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Knee Replacement & Hip Replacement
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Home Alone After Surgery

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

  1. Carolina Writer

    Carolina Writer Junior Member

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    I have a tiny bathroom, so there's no place for kitty's box there..... :) I will look for a long handled scoop, great idea, thanks!
     
  2. freeriderNC

    freeriderNC Junior Member

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    @iamshrdlu my husband done the same thing to the rails on my raised toilet because it hurt so bad lowering myself down & having to walk my legs out while sitting down since I had bilateral. Leg didn't bend...but now it much better. That's a good idea for the walker.
     
  3. PolarBear60

    PolarBear60 Forum Advisor

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    I sat on a chair after my knee, but I could bend over. As I understand it, you're not supposed to do that after a hip, so I recommend making sure you have a long-handled scooper.


    Jean

    LTKR (Stryker Triathlon): 21 April 2015
    Right Knee Arthroscopy: 25 July 2006
    Left Knee Arthroscopy: 10 February 2005
     
  4. iamshrdlu

    iamshrdlu Member

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    The biggest plus on the lift recliner wasn't that it could lift you up (but that was really nice the first 2 weeks). It was that the seat was several inches higher than our other recliners. Our other living room chairs (and couch) sat lower, so it was much harder to get out of them. The lift recliner sat higher, so that my rear end didn't sink below my knees when sitting. With the 2nd knee, I had a lot of quad weakness for a few weeks. With the quad weakness, the lift recliner helped, since it meant that I could raise the seat a few extra inches before standing up. (I didn't use the full lift potential.) The down side of the lift recliner was that it wasn't as cushy as our other chairs, so after 2 weeks, I was really tired of sitting in the lift recliner. But I was still having trouble getting out of our rocker recliner. So my advice is that if you don't have a lift recliner, then get some sort of recliner and add a seat cushion to it, so that it sits higher. And don't use a rocker recliner, as they rock forward when you try to get up, making it harder to get out of the chair. (I almost cut a 2 x 3 board to fit under the sides of the recliner, so that it couldn't rock.)
     
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  5. 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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  6. 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.
     
  7. 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.
     
  8. Josephine

    Josephine NURSE DIRECTOR, BONESMART Administrator

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  9. 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.
     
  10. 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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  11. KarriB

    KarriB 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.
     
  12. 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.
     
  13. 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.
     
  14. KarriB

    KarriB 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.
     
  15. 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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  16. 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?
     
  17. Celle

    Celle 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.
     
  18. iamshrdlu

    iamshrdlu Member

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    They are the 2" x 6" (roughly?) large bandage with adhesive all around the edges and a plastic protector over the top (think of a very large bandaid where the middle gauze pad takes up most of the bandaid). I could only find them at the medical supply place. (If you ask for an island bandage there, they will know what you are talking about-- the local drug store may or may not know.) The local drug stores and Walmart (etc) did not carry them. I was supposed to change my bandage if it got dirty OR every 4 days or so. It takes 2 bandages to cover 1 knee incision. (You do small pleats over the bending places, so the bandage isn't quite long enough to cover the full incision plus the holes (where they cut small spots above and below).

    Since my doctor doesn't see his patients till 6 weeks after surgery, and since physical therapy doesn't change bandages (except to check the incision the first time they see you and maybe once after that), that meant I was left to change bandages on my own. I had stitches instead of staples, so that meant that I had to leave the dressing on longer. I had my incision covered for 6 weeks. They actually showed me how to change my own bandage at the hospital, and my discharge papers told me how often to change the bandage. They just didn't provide the island bandages. With my 2nd knee, after I had complained about not getting any bandages the first time, they did provide a few bandages--enough to get me through the first few weeks. But since you can't drive after surgery, getting the necessary medical supplies before the surgery is a must.

    I would ask your doctor when you will see him after surgery. Then ask your hospital if they provide the bandages. If you don't have home health care (which I didn't), then you might be changing your own bandages the whole time. At least that is how it works at my location. (I was one of the few who went straight to physical therapy and skipped home health-- so I was changing my own bandages from the very beginning. As I said, my discharge orders gave me instructions on when to change them and the nurses showed me how.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
  19. KarriB

    KarriB Forum Advisor

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

    shrdlu New Member

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    My post op instructions were to keep the incision covered until the stitches came out. With the stitches covered with a bandage, they didn't come out. Thus, I kept the knee covered. On the bright side, it makes the incision nice and neat by the time the doc sees you. He was surprised at how well healed it was. The stitches were supposed to dissolve, but a lot of them didn't. So yep...still had stitches to remove at 6 weeks.
     

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