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Old 09-19-2008, 07:10 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2002
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Re: List of items to have at home after ACDF

Well.....I have a DRAFT in my e-mail I've been cutting and pasting for the past two weeks of before/after ACDF or any kind of cervical spine surgery. It's all kind of out of order, but have at it! I think some of them might be for lumbar surgery - but pick and choose what'd would apply to your situation GOOD LUCK to you!


place your telephone next to your bed;
if you do the cooking, prepare a week of meals in advance and freeze them;
select someone to do your chores;
pick someone to change your dressing;
place frequently used items at waist level to minimize bending;
remove things which may cause you to trip;
if your bedroom is upstairs, and your bathroom is downstairs, consider moving downstairs for a few days;
select someone to drive you to appointments for a few weeks; and,
pick someone to drive your children to school.
Rent a LAPTOP with Wireless Access.

Things to Buy:
Stool Softener
Bottled Water
Bendy Straws
Chloraseptic Spray/Lozenges
Soft foods - pudding, soups, mashed potatoes(butter-sour ream), V8 Juice, Ensure. Yogurt, ice cream, popsicles, jello cups, pre-made puddings & tapioca, protein bars, cereal, microwave oatmeal, bananas, chicken stock, Lean Cuisines, pre-made mashed potatoes, cookies, chocolate, lettuce, salad dressing, cheese, lunch meat, hot dogs, bread, bakery items, Tuna.

Frozen fruit for blending smoothies.
Protein Powder [will assist with bone fusion, particularly if you cannot chew much]
Bag of ice – small cubes
Ice chips to help dry or sore throat
Paper plates and plastic cups
Candy, sugarless gum
Non-slip mat for shower
Hand shower
Toilet riser with or without side handles - $15-$25 (if needed)
Bedpan if necessary
Walker and/or cane per doctor
Personal Items
Deodorant body wipes / wet wipes for freshening up (Drug Store has near the Depends. They are a large size.)
Pre-moistened facial cleansing cloths
Dry shampoo $5 from specialty beauty store
Powder – Shower to Shower or other
Face cream (I would suggest small sizes)
Hand cream
Body lotion for itchy skin
Lip balm, Chapstick
Throat lozenges / Chloraseptic Spray
Wound dressings per doctor
Thermometer to check temp after surgery
Prune Juice taken with a dose of Milk of Magnesia for dire cases of constipation - it takes about 2 hours, then you are good to go (pun intended).

Handy Items
-Grabber/picker – preferably 36” long. Perhaps one in bedroom and one in living room. $10-$25
-Long handled shoe horn. $5
-Grabber-like thing to pull on socks with, or think about wearing flip flops or open-backed shoes.
-Pill Organizer or notepad to keep track of what you need to take when and to make notations of when you take your meds.
-Bell, cell phone or walkie talkies to contact caregivers
-Microwaveable hot packs –great for aching shoulders, etc.
-Satin sheets for easy sliding in and of bed. Or satin PJ's.
-"Turning sheet" strip of heavy fabric that you put under you so that you can have a signficant other pull to turn you over as needed, particularly good for those first few days.
-Cold packs in freezer prior to surgery
-Phone near the bed. Get a wireless or wireless adapter from Radio Shack o Cellphone and charger o Blackberry, Treo and chargers
-IPod, headphones, charger o Update your playlists
-Books, magazines, audio books, crosswords, Sudoku o Booklight
-Plastic containers to hold and organize items you will use while confined to bed. Also to use after mouthwash or for small trash.
-Put all the reading materials, crosswords, pencils, etc. in one. Put personal cleansing items in another.
-Small, lightweight pitcher for water next to bed
-Paper towels near bed
-Small wash basin near bed
-Small bucket for nausea next to bed
-Small garbage bags nearby
-Towel that lies flat on the bed beside you. Put items you may use on top then just pull the towel toward you to retrieve items you can’t reach.
-Extra pillows to help with comfortable positions
-Additional sheets, blankets, pillows near recliner, sofa, chair in living room
-Recliner, if possible. Some find recliners work, others don't - they can be hard to get out of.
-Think about placing every day items at waist height even if it means storing on counters.
-Slippers - not too loose with good soles
-Front buttoned shirts or zipper tops for trips to PT and doctor
-Sweat pants
-Yoga pants
-Front button pajamas – numerous sets

Comfort Items
Lots of pillows, body, small, wedge, cervical, etc.
If you are planning on much reading or computer (laptop) work post-op, consider a stand that adjusts in position and height like a hospital bed tray –Brookstone. $150; There are less expensive ones around $60-70. Make sure they fit under your favorite chair.
Books to read.
To Do Prior To Surgery
• Shave, wax, pedicure, manicure, etc. right before surgery.
• Hair cut
• Give all doctor names and numbers to caregiver(s) as well as next to your bed
• Put together phone numbers of all concerned family members and friends on one sheet
• Check with your doctor for handicap sticker
• All grooming/personal supplies waist high to avoid reaching/bending
• Organize essential items at home to be within reach, e.g. telephone, shoes, etc.
• Arrange for care - someone to be with you for most of the first week post-discharge
• Give blood prior to surgery and/or family members
• Checks made out for bills, stamped envelopes ready or online payments done in advance
• Have some cash handy for family members to run errands.
• Car keys and house keys given to appropriate caregivers

Boredom Relievers
• Laptop
• Magazines, books
• Audio books
• Crosswords
• Sudoku
• DVDs o Order prior to surgery if belong to Netflix or other service

Take to Hospital
(check with hospital in case you receive items during stay)
• Button up pajamas
• Bathrobe to cover up if use a Johnny
• Hairbrush/Comb
• Toothbrush and toothpaste
• Mouthwash
• Facial wipes
• Body wipes
• Hand Cream
• Facial Cream
• Lip Balm
• Loose clothing to come home in o Underwear o Front button top o Socks o Comfortable, safe shoes
• Magazine, crosswords, notepad, pencil
• Glasses
• Laptop, if you want - a lot of hospitals have wireless access in the rooms

On the day you come home:

Make sure you put a plastic trash bag on the car seat for easy sliding in and out of the vehicle. Pillows and a careful, slow driver are also great suggestions!

Its a bit tricky when you come home as you cannot turn your head. Its a bit hard to dress. Make sure you have some loose fitting T's to wear.

LOTS of re-usable gel ice packs.I used them to lay on my shoulders and the sides of my neck.
Lots of pillows. It is very hard for everyone to find the perfect postion to sleep in. We are all different. I slept in a reliner for the first few days, then migrated to the couch piled high with quilts underneath the cushions so I was up high. I used the coffee table or something that was close by to log roll so that I could get up.

One big help to me was a pick things up or reach things (as long as they don't weigh more than five pounds!)
Also bought button down shirts and pj's since putting things over your head is impossible.

Prepare as much as you can ahead of time..figure out what needs to be moved..lightened up, etc and it will make recovery much easier.
I find sleeping in the recliner better for me than the wedge, as I keep slipping down!

Other things that'll take you by surprise:

1. Burping --- OWWWWWWWWWWW
2. Sneezing -- OWWWWWWWWWWW
3. Coughing -- OWWWWWWWWWWW
Breast Cancer Survivor 12/09 -Stage 1-Grade 3- IDC. ER-/PR-/Her2+. Neck Surgery - ACDF C6/C7 11/08. Bladder Surgery-Burch Procedure 2/06. THE LAST FIVE YEARS HAVE BEEN NOT SO MUCH FUN!
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Last edited by greenacres; 09-19-2008 at 07:37 AM.

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