Author Topic: Logistics Advice? Caregiver preparing for surgery and recovery  (Read 6543 times)


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Logistics Advice? Caregiver preparing for surgery and recovery
« on: January 29, 2014, 11:30:10 am »
My husband will have his retrosigmoid AN surgery on February 11th and I'm trying to prepare to both help him recover and manage care for our three little kids. I was planning to take the week off to help him in the hospital while my best friend and my mom help with the kids.  He's never had any health issues before so this is all new territory for us.
1)  When he's in the hospital, will he want visitors?  Should his family come stay in a hotel near the hospital? Should we ask his family to come visit after he's home from the hospital instead?
2) If I'm his main caregiver, how long until I can go back to work? 
3) Is there anything I need to do or buy before his surgery to make sure his recovery is smooth?
4) Any other bits of advice to prepare for the surgery and recovery? 

Thank you so much!

Jim Scott

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Re: Logistics Advice? Caregiver preparing for surgery and recovery
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2014, 01:14:00 pm »
Hi, 'Wifey' ~

I'm not a doctor but I do have experience as a recovering AN surgery patient so here is my response to your questions:

1. Your husband may not want visitors immediately post-surgery, especially the first day or so, due to fatigue from the surgery, which is considered major.  He may be kept in the ICU for a day or more, depending on how he's doing.  I would plan to take it day-by-day.  Tell family and friends that you'll let them know about visiting.  If he has no complications, most AN surgery-related hospital stays are approximately five days so he'll be home soon enough and will likely be more agreeable to visits.

2. You should be able to return to work within a week to ten days, barring any unexpected problems in your husbands recovery.

3.  Not really.  Much will depend on your husbands rate of recovery.  Like him, I was not used to being ill or disabled in any way so I was highly motivated to 'get back to normal'.  Once the initial recovery period is past (5-10 days) he should be walking outside as much as is feasible as that helps with balance and gets one out of the 'invalid' feeling from being housebound.  Well, that was my experience.

4. Don't over-pack for the hospital.  Slip-on PJ's are a good idea, hard-soled slippers, Chap-Stik and perhaps a favorite magazine or two.  Be prepared for a long wait for the surgery to be completed and try to be patient during his recovery, as it can be a bit trying for someone who is not used to dealing with health issues.  That was my experience.  Fortunately, my wife is a saint and helped me get through it without her wanting a divorce (I was grumpy).  However, my usual sanguine disposition returned as I felt better and got back into my usual activities.   ;)

I can guarantee that other posters will offer more, perhaps better answers to your queries.  I just wanted to (a) reply to you ASAP and, (b) wish you and your husband a smooth surgery experience and a rapid recovery.  Please try to keep us updated on his progress and consider this site and these forums as a resource.  Our membership is very knowledgeable regarding the AN experience and are eager to help.

4.5 cm AN diagnosed 5/06.  Retrosigmoid surgery 6/06.  Follow-up FSR completed 10/06.  Tumor shrinkage & necrosis noted on last MRI.  Life is good. 

Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is.  The way we cope with it is what makes the difference.