Friday, April 30, 2010

I didn't do much to prepare for my first laparoscopy. I was given little direction by my doctor (dr #1), other than the standard (don't eat or drink after midnight, etc.) It honestly didn't occur to me I could do more. 

Dr #1 did not complete the procedure & referred me to dr #2. (More details about my laps are provided in this blog post, so I won't repeat it all here). Since dr #2 was out-of-network, I had an eight month fight with my insurance company to get my second lap covered. Therefore, I had plenty of time to conduct my own research. I was new to the endo world & had a lot to learn. (I still do). 

A co-worker was kind enough to share the following surgery prep tool with me. Our discussions empowered me to change my thoughts about surgery. I wasn't just someone passively undergoing an operation, I was an integral part of my medical team. My doctors had not encouraged this thought & I was grateful for the enlightenment. 

A few weeks prior to my second lap, she lent me her Meditations to Promote Successful Surgery cassette tapes. In these tapes, Belleruth Naparstek utilized guided imagery to help individuals prepare for surgery. I listened each night in bed. Her soothing voice instantly relaxed me. The first few nights, I quickly fell asleep. She assured me this was normal in the intro, so I wasn't surprised.

Though my second lap was more involved & invasive, my recovery was easier. (I also utilized other tools, but I will save that discussion for another post, coming soon). My husband noticed the difference immediately in the recovery room. He was amazed to see me smiling & joking with my nurse so quickly after I regained consciousness. The week that followed brought less pain & nausea compared to my first lap. I didn't need to read the research proving guided imagery is effective. I am a believer because I experienced it.

A few years later, I purchased the Successful Surgery CDs on Belleruth's website to prepare my son for his tonsillectomy. So when I was scheduled for my third lap earlier this year, I was able to start listening to the CDs immediately. I again achieved positive results with this program as I prepared & healed after surgery.

Meditations to Promote Successful Surgery contain four parts: 
Intro (6:19) - Belleruth briefly discusses what to expect & the research supporting guided imagery for surgery.

Guided Imagery (14:17) - Belleruth's peaceful voice supports stillness as she leads to you a safe place in your imagination. You are surrounded by loved ones as you visualize your successful surgery.

Affirmations (19:58) - Belleruth encourages & promotes your healing with positive statements to counter negative thoughts. You can listen & repeat each phrase to absorb the beneficial messages.

Monolithe I (51:58) - The final component contains gentle music. It is intended to be listened to on headphones during surgery. It contains the same enchanting music played in the background of the other parts of the CD.

Due to hospital regulations, my doctor could not allow me to listen to the music during my procedures. I believe it would be helpful, if you can arrange it. I was able to listen as I waited to be taken to the operating room. As my nerves set in & threatened to enfold me, it helped me remain calm & focused.

The more you can listen, the better. However, research showed benefits in people who listened just once. I listen daily to all four components for a few weeks when I prepare for surgery.

If you check her website, you will find a variety of other tools & resources, including a Surgery Pack containing four separate titles in one collection (General Wellness, Ease Pain, Healthful Sleep & Successful Surgery). I invite you to use the links provided to find more information & decide if it is right for you. It worked wonders for me!


Jeanne said...


This is awesome! Many people have benefited from using guided imagery to prepare for surgery. I'm so glad it has helped you. Thanks for sharing it here!


P.S. The word verification says "blesu". Perhaps blessings are headed your way with your upcoming surgery. :)

Jenn said...

Thanks Jeanne!

I was especially excited to share this post because I found it to be so beneficial!

Great word verification! And bless u too. :)

Alanna Klapp said...

Hi Jenn, this is awesome, thanks for posting!

Jenn said...

Thanks Alanna!

It's great that the guided imagery is intended for all types of surgery.

I was so happy to find her website & all the information it provides.

Tracy said...

Hi Jenn,

I am a guided imagery virgin!!! Never heard of it! If I had, I would have definitely tried it!!!

I need a CD for SURGICAL MENOPAUSAL SIDE EFFECTS namely HOT FLASHES!!! can she guide me to imagine myself sitting on an iceberg naked!!!!! lol

I think that deserves a snort!!!


Jenn said...

I'm snorting Tracy!

I'm not sure if it uses naked iceberg imagery, but she does have one called Mastering Menopause. :)