I am helping a friend who is in her 40's and single after an L4-L5 laminectomy/discectomy with a same day discharge. She is fiercely independent, used to managing everything alone and hates troubling people.
She thinks my only job is to drop her off at the curb and pick her up outside the hospital when she calls me after the surgery, then drop her off at her front door.
I've done a little reading on this site (great post op necessities list!) and am thinking she may be in for an unpleasant surprise as to how independently she will be able to manage this on her own immediately following surgery, so I want to ask all of you what to expect and how best to support her right at first.
Here are some questions that come to my mind:
1. Is it best if instead of dropping her off at the curb, I come in with her and stay until she gets wheeled off, making sure the medical team has my number, or is it really ok to just drop off at the curb?
2. Is she going to be able to walk out of the hospital and get in the car with no assistance whatsoever?
3. Is it likely for her to be extremely out of it and not sure what's going on?
4. Should I be expecting any nausea/vomiting on the ride home (so I can prepare to protect my car).
5. Is it actually ok for me to just drop her off at her front door, or should I be pushy and absolutely insist on getting her inside and making sure she is settled in her bed with all the stuff she needs for the next few hours right by her?
6. If the answer to no. 5 was that I should get her settled inside, then how long should I stay and is it ok if I leave for the night and come back the next morning to check on her? Will she even need me to come back in the morning to check on her physically or would a call/text suffice?
I am trying to walk a fine line between being concerned and helpful, and being annoying/pushy. She wants to handle this entire thing on her own but as this is her first major surgery procedure I'm not sure she realizes exactly how bad she may feel afterwards, and I'm afraid she will have an unpleasant surprise when she realizes she didn't prepare her home properly for it. So I am thinking ahead for her a little bit and am unsure if it will be necessary for me to be a little pushy and insistent at the time of. I know I am not bringing up a ton of stuff before, because she is going to feel bad if she thinks that I am planning to actually walk her in and wait for her at the surgery, and then actually go inside her home and make sure all is good. I don't want her to stress out about feeling beholden to me before the surgery.
If any of you could answer my questions I would so appreciate it so I can prepare myself to help her the best way I can.
Thanks so much!
-BarkerThese are very qood questions.
But you really need them to be answered by the Hospital, the Doctor, the Case worker, etc. They are the only ones that understand the details behind your friend's surgery. People here can generalize, but you dont want that, you want something tailored to your friend. All hospitals provide this type of details in both type written documents as well as verbal instructions.
One thing you hardly read about, is making sure she is set for pain medications. Many times the surgeons provide pain medications from 2 weeks up to 4 weeks. You dont want her to wait until the last minute to get a prescription. Start that work now, again, the hospital can help you here. Many people do not take advantage of what case workers in the hospital can do for patients.
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