I thought this might be a good thread to start that people can add to. I have just a couple of things to add..
1) I'm getting a temporary handicap tag today. I didn't have it with my right foot and I sure could have used it (and deserved it!) I asked him about it for this surgery and he gave it to me. I'm going to DMV today. I hope it's not a hassle.
2) at Walgreen's, I got one of those ice packs that has the removable freezable gel pack in it and I love it. You take the pack out, freeze it, slip it back in the pouch and then it can velcro around your foot. I might even buy two of them so there's always one ready to go.
Here are a few of my tips!!
-I actually used bags of frozen peas as my ice packs....they were flexiable so they just laid right over my feet. I put a dish towel under the peas and it worked great! It worked alot better than the hard ice packs. I kept an extra set in the freezer, so I always had one ready to go!
-Have a ton of baby wipes next to you! I used them to clean my feet until I could get them wet! They work great!
-Have a stack of magazines or books to read! You definately need something to do!
Here are some suggestions for when you're feeling better & able to get out.
The handicap parking tag is great. Even if I ride with someone else, I can be close to a ramp. I couldn't have returned to work without it. Get the form from the doctor & apply for the tag while you're still mobile.
I have little half socks that I made by cutting the toes off some old stretched out socks (about 4 or 5 inches). Since it's winter, it makes my toes feel better being covered up; also I don't like showing off my black & blue toes at work. The sockies are bright red, which puts people in elevators, restaurants, etc on notice to STAY AWAY!
I ditched my purse, even tho it's a shoulder bag, in favor of a fanny pack. One less item to carry when you're struggling with crutches. Also I can get a sandwich in there.
Get staples for your kitchen & bath while you're still mobile. Nothing like running out of tp when you can't get to the store! Also I made some favorite foods in advance to make myself feel better the first 3 days.
I re-made the bed with sheet & blanket pulled up about 12" from the bottom, where it would cover me only to the ankle. I had 2 pillows to prop my sore foot on & threw a very light polartec throw over my feet. It was warm enough & the weight didn't kill my foot.
With the freezer gel packs (that don't get solid) mark them "A" &"B" because it's hard to tell which one was already cold and which just went into the freezer.
A dry cloth or towel will slow the packs (or peas) from feeling too cold. A wet or thin one will transfer more of the cold.
No one to run up & down the stairs later in the day? Pack a lunch in a cooler.
Get some sun, even if it means lying on the floor near a window, feels great.
Using a travel mug with a handle & cover will minimize spills when 'traveling' on crutches.
A "granny" pillow is great to let you sleep on your side against it, lay your leg down the length, and adjust the part under your foot without having to bend down as with a smaller roving pillow.
When you use the kitchen counter or furniture to travel, just laugh when you find that you've left your crutches 'way back over there'.
Get approved excersizes from your doc or physical therapist. Make sure that your circulation, flexibility, and muscle tone for your whole leg are kept up for when your ready for weight bearing.
Take those meds. They're so you can be as active as possible and don't suffer needlessly.
Don't let the social life disappear. Can't dance, play a board game.
Do be open with your spouse/caregiver. Their worries if you clam up will be worse than anything you could keep from them.
Too noisy to sleep when you're finally ready? Half a cotton ball in a 2" square of cellophane for each ear. They're comfortable and don't cut out so much sound that you wouldn't hear important things. Note: the 2" is so they will be easy to take out.
If you're off of your feet long term, get to a pool. Swimming is great for your legs and your spirit.
Also, sky diving and bungie jumping are definitely out.
I guess everyone knows not to ever put the baby wipes in your toilet. We had to call a plumber once. They pile up in there.
What if you want a heat pack, for instance on a sore muscle, nothing to do with foot surgery? There ought to be something like a pillowcase for a hot water bottle, if you want to keep it on an arm muscle. Any ideas?
Diabetics aren't supposed to use electric heating pads.
I've never seen one commercially made, but I'm guessing with 30 minutes or so you could make one. What about modifying a regular pillowcase you're about to retire? It might work if you turn it inside out and run just a straight seam across it (widthwise, not lengthwise), then cut off the excess and turn it right side out again. A sewing machine would be better, but if you don't have one, hand-stitching would do. Since the open end would be on the side, you'd need to close it somehow--maybe with small adhesive velcro squares ? (reinforced with thread on the corners, if need be.) It's not a perfect solution, but if you're diabetic, better than risking burns with an electric heating pad. I'm no seamstress, but even I could do a straight line. I'd love to know if anybody has seen one offered commercially.
Just another thought: If you've bought a heating pad recently, check for a small cover that came with it. It's pre-made, no sewing required , and could just as easily be used for a hot water bottle. Mine came with cloth "straps" on each corner so it could be tied to an arm or a leg. Hope this helps.
Put a plastic lawn chair in your shower (!!!!!!) and if you can, get a hand-held showerhead. I got one for only $10 at a discount store and it works fine.
That's a hoot ; I never thought about that! I second the idea of the hand-held shower. I've always had one and it's the only way I can wash my hair because with my other foot surgery last May, I didn't stand in the shower for several months. Now, I just sit in the tub with my hand-held shower and wash my hair. I don't know how you'd survive without one--it's invaluable.
I did finally get my temporary handicap tag; it's a LIFESAVER.
Get a piece of flannel about 8-12" long and 4-5"wide. Sew all sides except one. Then fill with raw beans, peas or even dried corn kernels. Don't fill all the way full. Leave some room for molding around your foot. Then sew the last seam. Put this bag o' beans in the microwave for a few minutes, and you have the perfect heating pad! It lasts a long time between heatings, and you can use it forever! Try it. Gail
Regarding the shower tips, I have a step in shower with glass doors, I hung a regular cloth type shower curtain on a regular shower rod on the inside of the glass doors, a hand held shower head and a foot stool to help me lower myself to the floor. Once you get seated, your feet are on the outside of the shower away from the water, pull the curtain across your legs and tuck it around your knees. You can wash your hair and get your entire body from the knees up wet. It is very simular to taking a shower and no pressure on your feet.