PREP What I learned being alone after surgery

Bad Hand

Veteran Member
I have help from my friends but it isn't 24/7. Luckily I had bought several frozen diners, I didn't feel like cooking and really couldn't besides pain I couldn't bend over or twist. Then there was the problem of my dog Ty, there were times I couldn't put him out at night so I bought the dog training pads and he is using them. The next problem was I can't bend over so a friend gave me a ride to Ace Hardware and I bought a Pik Stik. I can pick things up off the floor or off high shelves, this is the best tool I have right now, wish I had bought one sooner.
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
Those long grabbing sticks are great! I'm thinking about taking one with me next time we go grocery shopping, because the two kinds of Progresso soup I want are on the top shelf at Walmart and I can only reach the ones at the very front! Aggravating when I want four or six cans of each kind!

I never know until I get up in the morning how my back is going to be -- just came off a week of not being able to do much at all. So I try to stay stocked up on things we can eat without any cooking or fixing if at all possible. Also keep paper and plastic tableware -- plates, utensils, cups -- so I don't have to stand at the sink and wash dishes. This may not be as much of a problem for someone with a dishwasher.

For a long-term problem, there are all kinds of helpful gadgets, like the long shoe-horns to help you get your shoes on.

Kathleen
 

ShadowMan

Crusty ol' Codger
Getting old sucks. Getting old, being alone AND injured REALLY sucks!

That is kind of the down fall of our independent American lifestyle. Our families tend to spread to the winds. Even if you have kids they're rarely around to help as you get older. I've got six kids (his, hers, ours) and they are spread out across the globe, literally! Two are in Europe, one in the Midwest-East of the Mississippi, one in the Pacific Northwest, two here in SoCal but hours away and rarely seen. And I'm getting to the age where I just can't do everything myself. Totally sucks!

I'm getting VERY CAUTIOUS about getting injured as I get older. Things I would have done just a few years ago without thinking I totally avoid and if necessary get help, even if I have to pay for it. I'm EXTREMELY protective of my back and have come close in the past to seriously messing it up....knock on wood. Backs are too precious to take lightly and extremely agonizing when injured.

"They" say these are the Golden Years.....I'm calling it the Rusty Years. Take care and heal fast my friends. We've still got a long road to travel.
 

Meemur

Voice on the Prairie
This is where you need several friends, especially if you live alone. Building community is prep. You don't need to be a
social butterfly but another set of hands can make all the difference in situations like that, and most of us can't
afford to hire help.
 

et2

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I have help from my friends but it isn't 24/7. Luckily I had bought several frozen diners, I didn't feel like cooking and really couldn't besides pain I couldn't bend over or twist. Then there was the problem of my dog Ty, there were times I couldn't put him out at night so I bought the dog training pads and he is using them. The next problem was I can't bend over so a friend gave me a ride to Ace Hardware and I bought a Pik Stik. I can pick things up off the floor or off high shelves, this is the best tool I have right now, wish I had bought one sooner.
Praying for a quick recovery. If your l8ke my wife she avoids pain meds. Even Tylenol. But maybe that can bring relief.
 

CaryC

Veteran Member
My doc has me on a 10 lb lift restriction and no bending over. I told him, "You do know that a full cup of coffee weights 10 lbs right?"

But I am thankful I have SB here to help. I'm kind of in, "...tote that barge, lift that bale...." mode. Am expecting payback in about 3 weeks when all this is lifted. But in the mean time, this is a hoot.

Just kidding of course.

While I do have help, it really stinks without it.
 

TerryK

TB Fanatic
Good advice. We try to always have on hand something "easy" to fix. Broke my last generic pik stick chasing a 6 foot black snake inside the chicken house. Will be picking up a couple of sticks this afternoon.
I never thought of using a pic stick for catching snakes, but it should work pretty well.
I learned something new today. Thanks,
 

TerryK

TB Fanatic
Prayers for a quick and full recovery.
A grabber stick is a good idea.
If you live alone it helps to make plans for how you can survive and be reasonably self sufficient until you heal, if you get injured or are recovering at home.
Crutches, a fold up walker, fold up shower chair and easy food preps are a good idea for anyone to have at home. Just in case.

When I was recovering from 2 and a half months in the hospital last year, I had all of the above things in addition to my wife and Nurse Practitioner son to help. Couldn't imagine coming straight from the hospital and not having anybody.
During my convalescence I learned how to run my own IVs including flushing the lines before and after etc. and how to as we say in the military (shit, shower and shave) even when handicapped. There are dozens of little tricks you can learn. Hell half of our fridge was filled with IV bags with a new load delivered every week.

Your hospital should have offered you home health care to get you back on your feet. It is covered by medicare and most insurance plans.
Most hospitals offer home health visits after surgery for recuperating patients.
They come to your house and assess your situation and ability to care for yourself and schedule nurses, physical therapists and other assistance if needed.

Anyway, You have my prayers for a quick recovery. Get well soon.
 

night driver

ESFP adrift in INTJ sea
When I had my stroke, they gave me a "sock hook" and a stick with a jaw at one end and a trigger at the other. The sock hook hasn't been a lifesaver but the stick and jaw has!!!
The magnet in the far end of the stick has been the most useful part. Though I keep thinking I need to rework a penlight into a weapon light so I can see "schtuff" out at the end of the stick, behind desks and tables and such. Have to mount the light on the side of the shaft since there is a post on the other end (front sight) that would shadow PRECISELY what I'm going for. I don't use it THAT often, but some times I get a smidge lazy and it gets to the floor SO MUCH EASIER than my hand does anymore.
 

Dennis Olson

Chief Curmudgeon
_______________
The past year of “working at home” has affected my ability to walk in a huge way. I used to think nothing of walking a mile (even as heavy as I am.) Now I don’t think I could make it to the end of my street. I have both a pick-up stick and a wheeled walker. The latter is in my closet if I need it for a hurt back. When I hurt my back about 3 years ago, I had to order one. It took four days to arrive. During that waiting period I was very messed up. The pick-up stick is something I use every day. Best invention since sliced bread.

Since I have absolutely no one to help me, I’m beyond paranoid about getting hurt. The thought of my being incapacitated and the dogs dying scares the hell out of me.
 

zeker

Veteran Member
Prayers for a quick and full recovery.
A grabber stick is a good idea.
If you live alone it helps to make plans for how you can survive and be reasonably self sufficient until you heal, if you get injured or are recovering at home.
Crutches, a fold up walker, fold up shower chair and easy food preps are a good idea for anyone to have at home. Just in case.

When I was recovering from 2 and a half months in the hospital last year, I had all of the above things in addition to my wife and Nurse Practitioner son to help. Couldn't imagine coming straight from the hospital and not having anybody.
During my convalescence I learned how to run my own IVs including flushing the lines before and after etc. and how to as we say in the military (shit, shower and shave) even when handicapped. There are dozens of little tricks you can learn. Hell half of our fridge was filled with IV bags with a new load delivered every week.

Your hospital should have offered you home health care to get you back on your feet. It is covered by medicare and most insurance plans.
Most hospitals offer home health visits after surgery for recuperating patients.
They come to your house and assess your situation and ability to care for yourself and schedule nurses, physical therapists and other assistance if needed.

Anyway, You have my prayers for a quick recovery. Get well soon.
during the bird? flu a few yrs back

I had to go to hosp every day for a shot

eeventually a dr told me

"if you keep coming here you will get sick"

I agreed and he sent a nurse out to me to show me how to give myself a shot

my whole stomach was blue/black/purple and yellow from the hosp shot

I never got a bruise when I did it myself

the hosp is in so much hurry, its jab and run

the nurse showed me how to give the shot slowly

no more bruises
 

Terrwyn

Veteran Member
I love those heavy duty pick up sticks. I have 8 of them. some by my gates incase I drop my keys, in the house, use them out doors to pick up all the twigs that blow off the poplars and elms.
My best wishes for a speedy recovery. I dont know if you have one or not but they also make a device that aids in putting on socks which I can no longer do. Some of them work, some dont. It is hit or miss but worth it when you find one that works for you.
 

Rabbit

Veteran Member
I can't do things this year that I could do easily last year. I think my garden is a thing of the past. Mostly I'm gardening in containers this year. I do have a few things in the ground and I was just out there trying to weed and I've never had this kind of pain before.

Bad, I was by myself after major surgery, I took the pain pills only when I slept, which was most of the time. I didn't take many but the sleep seemed to hasten to heal. Luckily I was able to feed the dog and let her in and out a few times a day. Praying for you.
 

cyberiot

Workin' the plan.
during the bird? flu a few yrs back

I had to go to hosp every day for a shot

eeventually a dr told me

"if you keep coming here you will get sick"

I agreed and he sent a nurse out to me to show me how to give myself a shot

my whole stomach was blue/black/purple and yellow from the hosp shot

I never got a bruise when I did it myself

the hosp is in so much hurry, its jab and run

the nurse showed me how to give the shot slowly

no more bruises
An excellent decision on your part. Stay away from--and out of--the hospital if you possibly can. In addition to the threat of microbes, I will 100% guarantee you that, if you are a patient in a hospital, not a day will pass without some sort of malpractice being inflicted on your sorry self.
 

Raggedyman

Res ipsa loquitur
Bad
thoughts and prayers brother - may HE hasten your fully recovery. good thing I had Raggedyann here after my recent adventures - I can't imagine being alone. there are lots of good hints and tips here - as TerryK said above, the hospital should have offered home health visits - sometimes there's a co pay - depends on your insurance. even though Raggedyann was here she was just out of a long arm cast following open tendon repair at the elbow. we are blessed with good neighbors our MAG and a church family that were always calling to check on us. prayers for you and your dog.
 

cyberiot

Workin' the plan.
Another endorsement for reacher-grabbers. Excellent for retrieving socks that have fallen behind the dryer or cans on the very top shelf. Also handy for picking up citrus your trees have dropped when you aren't sure what might crawl out from underneath.

Apologies if the following constitutes thread drift. My cobbled-together rationalization is that a reacher-grabber can prevent you from being knocked on your can by a scorpion sting. Ya buyin'?

From: http://schoolofbugs.com/what-are-scorpions-attracted-to-lets-find-out/

Are Scorpions Attracted to Citrus Trees?
Scorpions are not more attracted to citrus trees than other types of trees, but they certainly won’t act to keep them away. In general, citrus trees provide a source of shade for scorpions. Since they want to be hidden and safe from the heat and sunlight, scorpions may be found under the trees, especially during the hotter months of the year.
Related image

In addition to the warmer months of the year, this is often a time when citrus trees produce fruit. Even a well-tended citrus tree will usually have some fruit that has bad spots or insects eating it. Scorpions themselves will occasionally eat fruit although they prefer to eat insects. They will prey on insects who are already on the fruit though. If you have citrus trees, you may also find that there are scorpions beneath them and on any rotting or damaged fruit.

Are Scorpions Attracted to Lemon Trees?
When it comes to lemon trees, they may actually attract scorpions more than repel them. Citrus plants in general, although they may look nice, can be a refuge for scorpions. In fact, bugs of any sort like rotting fruit. If you have a lemon tree that grows lemons, then you can be expected to attract bugs that will want to eat the lemons. Scorpions will eat rotting fruit at times. They’ll also enjoy snacking on the insects who are present on the lemons.

Scorpions also enjoy the shade. As the temperatures rise in the summer months, the shade provided by a lemon tree may be a strong attraction for a scorpion. They’ll lounge under the shade if able.
 

Meemur

Voice on the Prairie
Since I have absolutely no one to help me, I’m beyond paranoid about getting hurt. The thought of my being incapacitated and the dogs dying scares the hell out of me.
Apply your engineering problem-solving skills to the resources in your area and also make time to walk every day, no matter what, even if you have to start with just walking across the parking lot several times when you take the dogs to run. If you can only walk for five minutes nonstop, start there. Increase that distance a little at a time. If you do that daily, you'll be back up to a mile in no time. There is no hurry when you are walking. Take smaller steps if you need to.

I know where you are coming from. I work at home, too. I would normally have a 1-hour lunch break at work, so I make it a point to walk around the neighborhood during most of that time. All movement helps!
 

colonel holman

Veteran Member
Apply your engineering problem-solving skills to the resources in your area and also make time to walk every day, no matter what, even if you have to start with just walking across the parking lot several times when you take the dogs to run. If you can only walk for five minutes nonstop, start there. Increase that distance a little at a time. If you do that daily, you'll be back up to a mile in no time. There is no hurry when you are walking. Take smaller steps if you need to.

I know where you are coming from. I work at home, too. I would normally have a 1-hour lunch break, so I make it a point
to walk around the neighborhood during most of that time. All movement helps!
The resident physical therapist says this is SPOT ON. Of all the forms of exercises out there, WALKING is absolutely the very best. So simple, body system you have, from brain chemistry to cardiopulmonary to worn joint surfaces. The rhythmic load-unload cycles greatly increased joint cartilage hydration and lubrications and nutrition. You can so easily measure your progress. The trick is NO EXCUSE, just do it, every damn day, until it becomes as habitual as taking a dump.

Place a cheap chair at end of driveway or similar location to allow a mid-course sit-down rest if need. Carry a cane in case you need it for the walk back home. If one leg is bummed, use cane in OPPOSITE hand to support it. Otherwise use a good armswing to allow gentle rhythmic mobilization of spine. You will be impressed at how will gain distance and ease. And you will be impressed with how good you feel mentally... increased oxygen does wonders.

I also advocate for carrying a small pulse oximeter to track oxygen saturation and heart rate. Maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age (60 year-old max HR would be 160)... but you don’t want to go more than 80% of that to start. Over a week or two or three you should see your exercise heart-rate decrease. Pulse oximeter readings should be at or above 95%, but those with COPD or sleep apnea can run as low as 90%. There should be NO drop in oxygen level with exercise. If you do, that suggests pulmonary or cardiac problems. (DISCLAIMER: I am not suggesting anything here, because you need to get recommendations from your physician based on your health status).
 
Last edited:

Tennessee gal

Veteran Member
Like Terry, I spent several months in the hospital last year and nearly 7 weeks in rehab. I can get up and pivot to the bedside commode and to the scooter. I’m only aloud twenty five percent of my weight on my left leg.
I’m blessed with a wonderful niece who buys my groceries and makes up plates that I can warm up in the microwave. She also lives right across the street from me.

I have a pick up stick, but what helps me the most is metal back scratcher with a plastic handle. The medal part will pull out to different lengths. I must use it a dozen times a day. For instance, if there is something in the fridge that I can’t reach I use it to bring the item closer. We buy the backscratchers at CVS pharmacy.
Praying for all our TB family with mobility problems and other health issues.
 
Last edited:

Loretta Van Riet

Trying to hang out with the cool kids.
I, too, live alone and think of adaptive ways to do every day needs. Not needing a walker at this time, but have one with a tray that can slip over the hand rails. When I had my hip replacements I realized I could walk with my walker, but not carry a thing! The tray helped me get a meal to my table and feed my dog.

Filling the dog's water bowl was almost impossible! I waited until it was quite low, then I could use the pick up stick to put it on my walker tray and take it to the sink and back.

Can't easily put your socks on? There are sock "butler" devices! There are many adaptive devices available to make your life easier.

Now I plan for the unexpected. 17 years ago I was brutally attacked and lost the use of one arm for 11 weeks while my fractures healed. Try toileting and doing personal care with only one arm. I learned to use everyday items and a few Adaptive tools to accomplish these things.

I am not trying to make us depressed, but rather remind us of how clever we can be to overcome some things.. I consider it very important "preps" to have available.

Easy to use:


 
Last edited:

Buick Electra

TB2K Girls with Guns
Your post BH made me go and research 'grabbers.' Though I'm not incapacitated now, I'd rather have them on hand when needed. Then when I started reading about how you can use them to pick up tree branches, I know I could use them now.

After my research on multiple grabbers I decided to buy the Ettore Grip & Grab- 32" and the Unger Professional Nifty Nabber
36". So Thank You!
 

Dennis Olson

Chief Curmudgeon
_______________
Those opioid painkillers do exactly the same thing to me. I’ll either take them about 4 hours before bed (which allows the insomnia effects to peak and begin to abate by bed time), or I wake up at about 2 am and take them then. By the time the insomnia kicks in, it’s time to get up. As for the constipation, when I take the pills I take a laxative at the same time. They counterbalance each other.
 

fish hook

Veteran Member
I had major abdominal surgery about 5 years ago (now live with a colostomy ). Wife was still alive then and wanted me to come home from the hospital so she "could take care of me", she wasn't hardly able to take care of herself. I chose to spend 21 days in rehab. Best decision i ever made, by the time i got home i was able to resume my normal duties in the house, had to wait a while before i got back to the garden.
I never appreciated the pick up stick until my hospital trip last spring. I couldn't even pick up my shoes for a while. It helped me a lot for about 6 months, still keep one in reach when i am in the house.
 
Top