a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: How Much Help Will I Need After My Joint Replacement Surgery?

Monday, April 26, 2021

How Much Help Will I Need After My Joint Replacement Surgery?

SUMMARY: Some additional comments
Posted on Facebook 4/24/21 for a friend who asked how much additional help she'd need post-surgery if  she already had a resident spouse/companion who's willing and able.

...an addendum to this previous post...

Short answer: 

Unless you need a lot of physical help to sit up, stand up, sit down, lie down, if you spouse is in the building and on-call 24/7, I can't see that you'd need any other assistance. I didn't need anyone during the night, ever, because I was able to get myself to the bathroom and back, set my own alarms for meds, made sure I had enough to drink and some snacks and reading and whatnot within reach from my bed at all times, etc.

I cleverly lifted my walker up over me while in bed to try to keep the dogs from jumping on me. Actually worked pretty well.
When not using this, I also built a pillow barrier (mostly with couch cushions),
which worked... sorta kinda..

Long answer:

I lined up people to stay here full time for the first 2 weeks (friends and relatives) because that's what they require by default. I believe that I got the OK to send them home after about 11 or 12 days because my progress was good. And the *main* reason I needed them was because I wanted to be in my own bedroom upstairs until the PT helped & approved me going up & down on my own; hence, I needed food, drink, ice shuttled up & down for me. Occasionally something else, such as a couple of times when I wanted to change items of clothing and for some reason it was awkward for me to do so. Or fetch another blanket. Or feed the dog. However, even on the same floor, it would've been difficult to get things & carry them around, even with the bag for the walker.

There were a few exercises that I used my assistant (whoever was there) for a few times (with PT's suggestion). I did invite whoever was here when the PT came to sit through the PT session with me to better understand my needs and why we did what we did and to get all of my questions (and my assistant's questions) answered. And so they could help *me* remember! (Although I did take notes during each session. And asked lots of questions.

Tip, keep a notebook and pen by your bed to jot down Qs for the PT, because you'll have a lot between sessions.

The 2nd main reason they were here was in case of medical issues or emergencies in the days after surgery

Note that, until surgery, I was fully capable of walking w/out an aid (cane, etc.), just not for long distances and not painlessly. AND after surgery, when they first asked me to sit up (and, later, stand up, and, later, walk), I could do so easily on my own, although they were right there making sure I didn't collapse. IF you find that you have difficulty going from lying to sitting or sitting to standing--or walking--, THEN you might need physical assistance to be readily available, and you'd need to decide who could best be there to tag-team Mike.

MOSTLY I slept a lot, and they were off entertaining themselves elsewhere in the house.

I suggested that I use my aa-ooo-ga horn to call for assistance, but my assistants pointed out that we all had cell phones, so if the person was out of easy [gentle] yelling distance, I'd just call or text.

I guess my 3rd main reason for having people around was to prevent me from being bored. 😉 We spent a loooootttt of time talking, but then, I didn't live with them full-time already.

Did I mention that you'll likely want an easy place to get to for sitting up to take meals? If you're on the same floor as your kitchen & living room, probably no biggie.

I hope that they do send an in-person PT; would've been much more challenging if it had all had to be done by zoom-equivalence.

You're lucky to have a husband dearest already in residence, so you don't have to explain where everything is to everyone different.

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