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Experiences with getting thru this alone Experiences with getting thru this alone

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Unread 12-21-2008, 06:22 PM
Experiences with getting thru this alone

Hi, I'm scheduled for total (or subtotal) abdo minal mid-jan. I live in NYC, and don't really have any friends or familyhere. Trying to figure out how to do this on my own. Worried a bit about silly things like getting (and getting into) a taxi after i'm discharged, and while i live in a building with an elevator there are 3 or 4 steps i have to get up and into the lobby.

I know it sounds silly but are there "private nurses" that i can hire for a few hours each day for the first week?

Any advice is warmly welcomed

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Unread 12-21-2008, 06:26 PM
Experiences with getting thru this alone

I've heard of people hiring private nurses before. You may also want to check with a local nursing school. You wouldn't really need nursing care, but there may be a nursing student who would be willing to help you out a bit in exchange for pay and a line for the resume. In exchange, you would have the comfort of knowing that someone is there with you.

Good luck!
Unread 12-21-2008, 06:53 PM
Experiences with getting thru this alone

I live alone and have been able to cope by myself quite well. I don't think that the taxi will be an issue and those few steps should be okay (just ask your doc). I don't think that you will need a nurse to visit you. There are services where you can hire someone to come in to deal with anything that may be a struggle (like laundry, grocery shopping, etc.). That might be the better alternative for you.
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Unread 12-21-2008, 07:24 PM
Experiences with getting thru this alone

Hi Red,
Make sure your housework is done before you go in so you don't stress on that when you get home. I also, bought some healthy but easy microwave meals so I wouldn't have to cook much when I first got home. If possible see if you can have a friend or family member spend the night with you the first night. I got VERY sick the first night home and had to call my dad around midnight to drive 45 minutes to come help me out. I was too sick to even get out of bed to get to the restroom. I don't know if it was the anesthesia or what, but yikes! I am usually the helper not the "helpee" so that was hard for me, but you will find that you have a lot of friends and/or co-workers willing to help you out. Say "yes". I didn't at first and realized that I had to give in a bit. If you are like me you will be soooooooo bored until you can drive, so have a book and some movies ready. If your up to it after a few days, let one of your girlfriends take you to the store or to get coffee. Even if it is only for an hour it will feel so good to get out of the house!
Good Luck and Happy Holidays!
P.S. Don't forget to bring something comfy to wear home from the hospital, chances are your jeans will be way too tight for the first week or two!
Unread 12-21-2008, 08:00 PM
Social services..

at your hospital should be able to put you in touch with the right service. I was sore, but certainly not incapacitated with my TAH/BSO. Both ladies who have already responded had great suggestions. I am wishing you the very easiest surgery and recovery.

Barb A.
Unread 12-22-2008, 05:31 PM
Experiences with getting thru this alone

I would definitely check with your hospital. A "homemaker" for a few hours a day to do laundry, put together some meals, etc. might be what you need. If you are a churchgoer, please do not hesitate to let your church know about your surgery. We had about two weeks worth of wonderful dinners from church members.
Unread 12-22-2008, 08:34 PM
Experiences with getting thru this alone

I think the idea of having a nursing student visit you is great and it is good experience for the nursing student to help you. I never thought of that, but I was ok on my own after getting home from the hospital. I did have a friend come over and take me out a few times. We went to KFC once and then she also took me to the grocery store. When we got back to my apartment (1st floor), she carried my heavier items for me. I saw a posting at the local community college (outside the classrooms where they have the Early Childhood Education program) that a family was looking for a live-in short-time helper for a mom who was expecting a new baby. You may want to check with a local college that has a nursing program. They are closed here from Dec. 24-Jan. 2, so I would suggest calling right after the new year.
Unread 12-22-2008, 09:15 PM
Experiences with getting thru this alone

I'm going it alone too. Well, except for my puppy. I'm going in for a TAH (except for my right ovary) on Jan 6th. I'm trying to get everything done and I've been cooking and freezing stuff to eat. I'm the type that doesn't ask for help but always gives it so I'm a bit stubborn. I do have some friends that will stop by when I need something.

My plan is to do nothing but watch TV, read and rest. It will be hard with my puppy - a Min Pin who has an abundance of energy. But, I think she'll understand that I'm just not feeling good and stay out of trouble. (I hope)

After reading some of the post op do's and don'ts it is kinda scary to think you are going to do it alone. I'm just gonna suck it up and deal with it the best I can. I bought the store out on swelly belly, support panties and the grabber. At least I should be able to pick up the dog toys all over the house.

I'm just going to deal with it one day at a time. The nurse thing sounds interesting and a viable option.
Unread 12-22-2008, 09:25 PM
Experiences with getting thru this alone

HD - I am SAH on Jan 8th and live alone except for 2 dogs and a cat. I am pretty much going to do it alone too. I will have my mother for 1-2 days max when I get home. I am going to take things as they come. My only concern is my one old incontinent dog (I know the feeling). I will not be able to clean up his urine messes. THAT is pathetically my biggest concern!

I bought 2 abdomical binders and a swelly belly. I think the binders might help because I will have a big vertical incision. My doc said she highly recommends them but that the hospital no longer goves them out (cost cutting measures) - make sure you get one.
Unread 12-22-2008, 09:32 PM
Experiences with getting thru this alone

You should contact the social worker at the hospital. Also contact your insurance company you may have coverage for assistance at home. You can also contact home health care agencies.
For groceries look into peapod, they have a 60 dollar minimum but the service is great and will save you from shopping, lifting ect. Also, many laundromats have pickup drop-off services.
Hiring a private duty nurse will be the most expensive route when you are probably looking for a companion. What ever you decide make sure you are clear regarding your needs and expectations.

Good luck

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