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Unread 10-11-2011, 09:41 PM
All Alone

My surgery is scheduled for next Thursday, 10/20/11. My husband is 200 miles away for the next 8 weeks. I am trying to prepare myself and my home for my recovery, but I 'm not sure if it is possible to fully prepare myself for my initial recovery. Yes, I do have a young adult child living here, but she works full time. She is out of the house for at least 10 hours per day and she has had a trip planned for the weekend of my procedure which I forbid her from canceling. Is there anyone out there who did this alone and may have a few realistic pointers?
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Unread 10-11-2011, 10:10 PM
Re: All Alone

i wish i had some ideas for you...i just wanted to send hugs and thoughts
Unread 10-11-2011, 10:25 PM
Re: All Alone

I'm doing this essentially alone as well but here's some good tips I've received from home support workers that are friends.

1. Set yourself up so you can remain on the floor with the bathroom.

2. Have a small table beside where you'll be to put your medications, a clock, pad of paper and pen to keep track of when you took medications, and phone(make sure ringer is off so sleep won't be disturbed.

3. Get a cooler and have someone(your daughter) stock it with cold drinks, snacks and lunch(sandwich, salad etc.) before she leaves for the day. Use the re-freezable ice packs they can double for you if you need them.

4. Have heat and serve meals in the freezer so you can just pop them in the oven for dinner. I've doubled up the amount I make for dinners now to freeze the extra for when I'm recovering.

Good Luck with your surgery and recovery.
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Unread 10-11-2011, 10:48 PM
Re: All Alone

Thank you. Thank you very much
Unread 10-12-2011, 12:08 AM
All Alone

I live alone and was not planning to get help following my SAH. My doctor told me that I would want someone in the house with me for the first few days and then someone who could drive over on short notice for at least a week. At the last minute a friend was able to come stay with me for 10 days. Her help was invaluable. One thing the doctor did suggest was contacting the hospital social worker to find out about agency help. That is an option, but more expensive. Each person's experience and needs vary, so I would make the arrangements that best suit you. I was glad that I got the extra help, but I also saw other posters say that they wanted to be by themselves.
Unread 10-12-2011, 01:29 AM
Re: All Alone

Thank you. I never thought about a home health aid. Thank you for sharing!
Unread 10-12-2011, 08:25 AM
Re: All Alone

Hi McBean, I had a very similar situation to yours. My adult brother lives with me and has his own very busy life so I knew I'd essentially be on my own. It really was OK.

I prepared for surgery by getting the house in order & stocking up. Especially on heavy things, you won't be able to lift anything heavier then a gallon of milk for quite a while (did you know a gallon of milk weighs about 8.5 pounds?). I relied on my brother for pharmacy runs, comfort food runs, to replenish supplies and help with laundry the first few weeks. I made sure I didn't shower the first week or so unless he was home, I wanted someone there in case I fell (which I never did). There was a time he wasn't home and I just had to shower, so I called a neighbor before and after, she would have come to check on me if I didn't call back soon enough.

One of the neatest things my brother did for me was to borrow a set of pet stairs. I have 2 small dogs and he didn't want me lifting them onto the bed. The smaller of the two never even attempted the stairs, she's more cat-like with the way she jumps around. The larger of the two initially resisted, but then always put a smile on my face when I watched him appear over the end of the bed as he climbed the stairs. The stairs kept me from picking him up too soon, so they were a great recovery aid!

Check this site for great tips on getting out of bed post-surgery, you'll need to get good at that since you'll be on your own much of the day. That was the most difficult, one forgets how much they rely on abdominal muscles. I originally thought I would spend a lot of my recovery on the LR couch, but found it too low for comfort. I kept a kitchen chair next to my bed to hold onto for about the first week.

Good luck to you!
Unread 10-12-2011, 08:40 AM
Re: All Alone

Some of the suggestions offered are fantastic, and I would like to add one. If you can arrange to have someone available to drive you places that would add a safety valve. You will probably be restricted from driving for two or three weeks and may have scheduled post op doctors appointments, or need to be driven to see the doctor unexpectedly. My partner had to suddenly leave town during my early recovery and the scramble to find someone to drive me to my first post op appointment was stressful!

Good luck and speedy healing!
Unread 10-12-2011, 08:48 AM
Re: All Alone

There is also an article on the site on recovering alone, I think in the pre op section. I was alone and did fine. Someone did shopping for me and took the trash to the curb. I was careful and didn't have as much pain as I expected, so it wasn't an issue to be home alone. You've gotten some good advice and with that I think you'll do fine. Best wishes for an easy recovery.
Unread 10-12-2011, 12:31 PM
Re: All Alone

I thought of a few more things- think about what you'll want to wear during your recovery. Many sisters suggest purchasing some gianormous underwear, nightgowns, casual dresses, yoga pants & t-shirts.

I was most comfortable in my own panties (they are essentially waistband-free), yoga pants (also waistband-free) and oversized t-shirts (my workout gear). Luckily I have a generous supply of all so I didn't have to worry about running out and having to worry about doing laundry. An added plus was it all hid my belly binder, having had a SAH it is something I found great comfort wearing.

How comfortable is your shower/bathing area for your post-surgical needs? A few years back when I remodeled my bathroom I put in a shower stall with bench and a hand-held shower head. Through a few illnesses & surgeries it has become on of the best investments I ever made! If you don't have them, consider purchasing (or renting) a shower bench from your local pharmacy or hospital supply and adding a hand-held shower head. The shower heads come in many versions from a semi-permanent economical style to heavier duty permanent styles. But keep in mind my earlier suggestion, don't shower without your daughter being home until you are feeling stronger, if you need to while she is away call a friend or neighbor. Better safe then sorry!

Again, good luck to you!

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