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Old 01-03-2012, 03:32 PM   #1
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Grabbers??????

I am having back surgery January 12th and have been reading all the tips and comments that I can. My husband and I have lived in Costa Rica now for about 13 years and I have no idea what y'all are referring to when you say "grabbers," and everybody talks them. From the posts it is easy to figure out their purpose, but can you please tell me what is the best kind. I have never seen them here and I will have to check it out or order one from the States through Amazon. I would barely have time to get it here before returning from the hospital. Any pointers are appreciated . . . type, brand, length, whatever. Thanks.

 
Old 01-03-2012, 06:07 PM   #2
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Re: Grabbers??????

A grabber is basically a handheld device that grabs things for you so you don't have to bend over after surgery. Mine was invaluable after my surgery and they actually supplied me with one in the hospital.

 
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:45 PM   #3
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Re: Grabbers??????

Look online for a "reacher." You can find them at Walgreen's Wal-Mart and pharmacies that carry medical supplies like crutches, and widely available online.

You probably won't need it immediately after you get home. I hope you will have someone staying with you for the first week or so.

You want it long enough so that you can pick something up off the floor without having to bend over at the waist.

 
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:30 AM   #4
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Re: Grabbers??????

I bought a 'reacher' at Walgreen. Claims to pick up pennies! Problem with it is the tips have a hard plastic cover. The claw part has some soft rubber wrapping so a glass or can won't slip out. So when the 'roundish' remote (Comcast) fell on the floor, the tips would just slip around it and I couldn't pick it up... So, grabbed a couple of rubber bands and wrapped them around each tip. Can pick up anything now... If I had any surgical tubing, it would have been easier to snip a short length and stretch it around. It's a [B][I]must have[/I][/B] for post surgery. I've since learned to not leave things on top of my blanket..... that fall when I get up.

 
Old 01-04-2012, 02:15 PM   #5
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Re: Grabbers??????

Thanks, but remember, I am in Costa Rica. I will go to Amazon. I am sure they have something.

Which brings up another question I had . . . I have aluminum crutches from knee surgery last spring. will they be of any help?

 
Old 01-04-2012, 03:39 PM   #6
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Re: Grabbers??????

No. Usually people are sent home from the hospital with a walker.

 
Old 01-05-2012, 04:17 AM   #7
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Re: Grabbers??????

What do you say about a hospital bed? Any advantage in one? Thanks

 
Old 01-05-2012, 06:26 AM   #8
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Re: Grabbers??????

What are you having done and which level of your spine? Generally I would say most people do not need a hospital bed.

 
Old 01-05-2012, 07:09 AM   #9
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Re: Grabbers??????

I had originally planned on just using a recliner. I had a L4, L5, S1, decompression and re-alignment. After being released, I found I just could not get comfortable. Even in my own bed (too soft) I had a complication and went back to the hospital for 4 days of pain management. I LOVE the hospital bed. I checked with my insurance company, and found that it falls under 'durable medical equipment' and was paid %100 as well as a walker. And get a walker too. I've been home three days now and the bed is the best thing. I've found that having a walker keeps me honest when I walk. It's not so much supporting my weight, as it keeps me standing and walking straight, and occasionally when I get a pain shooter, it's there. Also, when I stand and sit, it's just a guide for good spinal alignment.

 
Old 01-05-2012, 07:32 AM   #10
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Re: Grabbers??????

L5-S1 fusion (arthrodesis) and a plastic support placed in L4-L5 to prevent pressure on that level and further deterioration. Thanks

 
Old 01-05-2012, 10:03 AM   #11
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Re: Grabbers??????

Oh yes...I remember, now. I wasn't quite sure what the "plastic spacer" to preserve the space at L4-L5 was, because it just sounded to me like you are having a 2 level fusion. Is the surgeon going in from the back?

In any case, if you are in reasonably good health, I don't think you will need a hospital bed. It is a bit difficult to reposition yourself at the beginning. It can be helpful to have a silk bottom sheet, or to wear silk or some sort of "slippery" fabric pjs so that it is easier to move. Otherwise, be sure you have all kinds of pillows available for propping -- of different sizes and hardness.

Also, with my first fusion, which was at L4-L5, I really needed a raised toilet seat. But again, that need may vary depending on the patient's height. I had quite a bit of difficulty sitting on anything that was even slightly low at the beginning. All our furniture seemed very low.

Many surgeons restrict the amount of time a patient can sit in the early post-operative stages. 15-20 minutes at a time is plenty. Sitting puts 30% more pressure on the discs...something you want to avoid when trying to get bone growth going.

 
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:24 PM   #12
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Re: Grabbers??????

Yes, he is going in from the back. After I sent you the email I spoke with my physical therapist who knows what our house looks like and she suggested the hospital bed because she says our bed is low and with the hospital bed I won´t have to make such an effort to get up.

Normally I am in excellent health because of the nutrition and swimming, but right now I think I am either getting a cold or having some sort of allergy. I don´t know if we will have to postpone the surgery on Thursday or not. Will see. I am sure I will post again once I am able. Thanks so much, yet again.

 
Old 01-07-2012, 05:39 AM   #13
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Re: Grabbers??????

im having surgury on the 10'th and im in the same boat as you are. starting to get sick..i got a script from the doc on thursday and i hope i can kick this in the next few days becasue the hospital said they would send me back home if i still have any symtoms of a cold or flu!! good luck on your surgury thursday TICASLICK..

 
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