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Unread 01-15-2002, 01:01 PM
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For all ladies in waiting, here are some tips that I found helpful when I was pre/post op!

Once you're at home, you'll need to have some comfortable clothes to wear. I found men's pajamas very comfortable, because the large, drawstring waists came up well above my incision, and the button-up tops didn't have to go over my head (hard to get my arms up). You will probably want to have large, "granny-panties" in a size or two large than you normally wear (you will be swollen and sore!).

Have a tummy pillow handy at all times! This would be a small pillow that you hold against your abdomen when you have to sneeze or cough. Keep it where you can grab it with only a second’s notice! I had a sneeze sneak up on me once when I couldn’t grab my pillow – ouch! It felt like my insides exploded.

Have plenty of no-preparation foods on hand, like fruit, soup, cereal, snack bars, etc. I had absolutely no appetite for a couple of weeks, and my frantic husband finally convinced me to drink some Ensure, which went down ok. You may want to have some of that in the fridge for times you just don’t feel like eating, but need nourishment.

Also, buy PLENTY of juice! You will need to drink LOTS of liquids when you get home to help with the gas. I got bored with the same type of juice, so my husband bought lots of different types, and put them in small containers for me (I found it difficult to lift and pour large containers for awhile). Don't drink anything carbonated, and don't use a straw (makes the gas worse).

WALKING is very helpful with the gas! Walk as often as is comfortable (my walks were VERY short and slow, but I did several a day), and it should really help get your bowels working smoothly again.

I also found a shower chair very helpful. Standing up long enough to shower wore me out! You could also use any plastic chair that will fit in your shower.

VERY IMPORTANT: have anything you might need at waist-level. This includes toilet paper, pads, clothing, cups, food, plates, etc. Believe me, you will NOT want to bend or reach for anything! The house may look cluttered for awhile with everything sitting out on counter tops, but it's worth it!

If you’re going to be alone, make sure the phone is where you can reach it at ALL times! Several of us have gotten “stuck” (couldn’t get off the couch without help, problems in the bathroom, etc.), and have needed to call for assistance.

Once you’re feeling a bit better, you might start getting a bit bored. Unfortunately, you will be very limited in what you will be able to do. These are some things I did to pass the time, along with some suggestions from other hystersisters:

Reading LOTS of books
Writing long letters to friends and family (real letters, not e-mail!)
Organizing photo albums
Drew out plans for the garden
Bought a tape to improve Spanish skills
Watching lots of movies
Crafts, quilting, etc.

Hope this helps!
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Unread 01-15-2002, 04:56 PM
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Thanks for the ideas! I had not thought of a shower chair. It helps to know what helped someone else. You also gave me an idea. At one time my mother needed one of those raised toilet seats. I think I might borrow hers. With all the liquids I am sure I will be making many trips to the bathroom. A raised seat would be great - save on the stooping and bending.

Unread 01-15-2002, 07:44 PM
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Two more ideas to add to the bunch....

If you are going to have a bladder repair done you may need to have the catheter in place for a few days... you'll want to have a shortie nightgown (like a night shirt) because you won't be able to get the drawstring pants on until after the catheter is removed.

Also, the surgery and recovery room time may be 4 - 5 hours total. You may want to pack your dh a survival pack with a book and some snacks - maybe a love note - to get him through that agonizing wait. (My TAH/BSO was 2 hours plus 3 hours in recovery)

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Unread 01-16-2002, 08:01 AM
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Some EXCELLENT additional ideas!
Unread 01-25-2002, 12:57 PM
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Unread 01-25-2002, 03:46 PM
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Thanks for the hints and the bump! I just printed this thread out
Unread 01-25-2002, 05:02 PM
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Hey gals I have a few weeks post TAH/BSO and have some to add.
First thing, I started rolling from side to side as early as first night post-op and sleeping on my side. This done 2 things. First, it helped relieve pain and keep down backache pain. (who needs extra pain along with it eh?) The second thing it done was start me getting used to moving and working out the soreness. Thirs, movement=less gas pains.
Second, brings a pillow to the hospital for the ride home! I always had hospital issued pillows with baby births and didnt bring one. Well they stopped putting them on the tab, so I had a ride home that was quite ruff.
Third, if I knew what I knew now, I'd definatly invested in wedges for the bed. Those would have been worth every cent to help me prob tummy while on my side or even one for the back while on my side.
Fourth, if you do not have at least 4-5 good pillows at home for just you, go buy more. It is a MUST to getting into a good postion for sleeping.
Fifth, hospitals dont tend to care about individual preferences. So if I had it to do again, Id packed my own unspoilabe food for the times that meal was horrible, which was every meal. Like fruit, muffins and good bread in a zip lock, crackers and peanut butter.
Last is a repeat, WALK. Walk slow and easy, but walk! Its makes the world of difference in being miserable or not.

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