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Post-Op Must Haves



  • Thanks Amy :H I was thinking that a small fan will come in handy for those of us that sweat easily, esp if someone is having surgery this summer like me :D

    I also have a wireless keyboard and mouse which is great, and allows me to use the computer laying in bed. It saved me from having to sit while surfing the net.

    I also love and believe in aromatherapy. Get you some of those Glade or Airwick plug ins. I think it's safer than candles at this point.
  • Excellent list! Satin pj's is something we didn't think of for "slideability".
    I have a recommendation to add to the list: For cold packs, get a few "zipper" type gallon size plastic freezer bags, some 70% isopropyl alcohol, and tap water. Fill bag 2/3 with water and 1/3 with iso. and put in freezer (I double bagged). The mixture will freeze into a gel type consistancy which is perfect to mold where it's needed. Plus, it stays cold for a loooooong time.
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  • I wish someone had told me about earplugs. I couldn't believe the lack of consideration by noisy nursing staff at night.

    I was told about the satin pjs but they had no "give" in them, so I preferred stretchy type fabrics.

    Get family to bring in some Nu-lax, it works when nothing else (laxatives/stool softeners/suppositories/enemas, high fibre food/gallons of water) does! ;)
  • Jran -

    Wow, didn't know I could make my own 'gellish' ice packs! I live with ice packs - it's the only way I get to and from work - thanks for the tip :)
  • This post really freaks me out. My neurosurgeon told me that many people are back to work after a week and I asked him how long I would be unable to care for myself and my kids and he said that shouldn't be a problem except for a few days. And that they don't let you leave the hospital if you can't walk. This is my first back surgery-TLIF-and I am scheduled to be in the hospital for 23 hours. I also noticed that almost everyone who posted here has had more than one surgery. Can having back surgery lead to needing more back surgery. Having much anxiety. But, this list is really helpful. Thank you.
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  • It is 4 months after my surgery on my neck and still have problems turning my neck enough to see a car coming, so in my car I rotate the side mirror then lean toward the stering wheel and am able to see enough to get out. I also added a small comvex mirror to my side mirror on the drivers side. this helps a lot.

    marcia said:
    first of all... thanks to all of you who have posted on this site. the info you have shared has helped me sooooo much. i'd like to return the favor with a few small things that i have discovered.

    1. cutting off the toe end of a sock and putting it over the velcro portion of your soft neck brace will stop the velcro from pulling on your long hair.

    2. when trying to wean off the soft collar, wear it just a little looser every day. i'm doing this by pinning a tiny safety pin on the collar where the strap ends and moving it a little bit each morning.

    3. when beginning to drive, do it after dark the 1st few times. turning my head to check for oncoming traffic at intersections is often painful. you don't have to rotate your head as far to see a car with headlights on.
  • Just a note. My doctor said to avoid dairy for the first few days if you have ACDF surgery due to I can't seem to spell this fl-em ? building up in your throat. I haven't had surgery yet. July 27th I will. I got protein powder that had vegetable protein to be safe. I plan on smoothies and popsicles for a bit :)
  • I've got a week to go before my surgery and of course I am tossing and turning (painfully)and getting no sleep thinking about it. It crossed my mind last night that my refridgerator is really hard to get into. Don't know who designed the kitchen but you have to open the door by standing to the side of the fridge and bend to the right to see in because it is so close to a counter. It's really quite awkward reaching into it. So, my thought was that I should have someone in the family put a small cooler stocked up every day on the kitchen counter for me. Getting nervous and the wheels in my head won't stop spinning.
  • Fantastic list! Though I didn't stay overnight for this last surgery (2 level fusion c5-7), I came across a list similar that has a few things that aren't on this one.

    For the hospital stay:

    Eyemask to go along with those earplugs. Even if you're in a room by yourself, nurses come and go all night, and the lights are never all the way off in the hospital!
    Thank you notes - Most nurses care for folks and never get the thanks they deserve. I was overnight for my hysterectomy, and filled out cards for all the nurses that cared for me.
    Candy basket - even for my outpatient surgeries, I brought a small basket and filled it with some hard candies & bite sized chocolate bars. You never have to wait for a nurse to respond to your call if you have candy in the room :)

    For when you come home:

    If you're able, for a couple weeks before your surgery, make extras when you cook dinner, and freeze the extra portions. This way, when it's time to eat, all your caretaker has to do is heat it up.

    Hope this finds everyone in no pain!
  • I am so grateful for the lists on this post, they were great help for me (especially the terry cloth robe and the grabber and the things to do Pre-Op). I was all prepared having dishes and a few saucepans on the counter instead of in the cabinets and extra toilet paper rolls on the sink. Nonetheless there were a few silly things I had not thought about that for better or for worse I could not do for at least the first six weeks due to bending/lifting restrictions so I thought I might share. I live alone so some of these things were a bit tricky!

    The Good News: you cannot take out the garbage, empty your dishwasher (I use a few dishes and wash them all by hand), make your bed, clean the kitty litter/pick up dog poop, do laundry, weed the garden, do home maintenance, vacuum or sweep the floor (you will drop a lot of stuff but the good news is you can't look down to see it either!!)

    The Bad News: you cannot shave your legs in the shower (guys may also have a hard time shaving if they usually lean into the mirror to do it), find shoes under your bed, pet your cat/or small dog unless they jump up on something, feed the dog or cat, fill a bird feeder, pull the cork from a bottle of wine (when you are off pain meds, of course), drink out of a water fountain (or from the tap, come on you know you do it!), get clothes out of the bottom drawer of the dresser, or stuff from the bottom shelf of the fridge (unless it's in a bag you can pick up with your grabber).

    One more thing, on a trip back from the doctor I asked my friend/driver to stop at the grocery store and since I only needed two small items I said to wait and I would go in myself (first time since surgery). Within ten seconds of walking into the store I realized that at least two shelves in each aisle were below my knees, so off limits! Luckily the things I needed were reachable, but now I bring my grabber to the store or ask a helpful clerk to pick stuff up for me when riding around in the little cart. I am weaned from the soft collar but wear it at the store so people don't look at me strangely when I ride in the cart (can't push a cart or carry over 5lbs!!)

    As I live alone I am lucky to have a very helpful neighbor who comes over whenever I ask to help with stuff like a broken glass etc. Otherwise I have friends who have brought me meals and things from the store. Many of them get do a chore for me while they are here and they are all happy to help. I am also a big control freak so I have had to learn to let things go for a bit, after all, I can always put it all right when I get better!!

    Anyway, wishing everyone a successful surgery and quick recovery,
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