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how to prepare yourself for surgery

Posted by rochelle on 6/30/02 at 21:27 (088840)

Hi everyone. I too am scheduled for surgery. I do not want to have the surgery until mid Sept. (after all of our summer vacation-I dont want to ruin our summer vacation with recovering from surgery).

In the meantime, this should give me plenty of time to prepare my hubby and myself and our household for this. I have a 2 story home. I am a housewife (the husband works). Our bedrooms are upstairs, But I am willing to stay on the sofa in the downstairs living room to prevent me from trying to use the stairs and have access to the kitchen when needed and it will help my husband to sleep at night if I am not laying next to him in pain, right? (there is a bathroom downstairs, no shower tho).

So, knowing ALL of this-how do I prepare my home, hubby and household for weeks (months) of recovery??? Any info can and will help and it will be taken very seriously. If anyone has any hints, pointers,ect it will help.

One of the things that I am thinking of doing is making a few meals in advance and freezing them (maybe have a menu plan made up). My next door neighbor will let me use his deep freeze. Is this wise or a waste of my time??

Maybe this info will help someone else besides me too.Thanks in advance. Feel free to reply or email me at: (email removed)

Re: Heres a couple

BrianG on 6/30/02 at 23:19 (088849)

Hi Rochelle,

I can see already that you have mentioned pain. There will be some pain, there always is, in surgery. Pain at the bottom of your feet can be terrible, especially if you don't have a high tollerance to it (pain). Speak with your doctor in advance if you think it will be an issue. Most will give you a script for pain meds, in advance, so that you can get them filled before the surgery.

I also had a script for anti-biotics which I took. This is because it had been years since I had taken any, and I felt it was better to be safe than sorry. Some doctors may not agree with this, but I think if you are not abusing them, it shouldn't be an issue. Good luck, have you researched your procedure? Has your doctor told you exactlly what he is doing, why he is doing it, and how long your recovery should be? These are all valid questions.

BrianG

PS I'd also ask to speak with another patient, whom he has cured, that had the same symptoms as yourself.

Re: how to prepare yourself for surgery

kay on 7/01/02 at 14:07 (088867)

hi rochelle, i too made some cassaroles and froze them. i also bought some frozen meals from the freezer section of the grocery store. even though you have this done don't worry about feeding your family especially the first week. they should take care of you! its your turn to be taken care of while you are recouping. another thing you may want to do is make sure you have bottled water. my husband left me one by my bed, by the sofa, by my computer and in the kitchen. yeah it was warm but it was handy when i needed it, especially if you need a pill. find a wheel chair you can borrow or rent. this will come in handy when your are dizzy or sore from the crutches. it makes it easier to do things like cook. i can turn my wheel chair around and facing it i can put my knee on the seat and thereby keeping my foot off the floor and keeping my balance easy. you'll find with crutches you cannot carry anything. i get around with my knee in my wheel chair and pushing with my hands. get plenty to read, have a remote to the t.v. and easy access to your computer. boredom rules when you are house bound. i am not allowed to start stepping on my foot for a few more weeks. good luck i am sure many more has other ideals for you and will be posted here.
kay

Re: how to prepare yourself for surgery

Missy B on 7/01/02 at 17:44 (088870)

Hi Rochelle,
I live alone, so when I knew I was going to have my surgery, I made all sorts of plans which really paid off.
Preparing dinners and freezing them or just stocking the freezer with frozen entrees is a life-saver during those first few weeks if your husband does not like to cook. I also stocked my shelves with non-perisables so that I would not need to send my neighbors to the market for anything other than bread, milk, fruit, etc. If you have your dishes, glasses, bowls,etc. in cupboards that are up high, you might want to move a few of them down to where you can reach them from a stool or chair.
Like Kay, I used a wheelchair alot in my apartment those first few weeks. Knowing that I would be using the chair or a walker ( I only used my crutches when I went outdoors), I moved alot of my furniture around so that I could get around easily without bumping into things. I really got quite good with the wheelchair and like Kay said, it makes some things much easier than if you are on crutches. I could get into my fridge and carry a lap full of containers to the countertop. I could reach my stovetop, microwave, and oven from my chair, so I was not trying to balance on crutches while cooking. I just put my cutting board on my lap when I wanted to carry something hot. I could also do my dishes from the wheelchair - another thing that would have been very awkward on crutches. And don't forget the laundry - I carried the dirty laundry to the washer and the clean clothes from the dryer on my lap.
When I was able to put some weight on my foot (I had a cam walker on it) I used a regular medical walker to lean into and this helped me balance and also begin using my legs again. I tied a tote bag on the front of the walker to carry things in - a book, a bottle of water,etc.
The stool in the tub is a great idea. Because I live alone, my doctor would not let me bathe in the tub (in case I would slip) until my stitches came out (3 weeks), so I had to wash at the bowl. Again, I used a small stool to sit on. At 3 weeks, I was allowed to stand on my foot without the cam walker long enough to take a shower every day - believe me, that was the best part of recovery!!!!!
One other thing I did, which made a big difference in the bathroom, was to borrow a riser seat for the commode. Unless you have something you can lean on to help raise yourself up those first few days, you may find it hard not to put your foot down for balance. Of course, I am a little overweight, so if you are 'fit-as-a-fiddle', you may not have trouble pulling yourself up on only one foot.
If you like to read, get yourself a supply of good books or magazines. I started cross-stitching again to help pass the time, and of course I spent a lot of time on the computer - that is when I found this website.
Of course, most of these suggestions imply that you will have a conservative doctor like many of us have had, and that you will be off your feet for several weeks. If your doctor is one who will have you walking in a week, in a regular shoe at 2 weeks, and back to normal activities in 3 or 4 weeks, then you may not need all this preparation. Discuss with him/her what your recovery timeframe is expected to be and then you will know just how much to prepare for.
Good luck and keep in touch with us so we know how you are doing.
Missy B.

Re: how to prepare yourself for surgery

rochelle on 7/02/02 at 09:50 (088918)

wow- all of you are SO informative!! Thanks for all of your help-it will all be done! (this is true!) If anyone else has ideas-post them, it could help someone else too!

Brian, thanks for all of the info on the doc. I will ask the questions that you advised.

Gotta go find a wheelchair now. (ugh)

Re: how to prepare yourself for surgery

Sarah T. on 7/02/02 at 16:53 (088941)

My doctor offered to order me a wheelchair to be available after surgery and then the insurance would pay for the rental of it. I did not use mine around the house as I live in an old farmhouse that has narrow doorways but I did enjoy having it to get out of the house. It was nice to be able to go to the mall. Funny though, I always felt embarrassed in it for some reason. ? I know I shouldn't have but that's just how I felt. Our family tried out some frozen dinners ahead of time to see what we liked. We found some things we really enjoyed! One obstacle I ran into after my surgery was a shower stool. I didn't realize I would be so sore from using the crutches and I found a taller stool helped so I wouldn't have to pick myself up so far! I put a lap pad and basket next to the recliner and that kept my 'junk' handy, yet not so messy. You will just have to prepare yourself to just look at the dust and know it's okay because you can't do anything about it. I alternated using my crutches and a walker. They use different muscles. I remember being so sore one night that I actually crawled to bed because my stomach muscles were so sore! I'm telling how out of shape I am! Oh me. I got chair on wheels that I could put my knee on and wheel around the kitchen in. A backpack is also handy to carry stuff from room to room when you are using both hands on your crutches. Use bottles with a top so you can just carry your drink in the backpack. I wish you the best of luck and hope you will take your recovery SLOWLY. It will be worth it in the long run. ---Sarah

Re: how to prepare yourself for surgery

Maggie L. on 7/02/02 at 21:35 (088976)

Rochelle, looks like everything I was going to say has been covered! I, too, used a rolling chair (not a wheelchair) in my house when needed. Certainly not as versatile as a wheelchair, but can help in a pinch. Bottled water, backpack, easy food, reading, all very good suggestions. I used a thermos on days I was working at home and my boyfriend had made coffee - this way I could actually have hot coffee out in the living room where I was positioned with my work. You can also (sort of) carry hot beverages in a closed travel mug, but I'd be careful as you definitely don't want to slosh and burn yourself. Good luck!

Re: Heres a couple

BrianG on 6/30/02 at 23:19 (088849)

Hi Rochelle,

I can see already that you have mentioned pain. There will be some pain, there always is, in surgery. Pain at the bottom of your feet can be terrible, especially if you don't have a high tollerance to it (pain). Speak with your doctor in advance if you think it will be an issue. Most will give you a script for pain meds, in advance, so that you can get them filled before the surgery.

I also had a script for anti-biotics which I took. This is because it had been years since I had taken any, and I felt it was better to be safe than sorry. Some doctors may not agree with this, but I think if you are not abusing them, it shouldn't be an issue. Good luck, have you researched your procedure? Has your doctor told you exactlly what he is doing, why he is doing it, and how long your recovery should be? These are all valid questions.

BrianG

PS I'd also ask to speak with another patient, whom he has cured, that had the same symptoms as yourself.

Re: how to prepare yourself for surgery

kay on 7/01/02 at 14:07 (088867)

hi rochelle, i too made some cassaroles and froze them. i also bought some frozen meals from the freezer section of the grocery store. even though you have this done don't worry about feeding your family especially the first week. they should take care of you! its your turn to be taken care of while you are recouping. another thing you may want to do is make sure you have bottled water. my husband left me one by my bed, by the sofa, by my computer and in the kitchen. yeah it was warm but it was handy when i needed it, especially if you need a pill. find a wheel chair you can borrow or rent. this will come in handy when your are dizzy or sore from the crutches. it makes it easier to do things like cook. i can turn my wheel chair around and facing it i can put my knee on the seat and thereby keeping my foot off the floor and keeping my balance easy. you'll find with crutches you cannot carry anything. i get around with my knee in my wheel chair and pushing with my hands. get plenty to read, have a remote to the t.v. and easy access to your computer. boredom rules when you are house bound. i am not allowed to start stepping on my foot for a few more weeks. good luck i am sure many more has other ideals for you and will be posted here.
kay

Re: how to prepare yourself for surgery

Missy B on 7/01/02 at 17:44 (088870)

Hi Rochelle,
I live alone, so when I knew I was going to have my surgery, I made all sorts of plans which really paid off.
Preparing dinners and freezing them or just stocking the freezer with frozen entrees is a life-saver during those first few weeks if your husband does not like to cook. I also stocked my shelves with non-perisables so that I would not need to send my neighbors to the market for anything other than bread, milk, fruit, etc. If you have your dishes, glasses, bowls,etc. in cupboards that are up high, you might want to move a few of them down to where you can reach them from a stool or chair.
Like Kay, I used a wheelchair alot in my apartment those first few weeks. Knowing that I would be using the chair or a walker ( I only used my crutches when I went outdoors), I moved alot of my furniture around so that I could get around easily without bumping into things. I really got quite good with the wheelchair and like Kay said, it makes some things much easier than if you are on crutches. I could get into my fridge and carry a lap full of containers to the countertop. I could reach my stovetop, microwave, and oven from my chair, so I was not trying to balance on crutches while cooking. I just put my cutting board on my lap when I wanted to carry something hot. I could also do my dishes from the wheelchair - another thing that would have been very awkward on crutches. And don't forget the laundry - I carried the dirty laundry to the washer and the clean clothes from the dryer on my lap.
When I was able to put some weight on my foot (I had a cam walker on it) I used a regular medical walker to lean into and this helped me balance and also begin using my legs again. I tied a tote bag on the front of the walker to carry things in - a book, a bottle of water,etc.
The stool in the tub is a great idea. Because I live alone, my doctor would not let me bathe in the tub (in case I would slip) until my stitches came out (3 weeks), so I had to wash at the bowl. Again, I used a small stool to sit on. At 3 weeks, I was allowed to stand on my foot without the cam walker long enough to take a shower every day - believe me, that was the best part of recovery!!!!!
One other thing I did, which made a big difference in the bathroom, was to borrow a riser seat for the commode. Unless you have something you can lean on to help raise yourself up those first few days, you may find it hard not to put your foot down for balance. Of course, I am a little overweight, so if you are 'fit-as-a-fiddle', you may not have trouble pulling yourself up on only one foot.
If you like to read, get yourself a supply of good books or magazines. I started cross-stitching again to help pass the time, and of course I spent a lot of time on the computer - that is when I found this website.
Of course, most of these suggestions imply that you will have a conservative doctor like many of us have had, and that you will be off your feet for several weeks. If your doctor is one who will have you walking in a week, in a regular shoe at 2 weeks, and back to normal activities in 3 or 4 weeks, then you may not need all this preparation. Discuss with him/her what your recovery timeframe is expected to be and then you will know just how much to prepare for.
Good luck and keep in touch with us so we know how you are doing.
Missy B.

Re: how to prepare yourself for surgery

rochelle on 7/02/02 at 09:50 (088918)

wow- all of you are SO informative!! Thanks for all of your help-it will all be done! (this is true!) If anyone else has ideas-post them, it could help someone else too!

Brian, thanks for all of the info on the doc. I will ask the questions that you advised.

Gotta go find a wheelchair now. (ugh)

Re: how to prepare yourself for surgery

Sarah T. on 7/02/02 at 16:53 (088941)

My doctor offered to order me a wheelchair to be available after surgery and then the insurance would pay for the rental of it. I did not use mine around the house as I live in an old farmhouse that has narrow doorways but I did enjoy having it to get out of the house. It was nice to be able to go to the mall. Funny though, I always felt embarrassed in it for some reason. ? I know I shouldn't have but that's just how I felt. Our family tried out some frozen dinners ahead of time to see what we liked. We found some things we really enjoyed! One obstacle I ran into after my surgery was a shower stool. I didn't realize I would be so sore from using the crutches and I found a taller stool helped so I wouldn't have to pick myself up so far! I put a lap pad and basket next to the recliner and that kept my 'junk' handy, yet not so messy. You will just have to prepare yourself to just look at the dust and know it's okay because you can't do anything about it. I alternated using my crutches and a walker. They use different muscles. I remember being so sore one night that I actually crawled to bed because my stomach muscles were so sore! I'm telling how out of shape I am! Oh me. I got chair on wheels that I could put my knee on and wheel around the kitchen in. A backpack is also handy to carry stuff from room to room when you are using both hands on your crutches. Use bottles with a top so you can just carry your drink in the backpack. I wish you the best of luck and hope you will take your recovery SLOWLY. It will be worth it in the long run. ---Sarah

Re: how to prepare yourself for surgery

Maggie L. on 7/02/02 at 21:35 (088976)

Rochelle, looks like everything I was going to say has been covered! I, too, used a rolling chair (not a wheelchair) in my house when needed. Certainly not as versatile as a wheelchair, but can help in a pinch. Bottled water, backpack, easy food, reading, all very good suggestions. I used a thermos on days I was working at home and my boyfriend had made coffee - this way I could actually have hot coffee out in the living room where I was positioned with my work. You can also (sort of) carry hot beverages in a closed travel mug, but I'd be careful as you definitely don't want to slosh and burn yourself. Good luck!