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Tips for after care
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Shirley Williams

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Shirley Williams

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Tips for after care

I have been told I will need surgery for DD and am now in the process of seeking a second opinion. Would very much like to know any tips on preparing for after the surgery. I live alone and don't want to bother people about things I could have prepared beforehand. I can't even imagine dressing, preparing meals, etc., etc., without using two hands. Help!! please.

Judy/AZ

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Judy/AZ

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After Surgery Tips

I found this on the Eaton Hand Surgery Site. Hope it is helpful for you.

It's tricky, but not impossible to get on with your life even with one hand is not working.

A wonderful resource for this situation is the book One Handed in a Two-Handed World (ISBN #09652 80500), filled with practical tips and tricks by
someone who became one handed - and dealt with it. From tying your shoes to doing household repairs one handed - it's all there.

Here are a few suggestions which may be helpful whether you are recovering from a hand problem or anticipating surgery on your hand. Although
some of these points are an issue only if your writing hand is affected, most apply to problems involving either hand. Most situations can be
managed without the need for special - order adaptive devices.

Before surgery, if you can,

Ask for help. Enlist others ahead of time to help with:
Child care
Housework
Meals

Practice
Dressing
Undressing
Using the toilet
Brushing your teeth
Showering

Prepare for the first few days after surgery:
Open and re-seal cans and bottles you might need.
Open medication containers and leave easy to reopen. Then, put these medication containers out of the reach of children, even if
you don't expect children visiting.
"No-cut" meals - sandwiches, ground meats, etc.

It helps to have...

In the shower
Plastic bags and rubber bands to cover bandages - the bags that newspapers come in are good to cover the hand and wrist.
Otherwise small trash can liners will do. Use two at a time.
Bottle sponge (soft sponge on a long stick) - for the armpit of your "good" hand.
Shower brush
A hair brush in the shower will help you to wash your hair.
Cotton terry cloth bathrobe - to dry your back.

In the bathroom
Toothpaste, shampoo, etc. in flip-top or pump (not screw top) dispensers.
Consider an electric razor.
Flossers (dental floss on a "Y" shaped handle).

In the kitchen
Dycem mat (rubber jar opener mat) - to help open jars, but also keep things from sliding around while you are working on them.
Double suction cup pads ("little Octopus") - to hold items while you use or wash them.
Electric can opener with a lid magnet strong enough to hold the can in the air - for one handed use.

In the bedroom
Back scratcher.
Large sleeve shirts and tops.
Put away clothing which buttons, fastens or snaps in the back or which uses drawstrings.
Sports bra or a camisole instead of a bra.
L'eggs Sheer Energy nylons can be pulled on one handed - most others can't.

A "wash and wear" haircut.

Good luck!

Charles Eaton MD

Edward in Cleveland

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Edward in Cleveland

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Before and after surgery

I had the dressing removed from my left hand yesterday. Surgery was a week ago. I live alone and do everything myself:cooking, cleaning, laundry etc. The night before surgery I made a big meatloaf. It got me through 5 days. There are frozen foods also. You will by surprised at how resourceful you will become. Nobody has been over nor did I leave the house for a week. Prepare what you thing you may need. I now have to change my bandages three times a day by myself. I can do it. I have no other choice.
A more important consideration is selecting a surgeon. When I saw mine yesterday, he said that I was the third one so far, and it was only 9:30 A.M. He does several D.C.operations a week and sometimes several a day. Ask your doctor how many D.C.'s he does and if he likes doing them. The first doctor I went to told me he disliked doing them. Don't let anyone practice on your hand.

jimh 

jimh 
Presurgery preparations for post surgery

Yes, I did all the wound dressing, etc. myself too. You just have to do everything in slow motion.

My surgery was 2 years ago. I'm curious about people getting the surgery today - don't the surgeons say anything about possibly waiting a year or two for the Collagenase treatment, instead of surgery?

Maggie 

Maggie 
Presurgery preparations for post surgery

What a thoughtful organized list!!!!!
Thank you in advance of needing it I will file it. Thanks from all of us. We hope you are doing well.

Roderick

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Roderick

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after surgery

I ate a whole bag of beef jerky from costco right after surgery. Corn dogs warmed in the micro r easy 2. Driving at night in the rain and zipping my coat r problems. lets not forget typing with 1 hand. tying shoes can b done but get flip-flops. u can do it.

Gary Evans

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Gary Evans

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After surgery

Roderick,
It is different after surgery. The list that Judy (2/20/2001) gave to the forum was helpful for me following surgery. How long has it been since your surgery? What kind of surgery? What was your hand like before surgery?
Gary

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