View Full Version : help at home

01-10-2008, 01:50 PM
I'm having a/p surgery done 2/18 and 2/21. The ant.w ALIFF is being done the 18 then I come home and head to a different hospital for the pos. total fusion T4-sacrum. My mother has offered to fly in from Phoenix to help out (I think I'll let her). I would otherwise be alone all day even though I have a house full of people(they all work full-time). I was thinking to not have her come in until after the 2nd surgery. Do you think a couple days in between w/o help is do-able? side/front dressings easy enough to change? That sort of thing. The Dr. seems to think I should have no problem being at home between the 2, I'm starting to second guess my ability that way. Any input would be great.
By the way, Briarrose, where are you having your surgery done?

Karen Ocker
01-10-2008, 02:15 PM
Check with your insurance company about a visiting nurse to do the dressings. That's what I had. Some companies have other benefits regarding to skilled nursing care in the home.
Medicare has limited home health aide care --as well as visiting nurse- for about 3 weeks post discharge from hospital. This must be ordered by your doctor. The hosp discharge planner is a great resource to set this up. Another resource is short term stay in a rehab facility. This will free up the family. Insurance usually covers the ambulance if needed from one facility to another.

01-10-2008, 02:22 PM
I guess I'll have to wait and find out which insurance co. is covering me (w/c or Keystone), that should be next week. Then I'll hit them up as far as what kind of at home care I'm entitled to.

01-11-2008, 09:53 PM
Hi Sharon,

My first thought when I read your question was "are you kidding?" No offence I was just shocked. You being home alone, while everyone is at work, for those first couple of days I don't think is a good idea. I know personally the first few days I was TOTALLY out of it due to the meds. Also, you will need help with your meds (Keeping track of when doses need to be taken.) As well as food/drink. Sure you might be able to put sustenance next to the bed but, it is SO important to not get behind on pain meds. "You can't heal as well if you're in pain" was something my Dr. KEPT on telling me. Plus, those of us on the other side of surgery know you don't want to forget to take your next dose before the last one wears off completely. It only takes one long nap to throw you off and you wake up from pain that lasts till the next dose kicks in. Not fun. I don't think I needed to change bandages but once a day. Best wishes.

01-11-2008, 11:12 PM
Hi! That sounds scary being home by yourself. The visiting nurse sounds like a really good idea. Hopefully your insurance will cover it.

I'm not sure where I'm having my surgery. It will either be at Lankenau Hospital, Bryn Mawr Hospital, or Paoli Hospital if I go with Dr. Fras. If I decide to go with Dr. Albert, I'm guessing it will be at Thomas Jefferson. Have you heard anything (good or bad) about those hospitals?

01-12-2008, 02:29 AM
Sharshe ...

I have lists upon lists of how *I* plan to handle it mostly solo ... maybe some thoughts will be applicable, maybe not.

Your surgery is definitely far more involved than mine. As my date gets closer I'm turning into a big whiney baby - but am just moving forward, checking off the "to do" list (I don't have the option of giving in to a breakdown).

That said, some moments of *some days, I almost wish I'd had 2 days to prepare vs. 2 months ...

Hugs, hon.


01-12-2008, 09:08 AM

I live relatively close to all three of the hospitals you mention -- they all have good reputations, especially Bryn Mawr. I had my tonsils out there about 25 years ago !!!

01-12-2008, 11:01 AM
I would ask for the help if i were you... the moral support is good too, I was very lonely after I came home and was alone all day. i went to rehab, and was damned glad I did, considering that i would be so self reliant....

01-12-2008, 01:55 PM
Thanks Singer! That makes me feel better.

01-13-2008, 01:54 AM
I have to chime in here, and say that I think having someone with you, whether you need their help or not. There's alot of comfort of knowing someone is there just in case!!!


01-13-2008, 01:07 PM
Yeah, I'm going to have my mom come in :D Don't know how long she'll stay, but at least a couple of weeks. She'll be able to pick up my grand daughter from school, so she won't have as much of a disruption. And I'll have someone to let the dog in and out and to do my ironing! I hate to think of stuff not ironed (I know I'm weird that way).
Briarrose, I'll go to healthgrades for you and check out those hospitals(I can use that through my insurance)and let you know. Dr Albert's referred me to Dr Anderson after reading my MRI report. But that report never noted the large annular tear that Dr Anderson noticed immediately, so the inversion talbe at PT was a no no :mad:. Dr Anderson says Alberts doesn't do a lot of scoli. surgeries anymore. But then again it might have a lot to do with the specifics of a person's case. That said, I do know Jefferson is rated very well.
And Suzy, thanks for the input about meds. I have in the past tended to under do them but have taken heed and picked up a cheapie($ store) dry erase board for keeping track, this way whoever helps can take note. The couple days in between the surgeries I will have someone from church to stop in. I am surprised that I'll even be home then and not go straight from one hospital to the next.

01-13-2008, 01:33 PM
Hi Shell,
Ran a quick check on the Main Line hospitals, Lankenau and Bryn mawr both get 5* out of 5, Paoli only gets 3*, that's not to say it bad, its just an over all rating of not as good. They get either a 1,3 or 5*. Hope that helps some.

01-13-2008, 04:08 PM
Thanks so much for looking into that. I tried that website once but I couldn't get anywhere. I haven't heard good things about Paoli through my mom who is a nurse in West Chester. Hopefully I won't have it done there. I'll find out next week!

01-13-2008, 05:58 PM
I found it helpful to set the (multiple) alarms on my phone after surgery if I was going to be alone or sleeping during the time I would need to take Meds. This way there is no possibility of me missing that dose. It was especially helpful for the overnight doses so someone didn't have to wake up to get my meds. I keep a bottle of meds next to me with what I need for that day as well as a glass of water and some snacks.
after a knee surgery that I had a while ago,
y mom would make up a cooler of drinks and snacks before she went off to work. You might see if someone in the house can do this for you and place it ok the side table or desk. Placing a bottle of water, some milk/juice, etc as well as some fruit, cheese, a sandwich or whatever else you want.
It might be hard to go alone during those few days, but probably not impossible. The most important thing will be being VERY careful getting up and down go use the restroom, go up and down stairs (if you have them), etc.
Having some pre-cooked food that you can freeze and put in the microwave will also be very useful if you are alone.
Good luck.

01-13-2008, 06:11 PM
Briarrose, just to confuse you further ;) , a good friend of mine is a cardiac care nurse at Paoli Hospital and says it's very good.

The only hospital in the area that you NEVER want to go to is Phoenixville Hospital.

01-13-2008, 09:11 PM
Everybody is being so super helpful. General plans are hubby will help me down the stairs in the morning. I figure I'll set up all my toiletries...toothbrush and washrag(ooh tons of junk :p ) downstairs in the guys bathroom. My mom has had her hip replaced several x so don't want her having to help me up and down stairs if it isn't necessary. Hubby can help me up to bed at the end of the day :)
I had already read so much here and continue to learn.
Pam, I'm glad I don't have too much time to think on this but hopefully enough to get stuff done. It seems to be all odds and ends,do groomer(Heidi is SOOOO stinky), eye Dr so I can actually see afterwards :rolleyes: I've been putting that one off for ages. Haircut so poor hubby doesn't have a whole lot of stuff to deal with(I've only recently learned how to flat iron my hair-he might burn it :eek: )
My hubby can't wait to help with the showers! I worry about the shaving That could be dangerous!I'll just continue to read here and see everyone else's experiences and ideas, what a better way to learn! Thanx again to all of you. You are all in my prayers every night and I thank God for all of you.