Ask questions: The most important thing to do is ask questions. Don't just say "well, things will be fine." And assume they will be. Make sure you know how you're going to handle the days after surgery. Are you going to need a mobility aid? Will pain control be something to worry about? What will the procedure be like? All of these are valid questions.
When I went in, i asked a lot of questions. I tried to ask for what I needed, and understand everything I could about the procedure.
Be honest about what you need: It's vital to be honest about concerns you have. I asked that no one touch me without warning me. I also asked to be told where I was, and if someone would be in the room with me. I even (shock of shocks), asked who people were if I couldn't remember. When I was waking up, I didn't recognize my doctor's voice. I appologized and she understood. Asking for those little things helped. And having Julio in with me during recovery helped immensely.
Now's not the time to prove you're completely independent: Surgery is an incredibly valid reason to ask for help. I could have said I didn't need family in with me for recovery, but that would have crossed the line from independent to stupid. Having Mom, my sister and Julio there helped me stay oriented to where I was. Accepting help with other things goes along with needing help after surgery.
Be prepared: I knew about my nausea reaction from last time, so I made sure I had lots of crackers and gnger ale available. I also had spearmint available. I took note of complementary therapies that help with pain while I was in my holistic course. I've used those techniques for pain, and haven't needed the nausea stuff much. But I was prepared.
Relax: I've found rest and relaxation help the pain enormously!