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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Advice for Surgery and Recovery

After recently undergoing my 11th surgery, I realized there are things I have learned that may help others. Here is info I shared with others to help them regarding surgery:

SURGERY PRE/HOSPITAL BAG: antibacterial wash for day before or morning of surgery to kill bacteria and taking feminine pad (if having a hysterectomy) and loose fitting clothes to wear home. Also, take a small pillow to hold on your stomach in case you sneeze or cough and the pillow will also cushion between you and seat belt on the way home (pillow is recommended for ANY torso surgery).

Hibiclens Skin Cleanser (for showering prior to surgery to kill bacteria)
Hibiclens Skin Cleanser 4 oz

If you can't shower and have to SPONGE BATH:

Assurance Premium Pre-Moistened Disposable Washcloths, Extra Large, 48ct (these are nice, large, and not very expensive)

For your hair:
No Rinse Shampoo Cap (5-Pack)
No Rinse Shampoo Cap (5-Pack)

MEDICINE: They will send you home with a script
If possible have them call it into your pharmacy so it is waiting for you to grab quickly on the way home or see if spouse (or someone) can have it to pick up the day before if you think you won't be up to stopping.
Eat with pain meds to avoid nausea.

SWELLING/PAIN: Dollar General has clay hot/cold packs for $4 a piece. Get four so you can use two at a time and rotate them out. If you don't have a Dollar General in your area, you can buy them at Walgreens, but they are usually over $10 a piece. I had a hard time finding them online at Dollar General. If you don't see them in the store, ask the cashier. For some reason, our local Dollar General had them under the counter at the register.

GAS: drink a couple sips of soda, I always try and get soda as quickly as they will let me post-op to help relieve some of the gas pressure, and I take a couple sips or so after meals because I seem to have more of a problem with that post-op.

BIG POTTY: cantaloupe makes me go, so whatever triggered you pre-op, try it. BE CAREFUL! When they finally let me have solids (like 3 or 4 days post op...I had extensive surgery) I had 3 servings of fruit in one day because they were asking if I had gone yet, and I hadn't. That backfired! I went four or five times, which kept me up until just after midnight.

If you won't be able to reach to wipe yourself, you might try:

RMS Long Reach Comfort Wipe

EasyComforts Portable Hygiene Refresher
EasyComforts Portable Hygiene Refresher

Also, getting up and down from the toilet could be strenuous, so this raises the toilet seat so that you do not have to strain to get up and down:
HealthSmart Deluxe Plastic Toilet Seat Riser
HealthSmart Deluxe Plastic Toilet Seat Riser, White

BLOATING: I'm only 8 days post-op, but I can tell my binder is looser. I've made sure to empty my drain a lot, more than they did at the hospital and I had more fluid come out in a day than they did when I was in the hospital! Not sure if this accounts for why it has gone down some. I still have my drain in, and wearing my binder, so I can't say how my old jeans fit. I had bought stretchy waist jeans prior to surgery when my girth felt like it was either expanding or just uncomfortable to wear regular jeans. So the stretchy ones fit fine over the binder. I may need a size smaller in a month. Watch how foods effect you and don't overdo it. I usually drink just a couple sips of soda after eating.

I hope this helps you. There are numerous wonderful inventions to help people. My husband had surgery on his leg/foot, and he found something like:

Seal Tight ORIGINAL Cast and Bandage Protector
Seal Tight ORIGINAL Cast and Bandage Protector, Best Watertight Protection, Adult Long Leg

So don't be afraid to look for whatever can make recovery more convenient!

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