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Kayde
10-10-2011, 07:16 PM
Any suggestions on what type of assistance is really needed after you come home the hospital if you are fused to L1 and stay in the hospital for 8 days? Can you get your own sandwiches and soup, go to the restroom, take your own sponge bath and not need someone with 24/7? Oct 24 is my scheduled date so I am running out of time to make my preparations. Idk what type of pain and limitations I should expect. At 2 am the thoughts that run through your mind are not realistic and neither are the ones at 2pm for that matter. Seems in my head i can go from barely moving to doing it all in that amount of time just need to know what I really should expect

LindaRacine
10-10-2011, 07:42 PM
Hi...

I had a 5 level extension to a prior fusion in January of this year. I'm 61. I went to stay with a friend after surgery, but discovered I didn't really need anyone's help, and I knew I'd be more comfortable at home. So, by the 3rd day after being released from surgery, I was home alone. I was able to do everything myself with a few exceptions. Obviously, I couldn't drive. So, I needed people to run errands for me, or take me to the store, appointments, etc. The only other thing I needed help with was getting something out of a bottom drawyer. I got pretty proficient with the grabber, so could even do my own wash.

Regards,
Linda

Kayde
10-10-2011, 08:30 PM
Lol-I put all my lights on remote controls, got 5 outfits out on the top shelf that is eye level, got a sock aid and bought two grabbers and have been practicing everyday with them. They are harder to use than I expected. I have a good recliner in case I can't get in and out of the bed and installed the higher toilets just in case. Been clearing out my cabinets and my house trying to make things easier but it is hard to know what to expect. That's really good that you didn't need much help. Makes me feel better. I know I can't do laundry or sweep and mop so I am hoping insurance can help me with that.

Pooka1
10-10-2011, 08:39 PM
I had two teenagers fused to L1.

The main issue would be to have meals prepared and to have an alarm clock to wake you to take your pain meds in the first week or so after you come home.

I think the rest is doable.

Good luck.

Pooka1
10-10-2011, 08:47 PM
Can you get your own sandwiches and soup, go to the restroom, take your own sponge bath and not need someone with 24/7?

Just to answer specifically, I think you will be able to do all this by yourself. You may feel better having someone there, though.

LindaRacine
10-10-2011, 09:02 PM
Lol-I put all my lights on remote controls, got 5 outfits out on the top shelf that is eye level, got a sock aid and bought two grabbers and have been practicing everyday with them. They are harder to use than I expected. I have a good recliner in case I can't get in and out of the bed and installed the higher toilets just in case. Been clearing out my cabinets and my house trying to make things easier but it is hard to know what to expect. That's really good that you didn't need much help. Makes me feel better. I know I can't do laundry or sweep and mop so I am hoping insurance can help me with that.

Insurance pay for that??? Surely, you jest! :)

judyat60
10-10-2011, 09:31 PM
I know there are lots of threads on the must-haves for scoli surgery but….whew! I can't wrap my head around it.

I am scheduled for surgery Oct 19, T4-sacrum and have also spent the last 2 weeks wondering and researching what I will really need. ugh!

I've focused on getting my billing mostly on auto pay and my documents in order (Health directives, etc) and just purchased some button up shirts/yoga pants/fleece since I'll probably have a brace, and my friend gave me her 3 grabbers from her hip surgery time. Other than that, I've decided to wait and see, the hospital will let me know what other objects I will need.

I do have friends/family scheduling staying with me, and while I don't want to burden them with running around picking up things I should have prepared for…I've decided it may just be that in the end, if necessary. Either I will really need help, or I will accept the luxury of being the one to be taken care of (a true lesson for most of us, I'm sure).

Where are you having surgery done? ru in NYC area?
Good luck!
Judy

LindaRacine
10-10-2011, 10:28 PM
One more thing that I found very helpful was running a power strip in every room, at tabletop height, so I could plug in my laptop, iPhone, iPad, etc., wherever I was.

Doreen1
10-11-2011, 08:19 AM
I am scheduled for surgery Oct 19, T4-sacrum
Good luck!
Judy

Hi Judy,

Who is your surgeon?

Warmly,
Doreen

Kayde
10-11-2011, 08:44 AM
I bought some extent ion cords and hung them on my walls where I will be sitting or sleeping. Got phone and iPad alarms for waking up, bought depends. - just in case lol-they really needs better styles. I have two bath brushes and waterless shampoo, I glued razors to paint sticks...just in case, and I bought a few things of lip balm, got lots of ensures, put my super market and laundry on notice I would need deliveries and pick ups, got paper goods, vitamins, paper towels, toliet paper, put bills on autopsy for 3 months- got two grabbers, everything on remote I can do, recliner that is electric...just feel like I am forgetting something important. I have never Beemer "down" before so it will be hard to do nothing- got books and cards and some movies but not much of a tv or movie watcher. I uploaded a lot of photos into my computer and thought I would do some online scrapbooking since real life scrapbooking seems to be more than I can organize and keep up with. I am hoping I need very little assistance- dr Moreno always has an ivc filter inserted which I had done yesterday-a little more swollen and sore than I expected. The hospital nurse commented on what a monster curve I have (LOVE those comments) and then wanted to know what kind of pain I think I will be in after the back surgery-told her10 plus, then she wanted to know what kind of pain I thought I would be in after I go home in 3 days- seriously? Told her that since she commented on the size of my curve and all my internal organs would shift that after 3 days I figured I would be 9 plus unless she thought the pain would be gone by then. She said- oh I guess I see your point probably will take you more than 3 days to have the pain stop. But humana does actually have some home care programs as does my short term disability from work so I am going to look into them and see if any if the aftercare they offer covers more than just a home health nurse I know I got something like that for my dad and grandmother years ago. But things change with ins quickly :(.

Lorz
10-11-2011, 08:57 AM
Hi,
I was fused T3-S1 in June of this year. I was in good health prior to the surgery, exercised regularly, and expected i would not need a lot of help post-op. It turned out I had several complications, and needed a lot more help than anticipated. Also, I was not used to narcotic pain killers, so they really knocked me out. I would say, try to arrange someone being with you for the first 2 weeks, around the clock, if possible. After that, you should have someone to run errands, clean, do laundry. If you prepare food ahead of time, and freeze it, that is very helpful. If friends offer to bring you food, let them! You may not need this much help, but if you have it arranged ahead of time, you will be prepared if you do.
Equipment wise, what I found helpful was a shower chair, grabber, lots and lots of pillows for positioning, and a electric hospital bed for a few weeks(my insurance covered it). Also, for the "wiping" question, I couldn't reach to do it for several weeks. I had purchased an aide on Amazon, called the "Bottom Buddy", and it worked great! I did not need the raised toilet seat, so I sent it back. Putting everything you will need at waist level is also a really good idea. And, as Ed always stresses, the memory foam topper for your bed is essential!
Good luck to everyone facing surgery. Hope this helped.

judyat60
10-11-2011, 03:46 PM
Doreen--I'm with Boachie for surgery. After being on this forum for awhile, I made a list of the top 3-4 docs all talked about and loved and he was simply the first one I wrote down. I'm confident with him

My pre surgery meeting with him yesterday was pretty uneventful, but confirmed that I will wait until surgery to assess all the items I may need post-op. I have wonderful family/friends to assist me..; )
Judy

Doreen1
10-11-2011, 03:49 PM
I will keep both of you, Judy and Kayde, in my prayers for successful surgeries and smooth recoveries :-)

Warmly,
Doreen

djkinkead
10-11-2011, 04:14 PM
Being seven weeks out of surgery and having both top and bottom fused, I agree it would best to have someone stay with you the first week--two if possible. You are on some heavy duty drugs and it is just nice to have someone there for the "what if" type of incidents and it may alleviate some anxiety.

When I was in the hospital, they had me on a decather (sp?) until I could get out of the bed myself.

Definately have a chair in your walk in shower. My husband found a great one that had a holder for the hand held shower item right on the chair.

Oh, by the way, that weird long handled sponge on a stick thing is really hard to use. Go to a Bed Bath and Beyond or similar store and buy this:

http://www.amazon.com/Aquasentials-Aquabella-Deluxe-Mesh-Brush/dp/B001C2WQNY/ref=pd_sim_dbs_bt6

This has been so perfect for using to wash my back and body... and is easy to rinse.

What else can I remember....the power strip thing at table top is a must.

We put a mini frig close to our bed--so I could store things in there to eat because you need to eat everytime you take your pain meds.

That is all I can think of for now...

Kayde
10-11-2011, 06:00 PM
Omg that is exactly the bath thing I purchased. Amazon has been really great for everything from grabbers to back scratchers. I have a mini fridge downstairs. Hadn't thought of bringing it up. Excellent idea. I did buy the memory topper for the bed and a heated mattress pad and heated throw. Just in case. I have cards and lots of kindle books and I'm sure some angry birds will be in there somewhere. I was thinking of having someone half a day. All my people have jobs or live in other states so I sort of have to do this by myself as much as I can since I can't afford to hire someone and then you never know what you get. My cat uses the toilet and not a litter box so that will be easy. Teaching him to eat and drink on a counter now so I can reach his food etc. My shower has a built in corner seat but I guess I should remove the shampoo from it and see if it is functional. If not I guess I need a chair. Just hope hospital stay is only a few days so I won't have to be tethered to things- I hate that. I put my vitamins and pills in baggies and then in a big plastic box I can keep with me so I will have doses a,ready measured. Pain pills will be the only thing I will have to bag and idk if they will let me have the scripts and bag while I am in the hospital or not. Nurses get funny about that stuff. My biggest worry is the stairs to my house. I have no other way in except stairs so that will be a challenge- and the ride home. If God can get me through all this then I am sure he can get me the rest of the way.

Kayde
10-11-2011, 06:02 PM
I always need the prayers. Thanks so much! It means a lot.

djkinkead
10-11-2011, 06:56 PM
Yeah, I had thought I would be doing a lot of reading during my first month of recoup, but brain cells just weren't with it--concentration problems. Netflix became my best entertainment--I am still going through Lost 2004--tv series on it.

What surgeon are you going to?

I like someone's idea of alarm clock to wake you for your meds--I didn't do that and found I woke myself up within an hour (I was and still doing meds every four hours) of when they were due. Try to find a good four hour rotation...right now what isn't too bad is every four hours doing 6 a.m., 10 a.m. 2 pm, 6 pm, 10 pm 2 a.m the start again--it means you only really get up once in the middle of the night...might be easier on you.

Will also be saying prayers for you. God is in control!!!!

The raised toilet seat is nice, not so rude when you are half sleep/drugged and need to go in the middle of the night and you don't have to go so far down to "land".... I know that sounds funny, but its true.

The one thing I am still marveling at is where did the first month after the surgery go? You really lose track of days....it's bizzare...your world revolves around your four hour pain meds.

Learning to move around in bed is a challenge. Log rolls. Getting out of bed properly....I practice before the surgery.

Lastly, memory foam is a wonderful thing....it does reflect heat back, so you may not need heated blankets....everyone is different.

Okay, that's my latest brain drain on what I have gone through for the last few months...

Dollie

Kayde
10-11-2011, 07:14 PM
I am going to Anthony Moreno. I did some surgery last year and the rotation was terrible. I had forgotten about that. Timing is everything. I hate getting up in the middle of the night. I think I will put those times in my alarms now so I dont forget When I first had the high toilets installed I landed way too close so it was always like a crash landing. Lol. Now when I use regular restrooms I feel like I am sitting on the floor. And it does change the way you do business so to speak. Trying to keep my sense of humor. My friend has a degenerative spine disease and he has lost almost all mobility and can't even hold his baby now and no surgery will ever make it right. He has had both hips replaced a shoulder that is now frozen in place and the other is on it's way to being the same. He and I are both in our mid forty's. I know no matter what someone is always worse. Not a competition I ever want to win but makes me grateful each day. He s one if the happiest most positive person most all the time I tell myself if hrpe can face that I can do this. And I figure anything I read I won't remember anyway. Hahaha
But I do have to get back to work in 5 weeks so that is a real challenge in my head.

titaniumed
10-11-2011, 08:17 PM
Hi Kayde, Judy, and others going in.

I would suggest the foam topper for the bed. I have a medium tempurpedic, and it wasn’t soft enough. I struggled with sleeping in my recovery till I bought the foam and soft down pillows are a must, many of them.

Also, 1-2 bottles of Magnesium Citrate just in case you need to blow up a dam. It will save a trip back to the hospital....Its sold over the counter and runs about $1.25 per bottle. Constipation is something you want to avoid at all cost, some Doctors recommend going nuclear. We all get constipated to some degree or another. Consider it your fire extinguisher. I was told NEVER to take x-lax.

Having your support system in place, (trained, of course) is important. Practice your moans, if they run, you have it perfected!

I still try once in a while, but nobody comes anymore.....lol
Ed

backissues
10-11-2011, 08:28 PM
I am 10 months post-op and am trying to think of helpful hints.

Someone on the Forum suggested I buy silk pajamas so I could slide in bed to move around. (They can be silky polyester. I found them at Kohl's.) I found this very helpful. I bought 2 pairs so I could wash one and wear one.

Because I couldn't tie my shoes (and still can't), I bought elastic laces to use in my existing walking shoes or whatever "sneakers" you use. You will need to get up and walk when you are home. I chose to get the elastic laces instead of new shoes because I knew the existing ones were comfortable.

In the hospital, they had a set of aides that I bought. One was a "dressing stick." I found that useful for several months to help put on pants. There is also a tool to help with putting socks on.

In addition to a long-handled tool for the shower, I bought a sponge like long-handled tool to spread lotion on legs and anywhere you can't reach. I also bought a shower head that can be used hand held. I wasn't allowed to get water on my back until the last of the scabs had come off from my incision. That took a while. I learned to take showers facing the water and be careful.

Buy some Gatorade or other real juice drinks to keep you hydrated. Water isn't enough by itself when you are on narcotics, though I mixed it half and half. You have to keep your sodium and potassium levels up.

Ed has lots of advice about constipation associated with the drugs.

I followed his advice about the foam topper and am glad I did.

I never had a hospital bed and was able to get upstairs in my house from the first day I was home. They taught me to climb stairs using a cane. I did have a single day bed in my familyroom so I could rest and sleep downstairs. Dr. Rand doesn't want patients propped up on pillows, so my husband used blocks under the head end of the bed to raise it up so I could watch TV. Then, I could use one pillow.

With the brace, you will need crew neck t-shirts, or higher neck, to go under it. Then, you can put on whatever over the brace. I had it disguised so no one really noticed. I wore elastic-waist pants, or pants with ties at the waist, until I stopped wearing the brace and that was helpful.

I did use a raised toilet seat for the reasons mentioned about nighttime and not having to sit DOWN so low. I brought the cane into the bathroom to help me get up from the toilet for a while after surgery.

That's all I can think of right now.

It is amazing how much you forget. It is kind of like child birth where it isn't easy when you are going through it but the result is worth any discomfort.

Good luck,
Irene

Elisa
10-11-2011, 08:36 PM
It's a little different when your kid is the one recovering and of course as a mom I was willing to do it all. Thing is, once Elias was home, out of the hospital and out of halo traction, he was everywhere! Seriously, the first night we were home I went downstairs to the family room and he was there, sitting on a chair watching TV. I had no idea he'd be walking down the steep stairs and wandering all over the house. I spent most of my time telling him everything he shouldn't be doing.

As an adult, I recall 'lilysaidwhat' suggesting mouth wipes to clean your teeth and freshen your mouth while in the hospital. Great idea.

golfnut
10-11-2011, 08:39 PM
Kayde and Judy,
People have already given good suggestions. These are the items that I found necessary: throw away razor taped to long handled back scratcher. I probably used this for 6 months replacing the razor as needed, Skeetcher Tennis shoes with no shoe strings, jogging suits, 5 grabbers, tongs as a bathroom aide (no way did I think I would need this, but certainly did need it for several months), sock aide-super easy to use, body pillows that I found at Wal-mart-log rolled onto two of them side by side nightly, long handled shoe horns, Net-flix subscription, lots of books. I thought I was pretty independent, but got dizzy and blacked out at about 3 weeks post-op and was certainly glad my husband was home. Naturally, he went crazy, but it was still good that I wasn't alone. After my experiecne, I think you should use a walker until you are off of the heavy pain medication. Best of luck to both of your for successful surgeries and smooth recoveries. Just think . . . next year at this time, you'll be giving suggestions to those waiting for surgery!

titaniumed
10-11-2011, 08:45 PM
Ed has lots of advice about constipation associated with the drugs.

Irene

I think I do this since being constipated on 100mg of Percoset + was one of the most painful things I have ever experianced, and I have passed kidney stones.

A/P scoli surgery I rate a 10 on a pain level
8mm kidney stone that jams in the ureter, 15
My constipation at 6 weeks, 10

Irene, you HAVE done well. Congratulations!!!
Ed

titaniumed
10-11-2011, 08:49 PM
My surgeon wanted me to go to the Dentist and make sure everything in my mouth was fine and dandy......

Ed

Elisa
10-11-2011, 08:54 PM
You're not alone Ed b/c Elias was absolutely miserable about not being able to go pee after his first surgery and he had to be catheterized three times and then after his second surgery he couldn't go poo for a while. He didn't complain much about having his back ripped open twice and bolts in his head though.

Kayde
10-11-2011, 09:30 PM
Constipation is what I dread the most. I am on highnamounts of magnesium due to foot and legs cramps and ibs years ago that the magnesium cured. I am hoping if I clear out the road completely before surgery and can take thenmagnesium then I an hopeful I can avoid that the best can. it's just miserable. After my first child I had it so bad t
I thought I would have surgery it was so bad

djkinkead
10-11-2011, 09:33 PM
While we are talking about best practices and memory foam is mentioned, you need to realize memory foam comes in different densities.

I weigh a whopping 120 lbs, so I need the least dense foam available which is a 3 lb density. Go to Ebay and search memory foam--you learn alot about it from the ads.

People weighing more need higher a higher density. I also saw the way you sleep may affect how thick a topper you need.

Our bed already had 1.5 inches of memory foam on it, so I just purchased 2 inch 3.3 lb density memory foam topper.

I haven't been impressed with the memory foam I see sold is some stores--I did buy one that said it would be "cooler"....it had little squares taken out of it. I put it down on the bed, laid down and realized those missing squares pretty much made the foam useless. Back to the store it went.

It's fun to see others had the same higher toilet experience.....when you aren't with it, not having to get down to a normal level toilet is a good thing....

Lorz
10-12-2011, 07:53 AM
I just thought of another really helpful item, which I am still using now- a bed rail that slides between your mattress and boxspring. It is really helpful for log rolling, and getting leverage to sit up. Again, I bought mine on Amazon, and am so glad I did. I also bought a bath step from there to put next to my bed, since it is really high, and I am still using that also. Once you are able to take a bath, it is useful to get in and out of the tub too.

boomergal
10-12-2011, 10:49 AM
For my first surgery I had satin PJ's, which made it easier to turn over in bed. For my second surgery I
added satin sheets (available from JCP.com) They make changing position a breeze. I highly recommend
them. I also recommend having Gas-X on hand. (sarahcant, your post "sushi = gas" still makes me laugh.)

Mary
Fused T2-T12 on 7/5/11 with Dr. Boachie
Fusion extended to L4 on 9/21/11

scooter950
10-12-2011, 12:35 PM
just wanted to say .. this is great! I love reading everythign, never thought about the electric plugs at table top level! I will be buying many aides... but I really appreciate all the advice everyone is sharing- defeintly geting the badrail gizmo. :-)

I think I really am underestimating the pain ( or overestimating my own abilities?) - I look at my house, my bathroom and I think "I;ll be OK" but in reality- I need to prepare for the worst case scenario.

About shaving- can't you bend your leg across- at the knee? That's how I clip my nails now- I was thinking, they aren't operating on my hip joints so can't I still bend at the knee, and reach my legs & toes?

again, thank you to all for sharing your experience- this is great! Jamie

judyat60
10-12-2011, 03:02 PM
yes lots of great suggestions, thanks to you all for repeating what was said months ago but is now more critical to me personally.. alarms clocks for meds, electric plugs table height, silk Pajamas (now that's not a tough one to accept!)…all things I wouldn't think of….sigh. I actually woke up at 7 am this morning and said 'next week at this time i will be driving into NYC for my surgery." wow did that come out of no where…and I quickly put it out of my mind.

so my question about toppers: I have a soft bed…is soft good for after surgery? or conversely, will a foam topper work on a soft bed to give it more support?
judy

leahdragonfly
10-12-2011, 04:03 PM
Hi Judy,

you've gotten a lot of good advice so far. I wanted to comment about the bed. I have a very nice Tempurpedic bed, but it was way too soft and unsupportive for me after surgery. I had a hospital bed waiting for me when I got home, and my family put it in the living room (in front of the TV), so I could lay down and watch, and also to be near everyone downstairs. I slept on the hospital bed for at least 6 weeks, at which point I was able to go back to my bed. The hospital bed was good because it was very supportive. I kept several pillows for behind my back, then a head pillow on each end. The blankets were not tucked at either end. It was very painful/difficult for me to roll over in bed to change sides, so what I would do was log-roll/pivot up to a sit, then pivot (without twisting) back with my head facing the other direction. This worked great for me.

Also, it can't be said enough that you will need to take stool softeners and laxatives every day for awhile, especially while on narcotics. I would have a supply of that at home. There is plenty of info about this in a thread titled, I think, "constipation."

BTW, I did not need any wiping aids, I was able to manage this fine. I did use baby wipes for awhile as they seemed to do a better job.

As for shaving, yes, you can bend at the hips, but it will be painful to lean forward at all for awhile, you probably lean forward at least some when you do this. I got my legs waxed right before, as Melissa suggested, and it lasted some weeks. You will not care at all for at least a week how your legs look anyway!

Good luck, and please let us know how things are going.

JenniferG
10-12-2011, 04:05 PM
For me, the ideal sleeping surface was firm but with a foam topper.

Just wanted to wish you well for your final and most gruelling week and I hope that you reach that stage of calmness and acceptance that so many of us do. It certainly makes it easier in the last day or two.

djkinkead
10-12-2011, 05:19 PM
My husband reminded me of this tonight....

Get a tiny little notebook and keep it by your bed and log everytime you take your meds. I divided each page into three columns. Time first column, amount of first medicine in second column and amount of second medicine in third column. Only write in the log right after you take the meds.

Now, if you set alarms to take your meds, maybe you wouldn't need a log--I didn't do any alarms (I hate them so use them minimally), so I depended on when I happened to wake up (which was usually within an hour of when I needed to take a med), and then recorded what I took.

Kayde
10-12-2011, 06:22 PM
I went to jcpenny and got another memory topper and some satin sheets and two pairs of silky pj's. Got on amazon and got the bed rail and I got another pack of razors and more paint sticks to glue onto. I don't think I had enough. I got a butt buddy and after sitting in my corner seat in the shower I think I may need the shower chair after all. I have everything electronic on remote control and I have brought my mini fridge upstairs. Got my laptop, signed up for netfixs and downloaded all the angry bird versions. My mailman knows and has agreed to bring my mail to the door so I don't have to go to the mailbox. I think I will spend the next weekend making food and putting into the food saver bags so I can just heat up water in a pan and heat up my food. Love the food saver- had forgotten about that since all my kids are grown and away. So i can make a menu All the suggestions have been really awesome. I cleared out most of my rooms to make sure nothing is in the floor and a walker can get thru. Button and zip up shirts. Better pain med times and alarms preset so I don't forget lots of sweatpants and bills on autopay as much as I can. The last thing i need to do is miss a bill or worse pay it twice. Short term disability only pays a portion of my salary. My job has been great though about letting me work from home as long as i need to so I won't have to ride the hour and a half each way to work for a few months. LOVE the suggestions.

judyat60
10-14-2011, 04:11 PM
Since my surgery date is approaching and I've been hunkered down doing the paperwork and bills in advance, and going through the pre-op visits, I've been getting a bit more nervous…it is really going to happen and soon…5 days

While I am not as organized as Kayde (I am sooo impressed) another avenue appeared for me to get the things I need during recovery.

So what's been happening: friends and ex-colleagues have been calling to wish me luck, take me out for a drink or dinner…wow, have I needed this. Keeps me distracted and less focused to be nervous. I guess it's partly my age, but many folks I know have had hip or knee surgery already, so while talking to them supplies have appeared: 3 friends have provided me with the shower seat, raised toilet, sock assist, 3 grabbers, a back sponge thing, and a stick with a cup hook on one end and a u-ey hook type thing on the other (don't know what that is for, she had taped a razor to it)…all the things I would have waited to purchase. And they are all asking to be put on a list to help. wow, I feel so so fortunate!
I do need to purchase the memory topper and possibly hospital bed rental and get my music prepared…and then I sort of feel I'm done for now. the odds and ends of electric plugs, meds notebooks, etc will be my caretakers jobs…again, I am very lucky!

It reminds me of when I had my first baby, I didn't need to purchase anything, all my friends loaned me their baby items…boy, opposite ends of life, huh? baby walkers and adult walkers...Ironic…

I am trying to remain calm as I have been to now, which sounds opposite of many of you.
thank you all for yor support,
Judy

Kayde
10-14-2011, 09:24 PM
Omg Judy I was thinking when I purchased the wet wipes, the walker, the depends and putting things at eye level that it was like preparing for when I had my children. Lol. I don't feel very organized..I just dont have much support to help me so I'm trying to prepare so I don't worry so much. Must be a strange sort of nesting Got some disturbing news today that I have to be fused to L4. Makes it more difficult. There were so many wonderful suggestions. I just hope the hospital will let me plug in my iPad and my blackberry so I can at least feel that I am connected to the world. I will be happy when I can get back to work and feel normal and not so distracted by the what if's.

golfnut
10-14-2011, 11:13 PM
Kayde,
I wouldn't think you would need Depends. I don't know of anyone who has needed them. I recommend Flushable Wipes. I about made myself crazy with all of my "what if" thoughts before surgery. Fortunately, my recovery was so much smoother than I ever hoped it could be. I had plenty of good books and Netflix movies as well as music on my Ipod.

LindaRacine
10-14-2011, 11:29 PM
Omg Judy I was thinking when I purchased the wet wipes, the walker, the depends and putting things at eye level that it was like preparing for when I had my children. Lol. I don't feel very organized..I just dont have much support to help me so I'm trying to prepare so I don't worry so much. Must be a strange sort of nesting Got some disturbing news today that I have to be fused to L4. Makes it more difficult. There were so many wonderful suggestions. I just hope the hospital will let me plug in my iPad and my blackberry so I can at least feel that I am connected to the world. I will be happy when I can get back to work and feel normal and not so distracted by the what if's.
You might want to check with the hospital about having your cellphone and iPad with you. Most hospitals don't supply secure storage. I had planned to get my iPhone from a friend once I was out of the fog. By the time I was out of the fog, it was time to leave the hospital. So, if I'd have had my phone with me, I would never have used it anyway. I don't think I ever even turned on the TV.

judyat60
10-15-2011, 08:54 AM
One of my main concerns in the hospital and home was remaining calm, meditative, and relaxed during recovery. Since music has such great impact on my psyche during normal times, I thought if I loaded more soothing classical, jazz, etc to an IPod,that it would help me through. Is this over-thinking what my condition will really feel like? Will I be in such a fog with drugs etc, that time goes, and you are simply in a 'suspended state' recuperating? I don't expect to be forcused enough to 'work' or be socializing.

golfnut
10-15-2011, 12:07 PM
Judy,
I just asked my husband and he said I didn't listen to my iPod in the hospital. I talked to a few people who called me, but not too coherently according to him. I don't even think I watched tv. I was glad that I spent quite a bit of time downloading lots of my favorite songs and CD's onto my IPod. It made my indoor walking laps not quite so boring. I know this sounds pretty corny, but I downloaded "Feeling Stronger Every Day" and "I Will Survive.". I was also bound and determined that i would not get depressed after my surgery and had posted some quotes from David Wolpert's book to read if I needed an attitude adjustment. I had some trouble sleeping when I got home and listened to a relaxation CD.

paula
10-15-2011, 08:03 PM
There are only a couple of things I'd add to the above. I had my mom here for 3 weeks after I came home. She's 77, so not real spry, but having company was very nice. She really felt better too. She didn't have to worry about how I was doing since she was right here. And, her presence made my husband feel better about going to work. My college son was also around, and he was great help. You can probably assemble some simple meals, but you'll be surprised at how tired you are.

Stairs were easy for me. I had worried about that before the surgery, but the last three days in the hospital, the PT had me climbing stairs and I was amazed at how well I could do it.

My husband brought my laptop down for me every evening in the hospital. I read some of my email, but I really wasn't coherent enough to do much with it for a few days after the second surgery. I did send my son an email where I had typed with one hand in the wrong position for the whole thing, and didn't even notice. The laptop also seemed immensely heavy. I had gotten a new cell phone a couple of weeks before the surgery and trying to remember how to use it was cognitively demanding.

The first few days sound bad, but you'll be out of it too much to notice. I would take my own pillow to the hospital, and maybe something to go under you in the bed. Those plastic mattress protectors in the hospital make me sweat like a pig.

I have some slip on shoes from Merrell and I've worn them almost every day since the surgery. They are supportive enough for walking, but easy to put on and very comfortable.

And, as others have said, try to put anything you use regularly above waist level. It'll be quite awhile before you can bend over to reach it.

If you can afford it, get a housekeeper for at least a little while. I used Dream Dinners to make and store a few weeks worth of meals before the surgery. If you have some kind of physical problem, they will assemble them for you at no cost, and so we have gotten twelve dinners a month since the surgery and they're really nice to have on days that we're busy, or I'm too tired to cook a meal all myself.

I'm four months out after surgery now, and I feel pretty good, so sometimes, I just forget that I'm going to need help. My husband was out of town for a few days this week, and the first night he was gone, I realized that I couldn't close my windows myself (they're pretty lousy windows). I had to call a neighbor to come and shut them for me at night.

But, within about 6 weeks of the surgery, I had less pain than I had had in about 5 years. I'm very happy with the decision I made.

judyat60
10-17-2011, 08:41 AM
I'm just about set for the surgery in 2 days. The responses to the material needs here have also answered many questions and concerns about the physical challenges, successes and coping skills acquired, as varied as they are.

My feelings have gone from early denial and anger in january, to calm and acceptance to recently some small bouts of fear and anxiety. I now feel strong and ready. You have all gone through this and so can I. It will be tough in the beginning, but I will come through it fine, just as you all have.

My friend took a 'before' picture of my back last night…I have seen the hump in a bending position for the first time! wow…with the pain on the left side, I didn't realize the bulge was actually on the right this whole time…sigh, realizations are still surfacing to me.

Thank you all. It has been an interesting journey thus far, through all of your stories. what an amazing group
Judy

Doreen1
10-17-2011, 08:47 AM
I'm just about set for the surgery in 2 days. The responses to the material needs here have also answered many questions and concerns about the physical challenges, successes and coping skills acquired, as varied as they are.

My feelings have gone from early denial and anger in january, to calm and acceptance to recently some small bouts of fear and anxiety. I now feel strong and ready. You have all gone through this and so can I. It will be tough in the beginning, but I will come through it fine, just as you all have.

My friend took a 'before' picture of my back last night…I have seen the hump in a bending position for the first time! wow…with the pain on the left side, I didn't realize the bulge was actually on the right this whole time…sigh, realizations are still surfacing to me.

Thank you all. It has been an interesting journey thus far, through all of your stories. what an amazing group
Judy

I'm praying that your surgeon and his team will be well rested and focused during your surgery, Judy. Also praying for healing and recovery for you. Have you thought of asking someone to post your post-op updates here on the forum for you? Just think, in about 72 hours you'll be on the other side! :-)

Warmly,
Doreen

golfnut
10-17-2011, 11:36 AM
Judy,
We 60 year olds are tough. You'll do just fine. I'll be thinking of you and wishing you a successful surgery and smooth recovery. Be sure to post when you are able.

jeneemohler
10-18-2011, 01:12 PM
Best wishes to you both, Judy and Kayde.

Soon you will join the ranks of us who have been there. Hang in there-is can be tough at first, but it may not be as bad as you imagine it to be. Golfnut and I both had smooth, uneventful recoveries. I have never regretted having the surgery, and my life has already improved leaps and bounds from the days before surgery. I am confident that you will too! We look forward to hearing from you!

titaniumed
10-18-2011, 08:56 PM
Kayde and Judy,

I’d like to say the same thing.

Hang in there and look forward to having a new spine!

Post when you can
Ed