chores I won’t be able to do for a while. Click here to see how it’ll look when I’m finished.
- Another doctor’s appointment
- Pay tuition for the fall semester at Baruch College
- Get underarms waxed (sorry if this is TMI, but thank goodness someone who’s been down this road told me to do it) Won’t be able to shave for a while.
- Photocopy short-term disability paperwork from surgeon’s office and send it back to HR at the Union
- Lunch with a friend
- Await FreshDirect, which is scheduled to deliver between 2 and 4 p.m. (The order contains few perishables and no produce since it's just going to sit for a week or so.)
- Pack a few things (toothbrush, toothpaste, ChapStick, iPod, etc.) for my sister to bring to the hospital on Friday. They don't let you bring anything with you on the day of surgery.
- BRCA support group at Mt. Sinai…what wonderful timing!
- The penultimate doctor’s appointment (How’s that usage Josh Strom?! ;-)))
- And then the last one
- Water plants
- Backup the laptop’s hard drive
- Open the fold-out couch for Aunt Claire
- Move the microwave from the top of the fridge to the kitchen counter
- Await two calls from the hospital: one from a nurse and one from admissions
- The last supper
- Shower with Hibiclens
- Lailah tov (Hahaha!)
- Shower with Hibiclens
- Arrive at the hospital at no o’clock in the morning
- Tie on the bungee cord and take a huge leap of faith