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Author Topic: living alone and surviving on crutches for four weeks??  (Read 8159 times)

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Offline casey2291

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living alone and surviving on crutches for four weeks??
« on: February 13, 2005, 02:06:34 PM »
Hi all,

I am scheduled for surgery for next month and will have to be non-weight bearing for four weeks.  I live alone and have a freind who is going to help me out for the first day.  Am I being naive to think that after a day of help, I will be able to take care of myself on my own?  I've been reading around this site to learn about all the tricks to make life on crutches easier and I think that with all the great suggestions that I have discovered here, I will be ok, but I have never had surgery before so I don't want to get home and realize that I was being incredibly stupid in my thinking that I could do most things on my own.  Also, is it possible to make it up three flights of stairs to my apartment on the day of my surgery?  My leg will be in an immoblizer brace.  My brother who had surgery before claims there is no way that I will be able to make it.  Couldn't I just sit on my butt and scoot up? 

Casey
LOA #2 and hardware removal 12/15/08-new cartilage from ACI looks "GOOD"
LOA on left knee 3/18/07
ACI and HTO on left knee 10/22/07
scope of right knee on 6/21/07
microfracture left knee 3/18/05

Offline Nettan

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Re: living alone and surviving on crutches for four weeks??
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2005, 02:26:48 PM »
Hey Casey !!

Have you checked out if they community have lifting help (persons carrying you up )
after surgery ? If not look at this option. A chair on wheels like the ones you can have while sitting by a desk is good to have. Then you can kick with the other leg and have the injured legs foot on a towel and just let it glide on the floor, if you don't have carpets of course. I'm sure you can survive this if you have people helping with groceries and other things you need. Prepare food and put it into the freezer and just warm it up in a micro. Wish you good luck. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Hugs nettan  ::)
Surgery 6 times left knee torn meniscus, RSDS,chondromalacia, nervdamage cause constant nervpain,chronic inflamm.
Spinaldamage wheeler 100%.
Right knee damaged aug-06, use brace surgery 4/9-07.LCL tear.

Offline Leentje

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Re: living alone and surviving on crutches for four weeks??
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2005, 03:05:49 PM »
Hey Casey!

I had a TTT 2.5 years ago (when I was 25) and I stayed with my parents 5 weeks after the surgery. They thought I wouldn't be able to manage on my own and neither did I for that matter. But when I look back at it I would stay at home now and let people come over and help me, do some groceries etc. My mom didn't want me to get upstairs and she had told me a few times I woud have to stay and sleep on the sofa. But there was NO WAY on this earth I would even consider that. I rememeber that my dad used to carry me upstairs when I was younger but he wouldn't be able to carry 66kg upstairs now ::) so I took my crutches and "crutched" up and downstairs a few times a day from day 1!!! Never had problems, I had many knee injuries boore but NEVER used crutches!

Goodl uck with the upcoming surgery!!!

Helena ;)
Bilat patellar malalignment/PFdysplasia
00/06/83 L wrist #
11/12/00 L knee LR + chondroplasty
21/08/02 L knee TTT
02/03/04 L knee stretched PCL
11/09/07 L ankle dislocation/medial avulsion #
25/05/09 L ankle medial avulsion # AGAIN!
05/06/13 R ankle dislocation

Offline stgiles16

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Re: living alone and surviving on crutches for four weeks??
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2005, 05:24:18 PM »
Casey, the biggest obsticle that I can see is on the day of surgery. You will be a little loopey when you get home and that might not be the best time to go up three flights of stairs. Got any brothers that you can press into service to carry you up that day?????? I would loan you mine if you lived closer LOL.

cook stuff ahead of time and have it in the freezer. Buy canned drinks or bottled drinks (you cannot carry a glass on crutches) Keep a back pack with you, they are great to put a sandwich, phone, drink ,,,,,, anything in and crutch to where you want to sit. Move a phone into the room you will spend most of your time ( a phone book too, i broke my toe trying to carry a phone book on crutches,,,,, this was NOT  good).If you drink coffee, have the coffee maker in the room you spend time in,,,, cant carry hot coffee on crutches. I always set up a table in my den and put my coffee, a gallon of water, the coffee pot etc on it so I dont have to go far for my caffine fix.
A shower chair is a great idea. I can take a shower alone with my chair oh yes and a shower head that you can pull down (like the shower massage ones), that way you can shower and still keep that leg dry. (can you tell that I have done this alot? LOL) The shower chair will also allow you to wash your hair in relative comfort.
good luck and if i think of anything else, i will pm you.
missy
2 ligament recons right ankle
2 arthroscopic,
5 open knee procedures
2 Plica removals
bone spur removal
2 microfractures
4 debridements
2 open LOAs all on left knee
Arthritis,both knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, hands,spine
Fibromyalgia
Arthrofibrosis
LOA & PKR 2/15/06
RA
in pain mgmt
TKR JAN 2012

Offline Dave G

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Re: living alone and surviving on crutches for four weeks??
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2005, 06:02:35 PM »
Im going to assume your UK based - home shopping from the net is a great idea :-) as is pizza delivery if you are close enough to one.


Just a couple of things that make a differnce.

Oh and ensure that you have adequate supports near the loo so you can get up and down ok. its not easy. Keep your mobile with you at all times then if the worst does happen and you fall you will have the ability to contact someone.

I know it sounds like im predicting the worst but safety is important.
08 Jan 2005 Accident Patella Fracture 6 Pieces
09 Jan 2005 Operation (2x 1.5mm Wires 1x2mm Wire & Tension Band)
11 Jan 2005 Xrays  & Rebandaged Splited with Cricket Bat Splint.
13 Jan 2005 Allowed Home
20 Jan 2005 Followup & Stitches Removal.
09 Feb Slight Pain occasionally
Next appt 11 Feb

Offline Ronxski

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Re: living alone and surviving on crutches for four weeks??
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2005, 06:42:19 AM »
Casey, I was woozy coming home from my surgery and it was tough enough making 7 steps into the house. Get help going upstairs! You don't want to go back into the hospital with other injuries. Play it safe. I had a 35 yr. old wheelchair of my grandpa's in the house and was glad to have it. I was non weight bearing for 2 weeks. So I had my crutches stationed by the bathroom. I also was fortunate to have my Dad's commode as an emergency back up by my recliner in case I couldn't get to the bath at the other end of the house. Keep a cooler for your juices nearby where you will be most of the time. I used sports water bottles for water and juices so that I didn't have to worry about spilling. If you have a rolling chair in the kitchen you will find it much easier to take food around than on crutches. Plus washing dishes too. IF you can't reach the sink sitting and washing dishes. At least you can balance on one leg with the chair ready to sit on while doing dishes. The wheelchair was better because you can lock the wheels in case you have to sit fast it won't slip out from underneath you.
Keep your medications close by. And for the first few days if you are going to take pain meds say every four hours , set a timer to remind you and mark down the time you take them so you don't lose track. I was very sensitive to my pain meds,and even though I didn't over medicate, I had a record to tell my dr. and he could adjust it from there.
I wore loose fitting sweat pants while I was recovering and if your foot is swollen find some big loose socks.

A friend suggested I have prunes on hand in case the anesthesia and meds plug you up . They sure did! I didn't have a bowel movement for almost 3 days. So lots of fiber, and water will help you in case you have that problem. Start early on that regimen to get ahead of the game if you have a problem. That is about all I can think of that hasn't already been covered by the others so well.

The use of handrails in the bath were really helpful getting on and off the toilet. The other posts before mine had great tips too.
PT is the hardest part but the best part too! Keep up your spirits! and keep us posted ! Ron
partial meniscus removal, posterior horn of medial meniscus tear,horizontal cleavage type. Dec. O4
Age 56
back to cross country skiing and biking.

Offline favouritesearcher

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Re: living alone and surviving on crutches for four weeks??
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2005, 06:56:23 AM »
I also live in an apartment too and had to climb up 2 flights of stairs on 1 or 2 crutches for months.  Fine if there is a handrail for support (unless you are too heavy).  There were more closes misses inside the apartment than on the stairs (eg tripping over table legs).

Also consider having pre-prepared meals - standing on 1 leg to cook and wash up gets very sore after even 5 minutes.

John
Mar 04 - Tibial spine avulsion fracture (skiing). Open surgery to fix, 1 screw.  Max passive ROM 20-75, active ROM 30-45
Aug 04 - Diag. severe arthro. Scar tissue clean up (LOA, removal of scar tissue).
Feb 05 - Discharged from surgeon's care. ROM 3-125.
Apr 05 - Discharged from physio. Same ROM

Offline ranger

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Re: living alone and surviving on crutches for four weeks??
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2005, 01:19:47 PM »
A suggestion I found online when I was NWB was to have a hostess trolley on wheels if you can borrow one - you then have a long tape tied to it, go sit where ever you want to be and pull it over to you. This was SO helpful carrying things like plates of food etc. Something else I did the first few days when I was really sore and moving was an effort, was to have a 'lunch box' of food, cold things I could eat as I felt like, so I didn't have to go into the kitchen and cook every time I was hungry.

Best wishes, hope it all goes well

Ranger
Sept 04 fall 
Dec 04 arthroscopy, medial femoral coblation, ACL reportedly 'stretched';
Jan 05 cortisone;
Feb 05 new OS, MRI, ACL 75% tear, articular cartilige damage, MCL partial tear, femoral bone bruise, knee severely unstable.
MacIntosh ACL repair 8/4/05

Offline casey2291

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Re: living alone and surviving on crutches for four weeks??
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2005, 05:18:01 PM »
Thank you to each of you who responded to my posting.  I really appreciate every piece of advice that you passed my way!!  I've thought about trying to recruite someone else to help me up the stairs, but the more I think about it, I think I will manage somehow as I don't really have anyone else that I would feel comfortable asking to take off work.  I thought my brother might offer since he doesn't live far from me, but his suggestion was for me to ask a neighbor or find another friend to help me.  Fortunately, the railing to the stairs and the wall is not far apart and as someone else mentioned that will make getting up more managable.  So, that leaves me with two outside steps that might present a problem, but maybe I can get my friend (fortunately he is a guy) to carry me up those two.  Hopefully, my 135 lbs. would be managable for him????Thanks all for taking the time to help me out!!
LOA #2 and hardware removal 12/15/08-new cartilage from ACI looks "GOOD"
LOA on left knee 3/18/07
ACI and HTO on left knee 10/22/07
scope of right knee on 6/21/07
microfracture left knee 3/18/05

Offline Dave G

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Re: living alone and surviving on crutches for four weeks??
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2005, 05:34:13 PM »
two steps outside you will be able to manage after a couple of days i hope

Put your feet level with the edge of the step and use your good leg on the step to bring you up and forwards and follow with the bad leg. you have to be able to hold your weight on your crutches if you are NWB though.

good luck

08 Jan 2005 Accident Patella Fracture 6 Pieces
09 Jan 2005 Operation (2x 1.5mm Wires 1x2mm Wire & Tension Band)
11 Jan 2005 Xrays  & Rebandaged Splited with Cricket Bat Splint.
13 Jan 2005 Allowed Home
20 Jan 2005 Followup & Stitches Removal.
09 Feb Slight Pain occasionally
Next appt 11 Feb

Offline blackbeltgirl

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Re: living alone and surviving on crutches for four weeks??
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2005, 08:01:04 PM »
I wouldn't worry about the 2 steps.  Generally, a hospital will not release you on crutches until you prove you can walk on flat ground, and up and down stairs.

ACI was supposed to be 2/21/06.  On 6/29/06 Insurance co said have another scope, and if it still looks good, they'll ok the ACI.
Microfracture Dec 7, 2004
   3cm x 6cm lesion, LFC; 3cm x 1cm lesion, trochlear groove; lateral tibial plateau lesion
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Offline casey2291

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Re: living alone and surviving on crutches for four weeks??
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2005, 01:50:46 AM »
Hey guys,

Thanks for your responses.  I truly appreciate your input!

Casey
LOA #2 and hardware removal 12/15/08-new cartilage from ACI looks "GOOD"
LOA on left knee 3/18/07
ACI and HTO on left knee 10/22/07
scope of right knee on 6/21/07
microfracture left knee 3/18/05