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Tips for those alone post-op Tips for those alone post-op

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Unread 11-17-2002, 03:23 PM
Tips for those alone post-op

I'm just over 2 weeks post-op (TAH/BSO). I've gotten so much from these boards, that I wanted to pass along some tips for those of you who would either be living alone, or have your Significant Other away for long periods of time.

First, do stay with a friend for a couple days after the surgery if you can. I probably could have gotten by alone if I had to, but I was very glad for the help. If you need to be self-sufficient once you get home, here are some tips:

1. If you have time before the surgery, think about everthing you do as you do it each day, and figure out how to do it if you can't lift over 10 pounds or bend easily. For example, get the smallest throw away plastic containers and fill them with laundry soap-- then you won't have to lift the heavy jug if you must do laundry. Take things you use in the kitchen out of the shelves and put them on an easily accessible counter: food wrap, microwave bowls, dish soap (I found it easier to do a couple dishes after each meal than to load/unload the dishwasher), spices, spatula, hot pad, etc. Put a pot or two on the stove. I found lower shelves to be harder to deal with than upper ones. Do not worry about "everything in its place" -- make everything you use easy to reach.

2. Stock up. Get food, toilet paper, paper towels, light bulbs, etc.

3. If you have a grocery delivery service in your area (like Peapod, no affiliation) check them out.

4. Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors if you've been lazy. You won't be able to reach them after surgery. This is the voice of experience speaking! One of mine started beeping at 3 in the morning as the battery was low. I'm lucky it stopped until a friend could come over -- I would have been stuck listening to it for a long time.

5. Put the 3-month toilet bowl cleaners in your toilet tanks.

6. If you have stairs, put a chair on the landing. Put a chair in your shower.

7. If you don't have a wireless phone, get one (not necessarily a cell phone -- the ones that connect to your land line but can be removed from the cradle are fine). You can put the phone next to your resting place so you don't have to get up to answer it or make calls. Plus, you can carry it with you wherever you go, so you can call someone if you need help.

8. Get a grabber. Best $20 I spent. And I can use it post recovery for getting stuff from the high shelves and changing light bulbs.

9. Set up your resting space ahead of time (mine was a recliner). Put a couple pillows and a throw/blanket/quilt nearby. Stock the area with TV remotes, lip gloss, hand cream, hard candy (if you get a tickle in your throat you want something to suck on close by -- coughing hurts!), eyeglass cleaner, kleenix, notebook, pens, books/crosswords/hand sewing (or whatever time wasters you want), scissors, a glass for water, and your medications. Put a waste basket within reach.

10. Stock all your bathrooms with tootpaste, toothbrush, soap, deoderant, floss, extra toilet paper, paper towels, hydrogen peroxide and cotton balls (to clean your incision). Put these things on the counter, not under the sink. You never know what bathroom you'll be nearest when its time to wash up!

11. And be ready to give that recliner a really good workout!
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Unread 11-17-2002, 05:17 PM
Tips for those alone post-op

What a great list of things to do for yourself in preparation for post op! I see some I wish I had thought of and I did not spend post op alone! Thank you for sharing that with all of us!
Unread 11-19-2002, 01:08 PM
Tips for those alone post-op

What a great list!! Thanks so much for posting this! Enjoy a restful, wonderful recovery.


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Unread 11-19-2002, 01:14 PM
Tips for those alone post-op

This list will certainly come in handy since I do live alone. Thanks for taking the time to provide such helpful information.
Unread 11-20-2002, 04:10 PM
Tips for those alone post-op

Thanks so much for this list! My surgery is a week from today, and I'll be on my own. You've got me thinking ahead. Thanks again.


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