View Full Version : Random questions about 10/15 surgery

07-24-2008, 05:10 PM
Little details have been on my mind lately and I think I need to put them down in one place. You see, this is therapy for me :) I think I've been starting to worry again....

1) My pre-op physical and blood tests, and pre-op appointment with the surgeon are scheduled for the last week in Sept/first week in October. I know that I should stop taking ibuprophen/aleve types of pain releavers, but not sure exactly when. I've pretty much avoided them lately anyway, but I'd like to know to be sure.

2) I take a few vitamins/supplements. a) Good old One-a-Day women's formula; b) Caltrate D plus minerals (magnesium, zinc, copper & manganese), c) Cranburry pills (since I'm prone to getting UTI's), and d) Fish Oil. My mom told me that fish oil is also a blood thinner, I guess I'll have to stop that too, but when?

3) At my last appointment in may, we spoke about me donating blood for myself and my husband and teenage son donating as well. I guess I have to get that rolling on my own before my pre-op testing and dr. visit as well. I have on my list to call the blood center tomorrow, and probably call the dr's office about it too.

4) DH wants me to get a hospital bed for a few months, and I guess I'll need the shower seat and potty thingie too. ICK :( Does the Dr.'s office have to write a prescription for these things? My insurance says they'd pay $10,000 a year for durable medical equipment, which I'm thinking this stuff is. I guess I should call the Dr.'s office on this too, ahead of time?

5) Disability papers. I am a contractor at a large company, I work through a pathetic little contracting company with absolutely no benefits. I get paid for the hours I work. I will give them 2 weeks notice at the end of September. I printed out the state disability application tonight. I guess I'll bring the papers with me for my appointments at the Dr's., but it looks like they should be filled out AFTER I get disabled. I wonder how long he's put me out for? The max to receive benefits is 6 months. I hope they don't say I'm able to work before I think I can. I can't do my job all drugged up. And besides, I won't have a job to go back to, I'll have to find a new one.

See? My mind is all over the place. I'm sure there are other things I'm forgetting too.

07-24-2008, 08:53 PM
Ahhh, Debbe, it's good that you're thinking about these things ahead of time. I probably can't help you much, but I'll try a little... I think it's a good idea to ask all of those questions tomorrow when you contact your surgeon's office tomorrow about the blood donations.

I looked in my pre-op info, and mine said to stop anti-inflammatories at least one week ahead of time. Although I called and made the blood donation appointments, my surgeon's nurse had to initiate the request for my donated blood. With the equipment for post-op-- some of it may be given to you in the hospital-- that's where I got my wonderful raised toilet seat with handles (and it was sooo appreciated afterward, even if the thought seems yucky now!), sock-aid, reacher, etc. The shower chair we bought ourselves-- my hubby got it. You might ask what equipment you might need to purchase ahead of time. Good luck with the disability-- hopefully you'll be covered for the full time, but it's possible you might not need that long. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you for the 6 months though.

Hang in there-- the time will be here before you know it! You'll do fine. Hugs, Susie

07-25-2008, 08:30 AM
Debbe-- it really seems to me that I stopped taking my arthritis medicine more than just a week prior-- maybe a month? But I didn't write it down. :mad: I have it in my notebook as a question to ask at my appt. about 3 months prior to my surgery... but didn't jot down any of the answers to any of my questions! :rolleyes: I guess I knew I would remember!

07-25-2008, 08:47 AM
Hi Debbei,

As for the NSAIDS and fish oil, I was told to stop them 5-7 days post-op, but I stopped at 3 weeks just in case.

About donating blood, you can only do it 30 days or less before your surgery. My surgeons office contacted the Red Cross and gave them all my info then I contacted the Red Cross to set up appointment times. That's great that your husband and son can give blood. I wish I would have had my husband give blood but we didn't know our blood types at the time (turns out we're both O+).

I'm sorry I can't answer the other questions for you. It's really good to ask all of these questions.


07-25-2008, 05:48 PM
I stopped all meds on my own at about 1-2 month pre op. I don't take any supplements so I can't help you there.

I never donated any blood, I wasn't told about it until less then 3 weeks before surgery and I had to donate at the hospital which was a 2 1/2 hour drive each way with no traffic involved. Just wasn't worth the hassle to me. I ended up needing 2 units of blood.

I did use a hospital bed, for 5 weeks in my living room. What a lovely addition it was to my furniture. My Dr wrote a prescription for it after surgery and it was delivered the day I came home and was waiting for me when I finally got there at 10:00 PM after leaving the hospital at 4:30 in rain and rush hour L.A.traffic, then fog then snow. Boy what a trip!

I purchased my own shower chair and only used it once. I do, however use it now to reach my legs to remove hair. Notice I didn't say shave. I am still too afraid I will slice myself up as I can't see my lower legs near the ankles and I can't really reach. I use veet or nair, which ever is on sale.

I was also given a prescription for a raised potty seat. It was delivered with the bed. I was also given a portable potty! I never took the wrapper off of that one. Somehow using it in the middle of my living room wasn't very appealing!

The visiting nurse brought my good sock put-er on-er after she saw the bad one I was given in the hospital. If you are fused to the sacrum make sure they give you a toileting aid as well. What a difference those few extra inches in reach make! I can't remember if I got the grabber at the hospital or at home. I was given a walker to go home with and I had another waiting for me at the house when I got there. My girls put one at the top of the stairs so I had one on each floor. Got rid of both as soon as I could.

I was medically retired 9 years ago so I can't help on the disability issue. PM or email me if you have any questions I might be able to answer. I am pretty open and will answer anything you ask as honestly as I can.


07-25-2008, 05:51 PM

For future refrence, I don't beleave your husband should donate blood for you if you are planning on having children in the future. Just something to ask if it comes up again.

07-25-2008, 07:30 PM

For future refrence, I don't beleave your husband should donate blood for you if you are planning on having children in the future. Just something to ask if it comes up again.

I agree with this...my DD will probably be having spinal fusion next year. They gave us a paper about blood donations and "Donor Directed" it specifically says -- "Females of childbearing age should not receive directed donor blood from the prospective father of their children or from any of his family members".

Of course, if you don't plan on having any more children than that doesn't apply.

I know I found out that I can't donate for DD either (which I never knew mothers couldn't donate for their own child! Weird!). In our case, it doesn't matter because we have different RH factors so I couldn't donate for her anyway.

07-25-2008, 08:46 PM
If you go on disability, you might try contacting Vocational Rehab through your state labor department. They will look at your condition and help you find a job you can do. They may send you for training if you can no longer do the work you have been doing. If you go through them for a job, your employer will get tax benefits for hiring a person with disabilities. Something to think about during your recovery.

Ginger W.
07-25-2008, 11:49 PM
When I returned home and told my P.T. that there was only ONE item that I couldn't live without, he said, "Let me guess . . . a sock aide!" He was right. So, you may want to put that on your list.

As I recall, I didn't have to go off of ANY meds until three days before surgery. Now, after surgery, I KNOW that NSAIDS are a big no no.

I'm sorry that the work situation is so complicated. Wish I had some great advice in that category.

07-26-2008, 09:07 AM

For future refrence, I don't beleave your husband should donate blood for you if you are planning on having children in the future. Just something to ask if it comes up again.

I know that, but luckilly for me I'm DONE having kids!!

07-27-2008, 06:37 AM
Hi Deb- all the equipment I needed was ordered while I was at Kessler Rehab. I got the shower stool & raised toilet seat. Both were a big help. As far as the hospital bed, I thought I would need it but once home, found no major problems with climbing the stairs to my own bed. I was comfortable in my own bed & learned the log rolling pretty fast....I wish you luck in the job area. Hopefully you will find a better ne after recovery....Lynne :)

07-28-2008, 10:07 AM
Hi Debbe, I would like to echo Susie*Bee's comment about it being a very good thing you are thinking through all of these things ahead of time. It's very normal to do so, and the more answers you can get as soon as possible, the sooner your mind will be put at ease. For me, the most useful devices were the grabber (and I recommend one for each floor of your house), the toilet seat riser, the toileting tongs (and flushable moist wipes), and the shower chair. I would have really suffered without those items. At 3 weeks post op, I no longer use the toilet seat riser, or the shower chair, and am close to getting rid of the toileting tongs. I wasn't offered a 'sockputeroner' but that's been ok since it is summer. I slept in the guest bedroom on the main floor for two weeks since we don't have a bathroom in the upstairs master bedroom (very old house). The bed was too tall, so we put the box springs on the floor, which was too low, so then we put 4x6's to raise the bed to a perfect height. I just had to use extra help getting in and out of bed the first day/night. One thing I went through before hand was an incredible nesting instinct, repainted the guest bedroom, got carpets and window blinds cleaned, took a lot of stuff to goodwill, etc. Not sure what that was all about, except that I wanted a clean, pretty room to recover in, and I had anxious energy to burn... I will keep you in my prayers as you prepare for your surgery date.



Karen Ocker
07-28-2008, 05:50 PM
Luckily, NJ is one of a few states who offer this(a small tax is taken out of your paycheck~$200/yearly). The papers are filled out by the surgeon and mailed in once the surgery takes place. Their staff helps with it. Periodically the state might ask for updates. The doctor's office helps with it. They can also get you a temporary NJ handicap parking permit--you have to get the form from DMV but the doc fills it out. It's good for 2 years I think--when I got fully recovered I sent it back when they inquired if I still needed it.

The surgeon decides when you go back to work--not the state of NJ. This benefit lasts 6 months. I used the full 6 months because I had an extensive revision.

Any questions send me a PM.

07-30-2008, 12:46 AM
Thanks everyone for your responses. I called the Dr's. office yesterday and got some answers. Instead of the 3 of us donating the blood in NJ and having it shipped, we will donate the day of my pre-op appointment with the Dr. My 17 year old son will be more than happy to skip a day of school to go into NY with us, donate blood and then we'll take him out to eat. So I will have 3 units of blood for myself. I wonder if that's enough?

The schedule lady also told me that the hospital will order any equipment I need and have it home by time I get home from the hospital. She also told me to bring the state disability papers when we go in on Oct 2nd.

I think I'll stop taking motrin now. I don't take it often anyway, so no big deal. I stopped the fish oil now too.

Thanks for the suggestion of the handicap tag for the car. I will go get that application from DMV and bring on my appointment as well.

Thanks everyone for all the advice.

07-30-2008, 06:09 AM
Debbei-- just a thought to possibly save you some time and gas-- I was able to download the application for a disability placard for my state (IN)-- you may be able to also. (I just googled it, and found this info: http://www.ehow.com/how_2076896_obtain-disabled-parking-permit-new.html
It looks like for a temporary placard you need to go to the police station to get the application...)

It sounds like you've got everything going great. Yep, I'm sure your son will "enjoy" his day off from school. :D Red meat (as in steak!) is a recommended meal just after giving blood. That was my standard meal-- what fun! And I gave 4 times in 3 weeks. Of course, a double burger would probably be about equal, depending on where you're going... ;) If you need more blood, they will just use blood bank blood and it will be fine. If you talked about the 3 of you donating already with your doctor, then 3 is probably what he felt would be needed or he would have said otherwise.

That is great about the equipment being order and delivered for you. Yay! One less thing to think about!

Debbei-- it's sort of an enigma, but the time will both fly by and drag by. Looking forward, it sort of drags; but looking back, it will seem like it zoomed by pretty quickly. And your emotions will have something to do with that too... and will be confusing/conflicting too-- excitement and anticipation vs. dread and anxiousness. Just remind yourself that it's normal. :rolleyes: Hugs, Susie