I thought I would post a few things I've learned from having two surgeries in as many years; ACL in 2008 and SAD/ RTC repair 2010.
Some of these will be obvious and might not need stating but I will anyway. They're are in no specific order because my brain isn't working well enough to sort things (side effect of oxycodone).
Stock your fridge with simple things to eat for a few days. Even though my wife is taking care of me, it makes it easier on her too to not have to PREPARE a meal some times.
(this one is a little gross but important)
Make sure you have enough P COL and prune juice or whatever you're going to do to remedy being plugged up. The narcotics are very good at masking the pain and preventing you from pooping. I forgot this time and paid dearly for it. I went 4 or 5 days without a BM and had to do Lamaze breathing to get it out . You should start on whatever high fiber thing you are going to use as soon as you get home. Plan accordingly so you aren't getting up at 2 AM to do this and it takes a whileto take affect.
Make sure you have accounted for the extremity that you aren't going to use. I went back to the electric tooth brush because I remember almost loosing an eye several years ago when I had to brush my teeth left handed (R hand was in cast). I figured since I didn't have to go to work, I wouldn't shave (I use blades). I noticed when out in town old folks were flocking to me. Wife said it was my rather white/gray 4 day growth. Made me look even older. She offered to shave me, since I didn't dare put a razor blade in my left hand (see brushing teeth incident), but I got an electric razor instead.
Press and Seal works great for taking a shower. It does stick to skin. Doesn't stick very well to hair. The shower can't run directly on it but any misting or spray will be deflected away.
There is no such thing as too much ice or icing too often.
Your sling, crutch, cane not only provide support, they also let others know you have an injury. I plan on using it when in crowds even after I don't need it. I've read about this and from experience, I realized that prior to surgery, no one knew my shoulder was killing me and I received many hard pats on the back that shot pain through my body. No one was being mean; they didn't know I was in pain and thought they were being friendly.
Don't make your wife mad! She has to drive you everywhere! I can't brush my teeth or shave left handed. Guess what else I need my right hand for? So I'm working very hard at being nice and not making here mad so I won't need it .
All those things you thought you were going to read are going to wait until the pain meds are done. I'm having a hard time getting all the way through an email without dozing off.
Test out sleeping arrangements. Using a recliner might be more challenging than you think. I found elevating my feet further (big pillow under knees) keeps me from wanting to roll over. I'm actually sleeping better in the chair than I was in the bed and my wife doesn't have to worry about bumping me/shoulder.
When your arm/leg has a "block", remember you aren't going to feel it at all. You have to look at it to - make sure it hasn't fallen out of the sling or your fingers are bent the wrong way. It's weird not feeling it but you have to pay extra attention to it.
Though counter-intuitive, pull over shirts (modified) are working better for me than button shirts. My wife modified the pullover shirts by giving the right arm the "Larry the Cable Guy" look (right shoulder was operated on). This way I don't have to mess with buttons, can put my shirt on by myself, the shirt is cut out of the way so the aircast (for icing) on my shoulder is in direct contact with the bandage/wound, the left side is intact and is presentable for being out in public. The sling and aircast cover what was cut away on the right side. The piece in the right side she cut out is almost big enough for me to get my torso through. This makes getting it on and off easy. Right side is done first by sliding the arm through the new hole by moving the shirt, not the arm. Once the injured arm is in the shirt, the head goes in and then the good arm. It's easier than I've described.
One caution is to account for back hair so don't make the hole too big or your 12 year old daughter will get embarrassed .
If you live in the sticks and you go out to close your sunroof at night just before you go to bed, just because you're on drugs doesn't mean you're hallucinating. I got to the bottom step outside and heard a odd noise coming from the backyard. Turned around and about 30 feet away was a black bear! Tried to convince myself it was a Newfy but it really was a bear. I backed up the stairs and got my wife to confirm (from the window). We're guessing it was in the 300# range. You would have thought this would have taken care of me being plugged up but didn't. It destroyed out tether ball and left a nice big "calling card" in our yard. Obviously the bear isn't taking oxycodone! Now we have a drawn out process to take the dog (useless Bichon) out at night.
I'll try to add more later.
Shoe Horn. Very handy. Red Wing sells a metal one that is about18 inches long.
Edited by L&AirC - 5/14/10 at 12:30pm