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Home Alone After Surgery

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Celle, Jun 21, 2015.

  1. Keen Skier

    Keen Skier junior member

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    I have actually done that along with a very firm pillow in the seat and it looks like it will work really well.


    Sent from my iPhone using BoneSmart Forum
     
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  2. Floridagal

    Floridagal graduate

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    I live by myself but my brother plans to come and be with me after surgery. He was wondering how long he needs to stick around. He lives about 140 miles from me and has a wife and a life/golf. I am lucky that I have a downstairs bedroom with an attached bathroom that has a walk in shower, high toilet and plenty of grab bars. We had it fitted for my husband who died in 2000. My kitchen is also only steps away. Am I unrealistic to think that after a few days I will be able to manage alone? I do have friends that can take me shopping, etc. I appreciate all the suggestions I have read here. My TKR is June 21. Thanks for any input.
     
  3. referee54

    referee54 Forum Advisor

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    There have been some of our members who have returned to their homes alone after surgery---I will tag @Josephine, as she can tell you about how she handled it.

    If you are well prepared, you should have very few issues.
    Not at all. I would prepare meals ahead of time and freeze them, and you can also have some of your friends, neighbors, or church-goers help you, too.

    I would not plan on going shopping much at all in the early days after your TKR---you will be mostly sleeping, icing, resting, and elevating, and going out too soon---doing too much, too soon, while a quick shopping trip may seem harmless, will cause some serious inflammation. I would get all of the shopping done ahead of time and then just have the neighbors help out and go for you if you need some "fill-in items."

    If your brother can, I would have him there for the first several days after you return, just to help you get things settled and to check up on you. I would also have the neighbors, if the can, check in on you later on.

    It sounds like, logistically, you are in great shape with the kitchen and the bathroom already on the first floor as well as fitted with what you will need.

    If you prepare ahead of time, and with some neighborly help here and there, you will do just fine.
     
  4. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, DIRECTOR Administrator

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  5. Floridagal

    Floridagal graduate

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    I have re-read all your posts and again find them helpful. There is so much good information. How do you find room in your freezer for bottles filled with water and frozen meals? Mine is already full with the two bags of slushy ice I made. Today I am making lists of tasks for friends and neighbors and household jobs for my brother. He HATES not having something to do. When someone asks, "How can I help?" I'll be prepared. I am not sure who is going to provide a walker for me. I do have a cane and crutches already. Someone suggested checking with your local Goodwill for cheap medical equipment. Since I am changing bedrooms there is lots of cleaning and switching of clothing, etc. I'll be doing. I have to clean since my brother and wife will be staying in my bedroom and I will be in the guest room. I think I will make a special calendar with deadlines for all the things I need to accomplish before surgery. Someone suggested making cookies for the nurses and surgery staff. That resonated with me as fun and also stress reducing. Again, thanks, for all the great ideas.
     
  6. Floridagal

    Floridagal graduate

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    I just signed up for Uber online. It was really simple. I am hoping that I will get a friend to take me to PT and then call Uber to take me home. That way the friend won't waste time sitting waiting for me. I just went to Goodwill and got a walker for $7.00. I know that health insurance would pay for one but I am saving the tax payers some money and it is a nice one with wheels. Right now I am just in a holding pattern waiting for surgery. I am on the cancellation list and would be delighted if they called and moved me up. Five weeks is a long time to wait but I still have jobs line up for myself like changing bedrooms to be near my handicap bathroom.
     
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  7. KarriB

    KarriB FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    If you're freezing water bottles for the icing machine, you can reuse them. Also you don't need too many. I used 2-3 otherwise it's very heavy.
     
  8. midwest girl

    midwest girl graduate

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    I'm single and live alone so the entire recovery for both knees was all me except for the following exception. For my first surgery (right knee) I stayed at a friends house for a week once I was discharged from the hospital. The left TKA I stayed with a friend for 2 days. The only help I had was for the first two weeks I had friends drive me to PT. if you're organized and prepared the recovery is totally doable when living alone.
     
  9. RustyM

    RustyM new member

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    A walker with a basket will make it much easier to move items (meals, ice, books) around your house, even if you have officially graduated to crutches. Some walkers come with baskets, you may be able to add a bicycle basket to a walker too.
     
  10. KarriB

    KarriB FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    While my dad doesn't live alone, he is very independent. We went to the dollar store, bought a plastic basket with a flat bottom and zip tied it to his walker. He could put his newspapers, mail, food in the basket and transport it with him. This was his third replacement (2 knees and now a hip) and we are still learning.
     
  11. GA-Peach

    GA-Peach junior member

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    @iamshrdlu - that is so funny - my husband brought home foam noodles for my walker and safety belt pads - the fake lamb looking ones that velcro on - I used them because of blisters.
    Also - I made several sleeves for my knee from old leggins so that I could just keep it on my knee for awhile when I had on my cryocuff instead of having to fool with a towel.
    Have a grabber - one of those things that can pick up things - that way if you are in the kitchen or somewhere, you can grab something that fell on the floor - provided you are steady enough to do so.
     
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  12. jvbs

    jvbs new member

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    Stock up on island bandages so that I could change dressing as needed.

    What are island bandages and where would I find them?
     
  13. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor
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    They are just a type of wound dressing - I found that out by searching on Google.
    I don't think you need to stock up on them and I'm not sure who recommended that.
    I think that, if your wound needs re-dressing, a medical professional should be doing it, especially in the early days after surgery.
     
  14. KarriB

    KarriB FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    @iamshrdlu you didn't have your stitches removed until 6 weeks post-op?
     
  15. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor
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    Different surgeons have different policies about post op wound care. Before buying any dressings, do ask what policy your surgeon has. You may not have to do anything to your incision.

    My wound was covered with a waterproof dressing from the start, so I was able to shower. That dressing had to remain in place until my sutures were removed and then the wound was left open to the air.
     
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  16. GingerP

    GingerP senior

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    I live in a two story-split level home and my main level is 14 steps up - so with physical therapists and nurses supposed to come to the house for a couple of weeks after I have my surgery on the 8th of December, I spoke with the PT and he suggested that I keep the garage door opener upstairs to eliminate me coming to the front door to open it for people to come into the house. If they let me know they are coming or call before, I can open the door for them and then they can come up the stairs.

    I will have my son home from IL for a few days after surgery and anticipate that I can get into a routine in those days to do OK while he is gone before the Christmas holiday when he will be home for a week again. I have all the phone numbers for friends and my 'nest' as some have stated already going! With me not getting around very well prior to surgery I found it more convenient to have a plug in cord (6 outlet) nearby for phone charger, extra reading light, etc. and a table top to put things on like a magazine, pattern for crochet, etc.

    I have frozen some meals for me - but I'm wondering about what 'other' things I should have on hand. Many mentioned fruit. I have yogurt on the list and I have some cheese and lunch meat - so I'm hoping that I will find things to encourage sensible eating. I have heard that appetite is declined after surgery - and since I'm heavy anyway I don't find that a problem - but I don't want to get weak from not eating 'something'.

    Thank you all for your thoughts on getting along alone. I'm going at this with a positive outlook - that I CAN do this and I want very much to be able to do things on my own and get stronger each day. It is time to get this knee fixed so I can get the right one done too!
     
  17. KarriB

    KarriB FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Have a few crackers or snack type things to take with pain meds. If you don't eat something with pain meds you're likely to get nauseous.

    After my infection surgery I had nurses, PTs, and OTs coming to my house during the Polar Vortex winter. There was snow on my outside steps and I didn't want everyone traipsing snow into my living room, so I worked out a plan for the health care workers to honk and I'd open the garage door (kept the opener beside me in my basket). They didn't have to tromp through the snow so much, could leave their shoes etc. in the basement family room and had safe inside stairs to use. They usually called to give an ETA so I was prepared and listening for them.
     
  18. GingerP

    GingerP senior

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    Thanks so much. I got some crackers today. Appreciate your experience so I will be better prepared?
     
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  19. jacksv153

    jacksv153 junior member

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    I had difficulty eating anything as you cannot carry food when you are walking with a walker.
     
  20. jacksv153

    jacksv153 junior member

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    What I did eat was when I was standing up. Therefore I ate very little and lost too much weight.
     

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