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living alone - does anyone have tips? living alone - does anyone have tips?

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Unread 03-07-2012, 05:57 AM
living alone - does anyone have tips?


Do any other sisters who live alone have any tips for not overdoing it? I had my sister for the first week and other good friends visit daily since she left, but I'm finding it so hard to not do things I shouldn't. I have lifted, reached up and generally just done much more than I should and I am now worrying about bad helaing/adhesions and all that.

I'm trying wearing a binder - more as a reminder than to give support and hope that will help me STOP when I aim to do something I shouldn't. I'm also going to book a cleaner to come once a week. But would love to hear from others in the same boat with any other ideas.


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Unread 03-07-2012, 11:36 AM
Re: living alone - does anyone have tips?

Hi Emily,
Sorry you're alone and struggling. I'm a single mom of a small child and though my mom has been here to help, I've still managed to over-do it. She's leaving in a couple of days and I'm having a lot of anxiety as to how we will get by. I have no idea! I guess you just get through it. I'd love to hear some tips myself. All I can think of is--don't worry about the house being tidy, don't overdo it no matter how tempting, it's not worth the set backs. I feel like I'd be way ahead by now had I not decided to do household chores. But it is a challenge--how to get through this when there are things that must be done and you are the only one to do it. Good Luck!
Unread 03-07-2012, 01:23 PM
Re: living alone - does anyone have tips?

Hi Emily,
I was in the same boat as you - my family don't live in the same country as me and, even though I had friends coming around to help me, I've always been the self-sufficient (and stubborn!) type and wanted to do everything myself. Trouble is, I set my recovery back by a few days and had an unpleasant bleeding episode brought on (I think) by carrying too many things from the supermarket! Basically I'd advise you to take a lot of rests during the day, forget the housework - it can wait!- and get your shopping delivered if you can or just buy a couple of things a day and don't strain yourself! Six weeks on I'm back at work but still very worn out - so really, RELAX!!

All the best,

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Unread 03-07-2012, 02:22 PM
Re: living alone - does anyone have tips?

Some good advice here.
Don't worry about the housework - it will be ok to do later.
Microwave meals
Getting shopping delivered
My best buy was litter pickers! It stopped me bending, stretching and lifting anything heavy.
I used them to put washing into the machine, 1 item at a time, and get them out again.
I could pick them out of the basket to put onto the airers.
Anything too heavy falls out of the grippers so I knew it was not allowed
once past 6 weeks much more is allowed
Have you checked out the hysterectomy checklist at the top here?
Unread 03-07-2012, 04:25 PM
Re: living alone - does anyone have tips?

I was just complaining about this same thing. People keep yelling at me, telling to relax...but I have told them "I live else is going to get done?" My house is a mess and I am always worried I am overdoing it. My best advice is...listen to your body. If its giving you signals...listen!
Unread 03-07-2012, 05:09 PM
Re: living alone - does anyone have tips?

I've run into the same problems and I'm even married. He works third shift 12hrs. so he is either at work or sleeping. I tried to do what I concidered easy simple things and ended up spotting pretty heavy for a couple of days. My best recomendation is paper cups and plates and plastic silverware. Also like the previous poster said about using a grabber to do the laundry. I have a gopher grabber and it has helped me tremendously! I have my little dog trained to jump up on a step while I use the grabber to get her chain from the ground... hook her up and she's off and running to do her business.
Just take things easy as possible and keep your feet up as much as you can. Before you know it things will get easier.
Unread 03-08-2012, 06:36 AM
Re: living alone - does anyone have tips?

Thanks everyone for the understanding and the tips. I'm going to see where I can get a grabber online now and paper plates is a great idea.

Like you, Christina, I am stubborn and independent - usually a good thing but not so good right now!

I have a list of jobs for my mum to do when she visits tomorrow, and have booked a cleaner for next week - will have her come once a week for a few weeks I think.

Lifting is the hardest thing not to do but I have come up with a tip myself: I have a litre packet of juice (the max we are allowed to lift) on the side in the kitchen. I am using it to measure other things against and trying to train myself to know how heavy things are in relation to it.

It is helping - although I bought one too many things in the shop today and overdid it carrying them home. Now I plan to stay on the sofa for the afternoon.

Thanks again sisters,

Unread 03-08-2012, 05:58 PM
Re: living alone - does anyone have tips?

Don't know if you made preparations beforehand, but before my op. (I live alone) I pulled everything down from top shelves that I used regularly and put it on the kitchen bench (counter to you?) and the same in the bathroom so i didn't have to reach or bend.
The reacher/grabber was really good. I got one very cheaply from a hardware store before my op. But I also squatted carefully if necessary. Was shown how in the hospital and it was OK'd if I did it how I was shown. Back straight, NO using abdominal muscles, use leg muscles to get upright again, plus use arms to pull up on some nearby piece of furniture. I did this a LOT and never had pain or harmed myself. I did this to pick up the cat's dishes, but NOT the litter box - too heavy. Luckily my cat was indoor-outdoor so did his business outside in the garden.
I also had a very light plastic stool with a hand-hole on the top that I could pick up and carry to where I needed a bit of extra height to reach if necessary. I used it to hang washing on the line outside, a couple of things at a time. I pulled them out of the machine with the grabber. Didn't hang washing the first week or two - I had my sister staying with her son nearby to help. (But no-one lived with me at any stage)
Had help with all other housework for about 5 weeks. No vaccuuming for 6 weeks.
Since then I started doing everything for myself very carefully, and I have made an excellent recovery. Not pain-free, of course, for a while, but never did myself any harm and feel 98% better now.
Make sure you rest a lot, on your bed, rather than sitting around, and walk regularly. Gradually increase the distance. Walking is REALLY good for you!
Unread 03-10-2012, 11:13 AM
Re: living alone - does anyone have tips?

I live alone and did a lot of the same things Acey mentioned. Putting everything on the counters was key. I just broke up activities into smaller tasks than normal and when I got up for something else (e.g., bathroom, drink) I would do a small task. for example my laundry loads were three days worth of towels or clothes alternated so I did towels one day and clothes the next. I used disposable plates and silverware so I did not have to do the dishwasher (wasn't allowed to either ) When I went to any store i only got a few things, so that meant more trips but that kept the trips short too. And for food keep things simple then you aren't tired (salads, soup, vegetables).
Unread 03-10-2012, 11:49 AM
Re: living alone - does anyone have tips?

Put some clothes that you will wear like stretchy pants, loose tops, underwear and pjs where they are easy to reach. I set them on top of a suitcase on a luggage rack on the side of my room or on top of my dresser. Grabber is a "must have"....not a toy one but a real one from pharmacy or hardware store. You will have to pick things up and want to avoid bending. In bathrooms put some extra toilet paper, sanitary pads, moist wipes for your bottom and tissues where they are easy to reach with no bending. Have A cup or bottle for drinking water with a tight lid that you can refill. For snacks Buy things like juice boxes , other grab and go snacks like diced peaches or applesauce. Have someone divide up fruit in smaller portions and put it on a shelf in refrigerator where it is easier to reach. I put a second nightstand right next to my bed to have more things within easy reach. If you belong o a church or temple or school group, ask if other families could prepare some dinners to be dropped off. This is not the time to be shy. They might even set up a web site to help with sign up, avoiding food allergies, etc. Doe snot matter if they cook it themselves or buy prepared need to focus on getting well, not making meals. Hang in there.....

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