1.) How much support will I need in the hospital?? Or will too many people be too hard? Physically, emotionally. I know I need to take both into consideration.
One person with you for the first few days. After that, fine to be by yourself. I never wanted visitors (except my mom, who was my "one person") until 4-5 days after surgery, but I'm an introvert so you might feel differently. You will be groggy and a little out of it for the first day definitely and maybe days two and three as well... I'm not saying you'll feel drunk the whole time or anything, but you won't remember those days very well afterward, so it's really good to have someone with you who can take notes about
what the doctors and nurses say, make sure you're getting your meds on time, and above all advocate
2.) How much support will I need my first week home?
A decent amount, but not round the clock care. Your main issues will be mobility and fatigue -- you won't really be able to bend down (say, to pick something up off the floor or tie your shoes) comfortably for a couple of weeks. Fatigue wise, it was hard for me to stand up for more than 10 minutes or so at a stretch, which made it difficult to do things like make a cup of tea or a sandwich. If your husband needs to go back to work, I would ask him to "pack" a lunch and snacks in the fridge for you on a shelf that you can reach, and make sure everything else you might need during the day is at counter height.
3.) How much support should I plan to add if my husband goes back to work for a couple days my first week home from the hospital? Or is that hoping for too much.... should we plan he will be with me in the hospital the whole 7 days and home with me the whole 7 days I am first back?
As I said above, I don't think full time for 14 days is necessary. It's nice, but not necessary. My mom was with me 24/7 in the hospital but even she went back to work part time after I came home. You're going to be napping and watching TV a LOT, you don't really need someone around to observe that
4.) How much support will I need my second week home?
Less than the first week? You'll be better at doing little things for yourself like getting a snack, but you will still need your husband to handle to the household chores and big things like making dinner (or microwaving dinner, whatever).
Is the hospital going to set you up with a visiting nurse for after you go home? I think that's typical -- most of us had a few visits from a nurse after each surgery. The nurse will check your vitals and help you with your appliance changes. Again, you don't strictly NEED it but it's really nice to have someone with you during those first few changes, to hand you paper towels or just be there for emotional support.
5.) I am going to attempt to go back to work (where I can sit during my 4-5 hour shifts, very easy position I work in Human Services) on July 28th... is this stupid? hopeful? How much support will I need that week? Should I plan to just "try" for that first week... and if I can't do it, go home. And try again the next day.
You can try, but I think you will make it through the first day and then be absolutely exhausted. I went back to work three weeks after my takedown, which is a way smaller surgery, and it was just doable. If you follow through with this plan, your husband is going to have to handle EVERYTHING at home. You won't have the energy to do both.
Emotionally, you won't know what you need until you get there. One of the great things about
going through with the first step for me was being able to make and keep appointments again, as well as leave the house without fear of an accident, so I was finally able to start therapy. It was really
helpful and I highly recommend it. You'll be visited by a social worker while you're in the hospital at least once (they're also the ones who will coordinate your visiting nurse) and they can help you with referrals.