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Need Post -Op Self Care Advice Need Post -Op Self Care Advice

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Unread 12-11-2002, 08:19 PM
Need Post -Op Self Care Advice

I'm scheduled for a LAVH on Jan.6, 2003. I live alone. I also live in an upstairs apartment. Does anyone have any advice on how I can get up the stairs the day I'm released from the hospital? I will have someone to bring me home and assist me up the stairs. I'm just wondering what's the best way to climb the stairs without tearing or ripping anything inside. Also what self care tips can you ladies offer to someone who will basically be responsible for recovering on her own?

This site has been a wonderful source of information.

Polly Puff
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Unread 12-12-2002, 03:33 AM
Hi Polly,

I had a TAH and didn't have to negotiate stairs, but I've heard a couple of ladies say that if you walk up the stairs backwards, you get less stress and strain on your internal tissues. Just make sure someone is there with you when you do go up.

As for caring for yourself, I can give you some tips that might help. You'll need to prepare your recovery area ahead of time. If you chose to stay in bed, on the couch, or in a recliner, have a small table set up next to the area with your pain meds, water bottle, pad of paper to write down the times you took your meds, perhaps a clock, definitely a cordless phone (and take it with you where ever you go), books or magazines, the remote for your t.v. and a perhaps a small cooler with ice, drinks, and snacks. Include any other items you feel you might need. You can also rent a hospital type table that swings over your bed for a very low price. They make it much easier to eat meals and generally get to your things you need.

When getting in and out of bed, you might try tying a rope to the bed frame at the foot of the bed. You can pull yourself up with the rope and prevent having to use your abdominal muscles. (This is especially good with a TAH or SAH.)

You shouldn't take a shower by yourself for awhile, so if possible, get someone to be there when you do. A plastic patio chair placed in the tub or a shower bench helps a lot, as you can shower sitting down. A hand-held shower head is nice too. You'll also need a rubber bath mat in the tub to keep you from slipping.

In the kitchen, stock up on easy-to-prepare, nutritious foods, perhaps frozen dinners that can be microwaved - just stay away from foods that can cause gas and constipation - cheese, peanut butter, raw veggies, etc. And you may want to store things on top of the counter so you don't have to reach up for them. You might also want to use paper plates, bowls, cups, and plastic utensils so you don't have to wash dishes for awhile.

In regards to doing housework - don't! Vacuuming, sweeping, laundry, and other strenuous activity shouldn't be done for at least 4 to 6 weeks. If you can, get someone to come in and do the housework for you, or turn a blind eye to the mess.

The most important thing is to have someone who can check up on you daily. Arrange with a friend, neighbor, or family member to have them call or stop by at least once a day so they can run errands or help with things you can't or shouldn't be doing.

And don't forget your training - lots of rest; short, frequent walks; and drink lots of water to keep the plumbing working.

Best wishes on your upcoming surgery and lots of s,

Unread 12-12-2002, 04:30 AM
Need Post -Op Self Care Advice

Every person is different, but I had no problems with stairs and no restrictions regarding them. I live in a two story house, bedrooms upstairs. I took them slowly and the first couple of days I made sure someone was on the downside just in case.

I can't add anything to the suggestions Lisa has already given you!

Best wishes!
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Unread 12-12-2002, 08:21 PM
Post-Op Self Care

Hi ladies,

Thank you so much. This is information I definitely needed. I really do appreciate it.

I will take your advice to heart. I know I only get one chance to heal properly and I don't want to do anything to mess it up.

Just knowing that I can get up the stairs and into my bed is a big relief to me.

Once again thanks for the advice and if you all can think of anything else, please let me know.

Polly Puff
Unread 12-13-2002, 01:30 AM
living alone

Hi, I live alone too...two story house, just took stairs r-e-a-l slowly. Agree w/ other posts...I did too much in beginning, and paid for it. I stocked up on pj's from Mervyns, they had REAL drawstring bottms, and by having extra, just being able to change into different patterns made me feel better. If you can get a wedge type pillow for under your legs, tha helped me the first few days.

This is small, but have straws nearby for your beverage. Just take it easy.
Unread 12-13-2002, 03:26 AM
Just a note on straws...

you might want to avoid them the first few weeks as they can cause increased intestinal gas, and believe me, you're may have enough of that as it is.

Oh, and the pillow that ebbicat1 mentioned is great too for propping up in bed.


Unread 12-13-2002, 05:49 AM
Need Post -Op Self Care Advice

I had TVH on Wednesday morning. I came home from castle yesterday - no restrictions on stairs. I was very careful going up yesterday evening and coming down this morning, but was surprised that it didn't hurt to do them. They are rather tiring, though. Good luck!

Unread 12-13-2002, 06:00 AM
well-lit stairs help

I didn't have to really cope with this one, but doc's orders said "stairs okay". We have two steps going up to our bedroom and after a prior surgery, I slipped on these due to poor lighting. I also suggest non-skid slippers. Hardwood floors and socks can lead to slips and falls.

A well-thought out bedside table was my lifesaver. Having everything I could think of at arm's reach and organized helped more than anything, especially after dh went back to work. This goes for the castle too. Very bothersome to have to buzz the nurse to dig thru my travel bag to get some item out for me.

Pre-cooked, frozen meals are another thing that helped. DH is domestically impaired big time. However, lot of xenoestrogens are created by using plastics in the microwave, so transfer food to glass or ceramic for reheating. Hormones are hard enough to balance without putting funky ones in our bodies too.
Unread 12-13-2002, 08:27 PM
Post-Op Self Care

Hi, Ladies.

The sharing of your tips and experiences is fantastic. I 'm very grateful that you all are here. I have another question - Did any of you need to have anyone spend the night with you, following the first day of surgery? I have a some friends who will be with me the morning of surgery, however I may be on my own that first night.

Right now my biggest concern, is post-op pain relief. I've never been hospitalized, so this will be a first.

Are there any tips anyone can offer me for the first night in the hospital? I'm guessing that I'll probably still be a bit groggy from the surgery. But then again, who knows - I could be wide awake and ready to go home !

Thanks again for everything.

Peace and Blessings to you all !
Unread 12-13-2002, 08:39 PM
about the hospital

I dozed for 10 minutes, awake 20, back to dozing the first night. Nurses taking vitals and checking the IV woke me up. Pre-recorded cassette of relaxing music got me thru since I couldn't focus on a plot line to save myself. You might want to have a friend get your prescriptions filled before your discharge if your doc won't give them to you before the surgery. (most won't) Not fun to wait at the pharmacy when you are in pain. Might want to have the insurance info on file at your pharmacy to make this easier. Ditto to having friends around to run errands until you get your driving priviledges back. I stocked up well so didn't really need much more than prescriptions. I would have a gas medication and advil or motrin on hand for post op. A bowel softener like colace was less expensive for me as a prescription than the over the counter stuff.

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