Welcome Christine and Scott!
I will try to share some my own experiences in response to your questions.
Christine, in regards to pain meds, Carol and Flerdle are right in that it is different for everyone. I could only take prescription meds a couple of days since I could not sleep with them, broke out in hives, and felt like I was reliving the 70's on a hippie drug trip (yes I am that old). So a health professional friend of mind suggested 2 to 3 (200mg each) of Advil ( Ibuprofen) in combination with Zantec for my stomach since Advil can be hard on your stomach. It worked and got me off of hard drugs. The other problem with prescription painkillers is that they increase emotional depression and constipation, so that alone is a plus.
Scott I too had headaches daily. I try to lie on my good side every evening for a while with two small pillows between my legs. That change in position getting off the back of my head seems to help my headaches. Your nausea could come from a little vertigo from being horizontal all the time. The best thing for nausea is crystalized ginger. The first few days after surgery I nibbled on it daily to help with the nausea from pain killers. It is an old Chinese remedy that works. You usually have to get it at a health foods store...tastes terrible, but well worth it.
As far as getting your environment ready for surgery I can suggest the following from my own experience:
1. A hospital bed - I had to rent one since there is no bed on the first floor of my house. It is great because you can set the bed to the right height for you, and is electric so you can raise the head part of the bed to a comfortable height and still not be sitting.
2. Memory foam 3 to 4 inches thick for the top of the hospital bed. Those mattresses are not comfortable, so it helps. They are a little pricey, but comfort for 2 months helps.
3. Prep your bathroom - you are so lucky to be a guy and not have to sit much. I did get a raised toilet seat with arms, and had a safety bar installed to help get up. It is a lifesaver. Ableware makes a raised toilet seat that has one side scooped out so your injured cheek does not have to rest on it. Get disposable hand sanitizer cloths by the toilet so you can clean your hands before getting your crutches to get up. For girls, I also got diaper wipes because when you pee sitting on one hip different things get wet and you want to clean them.
4. Get bedside accoutrements ready....have a table next to your bed and moved down alittle so you can easily reach: meds, kleenex, handiwipes, toiletries, tv remotes, phone, etc.
5. Let your caregiver know that you won't always be at your best and appreciate all they do for you. It is a hard job for them.
6. Don't be hard yourself. All of us here have felt overwhelmed and frustrated. Hey, if tears burned calories I would weigh only 80 lbs. right now! Check in with us, we will help you.