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View Full Version : Considering surgery...Question on bathroom stuff



lostfan
06-07-2006, 04:14 PM
A little gross but I have to know and I know you all will be honest. I have IBS w/diarrhea a few times a week, bad stomach pains, etc. etc. I'm not really worried about the constipation as I know exactly what to eat to bring on the bowel movements BUT I seriously need to know...can you take care of clean up in the bathroom yourself - to put it in a nice way - right after surgery or do you need someone to do that for you? My mom and husband would be my caregivers but even after 9 years of marriage I just can't imagine him having to do this! I know it's probably the last thing to worry about but when you have IBS and are in the bathroom constantly this does tend to be a big deal. I've tried doing this w/o moving my back just to see but when you're really not in pain it's hard to tell what all you're moving.

I was reading Corkscrew's posts about his wife being in the bathroom with him but I didn't know if that was everyone or maybe if it depended on how far the fusion was...I have a T7 - L2 curve so I would imagine I wouldn't be fused the whole way down (but I don't know for sure how that works).

Thanks everyone.

summer
06-07-2006, 04:20 PM
There are some embarassing topics, but necessary. When I finally could go to the bathroom (my last day in the hospital) I did need help and only for two times after that. I was then flexible enough to use the bathroom independently. Just remember everyone is different.

LindaRacine
06-07-2006, 04:22 PM
Hi...

An excellent question. I think it depends on how long and how low your fusion is. Fortunately, if you do need help, a toilet tissue aid can do the trick:

http://www.beabletodo.com/Detail.bok?no=37

Regards,
Linda

CHRIS WBS
06-07-2006, 04:36 PM
I just knew Linda could steer us to some kind of device. This has been a big concern of mine as well since I too suffer from IBS and I will require a long fusion to the sacrum. At least I don't have to worry about feminine hygiene stuff. I believe that would require some dexterity as well. All this stuff to think about.

Chris

lostfan
06-07-2006, 04:37 PM
My goodness. What haven't they thought of! I didn't know such a thing existed. Thanks.

Karen Ocker
06-07-2006, 05:25 PM
Usually the pain meds will stop diarrhea cold. :eek:

There is an excellent self-help web site to get a grip on this which helped me:
helpforibs.com

Actually, since I also have IBS-well controlled using their hints-I was not troubled while on post op pain medicines.

Marcia
06-07-2006, 06:16 PM
I appreciate the question. With surgery from T2-S1 required, I want to be prepared for things like this. I've been married for nearly 34 years, but I have always been totally private in the bathroom. I don't want my husband to help me in this area! Letting him help me shower early on is all I intend to expect of him in the way of personal hygienne! Guess I need to look into ordering the "helper".

lelc2002@yahoo
06-07-2006, 06:41 PM
I really don't want my husband doing more than helping w/ the shower too, Marcia!! I may need that device too! Like I said in another post, they measured my arms at 5'9"or more so I hope(if you can move your arms a bit???) I'll be able to manage! Ly

katblack
06-07-2006, 07:12 PM
I had a long fusion and couldn't reach. My sis is an OT and instead of shelling out $25.95 for a device to wipe my hiney, she went and bought a brand new salad tong.
I know, not what you would use it for but for only like $6, it worked exactly as the pricier contraption does.
She used to work with patients who spent that money and then had some patients who couldn't afford all those kinds of aids so she "invented" stuff.

I still have days these few months later, where I can't reach and I don't understand it.
One trip to the restroom I can reach just fine for all my hygiene needs and some others, I can't. It's very frustrating too.


On the girly issues, I'm not a maxi pad person. I hate the diaper feeling between my legs.
Some trips I can do tampons no problem and others I can't.
You just have to go with it and do what you body wants to do at that moment.

As for when I first came home.
I was drugged to the gills all the time and had a lot of trouble. I'm a single mom. My sons did not wipe my butt for me but they would help get me toilet paper and help me in and out of the shower.
My insurance would not pay for a home health aide for anything other than suture cleaning and changing of the gauze pads.
One of the aides though did help me with a shower and had a great idea.
I must share this!!

You will not be able to get your sutures wet but will want a shower in the worst way. You will stink to high heaven!
She brought over a box of Glad press n' seal plastic wrap stuff.
She tore off a huge length of it because I'm T-3 to S-1.
She stuck it on my sutures and pressed it on. It stuck!!
She then gave me a shower and my sutures did not get wet at all.
My next several showers were done the same way until the sutures came out.

Singer
06-07-2006, 07:21 PM
Omigod Kat, that's brilliant!!!

Salad tongs and Press 'n Seal.....who knew?

Of course, if one were to purchase a salad tong for said purpose, you wouldn't want it to accidentally end up in the silverware drawer !!!! :D

katblack
06-07-2006, 07:24 PM
Nope....lol
I washed it with anti-bacterial soap and then placed it in a drawer in my medicine cabinet and now since I have no real use for it anymore, I threw it away.
The kids thought it was funny of course.
Me: Boys, can you reach the toilet paper for me?
Boys: sure mom. *get tp*
Me: *wrap it and ball it between the tongs*
Boys: bwahahhaahahahah!

Marcia
06-07-2006, 10:03 PM
What a hoot and yet so informative! Salad tongs will be added to my list of necessities! Thanks for the suggestion!

Shari
06-07-2006, 11:24 PM
Hi lostfan,

I was in a brace, which made reaching my behind impossible. I had no trouble with the front and I was one of the lucky ones to not have a period the whole time I was in my brace.

I didn't know at the time there was a device that would have assisted me. Linda R. has a great list that I wish I had seen before my surgery.

Shari

green m&m
06-08-2006, 12:02 AM
A bidet with a drying mechanism built in would be nice..hehe

HGD24
06-08-2006, 01:39 PM
I am fused to L4 and did not have trouble with reaching areas for bathroom hygiene. It wasn't easy mind you, but I was able to do the necessary stuff on my own. I used the kamode seat in place as a raised toilet seat and there were times when my husband had to clean it because of bm issues, but other than that, I handled all the hygiene stuff on my own. Just some encouragement that even with a long, low fusion...It can be done! :)

lelc2002@yahoo
06-08-2006, 02:43 PM
I guess it all depends on how low the fusion goes & if you have brace on?? Are most people expected to leave your brace on while using the bthroom? I would hope you could take it off????

LindaRacine
06-08-2006, 03:09 PM
For the first 3-4 months, I had to have my brace on every time I got out of bed with the exception of taking a shower.

--Linda

SandyC
06-08-2006, 03:22 PM
I was only allowed to take my brace off to take a shower, no exceptions :(

katblack
06-08-2006, 03:55 PM
I guess it all depends on how low the fusion goes & if you have brace on?? Are most people expected to leave your brace on while using the bthroom? I would hope you could take it off????
Lynne,
I was ordered to wear mine all the time except while sleeping and showering but I took it off to use the bathroom.
My brace comes below my hips and so getting pants undone and undies down, the brace made it impossible. So I would take it off, use the bathroom and put it back on.
I think when they say wear it all the time, they don't intend for you to struggle using the bathroom. They just want you to wear it to stabilize you while walking and sitting, standing etc.
But if you have any questions about taking it off to use the restroom, please, ask your doctor. He will be the only one who can tell you how long to wear it and what you can do with it/without it, how many hours a day etc.
:)

sweetness514
06-08-2006, 06:01 PM
:eek: I tried it for this last surgery, b/c I could reach my butt but not the front too well and oh it's heavy and I didn't like it at all...Maybe some of you will have better luck with it but the salad thingie sounds like a good idea too :cool: i got a trick after a while; I just squat really low with my knees and then I can reach down there. For my first surgery I did have a problem wiping my butt and not the front, but I still managed and it's not as hard to wipe when you are constipated and you know what I mean, it's "cleaner" :p I'm fused to L2 though, can't imagine what some of you who have been fused much lower and had to wear braces went through.

Kat, I have to say that every time you talk about your boys I'm amazed, and if you think about it, tell them that. What great boys they are and all this sure builds character and makes them mature and aware about life :)

edejkeller
06-11-2006, 06:17 PM
I must admit I am glad this topic was brought up. I have been practicing and hoping my arms are long enough to do the job. I know I would never ask my wife to take care of that. KatBlack- those are two great ideas- esp the shower one. I am having trouble wrapping my mind around salad tongs. I will have to experiment before Tuesday. I am getting a long fusion down to S1 so I think it will be needed.
Once again- what a great board even with its potty talk :)
Eric

katblack
06-11-2006, 06:21 PM
Sweetness, they are great boys, I couldn't have asked for better sons if I had gotten to hand pick them. :)


Eric, I understand about the salad tongs but trust me, it's the same basic idea as the bathroom aid for a whole lot less money.
It can be sort of a private joke you'll have for the rest of your life but it really did work. I'm glad sis bought it for me. I had days where I would literally cry over bathroom usage issues.

Karen Ocker
06-11-2006, 06:34 PM
I am fused T-4 to sacrum and never needed such aids even when newly post-op. Maybe my long arms are an advantage and I'm not "fluffy". ;)

Marcia
06-11-2006, 08:36 PM
Another hint.....I had major abdominal surgery a few years ago and it was excruciating for me to get up and down from the toilet. For several weeks I kept a large plastic cup to "pee" in while standing up. Then I just poured it in the toilet and rinsed it out for the next time. This would not be an issue for guys, but for women the pain of getting up and down from the toilet numerous times each day is horrible early on. One of the nurses in the doctor's office suggested it and it was a big help.

katblack
06-11-2006, 08:57 PM
I am fused T-4 to sacrum and never needed such aids even when newly post-op. Maybe my long arms are an advantage and I'm not "fluffy". ;)
Fluffy? Is that a kind word for fat?
I lost a ton of weight after the surgery,35lbs., so fluff wasn't a factor. It was bending and reaching while being in horrific pain that made it an issue. :)

slprncess
06-11-2006, 10:10 PM
Katblack.

Do you recommend any specific brand of saran wrap? After my last surgery I bought saran wrap and it didnt work! It did kinda keep the water out from my back but not completly. I have long hair so I would have to turn sideways to rinse it or it would drench my back.
As for the salad tongs great idea! I didnt ever think of this issue but it is good to be prepared before it could happen! I have had 4 back surgeries and so far not any problems, but doesnt mean I cant have any for my next one. I will be fused to my sacrum and am currently fused to L3. I guess I do have one good thing going for me is I have really long arms and I am extremly thin. I bet one of my arms could wrap around my whole body. Kinda weird I know. I will buy the salad tongs and be prepared and practice. You never know!

Thanks for the advice! I love this forum and can never get enough!

Sarah

makaylasmom
06-11-2006, 10:12 PM
I was laughing my butt off when I was reading this post!!!! I've got two weeks to go, and have been pondering that exact question. My family and I have been wondering if I would be able to wipe my heiny after surgery! KatBlack- Thank you very much!!! :D

katblack
06-11-2006, 10:12 PM
Katblack.

Do you recommend any specific brand of saran wrap? After my last surgery I bought saran wrap and it didnt work! It did kinda keep the water out from my back but not completly. I have long hair so I would have to turn sideways to rinse it or it would drench my back.
As for the salad tongs great idea! I didnt ever think of this issue but it is good to be prepared before it could happen! I have had 4 back surgeries and so far not any problems, but doesnt mean I cant have any for my next one. I will be fused to my sacrum and am currently fused to L3. I guess I do have one good thing going for me is I have really long arms and I am extremly thin. I bet one of my arms could wrap around my whole body. Kinda weird I know. I will buy the salad tongs and be prepared and practice. You never know!

Thanks for the advice! I love this forum and can never get enough!

Sarah

Yeah, it's not saran wrap. It's called Glad Press N' Seal. That stuff they advertise that sticks to itself? That's the stuff. It sticks to skin really good.
http://www.glad.com/plasticwrap/pressnseal.php

slprncess
06-12-2006, 12:26 AM
Ok, I will be sure to get that kind. I will let my dr know too so he can recommend it to his other patients instead of saran wrap.

Thanks

sweetness514
06-12-2006, 05:51 PM
I wasn't overweight either and had trouble wiping, but my arms aren't that long.

I used a waterproof taping over my dressing that a nurse gave me when I had reached the ten day mark this last time b/c I wanted to wash my hair without wetting my incision, after I tried and did get it wet with the normal tape, so this saran wrap Press 'n Seal idea is a great one. I had tried with the normal Saran an it didn't work either. I will use it now when I get my roots done, don't like the idea of my scar getting hair dye on it.