::: my husband’s short basketball season :::

From a caregiver’s perspective

Recap of week after surgery

Filed under: Uncategorized — shortseason at 10:46 pm on Saturday, November 21, 2009

The surgical staff emphasized that the patient should stay ahead of the pain after surgery — be proactive about taking pain meds; do not wait until the pain has set in.  So, I was pretty faithful about shoveling pain meds into my husband.  He took two before bed for several nights (3? 4) but did not take many during the day after about the second day.  He did take Tylenol, though.   He never once complained about pain.  He did grumble a bit about being uncomfortable sitting in the same position, but, not related to his leg.

He kept the leg elevated for the first 48+ hours on two bed pillows; even while sleeping in bed.   We iced it every 20 minutes except while he was sleeping.  I truly feel that helped — no swelling; minimal pain. 

On the evening of day 3, we went to a local tavern with friends for dinner.   We plopped a pillow on a chair and he kept it elevated.  We didn’t linger long after dinner, but, it was nice to get out in the world for an hour.  The only other outings were sitting in the car while I ran errands.

The doc said no driving for at least six weeks.  He is remarkable calm about me driving (not his norm!).

The surgical staff suggested some exercises to keep him busy and try to maintain muscle tone. 

  • While sitting in a chair with legs outstretched and supported, clench the leg muscles and hold for 10 seconds.  Release. 
  • While sitting in a chair with legs outstreatched and supported, raise each leg (one at a time) about 10″ and hold straight for 10 seconds.

He had a few fleeting moments of nausea — they didn’t last long, but, he described feeling hot and nauseated.  It seemed like they happened after he was in bed, and got up to use the restroom.  We kept a large bowl by the bed — just in case (but it was never needed). 

Showers are an adventure.  We have a walk-in shower but a toilet is somewhat in the way.  Luckily the shower has a seat, so he is able to manuever over the “curb” and get in and sit down — the entire thing makes me very worried, but, so far so good!  The cast cover works great – it’s one of the jobbers with the neoprene “collar.”  $13 or something along that line.

The pain pills had the predicted side effect — constipation.  (Men and constipation…my goodness!)  So, he took Metamucel (sp?) each day; and I cranked up the fiber in his diet, and kept giving him pitchers of ice water. 

Ice water had another effect — the surgical staff said he should get up and move every hour.  So, all that water made for regular trips to the loo. 

All in all, the week went better than we each expected.  Whew.

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