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Bathroom Drama

ConnieGoldenCConnieGolden Posts: 19
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
OK I have a question that I have not seen answered. This is a little funny but it has seriously botherd me. I am going to have fusion L5 SI on June 2nd. So twisting and bending a no no, so how do you wipe your rear? I am sure there is a simple answer that I am illiterate and don't know.


  • There is an aid you can purchase called a Bottom Buddy, which holds the toilet paper and extends your reach :jawdrop:

    There are also some cheaper alternatives, but some of them don't look so good. If you google the name, you will find them online.

    I purchased one, but didn't need it.
    I would say that moist toilet tissue is very useful as it makes it easier.

    Best wishes for your fusion on June 2nd. Ask away if you have any other questions. They will all have been asked before, and are bound to be asked again some day :D
  • our shower has body jets
    and a well aimed jet !! need i say more??
    you could also use the shower head as many of them have various spray patterns
  • They are also on eBay! Not many, but if you look, you can pick one up (free shipping) for around $15.00 or even less. :-) Pretty neat invention!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    The only time I was unable to do so was around the 3rd day in the hospital. By the time I got home I was able to and I bought some of those disposable cloths to use (they are in the toilet paper aisle and are kind of like baby wipes for adults). They came in very handy.

    My poor hubby had to help out once in the hospital. He put on gloves and said "I don't think this was in the vows" :-)
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • My hubby says that he's not helping that our 22 year old daughter should return the favor. SpineAZ would you happen to be from AZ?
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    I live in Phoenix. Been here 8.5 years.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • :O Are you guys serious when you say I won't be able to wipe after a bowel movement? What am I gonna do? I will not let anyone wipe me. That is just not ok. I am already using wet wipes for adults. I am unable to reach behind me to wipe. I have to do it from the front. Anyway, is it possible to wipe on my own after going to the bathroom. Or will I really need help. My fusion is on June 9th. :)
  • As in all things, everyone is different.
    Some people do manage, but the twisting is the problem.
    If you have already devised a way to do it, protecting your back, you may be ok.
    If this is a worry for you, I would get yourself a Bottom Buddy or similar.
    I had one but didn't need it.

    Hope that your fusion deals with your problems and that your recovery goes smoothly.
    Have you looked at the list of helpful items for after surgery in the FAQ section?
    That is full of ideas of what you might need. You don't need everything! But you can get a good idea of what limitations you may have.
  • I know right now, this seems huge, but honestly, when you are coming home from the hospital, it's not that significant.

    One of the things you will probably want is a raised toilet seat. I was given one in the hospital that is called a 3-in-1 as it can be 3 different things;
    1. raised toilet seat with hand grab bars
    2. shower chair
    3. bedside commode

    I've only used it as a raised toilet seat and I did really need it.

    You will find a way to take care of your hygiene. If you don't find the answers you need, ask your surgeon's nurse. They are a wealth of knowledge!

    One thing I had ready to go if I ever needed (I didn't) was kitchen tongs that could hold the tissue and extend your reach.

    In the hospital you will be seen by a Physical Therapist and maybe an Occupational Therapist. Ask the OT, they are amazing at adapting activities, ie the Motto "Freedome through Function"

    Wishing you the best!
  • Who knew there were so many ways to take care of business!!
  • :D Thanks for all the responses. I hope I don't have a problem. I have a raised toilet seat. Dr. won't let me use a bed side commode. He wants me out of bed up and around. So I have to walk to the bathroom. Thanks again. ;)
  • After both back surgeries, the hospital provided me with toilet aids. One was like a scrub brush in which you wrapped the toilet paper around. The other one resembled barbacue tongs in which it grabbed the paper and held it while you did your business. If you are going to be wearing one of those turtle shell braces, you may need an aid to help reach those places. You can get the 2nd aid I mentioned at "Tongs Are Us". Just kidding.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
  • When I had my first 360 degree fusion in April I had the hardest time in the bathroom and hadn't thought about it before hand.. No way was I going to allow anyone to help me so I just moved and moved untilo I found I way to get it done.. Now had I known about the tools you can get before hand I would be a very proud owner of them.. Ha ha ha.. Luckily it was a few days before I needed to do anything so the first few days are the worse and I was able to manage..

  • It must depend on the type of fusion, what level, and your physical shape. I had fusion at L5/S1 and had no problems at all wiping after surgery. Never bought a "helping hand" thing. But hey if that's what it takes.

    Now the throne seat. Oh yeah. Loved it. If you're tall most standard toilets in older houses sit too low. The newer toilets are better. Having a throne seat with grab rails, priceless!!! :smile:" alt=":smile:" height="20" />

    I was told to take my "turtle shell" brace off for bathroom, shower, bedtime. Only wear it for sitting and up and about moving.

    For anyone asking about what do I need Post-OP. You should read this first. It covers an awful lot.


  • Will you have hardware? I had three levels fused and had rods and screws put in, but I didn't have any trouble taking care of the paperwork. ;^P I had no back brace to wear and was able to get up and walk the day after surgery. My bending, lifting, twisting was limited to things outside the bathroom!

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • :) I will be having hardware put in L5 S1. I have made lists of things to get, to do before, after, and tried to think of everything that might pose a problem and be prepared. But of course until surgery and post always something. I am confident that all will go perfect.
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