You’ve taken a great leap forward! You’ve resolved to improve yourself with cosmetic surgery. Now that you’ve made The Big Decision, it’s time to rev up your motor and prepare, prepare, prepare. Because this endeavor is so very important, the following to-do list is designed to help you along the way. It’s broken into sections to make it easy to read and understand, and to spur you toward empowering yourself!Preparations to Obtain From the Doctor· A list of dos and don’ts — If your cosmetic surgeon or his or her staff has not provided you with a list, ask for one! This list should entail yeas or nays regarding consumption of vitamin supplements, over-the-counter meds (such as aspirin, cold and allergy medicines, nausea/diarrhea relievers, etc.), any prescription medications, alcohol (wine, beer, liquor), and tobacco products. (Note: Any doctor worthy of his/her diploma will admonish you to forever quit smoking (or chewing!); however, regardless of whether or not you heed this wise advice, almost every plastic surgeon will insist that you at least refrain from the use of any tobacco product two weeks prior and two weeks following cosmetic surgery, at minimum.)● A list of necessities he/she recommends for at home — This could include a supply of Vitamin C, ice packs, heating pads, a thermometer, special soaps or cleansers, bandages and dressings, certain “extra-healthy” foods, etc.● A clear understanding of payment arrangements — Do your doctor (and yourself!) a huge favor by having all your ducks in a row as far as financial obligations are concerned regarding your procedure. There is nothing more deflating than misunderstandings about how much cosmetic surgery costs at this stage of the game.”Home” Work● Make arrangements well in advance for someone to help take care of children, pets, and/or houseplants. This may entail an out-of-your-home sitter for the kids (there’s nothing like peace and quiet to heal well), a kennel or good friend willing to take over pet care (preferably at their home so you can rest uninterrupted), and farming out your plants for awhile to relatives or neighbors for their watering/fertilizing/pruning needs.● Do all your housecleaning, laundry, and yard work several days before your cosmetic procedure. After surgery, any kind of physical exertion — even bending over — should be the last thing on your mind for a few days immediately following many surgeries.● Pay your immediate bills. Getting this off your mind works wonders toward relaxing and allowing your body to heal.● Shop for groceries and drinks a day or two prior to surgery. Using your doctor’s list of healthy foods and liquid refreshments as well as your own easy-to-prepare food and drinks, make sure you stock up on everything you need. Purchase adequate amounts to last you, if not until you are fully recovered, at least until you are able to get around (and swelling/bruising subsides so you are not embarrassed to be seen in public!) If this is not possible, line up someone reliable who’s willing to shop for you.● Stock up on reading material. Visit the library and/or bookstore and treat yourself to several books, a variety of magazines, and a crossword puzzle book, if you’re so inclined. And while you’re waiting for the Big Day, read up on cosmetic surgery — particularly the procedure you will be undergoing. And, of course, don’t forget you can always surf the ‘Net while you’re recuperating, if you have a laptop, so make sure it’s strategically placed near your bed with a charged battery and/or AC adaptor at the ready.Work Preparations● Give your boss plenty of notice. If your employer knows a month in advance (with a reminder every week or so), they can take whatever steps necessary to fill your oh-so-capable shoes while you’re out. Depending upon how long your estimated time of recovery is, you’ll want to make sure you’re as caught up as possible at the place that pays you for your time, energy, and smarts.● If you are the boss, make sure anyone working for you — from the janitor/maid on up to your right-hand man (or woman!) — knows when you are leaving, how long you will be out, and when you plan on returning. Of course, you already know to place someone dependable and capable in charge so work won’t be a worry while you’re focusing on a fast recovery.Emotional Preparedness● If you currently have depression or bipolar disorder, discuss this with your doctor. Depending on his or her advice, you may or may not be a good candidate for plastic surgery, or you may be advised to wait awhile before proceeding. It may be that you could possibly become even more depressed after the procedure or experience severe emotional fluctuations (extreme highs and lows common to bipolar disorder). Or, it may be decided that your surgery could actually help alleviate at least some of your depression. Talk frankly and openly with your doctor.● Even people not predisposed to depression or have never experienced it before may succumb to a certain degree of it after cosmetic surgery. If anesthesia is used, this can cause feelings of sadness or irritability you’re not accustomed to. The shock of what is sometimes significant bruising and swelling can throw some into a depression, as can the physical restrictions of recovery. Making a list of realistic expectations now — after discussing this with your surgeon — can help remind you afterward that healing takes time, and that you will, indeed, see the results you’ve been waiting for.Preparing for plastic surgery can save you a lot of discomfort and inconvenience, and even help speed the recovery process. Learn everything possible about the procedure to alleviate fear and do all you can as far in advance as practical to make recovery as easy as possible, and then… relax. You’re about to proceed to what’s certain to be one of the most positive events of your life!