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A few "personal" questions

JakotsuJJakotsu Posts: 212
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Ok so I never added much thought to these things, but as I am 1 week post op I am wondering, is there a better way.

Firstly, and to me most importantly, how do you "clean" after doing #2?

I came up with a unique method of seasawing a damp towel, reversing, then using a clean towel to ensure cleanlyness.

I am embaraced to say I do that lol but I honestly don't know what else to do, and the antibiotics are giving me somewhat loose 2's now even after eating yogurt and taking acidolpholus capsules.

I did violate my doctors orders today and showered, but over 1 week of no showering was driving me crazy. I wrapped myself with plastic wrap and it worked relatively well and I managed to get fairly clean.

The other question, where did you sleep/hibernate your first few weeks post op? I am stuck in a couch chair as far as sleeping/being comfortable goes, propped with pillows under, behind, and at the sides.

I have tried twice now to sleep in a bed, I tried a pillow top that sinks when I get and conforms; but I was in constant discomfort, felt pressure in my back not suture related. Then I tried my normal mattrees (with a small pillow top layer) and it felt to hard.

I can walk without much issue, I get sore after awhile but I the doctor told me to be a potato for the first week and I have been minus moving several times an hour as to not stiffen.

I am still draining a lot :( so it's looking bad for my staples coming out, and looks like another round of antibiotics till the drainage stops. I am icing the incision every 30 minutes religously as of now as I desperately want my bi-daily showevers, and that would take care of the #2 issue ;)

Thanks for any advice, these are things I shouldof asked before the surgery haha! :)


  • I can't address your first question - that was, for some reason, not really a problem for me.

    However, I can tell you what I did about sleeping/just "being" for the first few weeks. It was a challenge - I tried the recliner but could not stay in it for more than a few minutes. The most comfortable was sort of reclined on the couch on one side or the other with my back against the back of the sofa - with pillows carefully placed so nothing touched the area around my incision. I got an adjustable table to put by the couch for my laptop and other stuff. I was never exactly comfortable but was more comfortable there than anywhere else. I slept there for a couple of weeks Then I got a memory foam topper for the bed. Even though the mattress had a pillow top it was really not comfortable. The memory foam made such a difference that I was able to sleep in the bed! I slept on my sides with pillows all around. It was a major thing to turnover - move the pillows, get out of bed, get back in on the other side, reposition all the pillows, etc. - but I was able to sleep in the bed in comfort!

  • I was able to lay on my side more comfortable but still had pressure, hrmm guess it will just take time. I have about 10 pillows around my chair.
  • I try to answer some of your questions:

    1. Bathroom hygene: you can by on the internet a a gadget called "bottom Buddy, but most people do not need it. You can try going from front to back while keeping your upper body straight. Or just use the shower after no. 2.

    2. Showering is OK, providing you cover your dressing with plastic and tape, then if necessary change the dressing afterwards, if it is wet.

    3. Sleeping was so much easier once we purchased a memory foam mattress topper (3'')

    4. Sitting was challenging at first, a computer chair was OK for a while than I needed to get up or rest. For TV watching, eventually we bought a zero-gravity recliner, the problem is that it is rather pricey, but then you may use it for the rest of your life.

    Hope these suggestions help.

    Take care,

  • I took home some wipes that they gave me in the hospital to help me my cleanlyness down there. That seemed to help a lot, that is if you can bend to reach that area. Other ladies on here talked about using regular kitchen tongs and wiping toilet paper around the ends and using that. I never was that crafty to come up with that idea.

    For sleeping, I slept on the couch and pretty much camp out there for about 2 wks. I still sleep on the couch at night cuz since I had surgery I snore terribly (according to my hubby) and I keep waking him up. He nudges me to get me to stop and I get sick of waking up every 15-30 mins cuz I'm snoring so I just go out on the couch at night. Plus I suffer from insomnia so I am up much later than everyone else.

    I hope you are able find some of my answers to be helpful or the answers from the others who posted. This is a really great place to talk about any questions or concerns you may have.
  • Hiya , I did a post on the first question. Get some baby wipes, use tooilet paper the best you can then baby wipe yourself, and the flush too. To the second question the secret is orthopedic pillows, they are just the best thing, pad them up into a V-shape(i find the v-shape pillow dont have the same affect)for comfort, thats how i find i can sleep comfortably, sleeping on the slope.

    Angie x
  • in answer to the cleaning question (lol, brings back memories)...baby wipes!

    Fusion - its only been a few weeks. It will slowly get better, 6 weeks is a good mile stone point. You will sleep lots...the aneasthetic needs to get out your system. They say that can take up to 6 months!
    Deep breathing and cough. I was petricfied of getting a chest infection being flat for 48 hours and forced my lung exercises. I did get chesty....not nice.

    Showering , personally, I don't blame you but it is a huge feat and so make sure you have help and you keep your wound dry.

    I lay on my sofa. It was raised with firm sponge and a wooden board. It was so flat and comfy that we have kept it. It was also too low and I just never had the "umph" to get myselfd out of the low seat. It is tall enough now to enable me to roll out / off.
    TV and laptop my lifesaver.

    Another life saver - silk / satan sheets or slippery sleeping bag...you know the thing? Sleep on it. It is soft and will allow you to slip without resistance on the bed. I remember the bed sheets were even too heavy for me, lol.

    Take it easy!

  • Did you have an occupational therapist come to see you in the hospital before you were discharged? They came to teach me a few tips and there were some items I could buy (insurance covered most) like a grabber, a "dressing stick". long handled shoe horn (which I love) and they had thins thing, you would wrap toilet paper around it, and it gave you about 6 or 8 inches more reach with an angle, very clever. I didn't order one because I didn't need it but clever stuff.

    I'm going to post a link on the web to give you an idea (FORGIVE ME MODERATORS - I understand if you delete):
    [ link removed by Moderator Bruce ]

    If they delete, do a web search under "toilet aid, independent hygiene" something like that.
  • this is a pain I use the tongs with toilet paper then flushable wipes afterwards cottenelle makes them or kids brand kandoo are flushable too.
  • I had cervical surgery, so didn't have the issue: but I received a catalog in the mail yesterday. there was a gadget called "easywipe"
  • Hoping to have my staples removed tomorrow so I will just shower after heh. Im 6 ft tall 350 pounds and my arms just arent long enough to not be bending any!

    Thank you all for the suggestions and if the staples arent I may have to look at the easy wipe gaget :D

    I was only in the hospital for two days, PT came twice daily to get me up and walk me, that was it.
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