CSN Login
Members Online: 3

You are here

After the hospital stay

Trease's picture
Trease
Posts: 17
Joined: Oct 2015

I will be having my surgery on November 17, partial nephrectomy robotic. I'm single and live alone. (Unless you count my dog and cat) Although I have family and friends close by they all have their own lives to live and jobs to go to.

Will I be ok by myself once I'm home from the hospital? They say I will be in the hospital for 2 days.

I'm sure I will have people cecking in on me but mostly aside from my cat and dog I will be alone. I can have someone stay with me but I hate to ask. What's everyone's opinion ?

JoanneNH
Posts: 115
Joined: Sep 2013

If you can, have someone stay with you the first night you get home, until you get settled.  You will have trouble bending over, so elevate the cat's dishes (maybe a counter) and the dog dishes.   Not sure if you have a litter box, but it I couldn't reach it for a few days.   I have the litter box right next to a toilet, so I sat on that and was able to clean the litter box.   I was lucky in that I had a relative who would come over each day to clean it.

You will probably have trouble lying down for a while so plan on either sleeping in a recliner or propped up on the couch with some pillows.   My cat likes to jump up and sit in my lap, so I had a small pillow covering my surgical site.  I'd make some meals and freeze them because you probably won't feel like cooking anything.

My hospital wouldn't do my surgery unless they knew I had someone to stay the first night.  You won't be able to drive yourself home.  Bring a small pillow to the hospital to hug when you cough.  Also I used a small towel between me and the seatbelt to protect the surgical site.

I was given a prescription for pain medication so when I was discharged from the hospital, we went directly to a pharmacy to get it filled.  That eliminated a trip for someone to go get it for me.

 

 

Trease's picture
Trease
Posts: 17
Joined: Oct 2015

Thank you. I was hoping to have someone stay with me but that fell apart yesterday.

I think I will have family in daily to help with those kind of chores. But then again, after a week I haven't had anyone ask how I was coping or feeling about any of this. Is that common?

My concern is if I will be able to get up alone to feed my self and use the bathroom and things like that. I read about  being very sore

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 3211
Joined: Jan 2010

Trease,

 

That first week you are going to be a little bit of a grouch. It would be nice to have  someone check on you and if things warrant to be available 24/7. For the most part that first week is something you have to get thru yourself. Unless you have had RCC and/or a neph it is hard for outsiders to understand what we are going thru.

 

 

Icemantoo

Trease's picture
Trease
Posts: 17
Joined: Oct 2015

Thank you Iceman too

APny's picture
APny
Posts: 1938
Joined: Mar 2014

Trease, I had no problem going up the stairs and sleeping in my own bed. Also did not need help with bathroom or taking a shower. And mine was an open procedure and everyone says the robotic lap is even easier. In which case you shouldn't have any issues with that either. However, you cannot lift or bend for quite a while so yes, you'll need help with feeding the animals and changing the litter box. I'm sorry no one's checked on how you're coping with this in a while. Some people find it very awkward to discuss cancer and don't know what to say. Why don't you reach out to them instead and ask if they could check on you daily and perhaps help with some chores. Stocking some food is a good idea though I had zero appetite for about a week and ate very little. Wish you a speedy uneventful recovery and hope you get someone to at least stay the first night and then check on your daily.

JoanneNH
Posts: 115
Joined: Sep 2013

I had a retired nurse friend stay with me the first night.  The only thing she really did was help me learn to get in and out of bed, which was a mistake and I should have just slept on my comfortable couch, sitting most upright, with pillows.  She left the next morning and I didn't have anyone stay after that.  In retrospect, I could have done that first night on my own. 

You will be sore but be able to walk and use the bathroom.  The hospital will like to discharge you soon, but make sure you are able to walk around.  My hospital wanted to discharge me and I had not even walked yet.  The first few times, it was like I was drunk.   Freeze some meals so you can just put them in the microwave.  

You might want to get one of these.  I actually have this one.  I think Walmart has them, too.  You will find it VERY handy to pick things up off the floor.

http://www.harborfreight.com/36-in-pickup-and-reach-tool-62176.html

Please ask any questions you have here.  We have been through it ourselves or have someone close who has.

Trease's picture
Trease
Posts: 17
Joined: Oct 2015

I will do all of your suggestions.

Thank you I do feel more comfortable about being alone after the surgery. I'm sure I will have family over every day but I don't want to keep them from their families and jobs any longer then necessary. 

I've read in several posts about sleeping sitting straight up. Why is that?

 

APny's picture
APny
Posts: 1938
Joined: Mar 2014

I did not sleep quite sitting up, however doing the following really helped. Get a wedge and put that under one or two pillows to raise you so you're a bit elevated. Then get a long body pillow and put that on the side of your incision to support you. I made a kind of nest like this and slept very well in my own bed. Getting in and out of bed is a bit tricky but they taught me to roll in the hospital and push with my arm instead of pulling with stomach muscles. Ask them to help you with this so you can do it before being discharged. They had me up and walking the same night as my surgery and several times the next day. I'm sure they'll want you to get up and walk but if not, insist on it. It's a huge help. I did not need any help getting in and out of bed once I was home and I attribute it to the nurses and staff in the hospital teaching me.

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 1317
Joined: Oct 2013

Glad you are here to ask as many questions as you need to my dear. I too was alone and my other medical conditions which make me a fall risk. I had two robatic abdominal surgeries and honestly did not need pain meds for long. I DID wear a lumbar wrap (used for back backs) and it supported my poor abdomen for days. I wore it home from the hospital. AND I tucked dry ice packs inside of this wrap over the incisions but not directly onto the skin. It helped a lot with the swelling.

Not sure if you know how you will do with the pain meds, but it sure is nice to have someone there to fetch things, make you something to eat etc. And who's gonna take care of your dog, cat? So I would ask someone to spend a couple of night with you. If you time it right, you could be home for weekend and they wouldn't miss work. Even if they run the vacuum, make meal, shop, wash clothes, esp if appliances are down stairs.

Keep us informed as to how you are doing and don't stop asking questions. We love to help best we can!

Healing vibes being sent your way.

So send an email to all family/friends and ask if and what they can do. You can even make a list of tasks. That way they won't have to do it all but share the duties of caregiving, ok?

Hugs, Jan

JoanneNH
Posts: 115
Joined: Sep 2013

When you are fine, you don't notice what muscles you use to lie down and get up from bed.  I could go part way down and then my incision would pull and hurt.  You can give it a try, but if something hurts, don't do it.  There is also a limit to how much weight you can carry, maybe 5 pounds.

db8ne1's picture
db8ne1
Posts: 141
Joined: Feb 2013

Trease,

Sorry to hear about your situation.  I think you should be OK.  I had a partial neph via DaVinci one afternoon last July and went home from the hospital the next morning.  I think you will be fine - except for having to care for your pets.  You might want someone to come and help with them.  Be sure no lifting. Sleeping is uncomfortable.  But, it passes pretty quickly (at least mine did).

Good luck and keep us updated.

Best,

 

J

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 1317
Joined: Oct 2013

Since I had two abdominal surgeries done robatically, I remember the challenge of getting up and down, esp out of bed!

So I wore that lumbar wrap in bed too AND I had my bed handle to grip. You can slowly turn sideways, then push yourself up with your arms. I already have a bar that slips between the mattress and use it to get up every day anyway.

Take a deep breath when you start to get UP, then let the breath slowly..it helps.

Jan

foroughsh's picture
foroughsh
Posts: 775
Joined: Oct 2014

I spend one night at hospital and then I came back home, I had no problem being alone during the days but it was my first surgery so I preferred to have someone with me during the nights although nothing happens but it was a good decision to have a peace of mind.Forough

 

 

 

Subscribe to Comments for "After the hospital stay"