Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Pre Operative Meeting and Considerations

There were about 30 of us in the group and it was a power point presentation.  It was hosted by the physiotherapists who are part of SWATT or South Warwickshire Accelerated Transfer Team.  If you did not attend this meeting you would not be given a date for your operation.  There are a lot of dos and donts which the hospital can then confirm you have been told about should anything go amiss.

During the meeting we were shown muscle strengthening exercises which we were told to start straight away as they would aid speedier recovery.  We were shown a two piece ceramic joint which we would be having fitted to replace our own damaged parts. And we were taken through the procedures and advised what we needed to consider before and after surgery. 

Beds and Chairs:  need to be a minimum of 18" from the floor, and the Occupational Therapists ask you to fill in the necessary forms giving the furniture heights.  They then send special blocks which raise the bed or sofa/chair to the right height.  They also provide loo seats on extendable legs which sit over your own wc pan and provide a really comfortable height position.  I also got something like a bar stool to use in the kitchen as a perch when prepping or cooking meals.  All these were essential.  Post op I made the mistake of going into the garden and sitting down with a cushion on one of our bench chairs and then realised it was not going to be at all easy to get up again.  I had to use my arms to propel myself up rather than put the strain on the new joint.  We measured later and the bench was 14" so it really is essential to consider these heights.

They couldn't raise our kingsize bed for some reason, so I occupy the divan in the guest room!  They did manage to raise the 3 seater sofa after a bit of negotiation.  This is also my 'day bed' so it is a good downstairs alternative when I need a rest.

To summarise:

If Day 1 is the day of your operation, expect to be ready to go home on Day 3 or 4.  So two or three nights seems to be the norm if there are no complicating factors.
 Dont expect to drive until after your 6 week check up.  I believe you are supposed to advise your insurers of your procedure.
You will be supplied with one pair of support knee high stockings and can buy an additional pair for about £5. And you have to wear them 24/7 until the 6 week check.  They are to prevent blood clots and you are also reminded to flex your ankles and go round in circles with each foot while lying in bed to keep your blood circulating well
As you must never allow the joint to go over 90 degrees you need a grabber to pick stuff off the floor and help you dress.  This item was on offer for about £5/6 from the hospital.  If you haven't already got one this is an essential bit of kit.  I already had a rather cheap flimsy one from Amazon, but the NHS one is a much sturdier job and  you really need it to get your pants etc on and rescue all the stuff that falls on the floor.  I almost would recommend one upstairs and one downstairs because you need it so often.
If you havent already got one, add a handrail to one wall of the staircase, so that you can get up and down stairs safely.  Mine was fitted just the day before the op and it made so much difference to climbing the stairs that I wished it had been done months ago.

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