Upcoming hysterectomy 8/5, what do I need to do/buy? (Recovering alone, with little help from friends) | HysterSisters
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Upcoming hysterectomy 8/5, what do I need to do/buy? (Recovering alone, with little help from friends) Upcoming hysterectomy 8/5, what do I need to do/buy? (Recovering alone, with little help from friends)

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Unread 07-24-2020, 09:58 PM
Upcoming hysterectomy 8/5, what do I need to do/buy? (Recovering alone, with little help from friends)

I've read a bunch of articles on preparing for post op recovery and got lots of good ideas, but wanted to ask these three questions:

One) what is the best purchase you made that helped you through recovery?

Two) has anyone used a "husband" type support pillow for lounging in bed?

Three) did you need a cane?
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Unread 07-25-2020, 03:58 AM
Re: getting prepared for post op recovery, what do I need to do/buy?

You will find some women like myself bought absolutely nothing extra for recovery, didn't want stuff around after recovery that I wouldn't use again. I figured if I needed anything I would send my husband to get it. As it turned out I needed nothing extra. I didn't spend any time lounging in bed, was only there to sleep. The rest of the time I was up sitting in the recliner or just roaming around the house. I did use a pillow in bed to help me sleep on my side, tucked it into my belly but just used an extra pillow I already had. A cane-nope.
Unread 07-25-2020, 04:15 AM
Re: getting prepared for post op recovery, what do I need to do/buy?

Taking regular walks will be important to your recovery, so out of everything I bought or had on hand, I'd say that the most important was a good pair of walking shoes. A few more items I recommend: a freezer an pantry filled with easy to prepare meals and snacks; loose fitting clothes; peppermint tea, frozen blueberries, whole grain cereal like oatmeal or All Bran, ground flaxseeds, magnesium-rich dark chocolate and pumpkin seeds, a fibre supplement like Metamucil or Benefibre, Gas-X,and fennel or coriander seeds to combat post-op constipation and gas; a Squatty Potty or small footstool to elevate your feet while you're on the throne, which can help with those post-op bowel movements by properly aligning the rectum so the poop can pass through more smoothly; extension cords for plugging in your electronics; a grabber for picking up small objects off the floor. As for pillows, I did buy a body pillow at Wal-Mart, but I found that I was better off with a strategic placement of the pillows I already had. As for a cane, I didn't need one, but it might have come in handy, because I use public transit to get around, and carrying a cane would have signalled to my fellow riders that I had a legitimate impairment and needed a seat. Also be sure to check our "Hints From Members" forum for more suggestions. Best wishes for a successful surgery and a smooth recovery!
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Unread 07-25-2020, 06:00 AM
Re: getting prepared for post op recovery, what do I need to do/buy?

Kel66 and Tiger_Eye, thank you both for such quick replies.

Kel66, this is the first time in 15 years that I have regretted not having a spouse or live in partner.I love being single, but right now some live in help sure would be nice. lol I'm glad to hear your recovery went so well, and it was wise to not buy a bunch of stuff you'd use only once. I will keep that in mind as my journey progresses. It was an aspect I hadn't thought of.

Tiger_Eye, thank you for the exhaustive list. I have been meaning to get a squatty potty for a while now, so that definitely goes on my list. Due to some meds I take, I already have problems in that department. Urgh.

I'm trying to limit the amount of time I spend thinking about the recovery process because I am an obsessive organizer and list maker and can work myself up into a big ball of stress by trying to think of every possible contingency. So that's it for today, no more obsessing about it!
Unread 07-25-2020, 02:31 PM
Re: getting prepared for post op recovery, what do I need to do/buy?

Hi Poppy471

Here are 10 Tips for Preparing for Your Hysterectomy. What I found most useful were the following (some of which are repeats from above and some may not be possible due to the pandemic):
-Meals in the freezer that can be put in the microwave
-Easy foods for breakfasts and lunches
-Loose fitting clothing
-Prepare your recovery corner with pillows and blankets
-Plan entertainment for your brain
-Small pillow to hold against your tummy for coughs and sneezes (or pet visits)
-Super clean your house
-Get your hair cut

If you do not need a cane now, you most likely will not need a cane after your surgery. You will just be moving much slower than before, and will slowly build back up. The same goes for steps. Take these VERY SLOWLY, and have someone walk beside you the first few times. Always hang on to the railing.

I did not really need any support pillows to lean against, but did use a small pillow for tummy support when I coughed or sneezed. I just used one of my throw pillows from my couch.

Unread 07-25-2020, 04:30 PM
Re: getting prepared for post op recovery, what do I need to do/buy?

Hi Marestail,

Thank you for all the good suggestions and the link.Both are very helpful. Covid indeed does interfere with the last one, getting a haircut, lol. I haven't had my hair cut in 4 months, it's quite out of control. Hair salons have reopened in my state but it seems like a bad idea to expose myself to strangers any more than I have to before a surgery. So, shaggy it is.

I am feeling concerned about the fact that I live alone. Covid is making all of this so much harder. My two friends, who normally I can rely on for anything under the sun, are not there for me as usual. One is an essential worker and is in a high risk environment all day, and is reluctant to expose me to himself The other is very high risk due to a number of health issues and age and really needs to stay home completely. Another trustworthy friend was just diagnosed with endometrial cancer and is doing chemo and is needing help herself. Yet another lives in a town an hour away. Etc. My support network is virtually nonexistent. This makes me very nervous. I'm just venting here, not expecting magic solutions.

Any encouragement or tips from people who recovered living alone would be very welcome.
Unread 07-25-2020, 04:46 PM
Re: getting prepared for post op recovery, what do I need to do/buy?

Hi Poppy471 -

Recovering alone is doable with some planning and preparation. Think shopping ahead of time for all the supplies you will need, paper plates, plastic ware, lots of prepared food and frozen items. Make sure your house is super clean, and be willing to let much go. It just is not important as a healthy recovery. If you have pets, you may need to get scopers to help with food and/or kitty litter.

Here are articles that may provide information:
10 Tips for Recovering at Home Alone After Hysterectomy
Living Alone and Recovering from Hysterectomy

You will need someone to drive you home from the hospital. And you will not be able to drive yourself for about 2 to 3 weeks. Ask you doctor about restrictions on this and when you will be released. Also let your medical team know that you will be home alone. They may want to keep you another day in the hospital.

Unread 07-25-2020, 05:55 PM
Re: getting prepared for post op recovery, what do I need to do/buy? (Recovering alone, with little help from friends)

Make sure you prepare your bedside before you leave for the hospital. When you come back from surgery, you don’t want to have to grab water bottles or books or chargers. Put all of those things in your desired locations, including your living room or lounge area the night before. When you get home from the hospital you want a few water bottles at your bedside. Also, you don’t want to have to bend over for chargers or books. For that matter, lay out any clothes you want to wear after coming from the hospital.

Also, clean your house to your liking and get the laundry done. Then, accept that it won’t get done for a while and do not stress. Be ok with it.

You’ve got this!
Unread 07-25-2020, 06:11 PM
Re: getting prepared for post op recovery, what do I need to do/buy? (Recovering alone, with little help from friends)

You've already gotten a lot of good tips. I know that we all have to do what we have to do. I just wanted to mention that it might be an option to hire someone to help you for a few hours each of the first few days. If it's possible financially I believe it would be worth it. Maybe a neighbor or a college student from a family you know?

Wishing you all the best!
Unread 07-25-2020, 08:58 PM
Re: getting prepared for post op recovery, what do I need to do/buy? (Recovering alone, with little help from friends)

A grabber reacher was an invaluable tool for me. You can use it for the obvious task of picking stuff up off the floor. But I also used mine for getting laundry in and out of the washer and dryer. Something else that I bought and used a lot was a rolling bedside table. I didn’t use it at my bed but instead used it in front of my couch where I spent most of my time. I never needed a cane.

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