1. Rent a car you’ll be comfortable driving in. We flew into Charlotte, SC, and Columbia is about 90 minutes away. I had a hard time getting up into the seats of SUVs. All that was left was a Mercury Marquis – which looked like a throwback to the 70’s – but wow, was it comfortable! 2. Stay at a Residence Inn if you can. They’re reasonably priced, and have full kitchens. It is very nice to have everything you need at your fingertips. You’re not going to feel like a night on the town after your surgery. Having access to food you like to eat is very important (especially if you’ve traveled to a region with food quite different from what you’re used to). Some say to request a handicap room. I found that to be difficult, because everything was lowered, which is exactly what I DIDN’T need. 3. You’re going to be in no shape to deal with difficult situations, including the possibility of a minimally competent nursing staff, for the first 2 days after your surgery. You will need an advocate for you at the hospital, who will either stay with you, or will be very close by and be available 24/7. 4. FYI, if in the hospital you are receiving substandard nursing care, call “0” and ask for the nursing supervisor. I didn’t even know for 2 days that I had a telephone in the room, because of the layout, let alone that there’s someone whose job it is to listen to patients and meet our needs. 5. Some people have found it easier to sleep in the recliner in the room because you can get up and down on your own – you don’t have to ring for the nurse every time you have to go to the bathroom. 6. Keep a running list of the questions you want to ask the doctor when he comes to see you next.