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8 Ways to Reduce Stress Before Surgery

Surgery can be a stressful experience. You might fear the unknown. You might be worried about caring for your family while you’re recovering. You might have anxiety about feeling pain. It’s important to physically prepare yourself for surgery by eating healthy, not smoking and getting enough rest, but it’s also very important to emotionally prepare. […]

8 Ways to Reduce Stress Before Surgery

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153446553Surgery can be a stressful experience. You might fear the unknown. You might be worried about caring for your family while you’re recovering. You might have anxiety about feeling pain. It’s important to physically prepare yourself for surgery by eating healthy, not smoking and getting enough rest, but it’s also very important to emotionally prepare.

Here are eight ways to reduce stress before surgery:

  1. Visualize yourself after surgery. Are you biking? Painting? Jumping on a trampoline? Picture yourself healed and doing your favorite activity. You’ll soon be enjoying everything life has to offer now that surgery is behind you!
  2. Talk to someone. It’s perfectly normal to feel fear or anxiety before surgery, and getting something off your chest really can take a weight off your shoulders. Meet up with a friend or family member, and have a heart-to-heart. You can always call Woman’s Social Services at 225-924-8456 if you need a listening ear.
  3. Line up a helper for your daily activities. Even though you’ll be out of commission, the mail will still need to be fetched, the plants will still need to be watered and the children will still need to be dropped off and picked up from school. Ask friends, family members or neighbors to help with your day-to-day chores.
  4. Prepare meals in advance. Grocery shopping and cooking means being on your feet, and takeout isn’t always the healthiest choice. In the weeks before your surgery, dust off your crockpot for an easy way to cook and freeze multiple meals.
  5. Get your bedroom ready. First things first…wash your sheets! Think of coming home after surgery as settling into a comfy hotel stay – and that starts with fresh linens! Also, if your bedroom is upstairs, consider arranging your sleeping quarters in a more easily accessible area of your home.
  6. Meditate. We know you’ve heard this one before, and we know what you’re thinking… “What I am I supposed to do? Sit in a quiet room all by myself?!?” If you don’t know how to meditate, search YouTube for guided mediation. Plug in your headphones, get in a comfortable position, close your eyes and simply listen to the audio.
  7. Educate yourself. This is an important one. The more you know, the more prepared you’ll feel. If you have questions, ask them! Even if you forget to ask during your visit, your doctor is only a phone call away. You can also visit www.womans.org/surgery for more information.
  8. Make a Pre-Surgery To-Do List. Ahh, that wonderful feeling of crossing an item off your to-do list. Even if you don’t typically make lists, try it. You’ll feel better! Don’t feel like putting “make a to-do list” on your to-do list? Go ahead, print this one out! J

 

Meghan’s Ovarian Cancer Survival Story

Posted by: Living With Cancer Guest Poster on Sep 17, 2014 in Living With Cancer

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month. Living with Cancer will feature posts centered on ovarian cancer and women’s experiences with it. The following post was written by Meghan for the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance’s blog. Few people at the age of 20 think about cancer, and far fewer ponder the possibility of it happening to them. It […]

Backpack Pain: What’s All the Flap About?

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Aching backs and shoulders? Tingling arms? Weakened muscles? Stooped posture?

d64f50bfAs course loads get bigger, the emotional and physical stress placed on our kids grows. Carrying too much weight in a pack or wearing it the wrong way can lead to pain and strain, but parents can take steps to help children load and wear backpacks the correct way to avoid health problems.

Today is National School Backpack Awareness Day, an annual event held on the third Wednesday of every September to raise awareness about the serious health effects that backpacks that are too heavy or worn improperly have on children. Backpack Day is also a time to promote the full range of occupational therapy benefits and services, which are available at Woman’s Center for Wellness.

Below are 10 tips for loading and carrying a child’s chool backpack. For more information, visit the American Occupational Therapy Association’s website or download the PDF brochures at the end of the post, courtesy of the AOTA.

Loading a Pack

• A child’s backpack should weigh no more than about 10% of his or her body weight. This means a student weighing 100 pounds shouldn’t wear a loaded school backpack heavier than about 10 pounds.

• Load heaviest items closest to the child’s back (the back of the pack).

• Check what your child carries to school and brings home. Make sure the items are necessary for the day’s activities.

• If the backpack is too heavy on a regular basis, consider using a book bag on wheels if your child’s school allows it.

Wearing a Pack

• Distribute weight evenly by using both straps. Wearing a pack slung over one shoulder can cause a child to lean to one side, curving the spine and causing pain or discomfort.

• Select a pack with well-padded shoulder straps. Shoulders and necks have many blood vessels and nerves that can cause pain and tingling in the neck, arms, and hands when too much pressure is applied.

• Adjust the shoulder straps so that the pack fits snugly on the child’s back. A pack that hangs loosely from the back can pull the child backwards and strain muscles.

• Wear the waist belt if the backpack has one. This helps distribute the pack’s weight more evenly.

• The bottom of the pack should rest in the curve of the lower back. It should never rest more than four inches below the child’s waistline.

• School backpacks come in different sizes for different ages. Choose the right size pack for your child as well as one with enough room for necessary school items.

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