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Thread: Two Post-Surgery Accessories - never seen mentioned

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    154

    Two Post-Surgery Accessories - never seen mentioned

    Dear Scolis,

    Two things REALLY helped me through my recent surgery and I want to share:

    1.) I purchased a cheap twin-sized memory foam topper (Walmart) which my daughter put on my hospital bed when I left ICU. (My surgeon thought it was brilliant.) I also took it to the rehab facility after being discharged from the hospital. A great pain reducer.

    2.) After coming home, I wore overalls instead of pants. Two advantages: easy to dress myself AND there's no rubbing against the incisions.

    A final thought - consider an 'end of the year' donation to FOCOS (http://www.orthofocos.org/) which helps African children get scoliosis surgeries. The surgeons donate their time, but there are still expenses.

    Best Wishes!
    Ginger Woolley

    Oct 2018, L3 - S1, Anterior & Posterior, Dr Sigurd Berven, UCSF, San Francisco
    ******
    May 2008, T4 - L3, Dr. Ohenaba Boachie, Hospital for Special Surgery, NYC
    ******
    Sept 1967, T4 - T 11, without instrumentation, Dr Thomas Brown, Stanford

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,007
    The foam helps quite a bit. It doubled my sleep time at home.

    I remember at the hospital how uncomfortable the bed was. The bed probably cost $50,000 and it just blew me away on how uncomfortable it was. I was complaining but then I guess they hear many of these types of complaints and go in one ear, and out the other. I wish I had someone sneak me in a piece of foam....

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 60, the new 55...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    3
    Taking this advice and just ordered my own foam mattress topper! Can't wait for it to get here in just a couple days. I moved back to my apt in NYC and I can't deal with my old mattress like I used to. Thank you for sharing!

    Update: The foam changed my life and sleep for the better. Less soreness when waking up!
    Last edited by tether1; 03-19-2019 at 11:02 AM. Reason: Update

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,007

    Latex Foam for beds

    There is nothing like a "latex" foam bed. (Or topper) Before or after surgery, all patients.

    The cheap foam of the old days had an orange color. This is used in a lot of furniture manufacturing because its cheap. This is petroleum based foam that gives off volatile organic compounds.....It also breaks down in time.

    Latex foam has a bone or white color. The latex is what helps maintain or control density. It will not break down with age. Its considered "organic" foam and is natural.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latex

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talalay_process

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volatile_organic_compound
    Open your windows in your house!

    If a mattress is hammocked, or sunk down in the center, laying any foam on the top will conform to that shape. There are tricks with older beds such as laying a piece of plywood on the top of the box spring that can help some. Home depot will cut plywood to any dimensions and deliver it.

    If a good piece of 4"-6" thick latex foam is purchased, (They can be pricey) you can lay this down on a floor and it will be a flat sleeping setup, and also can be used as an emergency mattress for people that come and visit.

    Foam can be cut to shape with a large kitchen knife. Always apply force AWAY from your body when using a knife. (Keep eyes on your hands) Foam pieces can also be cut to elevate a bed at the foot of a bed, for elevating legs if need be. I cut my topper off when my shoulder was broken which produced a lower level for my shoulder to rest in.

    Ed
    Last edited by titaniumed; 03-10-2019 at 01:14 PM.
    49 yr old male, now 60, the new 55...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Eureka California
    Posts
    30
    I agree the memory foam mattress pads are something scoliosis surgeons should mention to their patients
    Kara
    Age 27
    Boston Brace Apr 15 2005 to May 25 2006
    Posterior Spinal Fusion March 10 2010
    T4-L2
    Before T50 and L35
    After T20 and L17
    Possible Neruomuscular scoliosis
    Possible Charcot-Marie-tooth Disease type 1A

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    49

    Foam Toppers

    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    There is nothing like a "latex" foam bed. (Or topper) Before or after surgery, all patients.

    The cheap foam of the old days had an orange color. This is used in a lot of furniture manufacturing because its cheap. This is petroleum based foam that gives off volatile organic compounds.....It also breaks down in time.

    Latex foam has a bone or white color. The latex is what helps maintain or control density. It will not break down with age. Its considered "organic" foam and is natural.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latex

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talalay_process

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volatile_organic_compound
    Open your windows in your house!

    If a mattress is hammocked, or sunk down in the center, laying any foam on the top will conform to that shape. There are tricks with older beds such as laying a piece of plywood on the top of the box spring that can help some. Home depot will cut plywood to any dimensions and deliver it.

    If a good piece of 4"-6" thick latex foam is purchased, (They can be pricey) you can lay this down on a floor and it will be a flat sleeping setup, and also can be used as an emergency mattress for people that come and visit.

    Foam can be cut to shape with a large kitchen knife. Always apply force AWAY from your body when using a knife. (Keep eyes on your hands) Foam pieces can also be cut to elevate a bed at the foot of a bed, for elevating legs if need be. I cut my topper off when my shoulder was broken which produced a lower level for my shoulder to rest in.

    Ed
    Ed, this may be a stupid? I have older Tempurpedic box springs -got new memory foam mattress (medium firm) from a company called Relief in CA - they have innovative way to vent your body heat thru the mattress- so my question is do I still need a latex topper? Seeing the suggestion to get a cheap piece for hospital & Rehab sounds like a good idea but do you think I need extra foam on new mattress? Thanks Nancy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    49
    Quote Originally Posted by Ginger W. View Post
    Dear Scolis,

    Two things REALLY helped me through my recent surgery and I want to share:

    1.) I purchased a cheap twin-sized memory foam topper (Walmart) which my daughter put on my hospital bed when I left ICU. (My surgeon thought it was brilliant.) I also took it to the rehab facility after being discharged from the hospital. A great pain reducer.

    2.) After coming home, I wore overalls instead of pants. Two advantages: easy to dress myself AND there's no rubbing against the incisions.

    A final thought - consider an 'end of the year' donation to FOCOS (http://www.orthofocos.org/) which helps African children get scoliosis surgeries. The surgeons donate their time, but there are still expenses.

    Best Wishes!
    .
    Thanks for the info as Iím facing surgery early part of 2020-always looking for items I may need- hope your surgery went well Nancy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,007
    Quote Originally Posted by Scared View Post
    Ed, this may be a stupid? I have older Tempurpedic box springs -got new memory foam mattress (medium firm) from a company called Relief in CA - they have innovative way to vent your body heat thru the mattress- so my question is do I still need a latex topper? Seeing the suggestion to get a cheap piece for hospital & Rehab sounds like a good idea but do you think I need extra foam on new mattress? Thanks Nancy
    I cant tell you that. Only you can decide after you are done. You could buy one, not open it, and return it later if you think you wont need it. Tape the receipt on the foam when you buy it. You can also do this going into the hospital, but hospitals don't want to be responsible for theft. Its best to have somebody sneak it in later when you get out of ICU. Have them sneak the foam in (and the prime rib) Ha ha Just kidding. I did that for my dad when he had ALS.

    I was not sleeping well at 2 weeks post and had someone get a latex foam topper around 2" thick for my medium Tempurpedic. It increased my sleep by an hour or two. A 1 hour increase is a lot when you only get 2 hours at a stretch. My first 3 weeks were pure survival mode with every minute trying to get comfortable. It was such a relief to progress and heal. The first 6 weeks are the hardest.

    I also had soft pillows EVERYWHERE. They have to be super soft moldable pillows, especially for your neck. You have to get your neck set right when laying down and the pillows have to mold easily.

    We cut the foam off with a kitchen knife for my broken arm and shoulder. The edge was placed right at the armpits, and was perfect for the head laying on my back since it stepped off. This was a really good idea and worked perfectly. That foam is in my RV now, and I do sleep better out in my RV. I should just move out there at night.

    We cut about 2 feet of the end of the topper.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 60, the new 55...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    49
    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    I cant tell you that. Only you can decide after you are done. You could buy one, not open it, and return it later if you think you wont need it. Tape the receipt on the foam when you buy it. You can also do this going into the hospital, but hospitals don't want to be responsible for theft. Its best to have somebody sneak it in later when you get out of ICU. Have them sneak the foam in (and the prime rib) Ha ha Just kidding. I did that for my dad when he had ALS.

    I was not sleeping well at 2 weeks post and had someone get a latex foam topper around 2" thick for my medium Tempurpedic. It increased my sleep by an hour or two. A 1 hour increase is a lot when you only get 2 hours at a stretch. My first 3 weeks were pure survival mode with every minute trying to get comfortable. It was such a relief to progress and heal. The first 6 weeks are the hardest.

    I also had soft pillows EVERYWHERE. They have to be super soft moldable pillows, especially for your neck. You have to get your neck set right when laying down and the pillows have to mold easily.

    We cut the foam off with a kitchen knife for my broken arm and shoulder. The edge was placed right at the armpits, and was perfect for the head laying on my back since it stepped off. This was a really good idea and worked perfectly. That foam is in my RV now, and I do sleep better out in my RV. I should just move out there at night.

    We cut about 2 feet of the end of the topper.


    Ed
    Like your style Ed (ha, ha) really like the idea of using it in hospital Nancy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,007
    Nancy, You only learn after you do things. Lets talk about doing some things.

    I was NPO (no food by mouth) so I cant really comment on the hospital food.... (Deadpan) Sneaking the prime rib for me wouldn't do me any good. Funny, you don't get hungry at all, and you don't have to go #2 when they feed you by IV. I didn't have to deal with bathroom's or bedpans. I had no idea on this. Ileus happens once in a while. That's a stoppage of the lower GI. Not a mechanical blockage, it just shuts down and they have meds for that. That took 9 days, and when I was producing what needed to be produced, I went home. You have to go poopity every day otherwise you are constipated....I always drink a whole bunch of water when that happens. Also Zantac was recalled last week. All sorts of acid reducers. I have been using baking soda for 10 years now. Works great. 1/2 teaspoon in 8 oz water. Puts the fire out fast, and its cheap. Neutralizes acids, ask your doctor about this. You do Percoset you will have heartburn at some point.

    Another thing to note is that you can go #2 every day and still get constipated. Rabbit pellets don't count. That happened to me and THAT HURTS. The pain needle went up to 13. I mean, who are you going to call? Ghostbusters? If Dan Aykroyd shows up, he might want to do a manual digout.... You don't want to go back to the hospital and do this. I didn't have to do this, but I heard this from another patient many years ago. She told me that pain is unbelievable. Sipping on water all the time takes on a new meaning. Water promotes peristalysis. This is extremely important material to know when you do big surgeries.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nothing_by_mouth
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ileus
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peristalsis

    They would come in and listen with a stethoscope. I would ask "Am I having twins, when am I due?" And it hurts like heck if you laugh. I was huge. Ginger did the overalls, I could have done a Santa suit. I didn't shave so had half a beard, it could have worked only problem with that was it was February. You cant have everything. There was a snowstorm when I was operated on and snow on the ground when I got home. It would be a good idea to get walking sticks or ski poles for outdoor walking. They really help out. No falls allowed, even if its snowing.

    My recovery was more about meds and lower GI management. Not spine. If they do an anterior, the odds of this will probably be higher. Strong meds also have an effect on this. On the Schmorls nodes, ask if they are going in from the front. Its called an ALIF. I am not sure, you should ask. I would also ask about Scheuermann's.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schmorl%27s_nodes
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scheuermann%27s_disease

    Edema can also happen. Hydrostatic pressure makes your feet huge. You have to walk it off. You have to walk everything off. Plan on a lot of walking. My surgeon insisted on outdoor walking. Did I mention walking? You get the idea.

    A heated blanket would be a good idea because you freeze to death on meds.

    Get everything in the kitchen counter you think you will need. There is no reaching or bending into cabinets. Cleaning doesn't happen, forget it. If you have a dog, he will get it. I didn't have a dog, so much for that. I am the Oscar Madison of scoliosis recovery. It is possible to drop dishes in the dishwasher. I did that. The problems arise when you have to get a dish, and that's when I started squats at the counter. You need to do this to get the dishes. A vertical squat without bending the back. Just like a model, head up and keep it straight. Works good for DVT Squats are good things....
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_vein_thrombosis

    All of this material is important need to know stuff.

    I cant type anymore tonight

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 60, the new 55...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

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