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Post-Op Home Comforts

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,622
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:18 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My wife is doing everything she can to help me through my upcoming surgery. But one thing neither of have any clue about is things around the house that will make my recovery easier.

Is there a *list* of items that you can share?



  • Hi Hawk,

    I bet the other Spineys are better at the list, but these few hints made my hubby happy:

    *A grabber ($10 from CVS)
    *A pillow to put between his legs
    *Items that you use at arm length (not up high so you have to reach)
    *Movies, Books, Puzzles
    * Those velcro walking shoes- to hard to bend down to tie.
    * Comfort food.
    * Raised toilet seat if you think you need one.
    * A matt or bar in the shower so you do not slip.

    I hope this helps. I PM you because I changed my name when I went to this new site.

    Smurf image

  • Make that 2 grabbers because you will either forget where the one is or it will fall and you need the other grabber to grab it.

    Smurf, you did a great job on that list.
  • Thanks very much for the list. Perhaps it can be added to and stapled to the top for future use?
  • Hi Hawk,

    I just PM-d you as I don't quite know how to navigate this site yet. I have such a list that is very comprehensive. If you want it, read my message in your PM, and take it from there.


    P.S. Anybody, how do I have a PM by my own name? On the old site it was automatic. Thanks.

  • Can you post that list? That would benefit more than just me.

  • Kinpain,

    You have a PM by your name, I was wondering the same thing about my name yesterday!

  • Also Hawk for the hospital you may want to bring antibacterial lotion and wipes to keep the nasties away. Trust me, this is coming from someone who got a staph infection and so did my hospital roommate!
  • 1 toilet riser
    2 grabber
    3 hospital bed (if your room is upstairs)
    4 2nd grabber
    5 books
    6 notepad & pen(use to keep track of meds or questions fo the Dr)

    7 straws (its hard to sip reclined)
    8 plenty of pillows
    9 wet wipes
    10 shower chair

    hope this helps
    andmost important a positive attitude that your heading for the healing side....good luck
  • Hey Mel,

    When i see my postings there is no PM under it like on the old site. How on earth do you get it? Interestingly, I managed to get one message, but how is still a mystery to me. Could you help me out here? Also I would like to change the password they gave me, but that did not go through either. I would appreciate your advise.

  • Also, a walker, easy to slip on shoes, pants and/or shorts with a soft waistband, a cordless phone or cell phone, a sponge on a handle for bathing, and a laptop if you have one.
  • Another thing to add

    I kept my cell phone in bed with me and then if I needed something or help getting up I could call my husband on our home phone without having to shout for him. It really helped!
  • My bedroom is upstairs. I purchased a tray table, good computer chair, a bin for my nightstand to keep my meds and vitamins, another magazine type bin to keep next to the bed for notebook, magazine etc. and an extra power strip to plug in my laptop, cell phone, ipod etc. This way if I couldn't make it up and down the stairs, I had a lot of stuff I needed. OH....my boys put some new batteries in a pair os walkie talkies we had (they have a 1 mile radius), they left 1 in the kitchen so if I needed something someone would hear it.

    Hope that helps.
  • Great list of items indeed.

    Does anyone know where I can find slip resistant socks? I can't deem to find them at WalMart and the like. We have a few wood floor and the last thing I wanna do is slip.
  • I got them from the nurse in the hospital. Most likely you will too.

  • Do you think they could send me home with some extra pairs? My wife says those kind of socks are more of a seasonal item around here.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    I found I f you can get a person with a clear mind to put your daily meds in 3 different colored pill divider plastic boxes. am. noon & pm. You know the kind of pill box that has M T W T F S S. It can get confusing and you don't want to double up or forget to take something.
    Good luck,Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • I would also add a long handled shoe horn which can help to get shoes on and socks off.
    A slippery sheel for your bed or silky PJs that will make it easier for you to turn over or move in bed.
    I bought a heat pad for the bed which I also use when I sit in a chair and it had been invaluable to me. I know a lot use ice for pain but heat wortks best for me if it is muscle spasm.
    But really if you have a family or at least a partner at home it is not so bad. I live on my own so had to think of everything from writing down each time I took meds so I didn't double up to preparing 3 months of meals before I had the surgery so I wouldn't have to think about that.

    All the best
  • Low-cut sport socks and a device to put them on. Can't remember the exact name, but you slip the sock on the installer, put it over your foot, and pull the two straps to pull the sock on. Works slick, and keeps you from having to bend. Inexpensive, and available from most medical supply dealers.

    Good list!!

  • I stole a few pairs from the hospital, put it on work comp tab!
  • I had a microdiscectomy, which I believe you are having (saw another of your posts).

    My surgeon didn't approve a scrip for a toilet seat riser, said I wouldn't need one, so I looked around and found one for less than $20. It has been helpful.

    My PT recommended a "body pillow". Helpful when rolling over and changing positions (just hug it and place between knees as you roll, keeps everything pretty well lined up).

    As others have mentioned, a grabber has been way helpful. I even pack it in my gym bag, now that I am doing PT 3 days a week and pool workouts every day. That way I can pick up sandals off the floor at the gym, etc.

    A note pad for keeping track of meds, writing down time of next dose is due, etc. is necessary.

    You probably wouldn't be approved for a hospital bed (I think that is mainly for fusions?). My bedroom is upstairs and surgeon said doing the stairs would be OK as long as I went slow and carefully. With that said, I limited stairs use the first couple weeks.

    They gave me 2 pair of gripper socks at the hospital (and probably charged $20 each ... LOL ... I should check the itemized bill)

    Rather than velcro shoes, I have a pair of Merrell slip on shoes that go on/off really easily (no shoehorn needed). Have been using those a lot. I also have another pair of slip ons that fit tighter (good for walking), but I use a long-handled shoe horn for those.

    A variety of pillows is good (different thicknesses) to mix, match, change position when in bed.

    We also have a lap-top table that rolls. That was handy, for rolling near the bed, moving away easily. And we already had a wireless mouse and keyboard. Less weight and more mobility than the laptop alone.

    For the shower, I got a long handled scrub thing ... like one of those nylon mesh scrubbers people use in the shower, but with a handle. They also have sponges on a stick if you like those better. That was mentioned above.

    I also have ice packs that slip into what looks like a small neoprene back brace, with pockets in it, and with a velcro closure. Found it at a grocery/general purpose store. It is nice since you can put the ice packs in and cinch it around your back. Good for ice treatment when up walking, laying on side, etc.

    Hope these are helpful, and best wishes for the surgery! I'm very glad I had mine, virtually all my leg pain is gone, which is a very good thing. I still have some foot pain and numbness, but hopefully that will decrease with time.
  • Sorry for the late response.

    Mel :)
  • Looks like everyone has pretty much got ya covered. There is a few more things that don't cost a dime, that I feel is the most important thing. It is patience, compassion, understanding, caring, help, sensativity towards needs, and most of all unconditional LOVE.

    This is a very long recovery. Longer than your surgeon told you. If my husband wouldn't have been all of these things, I don't think I would of made it. He was (and still is) my biggest support. I don't know what I would of done without him.

    Another important thing I think, is keeping your loved one informed, involve them in your follow-up appointments, let them see the x-rays afterward. (that's really an eye-opener for them). I had a three level fusion and am left with two 6" rods, 6 screws and the stabilizer band in the middle. When my hubby first saw that, he cried.

    Listen CLOSELY to your surgeon, only do what they tell you. After you FINALLY start feeling better, still only do what he tells you. This is MAJOR surgery. Good luck...
  • My wife found some non-slip socks at Walgreens!

    Thanks again for all the great suggestions, we are going shopping this afternoon and have added a lot of these things to our list.

  • Good job with your wife finding you the socks... they are really helpful and comfy.
  • Hi everyone - this is a great list to have. We have 3 levels in our house - when we asked the surg about steps - he said it wouldn't be a problem go slow and hold on to rails...... I am worried about that -- has anyone with a fusion had issues the first week or so home? Just curious.

  • Mitchygal, I had a three level, OOOWWWW!!!! I was in the hospital 5 days, still couldn't walk or do stairs, so I was put in a re-hab center for 7 days until I did learn to walk and do stairs. It's very painful and hard, but it was the only way I could come home as we have about 19 stairs up into our home, so I worked very hard and through the pain to re-learn this.

    After I finally got to come home, my visiting nurse had me do our stairs on the inside of our home, 3 times a day, up and down. I kept doing that everyday, then I would lay on ice, and of course take a pill.

    I am now 20 weeks post-op, and I still go slowly down our stairs and hang on to the railing, but it doesn't hurt so much. I remember it scaring me with every step, not wanting to fall, cause my whole left leg was numb after surgery. But I finally got er' done.

    What I'm waiting for is being able to go down them fast like before surgery,...or even to run a little. I don't even see a light at the end of the tunnel for that one. The other day I had to kind of skip (run) to pick up our new Beagle puppy, and I could feel all my hardware back there. It was the strangest sensation.

    Just do it everyday, not a lot, and it'll get easier everyday... good luck....this is a long, long, slow slow (longer than your doc told you!) recovery..... PATIENCE and it does come...
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