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handy items for recovery handy items for recovery

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Unread 03-19-2002, 09:36 AM
handy items for recovery

Is there any one place here that gives a list of things to have on hand at home for pre- and post-op (besides food stuffs) - thinks like Gas-X, Tylenol, etc. Nifty little things that you would not normally think to have on hand.

My surgery is April 1 and I am slowly trying to get everything in place.

Naturally, I woke up Sunday to my "last" visit from Aunt Flo, and today get out of the shower to notice some strange heat-type rash. Grreeaaat. And the woman I work next to has a sore throat! So, I am sucking down the Vitamin C and getting lots of rest!
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Unread 03-19-2002, 09:42 AM
handy items for recovery

Hi, Caroline,

I'm home on my lunch break right now, so this will be a quick reply, and then if I think of something else, I'll add to it this evening. Have you gone to the home page (click onto the 3 Princesses at the top left of this page) and scrolled down to the pre-op and post-op hints?

There are lots of suggestions in those hints, and I know that I have seen threads on the same subject. You might want to try a search (little purple button at the top right of this page), too.

Sorry to be so short, but gotta run.


Unread 03-19-2002, 11:30 AM
Needed Items

I had to improvise with kitchen tongs--but a long-handled reacher would've been a Godsend. Also if you are having TAH and will be alone, toilet rails are a virtual must--getting up and down was VERY hard. Otherwise--do the search thing. Lots of good ideas.
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Unread 03-19-2002, 11:41 AM
handy items for recovery

Thanks for the tips Caroline. My sugery is also scheduled on April 1st. I'm attending a Hysterrectomy Pre-op Class, today after work. Did you or anyone else have to attend anything like it? I'm curious as to what to expect.

Sacramento, CA
Unread 03-19-2002, 11:50 AM
handy items for recovery

My pre-op is not until next Wednesday. I guess allmy other research till then will be done on my own - but I had a laparatomy/mymectomy in 1994 - so I am figuring that my recovery will be similar to that - it's the same cut and this time they are just removing everything (TAH/BSO) instead of taking their time to sift through the rubble and repair odds and ends!

I know my mom has a reacher-dealie that she used when she had a mastectomy - gotta remember to get it from her!
Unread 03-19-2002, 12:07 PM
handy items for recovery

In addition to the list of things on the home page I compiled a list from suggestions from other replies while I was preop. It is too long to post it all here, but here is a partial:

Shampoo, cream rinse, moisturizer
A few pads, just in case I needed them.
A brush
My Hyster-Sister Journal and Book
Change of clothes that were extra large.
Extra Undies
Chapstick and Blistex (both in moisturizing formulas) Make sure that your chapstick has no petroleum in it as it will react with oxygen should you need it.
Don't bother with books, etc. You won't feel like reading and it's just something you'll have to carry home.

A LOT of Jell-O
A big thing of Gatorade
A ton of juice, especially Cranberry
A shower stool
Thank you cards
a body pillow (highly recommended)
heating pad with 2 hr auto cutoff
Popsicles to stave off the thirst.
Have plenty of no-preparation foods on hand, like fruit, soup, cereal, snack bars, etc.

Comfortable clothes to wear. Men's pajamas very comfortable, because the large, drawstring waists come up well above the incision, and the button-up tops didn't have to go over the head. You may want to have large, "granny-panties" in a size or two large than you normally wear (you will be swollen and sore!).

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 a while 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!
Unread 03-19-2002, 01:42 PM
Grabbers a must

I went to a local Home health supply store and got a pair of grabbers. They have been the BEST $20 I've ever spent. I use them all the time. I also rented a bedside hospital table.... Used it the first few days, but now it's waiting to be returned.... But the grabber, find one if you can.
Unread 03-19-2002, 06:17 PM
Pre-op preparation

I took more stuff than I ended up wanting or needing to the hospital. Here's what I suggest:

* a few pads, just in case - I did use some, and I hated the big old hospital ones - the old kind with the long tails that hook in the old belts
* a hairbrush
* a chapstick
* I planned to wear the same clothes home that I arrived at the hospital in - extra large sweat pants and a tshirt - but I just went home in my nightgown and robe - why exert yourself to get fully dressed for a 15 minute ride home, then change back anyway?
* extra undies - BIG ones
* a small, firm pillow to press to your stomach if you have to cough, sneeze or laugh
* I agree with mlweeman - don't bother with books, etc. I took a book, and just found myself vegging out after a sentence or two. For a couple of days after anesthesia, I just vegged out an awful lot, and it was nice. I had the TV on, and just vegged, not really paying attention.

Before I went into the hospital, I got a recovery spot set up in the living room - not a room we use much at home. I pulled out the sofabed, and had a boombox with radio and CD player (with headphones) and a box of my favorite CDs close by. Turns out I played the rainy thunderstorm one the most - very relaxing, didn't get tired of it, and I could do other things without being distracted.

We moved a TV and VCR close by - with remote of course!
Other things I had close at hand and easy to reach:
* phone
* bottled water, bottled juices (small bottles - easier to handle than big bottles, and drinkable at one serving - no refrigeration needed afterward every time I got a drink)
* a small cooler, which my loving family could refill with ice cubes so I could ice my drinks
* a small teapot and mug warmer - the kind you sit your cup on * and it keeps your drink hot - kind of like a tiny hot plate
* teabags (I like green tea)
* flashlight
* lots of books for reading
* puzzle books & pencils
* VCR tapes - movies I like or ones I wanted to see - family also could rent some from Blockbuster for me
* flowers people sent me - living room smelled like a flower shop!
* oscillating fan - I like the "white noise" and the circulating air was nice at times
* LOTS of pillows - bed pillows, body pillow, little, firm couch pillows
* a comforter
* my fuzzy slippers and fuzzy robe close by
* a clock radio - nice to tell time at night
* wastebasket
* tissues
* lap tray - nice to eat from, put a book or puzzle book on, etc
* a little basket with nail clippers, nail file, tweezers, hand mirror, chapstick, no-water handwash, all the little things that I might want
* my purse
* phone numbers I might need

Sounds like quite a production, but I was so happy afterward that I did all that - everything I wanted was right there.

Also, I went shopping the day before and bought "special" stuff for me - popsicles, italian ices, yogurts, raisins, grapes, apples, a case of single serving juices, a bunch of bottled water in small bottles (no lifting big bottles), lemons for my tea, etc. Basically, things that I like but don't always buy, that no one was allowed to gobble down and not leave any for me. (Popsicles don't last long around here - they could have some, but had to leave some for me) I even bought some frozen stuff that I don't usually - I could microwave up some macaroni and cheese or something without getting into real cooking.

I got all my laundry done the day before, and I'd bought a couple of nice new nightgowns and fluffy new socks, to make me feel good, and to be a little more presentable for visitors.

Hope some of this helps. Getting "my recovery room" ready with all my comfort stuff helped with my anxiousness too. I felt more ready to deal with whatever I was going to feel like later, and I was so happy to come home from the hospital to it.

Good luck!

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