Re: PTTD surgery 5-1-09 --many ?s
Hi Mary 2,
You ask some great questions! I wish I had found this website before my surgery, it would have made life much easier!
Tracie1204 answered most of your questions with what I'd say, so I second her!
As for the arnica - I don't know about that. I gave a detailed list of all the medicines and supplements that I take to not only my doctor, but the anethesiologist before surgery. Everything was fine, but since arnica is classified as an anti-inflammotory, they might say no. Ask your doctor and explain what arnica is used for if he/she doesn't know. They put me on Celebrex (a hard core anti-inflammatory) after surgery with strict instructions to take NOTHING that is an anti-inflammatory - no advil or tylenol, or herbal supplement, etc. That's why I caution you.
I just got a knee walker this week (I'm 4 weeks post op) and it's great for scooting around for groceries, etc. I don't use it inside because it is in the car and I find getting it in and out is too much trouble. Crutches are fine for indoors for me.
Showers. Ugh. Something that takes 10 minutes normally takes half an hour at least! I can do it all on my own, but my husband is nervous and is always there to help me out of the shower. We put towels on all the tile just as a precaution. Crutches and water don't mix. A shower seat is a must.
As is a toilet seat or rails. I have the rails and I don't know how anyone can use the toilet without them!
I also suggest some exlax for when you get home from the hospital. All the pain meds really stop you up and do a number on your digestion. I also took a flaxseed fiber twice a day for the first two weeks.
Oh, probiotics! Definitely take them starting now.
I also worked out with a trainer for several months before my surgery and the month before we concentrated on upper body. I'm so glad we did! It takes an amazing amount of strength to haul your body up and down and around on crutches. If you can get some upper body strength training in before the surgery, you'll be ahead of the game. I've even started doing some light weights while seated so I don't lose all my muscle tone. Really, I think most of it is gone by now, but it makes me feel stronger.
I have a recliner that I camp out in, so I put up the foot thing and put pillows on it and that works for me as far as elevation goes. At night in bed, I just put a pillow under my cast foot and I haven't had any problems.
If you don't have someone who lives with you, then arrange for friends to come over for lunch and to maybe help prepare dinner for you as well. My husband did 100% of everything around the house for the first two weeks. After that, I felt strong enough to put a load of clothes in the washer and pick up a little around the house. I'm just starting to help make dinner and it's hard. Most days, I only have energy to type messages on this board!
Finally, the most important thing you need for this surgery is patience! I was a fairly active mom before the surgery and just sitting around makes me nuts. But, I've embraced the solitude and am finding comfort in just being. If I can get up and move around during the day, great. If not, I don't beat myself up. I do what I physically and mentally can and that's good enough. For now. I've had a few down days and threw myself a five minute pity party. Then I took a deep breath and reminded myself that this too shall pass.
Good luck and let us know how your surgery goes!