View Full Version : when is help needed after surgery?

01-08-2007, 11:00 AM
my husband is wondering if he will need to take vacation while im in the hospital or needed the most when i come home?i will have some help at home but not much and we have three young children.

01-08-2007, 11:39 AM
Shouldn't your husband wait until much later to take a vacation? I believe you will need him both during your surgery time and after! I had open heart and boy did I need my husband for both! Suggest to him to wait until you feel better, or at least make sure you have an adult family member or friend at your side when he is gone.

Maybe, if he needs to, he should take a quick one before Feb. 8th!!

01-08-2007, 01:33 PM
Hi Gayle,
My husband took most of his time off while I was home, which meant he was here to help me with getting settled, taking medication, making food, cleaning and letting the dog out! He was truly wonderful! He continued to work while I was in the hospital, because, although I loved having him or my family there to keep me company, we thought it was more beneficial to have the help at home, when there is no nurses or care attendants around. He didn't have the vacation time to do both.
Best wishes!

01-08-2007, 02:10 PM
You will really need him after you come home, especially with kids. You will need help with meds/meals/house/kids. For the first week or so you will be sleeping, as your body tries to recuperate.

01-08-2007, 02:55 PM
Oh my god....Gayle, I'm so sorry! I thought you meant that your husband wanted to go on a vacation.....now I know what you meant....duh.
(really duh!)

Yes, I agree, after surgery is the most important time you'll need him, and hopefully your hospital is close enough to home or his work for him to be able to visit you plenty.

Sorry again!

01-08-2007, 06:09 PM
Thats ok Berta..lol. i dont think he would get away with going on vacation with out me..lol.we live almost 2 hours away, not quite that but to where he will only be able to visit for an hour.so i guess im just going to get him to take time off when i get home,im sure ill be out of it awhile after surgery anyway.

01-08-2007, 09:13 PM
Hi Trudy...

If it's a choice of having him with you in the hospital, and having him at home, I would recommend that you opt to have him with you at home, just for the first week or two. If you can have him with you in the hospital as well, that would be great. I know this isn't an option for many people, but if I ever have more spine surgery, I will hire a private duty nurse for at least the day shift.


01-09-2007, 02:04 PM
I just want to reiterate what Linda said about a private duty nurse. That was one of the biggest lessons learned from my wife's surgery. I felt like the hospital was some kind of pitched battle (of which I had no clue as to the history) between the practical and registered nurses with the winner doing the least work. It was as if there had been a strike or bad blood in the past. There were exceptions, maybe one in three, but you can't rely on the exceptions because they are gone the next day. And if you think the status quo is bad, just complain. I had no idea that the alternative to a private nurse was neglect and bad attitudes.

Another way to stretch your husband's vacation time is in-patient rehab if your insurance will cover it. You certainly need help and company when you first come home.

Hi Trudy...

If it's a choice of having him with you in the hospital, and having him at home, I would recommend that you opt to have him with you at home, just for the first week or two. If you can have him with you in the hospital as well, that would be great. I know this isn't an option for many people, but if I ever have more spine surgery, I will hire a private duty nurse for at least the day shift.


01-09-2007, 02:18 PM
I spent 10 days in the hospital and my husband was there everyday and thank goodness he was! There were times when nurses wouldn't answer my calls for meds even though they were, at times, more than an hour behind in giving me meds and I was in pain (I was receiving doses by mouth every 2 hours so when they were more than an hour late, it was really frustrating). More than a few times they would roll me onto my side and leave my call button and morphine button hanging on the side rail behind me. If it weren't for DH being there, I don't know how I would have gotten through my stay. I had fluid in my lung, so I couldn't yell at all in order to get someone's attention. My surgeon and the pain doctor would tell the nurses every morning that I was to be given my morphine button at all times and an hour later, there was a shift change and a new nurse would come on duty and it would start all over again...I found out that the nurses didn't want me to have it while my surgeon and pain doctor did. It made for some very confusing and upsetting moments at times for me when one person would tell me that I didn't need it and another would tell me that I did.

I didn't even know that private nurse was an option, but if I ever have surgery again, a private nurse would be the way to go during the day. DH only had enough vaca/sick time left to be with me for 2 days at home. We had to have family and friends come to be with me after that for about 2 weeks. Then I was comfortable and confident enough to make it around the house on my own.

01-09-2007, 02:32 PM
You are echoing what I am hearing from every patient referral I speak to. And it does not matter in what hospital you have your surgery. There is a critical shortage of nurses in hospitals across America. Your wife is certainly fortunate to have such a caring husband. I have a sister who is a nurse who I hope will be able to be with me when I have surgery, but right now she is recovering from a surgery herself and out on disability.

Just how much does it cost to hire a private-duty nurse?


01-09-2007, 02:48 PM
I have another question to tack on: if you have a private duty nurse, can they start while you're in ICU or only after you're in your own room?

Can a family member stay with you all night in ICU?

Karen Ocker
01-09-2007, 03:01 PM
I was 60 years old when I had an anterior/posterior revision in 2 stages.

I hired private-duty nurses once I was out of the step-down unit. I asked my doctor to write the order so that insurance would reimburse. ---They did but you must pay the nurses first and sent the reciepts to ins.

I opted for practical nurses(cheaper)--BUT there is a big difference in training. My day practical nurse(12 hour shifts) had been trained as an RN in the Phillippines. She was outstanding. The nite nurse was helpful also but sometimes I had to wake her up to get me pain meds.

My husband was unable to take off from work so I went to a rehab hospital for 2 weeks. When I came home I hired(in advance of the surgery) a day person for 4 weeks through an ad at a local church. I paid her better than the going rate. That will vary by area/state. She was outstanding;she did wash, cooked, and took me out for walks. A visiting nurse came to help with my wound. THEN my husband retired and could help.

I got all these ideas from another forum---Salvaged Sisters which deals primarily with revision.

When I had a hysterectomy in March I also asked my surgeon to order private nurses for 48 hrs. and my insurance paid. It depends on the policy but the surgeon must write the order. Another option is to order a nursing attendent. This is also helpful.

01-09-2007, 09:42 PM

I was just going to tell you that my husband took the day of my surgery off; then he went back to work until after I came home and took 2 weeks off to be with me and that worked out great. Of course you will need someone to care for the children while you are in the hospital, also; mine were older.

I must say I was shocked by these stories of inept, uncaring nurses because I had a very good hospital nursing experience for the most part. Either a nurse or attendant would come in probably every couple hours to check on me to see if I needed anything even without me asking. My roommate and I also looked out for each other by calling the nurse if we dropped our call button. I don't know if it was because I was at a hospital in a smaller city than theirs or not. I was in Grand Rapids, the 2nd largest city in Michigan, at the largest hospital in town with the best orthopedic unit and thought the nursing care was exceptional.

age 47
posterior surgery 7/24/06
for S curve, 72 and 75 degrees
50% correction

01-10-2007, 01:29 AM
Interesting Subject!!!

In my opinion, no matter how great your surgeon is, if you don't receive the proper nursing care afterwards, it makes for a very bad experience.

I did not know that I could hire a private nurse. What a great idea!!!

Once you get home, family and friends seem to take over, and it's a great thing.