Good luck with the surgery! It sounds like you did your homework, and spoke to the right people, and I am glad that your treatment team is all on the same page. That is very comforting.
A few tips from a nurse and a mom: TAKE CARE OF YOU FIRST!
Start eating a balanced diet, eat the right foods, forget the calories. Lower your sodium intake and drink AT LEAST six bottles of water a day from now until 4 weeks post-op. This will give your body the nutritional building blocks to heal, and flush toxins from your body. Weight management should not enter your mind!!!!!
Try to schedule your support people to help you, so that you are not overwhelming only one caregiver. Even if you have one person who can give your hubby a break two days a week, that's a lot of help.
Start talking to your children about this right away. In a way that they can understand, explain that you are going to have surgery, that it is going to hurt, but it is going to make you better. Explain what your physical limitations are going to be, and tell them that you are going to need them to be your helpers. Children love to help out, and if you explain their role to them, your life will be so much easier.
Get them on a "self care" routine. As appropriate for their age, let them each have a "helping mommy get better chore list". Putting away toys, putting thier own laundry in the hamper, feeding the pets, hanging up thier coats, etc. Be careful not to let it appear that one child is assigned more than another, or create a hierarchy. Kids don't like a new boss, especially if it's another kid! Make this about everyone in the family having jobs to do, rather than one person in charge. Reward them for getting their chores done. (I love the sticky stars!) I once had a little diabetic girl with cerebral palsy as a patient. The only way we could get her to comply with drinking fluids was to do a "reward board". A star went on every time she ate a meal and drank water, and if she got all of her stars by the end of the week she would get a suprise. I then went to the dollar store, and bought her a cardboard dollhouse that she could put together and play with. You would think I gave her a pony! The system worked great, and we were able to get her blood sugars under control.
Let them know that you may be sleepy for a few days, and can only be disturbed when Daddy or another adult says it's ok. (Day one will be from anesthesia, day two and three will be from pain meds)They may feel a little separation anxiety even when you are home, because they are used to you being the central person in the home. Perhaps you can get a few cards and easy activities that you can give them while you are recovering the first few days. (My thought was a cute little bag with a cheapie card and a dollar store activity for each child every day for three days.) At that point you will be a little more like yourself.
Try to prepare some standard meals that can be frozen and microwaved later. Find easy things to prepare for the children, and easy meals for evenings. Frozen lasagna is the easiest thing on earth. Nice meal, stress free.
Depending on how your childcare duties are shared with you and your husband, it may be a good idea to organize one weeks worth of clothes for each child in outfits for each day. I remember getting two kids ready for the day was a lot of work, three is definitley a challenge!
We have a large, diverse family (second marriage Brady Bunch style) and I have began placing disinfecting wipes in each room of the house. It can make cleaning much easier. My kids are much older, so store appropriately. I don't use them every day, but I will break them out when I am sick. (Not to mention during electric outages!) It takes less effort, and allows me to conserve my energy when I need to.
If your family has a schedule, write it down and put it on the fridge for those moments when there is someone helping that may not be super familiar with your routine. (AND allows your hubby to sneak a peek once in a while, so he can get the job done and not feel inadequate
ALSO be sure to write down the names, addresses, phone numbers and specialty of every doctor you see. List your allergies, medications, dosage, time you take them (Bedtime, as opposed to "once a day"), and the contact information for whomever you would like to have notified in case of an emergency. Include an emergency sitter, preferably someone who lives close by. PUT TWO copies of this on your refrigerator. One to use at home if you have an unexpected complication, and one to bring with you. I am not implying that you will have complications, but every nurse on the planet will tell you, if your prepare for the worst, it is not going to happen.
Simply try to organize your family as you would if you weren't even there for at least a week. I know you will be, but you will want your rest, and be able to trust that the family will be ok if you are in bed with the door closed. It will also help your hubby. Even the most involved Dad's get a little frayed when they are trying to take care of the kids AND their recovering wife.
If you liked these ideas, I will keep posting when things that are helpful come to mind.