First off, are you having one or both feet done? This will dramatically affect how much help you'll need during the first few weeks. Also, are you allowed weight bearing (if having both feet done) for things like bathroom trips and showers?
I've had double bunionectomies twice (I'm an expert, unfortunately). My suggestions in terms of what to have on hand: frozen bags of peas to ice your feet (get four bags and keep switching them off and on so they stay cold); something to keep the blankets from touching your very sensitive feet post-surgery (unless you'll have casts, in which case this won't be an issue)---a strong plastic box of some sort so you can put the blankets over it and they won't lay on your toes; seal-tight foot protectors for the shower (a god-send for bathing and worth every cent---forget tying plastic bags around your feet, these things work perfectly and you'll get a ton of use out of them); big pillows to prop yourself up in bed; a stable method to elevate your feet and legs to prevent swelling; a shower chair; a bedside table with your pain pills (and any other meds or vitamins you might take), water, hairbrush, baby wipes (to keep yourself fresh during the first day or so and to wipe your toes and heels), books, magazines, tv guide, remote control, tissues, telephone, doctor's phone numbers; a small cooler for water bottles, snacks, light meals (most important if you don't have someone who will be home with you all day); a bell or walkie-talkie or intercom to call your hubby or caretaker if you need help.
That's about all I can think of for now. The main thing is to chose a place you'll recover and get yourself all set up there. I stayed in my bedroom but others set up on a sofa. Personally, I preferred being upstairs as I was less tempted to overdo and walk more than necessary. I was told for the first two weeks to only walk for the basics (bathroom visits and bathing).
Oh, the other good advice I got from this board was to get a temporary handicapped placard. I downloaded a form from my state's DMV, had the doc fill it in and then sent it off. A few weeks later I had the placard (good for 3 months). This really helps when you finally get out and can't bear to walk through big parking lots. I also got a wheelchair with both surgeries (wtih articulating legs for elevation) so I was able to get out a bit---mall, stores, etc.
I am totally with you, since my surgery is Jan. 21st and I'm getting pretty nervous too. I'm having one foot done at a time (the next one in a month, hopefully) and have been preparing for awhile now. My fiance will be doing the care-taking, and I'm totally re-organizing the freezer so I can prepare as many meals ahead of time as possible.
I'm doing a lot of upper-body workouts to prepare for the crutches.
Got a mail-order DVD service (can't mention brand-names here, but one starts with "N" and ends with "flix".....) so I can catch up on movies.
We got a remote control that you plug your lamps into, so I don't have to get up to turn the light on/off - total godsend.
I don't think a wedge pillow is the right way to go; it you hang your foot over, it doesn't get the proper elevation, and if you just have your leg on the wedge, it can put extra weight on the cast and/or screw up your knee. I plan on doing square pillows so my shin is parallel to the floor and knee is at a 90 degree angle.
My laptop with wireless card will keep me connected to the world while I'm feeling cut off from civilization.
I plan on documenting my recovery on my blog w/pictures.
I found a workout tape by the woman who does the "Body Electric" series - she had foot surgery and created a workout AROUND it! It's called "Getting Better". (hopefully they'll let me post that - it's not an advertisement, I swear!)
I also got a new rolling office chair that extends to the height of a stool (just be sure to raise the footrest as well, for balance). This way I can lower it to get around, using a crutch like an oar, and sit up tall to be in the kitchen or wherever.
I learned to knit specifically for this recovery process.
This board has been invaluable.
-I'm seeing my Pod again tomorrow and asking a gazillion questions.
Scroll back on this board to about July or August 04 and you'll find a thread on Post Operative Tips...it was a wealth of recommendations for me when I had surgery in August.
The one thing that I can suggest is to know ahead of time what pain medication options you have. Ask your doc what he or she usually perscribes. If you have successfully used something before tell them. Will your Doc be available if the pain doesn't respond? Can you call 24/7?
Getting ahead of the pain in the first few days really helps your recovery, and your state of mind. I was so surprised about the level of pain I had and I am no wimp. Ice behind your knee will chill the blood before it goes into your foot and is easy to apply rather than through your bandage or cast...Ice was my best defense against the pain during the night. I don't mean to scare anyone I just usually do better when I know what to expect.
Good luck to you all and feel free to ask anything specific...
Well, I just had bunion surgery #2 last week and am doing great. As to what you will need it all depends on what type of surgery you are having. I am in a camwalker boot and have temporary pins in and I am able to get up and go to the bathroom or fix a sandwhich, etc. Definetely stock up on ice packs and bags of frozen peas or corn, frozen meals, i use trash bags around my foot for bathing, lots of pillows, and a multivitamin! Good luck!
For the first 2 weeks I stayed in bed or on the coach and watched lots of tv and movies. After that I was walking....It all depends on the person and how well you heal. One thing I bought which REALLY HELPED was an ice pack with that cloth velcro thing around it. It's the one you can microwave to heat as well, but I wrapped the velcro around the top of my foot and would fall asleep with it. The other thing was one of those long shower heads. So when I could take a bath (I have long hair) I would hang my foot out of the tub and use the shower head to wash my hair, etc...Worked GREAT!
I put an old footstool in the tub and propped both feet up on it while I was in the tub. It was alot better than hanging my feet out of the tub! And the fozen bags of peas were wonderful for me...they laid right over my feet and were not too heavy!
and good luck on your surgery...
many good suggestions here....the shower guard was worth the $20 and then some!!...I bought mine from my Pod Doc...I was in a cast for the first 2-3 weeks...and the shower guard slipped right over all of this real nice...totally seals out water..can take a bath...ahhhhh...that was nice, real nice!!
only other suggestion.....is to have patience!!...it truly takes time..more than what I thought!...and I am a very active person...and a daily walker...so,
to be immobile was hard, very hard for me!!..remember.."this too shall pass"