If you are a family member or friend of someone who is about to undergo brain surgery there are ways that you can help and support them with the process. This is most likely the most stressful time in the person’s life and they will need as much support around them as they can get.
The first thing you should do is a lot of research. Research about the specific kind of tumor your friend or family member has. Research how it is treated and the effects the person will have with this type of tumor. Also, look into different doctors if your friend has not already done so, including the team atBoulder Neurosurgical & Spine Associates. If they’ve chosen a doctor, do your research on them. Are there any current lawsuits out against the doctor and do they have any other patients who can give them a recommendation.
Once your friend or family member has chosen their doctor, go with them to meet with the team. Talk to the doctors and nurses. Ask them as many questions as you can to get informed on the next steps. The team may also include a social worker, they can help you navigate the next steps with your friend and how to help them even more. There might also be a dietician you can meet with. If you are taking care of your friend before and/or after the procedure you can ask them if there is a certain meal plan you should be following. Are there certain foods they can or cannot have. Also, they can help you with what they should be having prior to brain surgery. The team your friend or family member has chosen can also help you with postoperative care. They will show you how to keep them as comfortable as possible. They will also show you the medications they will be taking and how often they should be taken. There will also be a lot of side effects your friend or family member will experience after the surgery. The team of doctors should help you navigate this and how to help your friend lessen the effects. You can also talk to a physical therapist, they might give you ideas on any sort of gentle massage you can perform to help ease any pain.
After surgery, your friend or family member may experience mood swings or depression. Talk with the healthcare professionals about what to do if this becomes extreme and how to help it from becoming worse. You will also want to see how active your friend should be after surgery, you can help them with this. Go for a walk in the morning and afternoon if approved by the doctor. Your friend may also have to attend physical therapy after the surgery, you may have to provide the transportation to and from.
You can also help your friend or family member by offering to do errands for them or making them meals. If they have kids offer to take their kids to their events or school. Help them maintain their house by cleaning it for them or doing the laundry. And most important just offer your time, spend quality time together.