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Sabtu, 26 Januari 2008

[surfacehippy] Re: There is a lot of Project Management for surface Hippies

> I'm starting to get them, Check-List Jitters. I imagine most SHippies
> feel a "quickening of time" just before their procedure.
> I'm using file folders and Outlook to help me manage all my pre-surgery
> tasks.

Hi William,

I just want to let you know that you can also, if you want, do with way less stuff, so don't
get too worried if you forget something on one of those long lists. I found that some of
my preparation activities were more to release pre-op anxietly and keep me busy while I
waited, than to prepare for actual needs. Except that keeping busy was a need!

Disclaimer: First I am basically a low-tech person and my knee-jerk response to
possessions is not "oh I'd like that" but "But do I really need that?" Some people like to
have all the best stuff around them, others prefer to see what's the least they need. If you
are like that, rest assured, you don't absolutely require a lot of stuff. Second, I was in the
rehab center in Ghent for 1 week after my surgery, and my partner was on semester
break for my first 4 weeks, so I had help available when I needed it. People going through
this alone might need more in the way of conveniences.

That said, I can tell you that by the afternoon of the day after my surgery, the PT had
shown me how to get my leg in and out of bed, you use the leg of the good leg to lift the
op leg. Get someone at the hospital to show you. I was getting in and out of bed 24 hours
after my operation, no leg-lifter. By day 5 I had figured out how to get my TEDs on
myself, but that requires being able to use the toes of your good foot to grab and pull a
little till you can reach it with your hand. But another at the Villa got his on and off with
his crutch. I figured I would buy a grabber when I found I needed it, and never did. By day
4 I could extend my op leg back and bend over my good leg to get things off the floor,
although I must admit I did get Shep to bring me stuff in bed from time to time. I
followed all the suggestions for ladies about silky nightgown, and hated it, but liked my
sweats, never had a problem with sticking.

And like that, you might like having all the right equipment, or might be glad to know
you don't absolutely need it.

My favorite preparations were a pair of fleece lined ankle boots (it's winter here) that I
could wear without socks, a long handled shoehorn, the raised toilet seat, now there's an
item I really did appreciate, and I just knew before the operation that I would need it, and
several quarts of home-made chili and soup in the freezer. For elevating my legs I have 2
king sized extra firm pillows from Target, and now I use one lengthwise under my op leg
when I lie on my back, and just pull it between my legs when I want to roll onto my side.
A variety of pillows is good.

Oh, and I am the oddball who just hated sitting in my recliner after the operation - so if
you plan to buy one especially for this, make sure you get one you l like a lot. Maybe I
could sit in it now, but not two or thhree weeks after. And I got such a back ache the one
time I lay in one of those zero-gravity things!

Only you can assess your resources and needs, but I just want you to know that you
don't need a lot if you don't want it. I think one of the most important "items" is human
company. If you are alone, try to arrange for friends to come by and check on you. But in
general, I think you'll be surprised at how competent you will be after 4-5 days. It is true,
everything takes a long time so you just do the minimum, and sometimes it can be
frustrating that rearranging the pillows or getting into bed is such a big deal, but it
passes soon, and it can be kind of wonderful to get up one day and realize, that was easy!
That's progress!

So however you equip yourself, you are in for a great adventure! All the best.

De Smet LBHR 12/19/07

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