View Full Version : Do you always need a hospital bed after

07-25-2008, 09:23 AM

I was under the impression that most people do not need a bed or other medical equipment.

I am young - in my 20s- so I am hoping I won't need that stuff.

07-25-2008, 05:02 PM

I'm 2 months post-op and I didn't get a hospital bed. I sleep on my couch most of the time. For some reason I find sleeping in my bed very painful. As long as you have several pillows and a couple of options for places to sleep, you should be fine.


07-25-2008, 05:14 PM
As shell said, you don't need one, but getting more pillows helps out a lot, and sleeping on the couch is great. It gives you great back support. Years later I still find my sleeps on the couch to be my most restful.


07-25-2008, 05:25 PM
I didn't use a hospital bed either-- just a few extra pillows and a regular bed-- but it is one of the newer ones with higher height, so easy for me to get in and out of.

07-25-2008, 05:42 PM
As Susie*Bee mentioned a higher bed, I concur that they are the best for getting in and out of bed (at least for me). I needed a new bed anyway, so I decided to purchase a firm bed with a thick mattress - maybe 14" - that has a thin - 2" - topper. It has saved me!! The relatively thin topper has been very helpful as something to grab onto as I try to pull myself into a sitting position (for all I know, I may have already pulled all its stitches out!).
And when I swing my legs down, my feet are just a few inches above the floor.

The only downside of a thick mattress was that, early on, I misjudged the location and height of the bed as I was backing into it, using my walker, and I slipped off. Try as I might, I couldn't boost myself up to get onto the bed, so I finally gave up and slept on the floor until the next morning until someone came by to help :eek:

I hated the hospital beds - it was hard for me to reach the side railings to secure me from falling off, and half the time the aides forgot to pull them back up. Even now, when I am much recovered, I still fear rolling off the tables used by PTs, doctors, etc.

As for pillows, you may not have to buy more - I now have many pillows that I know I did not purchase - apparantly every time I left a hospital, and whenever I was transported in a medical van, someone gave me a pillow. I also have several new blankets - the white thin cotton ones that the nurses heat up for you, plus a pretty red one from Virgin Airlines that the attendant wrapped around me as he was bundling me into a wheelchair!!. They make great conversation pieces.

07-25-2008, 05:54 PM
I won't say you need one but for me it was a great option. I wasn't sure I would be able to climb the stairs to my bedroom and even if I could, would I be able to sleep in my bed. As it turns out I had no problem with the stairs but I couldn't sleep in my bed for close to 5 weeks. My 4" memory foam topper was just a bit too much and I couldn't log roll out of it. I ended up sleeping in my living room in a hospital bed for 5 weeks while my girls slept on the 2 couches to makes sure I was okay. I had to have my brace on before I was allowed get out of bed and it was at 5 weeks I was finally able to put it on by myself without sitting up.

07-25-2008, 05:59 PM
I found I could only sleep on the couch the for the first 3 months. It was the most comfortable. My bed is also very high and i'm not short 5'7" and I still struggle to get in and out of it. For months my husband and kids had to be right there. I would keep my cell phone by me and call one of them if they were not in the room and I needed to get up.

07-25-2008, 06:06 PM

I was under the impression that most people do not need a bed or other medical equipment.

I am young - in my 20s- so I am hoping I won't need that stuff.

I didn't need any special equipment (no tub seat, tub rails, toilet riser, etc.), and never even considered a hospital bed.

The risers (about 6") were taken out from under my bed before surgery: It made the bed to high to easily get out without a little jump (which did NOT sound like fun - LOL!).

I found, for me, the best height for the bed (including the 2" memory foam topper) was where it came to about the bend of my hips. It allowed me to logroll and place my feet on the floor while sitting, but not so low I had to "climb out".


07-25-2008, 06:36 PM
I think part of the decision also has to do with the length and location of your fusion. Have they said how many vertebrae and which ones yet?

Ginger W.
07-25-2008, 11:38 PM
I have owned and used a hospital bed for years. However, I didn't really use its features after surgery. Any bed would have worked for me.

07-26-2008, 12:34 AM
I didn't use a hospital bed. I did use a shower stool, raised toliet seat with arms, wheelchair, walker and a cane. Oh yeah, my handy dandy grabbers, I used two different kinds. I also keep one at work. The other thing I used alot was the recliner with pillows. Also for me I use a dog bone shaped pillow when we go on a drive that's longer than 30 minutes or if we go to the movies. I'm so short that the head rest doesn't fit right, it feels like my head is being pushed forward.

07-26-2008, 06:47 AM
Just was thinking-- if your bed is a lower one, there's no need to buy a new bed to get one that is higher. Bed, Bath and Beyond (and probably other similar places) sell bed height extenders (I'm not sure what they're called)-- but they raise the height of the bed. I remember seeing them there once. As I said, mine is higher, but not too high. It is 26" from the floor... and is pretty easy to get in and out of. My leg muscles were sooooo weak after surgery that it would have been impossible to "lift" myself up from a lower sitting position. We had fortunately gotten a new couch with a 21" seat height--- our old one was about 14-15"-- and that is hard to get up from.

It's hard to know what other equipment you might need-- because you are young, and it depends on the length of your fusion too-- and how weak the surgery may leave you too. You can ask your doctor-- or wait and see what they issue you in the hospital-- and get what else you might need after the surgery (if you have someone who can go get it...) I am much older than you, but I really appreciated my raised toilet seat with arms (the arms allow you to push yourself up--and hang onto something--rather than having to use all leg strength) and my shower seat and hand-held shower head... I reluctantly put them away when I knew I should move on... :rolleyes: But I would imagine if I were younger they might be something I would have been embarrassed to use. (Even at my age I associate things like that as being for the REALLY old-- and somehow they always seemed soooo yucky... I changed my tune when they weighed in as being soooo helpful!) The things I still use ALL the time are reachers and my sock aid-- I think that will be for life. I can't reach to the end of my feet to slip socks on-- and I have a short reacher that they gave me in the hospital that helps me get my undies on. I don't need a reacher with pants because there's more to them and can manage ok. I have longer reachers for things on the floor-- they even pick up tiny things fine-- one time I spilled lots of pills on the floor and was able to retrieve them all. And one of my reachers has a magnet, so when I was doing some sewing and a couple of straight pins escaped me onto the floor, they were a snap to pick up... I just bought two new reachers to take to school with me when I start back to work... (two different types).

My doctor recommended NOT to use a hospital bed-- and I also didn't have a walker. They did issue me a cane, but that was for helping me get up and down stairs, not needed for regular walking. I also used it when I'd go in big stores and for "crowd control" if I was some place crowded-- it gives a sign to others that there's a person you shouldn't bump into. ;) I would think you'd be fine without much in the way of walking assistance.

Best wishes in planning for your surgery. Do you have a date set?

07-26-2008, 06:51 AM
Theresa-- that's the same problem I have with traveling. My head feels like it is being pushed forward by the curve of the seat and/or headrest. :eek: I didn't know if I was alone on that problem or not, now I know there's at least one other. :)

07-26-2008, 07:07 AM
I'm close to 5'8" and, depending on the car, I feel like my head is being pushed forward too. In some cars I remove the headrest and that seems to really help. I can't remove it in my chrysler sebring. I do use a regular bed pillow behind me when I drive. Not sure yet if that is for life, but its looking that way.

07-31-2008, 09:59 AM
Thanks everyone. I do not know what vertebrae will have to be fused. I meet with the surgeon again on December 27th to discuss surgery. However, my curve is thoracolumbar...so I believe I will have a longer fusion.

I am hoping I will not need a hospital bed. My plan is to have the surgery as soon as school ends in May, and have 3.5 months to recover before school starts again.