Thanks for the question! It's wise to prepare ahead of time
You can search this forum for other tips and hints - there were threads that were quite useful for me. Will try to post a more detailed reply later, but off the top of my head for now:
- The shower seat was a requirement for me (not "optional", as suggested in brochures). Especially since it's better match the height more or less.
- The button down shirts were not suggested to me by the occupational therapist before the discharge. The tricky point is threading the arms in the sleeves. The (oversized) T-shirts were recommended, with care in the hands-upright position. I guess your mileage may vary, and might be good to prepare for both options.
- The recliner chair was VERY useful.
- During recovery, the patient will need to walk regularly. Preparing for that may be useful. For me, it meant getting outside slippers (to avoid leaning over and tying the shoes) and hats. I knew where to walk, but it may need to be figured out, depending on where you live.
- If you are given the spirometer before the surgery, I think it's useful to exercise it every day even before the surgery. This is just to habituate the breathing muscles. You don't need to do it every hour, etc, and better not to exhaustion, of course.
- The upper body becomes a post-it board for various attachments. Shaving it may be helpful, especially hands and arms. (If there is still time, as they don't want you to do that a week before the surgery.)
- A short haircut may be quite helpful.
- Have a good night sleep before the surgery. Might be difficult, but at least avoid my mistake of getting very little. This was not good for the waking-up time.
- If there is support from friends and family, this is quite helpful. The first day was tough on on my wife (taking care of me). But her sister came over, and that was very nice.
- The "advanced recovery" methods seemed to help. You may want to follow them.
In general, the doctors and nurses really know what they are doing while managing the patient, who is in unusual circumstances. Some things will be unusual. Just trust them and follow all the recommendations. This was the best advice from this forum, and I can only confirm this was VERY useful.