View Full Version : Traveling home after surgery question....

05-27-2006, 08:36 PM
I am probably going to have my surgery about 4 1/2 hours from my home. We usually have to stop at least once to stretch and go to the restroom when we make the drive.

I am worried about that and if I will be able to attend to myself in the restroom. I am concerned about such things as the toilet being low, whether I'll be able to get out of the car and walk into the convenience store to the restroom, etc.

I will have been hospital for about a week and then another 5 days or so for rehab when I travel.......

05-27-2006, 10:01 PM
You should be able to walk a short distance when you are traveling home. I was told to stop at least once an hour to get out and stretch, walk around a bit, etc., and boy did I need to. It is a little uncomfortable in the car on the way home, so be sure you have pillows to support you and the seat is positioned just how you like it before you take off. You may feel antsy and stopping every hour will help. Also, maybe if you stop to use the bathroom try stopping somewhere where there is likely to be a handicapped bathroom--you may have to do some pre-planning to see what is available before your surgery. Otherwise, just remember to bend at the hips and knees and not the waist, and keep your back straight. And don't forget to take your pain medicine. Good luck.

05-28-2006, 08:56 AM
I have a raised toilet seat at home that just pops on and off. You may want to purchase it ahead of time and pop it on if you need it.

05-28-2006, 03:53 PM
Thank you Summer and Judy for answering me. I appreciate the help.

05-28-2006, 05:11 PM
Hi - along the line of this thread - I live in Hawaii and will be having my surgery on the mainland. I have about a 50 degree thoracic curve and 65 degree lumbar curve and the doctor said he's going to fuse "the whole thing" pointing from my neck to my butt. I will be 55 at the time of the surgery. Does anyone have any tips on flying home and what I'll need to do. I already decided I will spring for first class tickets. Do I need to bring someone with me? Bringing the toilet seat extender sounds like a good idea. Any other ideas or experiences? Thanks

05-28-2006, 06:16 PM
If you can afford the 1st class seats, that is definitely the way to go! I was in 1st class the first 1/2 of my journey (thanks to a wonderful stewardess and captain), but the remainder of the journey was not. And it wasn't as comfortable. They made sure I knew to take my pain pills (they gave me an extra dose) as soon as allowed, and that helped a lot.

If you need any more info, you can pm me. You can do this! Linda

05-30-2006, 10:11 AM
I think looking for a handicapped-accessible restroom would be more practical than carrying in your own toilet seat. (imagine the looks at the convenience store you'd get..lol)
Those are usually high enough and with the bars to help pull up, you should be able to manage ok...

I'm more worried about your long trip in the car... i was in absolute misery when i first left the hospital... I think it was the type of car seat we had... although it is a very smooth-riding car, it was just so low and i could NOT find a comfortable position for the seat even with the extra pillows... i felt EVERY uneven spot in the road and hubby's accelerating and braking in the traffic caused terrible pain for me, and he really was trying to drive carefully, poor man.... It was several months before i could ride 4 1/2 hrs a trip. :(

05-30-2006, 01:58 PM
When I was released from the hospital I was only about 4 days post op. I had to travel about 2 hours home and I have to agree that It was the worst experience that I have ever experienced! My husband has a lifted truck so I knew that would not work and I have a ford explorer so we used my car to travel. I sat up in the front seat with alot of pillows but that wasnt good enough. I felt every bump and crack in the roads and will never forget it. I told my md that this next time he better really medicate me because im not going to go throught this again!
We did stop once and I must say I had a hard time. After surgery it wasnt so much the pain that affected me but it was the nausa. I was very sick the day i left the hospital so when we stopped i was really sick. I was in the restroom and had to scream for my husband b/c i was so sick and couldnt stand up. Gosh even thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach!
For my upcomming surgery in August we decided to rent a car (Van) that I could lay in the back seat and hopefully that will be much better of a experience for me because it will be a 2 hr ride home again.

I would defintly recommend anyone to not travel alone just in case something happens and you need help. After surgery you will need help, there is no way you can do it alone.


05-30-2006, 07:12 PM

I only had about a 40 minute drive home...it seemed like 4 hrs! I wanted to go home in an ambulance because I was so scared of the ride home. My surgeon told me no...he wanted me taking the bumps of the road on my bottom end and not on my back...I guess I see his point. You may want to reconsider trying to lie down during the ride home and just sit on your bottom and do the best you can with plenty of pain meds.

Kindest Regards,

05-31-2006, 05:34 PM
:( I hate to admit this but I'm a nervous wreck when I'm in the car and we hit too many of them, and I know it's b/c I've had three surgeries and have this "thing" in my head and I'm scared that something will break, at 5 month post op...Oh geez the anxiety we have to go through with this surgery :rolleyes: I will say that aven after all these months when I ride for a while in the car I still get pain in the thoracic part of my fusion, but those screws are cause for concern from my doc anyway.

When we used the van/cab service for my last surgery, the ride was much smoother since they strapped me in a wheelchair, but I was very nautious and had to have my bottled water and the window rolled down, it helped.

05-31-2006, 08:53 PM
Well....guess I am in for the ride of my life. Hopefully the Dr. will prescribe some really heavy pain meds to get me through it. Thanks so much for the honest but not so encouraging answers. I really want the truth and I think you gave it to me.