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Author Topic: How long should my husband take off to care for me?  (Read 2251 times)

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Aerial

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How long should my husband take off to care for me?
« on: September 10, 2011, 04:40:06 PM »
Hello-  I'm trying to figure out how long my husband needs to be home with me after surgery.  My surgery is scheduled for a Monday and unless something goes wrong I expect to be discharged Tuesday afternoon.  How many days will I require a lot of assistance from my husband?  If he is not here I am home alone with my two beautiful cats!  My husband actually just started work with a new company this month so his leave time accrued will still be very limited in December.  Unfortunately he left a company where he had accrued a ton of leave time!  I actually think he should drop me at the hospital, go to work, visit me in the evening, go into work the next day and pick me up in the afternoon.  I don't think I want him to use days when I have hospital care.  Dr. Gross is doing my surgery (and we live in Columbia, SC) if that matters in regard to this question.  I actually told Dr. Gross that maybe I could be his first patient to walk home after surgery (we live very close to the hospital).  He laughed at that.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2011, 04:41:15 PM by Aerial »
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Pat Walter

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Re: How long should my husband take off to care for me?
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2011, 04:55:08 PM »
Hi

I think you will find that you really don't need your husband with you all the time both at the hospital and at home - under the current circumstances of him starting a new job.  You will be quite able to walk around the house, get in and out of bed and use the bathroom by yourself.  What you can't do is bend down to pick things up - either put the operated leg in back and bend forward with the good leg holding onto the crutch or furniture or get a grabber thingy available at the large stores or drug stores.  You won't be able to put your socks on or tie your shoes.  So wear slip ons or have him help you before he goes to work.  Many of us are down to just one crutch on the opposite site of the operated hip and that means you can carry things around.  If not, I know you don't need a walker, but it could come in hand taking stuff around the house when he isn't there.  You can plan ahead and get the freezer full of microwave dinners so you can have your lunch or have him shop and get you sandwich stuff.  You can always stand at the counter using one crutch or one hand on the counter to make simple stuff.  You will not be incapacitated.  I ate every meal at the Holiday Inn and was sight seeing 5 days post op in Belgium.  I could have been by myself except for putting the shoes and socks on.  You will move slowly, but you will move and do stairs.  You could just have a friend stop in for the first few days while your husband is at work.  If you don't have friends yet, even someone from a local church or neighbor might look in on you if you explain the situation.  People are often very helpful if you ask.

It is nice to have someone with you 24/7, but you will be able to get along nicely without him under the circumstances.  I went thru open heart surgery for a valve replacement last Aug and did not have anyone with me during the day.  It was much worse than my hip replacement.  You just plan ahead and TAKE IT EASY.  Get your recliner chair ready or a bunch of pillows to put under your leg on the bed or couch. 

Good Luck.

Pat
« Last Edit: September 10, 2011, 04:57:43 PM by Pat Walter »
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hernanu

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Re: How long should my husband take off to care for me?
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2011, 05:37:31 PM »
I have to echo Pat's advice. I live alone, and my parents wanted to help the first week after my procedures (2, 3 months apart).

The first time, they mostly cooked and kept me company for about five days, then I launched them back to their home. I really could have done most by myself, but my mother went on a cooking and freezing frenzy and my father kept me company with bad jokes. Both I could have done myself.
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder

DGossack

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Re: How long should my husband take off to care for me?
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2011, 06:37:15 PM »
Aerial-

Why hasn't anyone stated the obvious?  Train the cats!  Except for the small problem of not having opposing thumbs they should do fine. 

Seriously, I think your plan is fine.  Although it is nice to have the company in the hospital there is no reason your husband needs to use up comp time.  I had a doting girlfriend who is a teacher and was off for the summer.  I was able to do most everything myself.  I used slip on shoes for my walks.  I rarely used the little grabby thing because I have strong legs and good balance so I could extend my operated leg behind me to bend down.

The meals are the big thing because, as Pat pointed out, holding a crutch while trying to fix something is cumbersome at best.  Also it is not comfortable to stand for any length of time at first.  If your husband can make the meals including lunch while he is gone you will be fine.  Take slow and easy.

Dan

PS Isn't fun to be planning your recovery rather than wondering about the surgery?
LBHR, Dr. Pritchett, 8/1/2011
fullmetalhip.wordpress.com

Aerial

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Re: How long should my husband take off to care for me?
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2011, 06:50:29 PM »
Yes Dan, I am happy (so happy) to have a surgery date and have made the decision.  I do have a couple of friends (including my mother-in-law) who live close.  I have one problem in that there is not a flat place to walk near me.  My neighborhood is full of major hills.  Maybe I could send my husband off to work and someone could stop by and take me to a place to walk.  There is a county park that is a couple miles aways that has a flat and paved walking path.  That would be a good place to walk and also provide a great break in the day.  I will have one month off between semesters so I can (and will) take it as easy as possible.  If I could be walking without assistance by the start of spring semester I would be elated.  I guess I was thinking I would have more pain or be out of it in the days immediate following surgery.  This is good news in that maybe I will still be able to enjoy the holidays.

P.S.  It is too bad the pampered furry babies of the family can't provided more direct help with carrying things but emotionally two kitties purring by your side is very comforting (assuming you like cats)!
« Last Edit: September 10, 2011, 06:55:31 PM by Aerial »
Right hip resurfacing with Dr. Gross on 12/5/11!

jjmclain

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Re: How long should my husband take off to care for me?
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2011, 08:50:45 PM »
Aerial,

My neighborhood is also all hills. I was able to crutch up and down the hills no problem. I am sure I was pretty slow, but I had no difficulties. You sound like you are also an athlete and in great shape, so you should have no problems!

June

Dayton96

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Re: How long should my husband take off to care for me?
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2011, 09:58:12 PM »
Aerial,

I was able to care for myself within a week of the surgery.  I liked your idea of having your husband drop you off and and then returning at the end of his work day.  The care at the hospital is excellent.  Dr. Gross  checks in and the nurses on the floor (on all shifts) could not be nicer.  If you haven't thought of it already, why not take your laptop/ipad with you and use the hospital's wifi.  One last thought, why leave the hospital so soon?  Dr. Gross' patients usually stay two nights.  If your insurance allows it, then I would suggest you stay the extra night to give yourself a chance to be a little more self-sufficient. 

Mac
Dr. Gross, Uncemented Biomet, Left, March 2011

gibbcutter

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Re: How long should my husband take off to care for me?
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2011, 11:59:29 PM »
He needs to be there when you come home.  I would say, if you do not have any complications, the first day after being discharged.  My wife took off the day I was discharged but after that I was on my own. It realy depends on your mental toughness.  Some people need attention.  I did not and felt better that I could handle it on my own.  Don't think you need to be a hero.  If you need help, get it.  I was fine home alone.

Anniee

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Re: How long should my husband take off to care for me?
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2011, 01:01:23 AM »
Aeriel, what Pat says.

Also, you will get a hip kit, with the grabber, the sock contraption, etc., at the hospital.  Usually, Dr. Gross's in-state patients are discharged the afternoon after the surgery (the ones that come from far away stay 2 nights).  My daughter took me to the hospital in the morning, stayed until they took me into the operating room, went out for lunch, and came back for a while after I was in my room that afternoon.  This was nice, but if she had not been able to come back, I would have been fine, because the staff at Providence really takes good care of you.   Then she came back again about 2-3 pm the next day to take me home.  This worked out well. I had my surgery on Wednesday, so I slept most of the afternoon that day, Thursday morning was busy with walking the hall, showering, and occupational and physical therapy before I went home that afternoon.  On Friday morning, we went to Walmart to get some Easter things, and I crutched all over our Super Walmart for probably about an hour.  (I decided afterwards that this was not the smartest thing, but I felt OK at the time).  My daughter (and her family because they came for Easter) stayed with me until Sunday morning.  I was fine home alone after that.

One of my friends made me an apron with big pockets.  This was very handy for the first few of days, when I had to use two crutches.  One of my friends who is a nurse was adamant that I had to wear the apron and carry a phone in my pocket in case of a fall.  I never did fall, but it was probably good advice!  My biggest problem the first few days was carrying the Polar Care when it was full of ice and water.  It felt heavy, and that was the main thing I needed help with.  Once it is filled with ice, it lasts for hours, so if your mother-in-law is available to come and help you with that part once during the day, and your husband can help in the morning and evening before and after work, I think you'll be fine.
Annie/ Right Uncemented Biomet 4-20-11/Left Uncemented Biomet 10-12-11/Dr. Gross

hernanu

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Re: How long should my husband take off to care for me?
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2011, 02:22:10 AM »
The most helpful things to me that made me self sufficient were:

1. My handy dandy home made ice pack (wet towel inside a zip lock bag).
2. Moving all chargers and ground based things to the kitchen counters.
3. Sock putter onner (my own term) to put on both regular socks and TED socks.
4. Picker up tool. Not used as often, but good for pushing TED socks down and picking clothing up from the floor. 
5. Put most important stuff towards the front of the top shelves on the refrigerator. Don't want to stretch and bend.
6. Elastic shoe laces for sneakers.

The last lets you REALLY become independent with shoes, you can slip sneakers on and off without much problem.

Once you're on a single crutch (after one week for me), cooking, doing everything is much easier. Even before that, cooking is doable, especially if using the microwave quite a bit.
Hernan, LHR 8/24/2010, RHR 11/29/2010 - Cormet, Dr. Snyder

Lopsided

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Re: How long should my husband take off to care for me?
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2011, 03:39:48 AM »
I have to disagree with everyone. My wife was with me for my surgery and I was really pleased. Both in the hospital and at the clinic.

Even in the morphine induced state, I much appreciated seeing my wife on the day of surgery, and the next day I felt a little bored and lost after she left at the end of visiting time. Back at the clinic, although I could do most things myself, it was comforting to have the company of my wife, and other hip patients.

The only thing I could not really do on my own was put on those infernal TEDs.

I understand your husband has to work, but any time that he can spend with you, I am sure you will appreciate.

D.




Proud To Be Dr. De Smet's First Uncemented Conserve Plus, Left, August 2010

maxi

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Re: How long should my husband take off to care for me?
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2011, 07:42:59 AM »
get all the help u can at all times because ue never know whats gunna happen ..... 
"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow...what a ride!"

Aerial

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Re: How long should my husband take off to care for me?
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2011, 12:07:03 PM »
Thanks for all the great advice.  We should be able to work something out.  I would like my husband there on the day of surgery but I'll need to see what surgery time I get.  If it is super early or later in the afternoon, he could take a half day.  I personally prefer super early.  When I had my hip arthroscopy done a year ago we were at the hospital by 5:15 which was great with me.  By the way given my MRA report and inter operative pictures from that surgery a year ago, Dr. Gross seemed to indicate he would not have done the arthroscopy but rather moved right to the resurfacing (labral tear and moderate arthritis were already evident with some areas of bone on bone). Such is life but I feel that was a wasted surgery not to mention set me up for another year and a half of pain.  I'm hopefully moving in the right direction now.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2011, 12:08:03 PM by Aerial »
Right hip resurfacing with Dr. Gross on 12/5/11!

Tin Soldier

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Re: How long should my husband take off to care for me?
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2011, 09:04:54 PM »
Early surgery is great because of the no eating deal.  Being apprehensive and hungry at the same time sucks.  I have to say I really liked having my wife there before and after surgery.

If you don't have sock putter-on-er then get yourself a couple of 14-year old boys like mine for a little payback.  "I got a wrinkle".  Actually I think humans can't have someone else put socks on for them, no matter what age they are, it doesn't feel right.  Better get the sock-put-er-on-er.

Ainee - excellent idea on the apron or something that can carry stuff while you are on crutches.

I think it's surprisingly easy (with one hip) to get around in the house with crutches and get what you need.  Certainly helps if you have easy food.  I was pretty much on my own as soon as I got back from the hospital.  It was all fine and getting up and crutching around is good for you.
LBHR 2/22/11, RBHR 8/23/11 - Pritchett.

Luann

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Re: How long should my husband take off to care for me?
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2011, 04:54:23 AM »
Hey Aerial,
 I needed help as long as I needed to be on both crutches. You can get somewhere with them... but then you can't do much once you get there!! (ie- carry stuff, pick stuff up, use two hands to make stuff... frustrating) Good Luck!
 PS. I called my husband an "RN" which stood for REALLY NOT!!!!!!   :) Lu
« Last Edit: September 12, 2011, 04:55:40 AM by Luann »
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