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Author Topic: showering after surgery  (Read 1913 times)

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Offline doublespresso

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showering after surgery
« on: March 21, 2007, 09:28:53 AM »
So this is kind of a stupid question, but... how did you guys manage little daily tasks like showering, getting meals, etc. after surgery?

I'm getting a meniscus repair in about a week, and I've just started to realize that as a college kid living in a dorm with a shared bathroom (ie: two shower stalls w/fixed heads, no tub, no place to sit while showering), I'm going to have to come up with some creative ways to shower for the next six weeks. So far, my brightest idea is to get a plastic stool from ikea and put in the corner of the shower stall and hope that people don't move it... does anyone have any better suggestions or ideas?

I also live on the third floor, which is going to be fun... and I eat in a dining hall where you go around the stations and put food on your tray and carry it out to a table. I'm either going to have to make sure I never eat a meal w/o a friend around to help, or find a way to juggle a tray and crutches... I've been told that if I just want a drink, I should get a nalgene or a travel mug to carry around, but I haven't figured out the meals part. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!!


Offline Linds

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Re: showering after surgery
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2007, 10:29:20 AM »
Yikes Kris knee surgery and dorm life.
First of all yes a plastic stool or lawn chair work great if they fit in the shower stall.  Depending on how long you have to keep your bandages on you might also want to invest in a roll of duct tape and some garbage bags. But I doubt you'll have your bandages on all that long.
As for the food, well I think you are just going to have to make sure you go to meals with friends. I was on crutches for a short stint in college and I just had to make sure I travelled with friends, but they also made sure someone was around to go with me. Do not hesitate to call on your friends, i'm sure they'll be more than happy to do what they can to help you.

Hope it all works out for you. I hope you have access to lots of ice post op, it really does make a difference in the pain levels and healing.

1997 Scope RK
2002 LR RK
2002 Scope and hematoma evac RK
2004 LR LK
May 06 Fall from Horse, partial ACL tear and meniscus injury, Tibial plateau injury
2007 Scope, Plica Excision and Debride LK
2009/2010- Possibly Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Offline volley9182

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Re: showering after surgery
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2007, 11:34:14 AM »
hey Kris-

been there done that... I never had a problem taking a quick shower with only putting minimal weight on my knee. As for food, I know at my college when I lived in the dorms, whenever someone was on crutches they had someone that worked there help them with their food try and putting food on it and taking it to a table, but friends are a great tool also. A nalgene bottle and a backpack work the best.. you can throw one in there and go where ever you want. Living on the 3rd floor is going to suck. Just take your time going up and down the stairs and be careful not to slip if they are wet. Good luck with you upcoming surgery.. Let us know how you get on..

2000- LR on Left knee
2001- TTT
2002- Hardware removal
Feb 9, 2007- scope with lateral meniscus tear and popliteal cyst

Offline tenabutter

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Re: showering after surgery
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2007, 05:37:14 AM »
When I was on the crutches for 6 weeks, I didn't have to deal with the dorm life, but I would have to agree with Lind and Kelly. Don't forget to get a fanny pack also, makes carrying the keys and essentials very easy. Some have a side area for bottled water.

The best of Luck to you,
3/17/2006 RK Microfracture
12/28/2006 RK Scope

knee deep in Goo

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Re: showering after surgery
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2007, 05:47:25 AM »
Back pack
Ice chest
tons of ice
zip lock bags

Garbage bags
waterproof bandaids
baby wipes

Money or selling your soul  to bribe your friends to push and pull you up and down stairs.. and moments to pity you and bring you ice

Offline WJD

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Re: showering after surgery
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2007, 01:53:30 PM »
I used clingfilm on my knee for showering.  Only had to worry for about 10 days then cleared to shower without.

Can't help much with your other issues, but surely if you get in touch with student services they should be able to help you, especially with making someone available to help you with your meals.  Good luck!

02/05 - ACL damage in a skiing collision.
01/06 - suspect lateral meniscus tear kneeling to change a DVD.
6/4/06 - Arthroscopy to remove meniscus bucket handle tear, ACL found to be ruptured. 
6/3/7 - Hamstring ACLR

Offline gg

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Re: showering after surgery
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2007, 02:32:04 PM »
In the US when a child is in the public school system and becomes disabled the school is required to jump in and meet the childs needs. Like someone to help with meals and transportation etc... . My son is at a private college and I know that the school would provide these simple request, have you checked at your University?

Offline missmyknee

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Re: showering after surgery
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2007, 03:05:23 PM »
Glad Press and Seal wrap works great.   ;D

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Offline maria1985

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Re: showering after surgery
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2007, 07:39:31 PM »
speak to you college and see what advice and help they can offer you, also your friends will be there to help aswel. i was on crutches for 6 months last op i had and my friends never left me alone they always made sure that there was atleast 1 of them around incase i needed help, even when going to the toilet i had my own bodyguard, we use to have a laugh about it though, even now they still laugh at me when think about the times i needed there help in school. they were brilliant and i couldn't ask for better friends.

hope it goes well all the best and keep us posted.

chronic knee pain since 10 years old.
lateral release in 2000
goldwaithes in 2002
2 weeks intensive physio in 2005
nowhere near to finding the course of the problem.


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Re: showering after surgery
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2007, 03:07:34 AM »
Unfortunately being in college and being on crutches is not fun however it is very do-able. 

For showering, some schools will replace the shower head temporarily with a long hose kind so you can maneuver it around.  the cast shower bags work well  (this is what I used

Clipping a nalgene bottle to you crutches with a carabiner clip makes it very handy.  This may sound stupid but put a whistle on your key ring so if you do fall and eat it while trying to get up the stairs (or anywhere else on campus when people aren't immediately around) you can get some help. 

As for the dinning hall, the people that work there are required to help you out (in the US it's a law).  My campus they would even deliver it to your dorm for the first week if you didn't want to deal with the dinning hall.

Contact disabled student services about getting rides around campus, they should have some sort of a system, they will also warn your teachers so if you just can't make it to class they will be a little more understanding.

Hope this helps and good luck

Offline Giglan

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Re: showering after surgery
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2007, 03:10:44 PM »
Hi!I've just had surgery on both knees, so understand your worries about moving about!

Luckily I am at home at present so have some help, but I am also very independent, so would rather struggle and do something myself than ask for help!

With washing I found that for the first week, until the bandages came off, that it was easier just to have a really good wash down daily with the flannel - the thought of manovering myself into the shower was just too scary! Afterwards, I was able to get into the shower, finding the walk-in shower easy than one over a bath (still finding that one a little tricky!). You can also lean against the wall if necessary, and there's not too bigger step for you too get out. If you can use a seat then definetly go for it, I was too vain, but now I think it may of been useful! This may sound obvious, but make sure you have everything you need in with you before you get in - you feel reallly silly and annoyed when you realise you left the shampoo out of reach!
For the first few days it maybe best to make sure you are not alone in your dorm when you do have a shower. I know it's a bit embarassing, but it might be useful to have someone there you can shout to if you need help. My legs were quite weak, and I was scared that I might get stuck or slip at first, so I always made sure my mum was within ear shot when I got in/out!

I also found it easier to wash my hair seperatley from my body! I sat on the side and leant over to wash my hair, and then got in the shower, then I wasn't standing for too long and didn't loose my balance as I moved my head about.

I found a small ruckscak really useful, not just for outside but when moving about the house too. Could put my book etc in there and then keep both hands free when facing the stairs!

Stairs are still an issue even 2 weeks on, but having both legs done is affecting this obviously! My physio showed me how to move up and down, but I've adapted this to my own style after finding her version slow and awkward.

My best advice to take take things slowly, do things how you prefer and to ask/accept help when it's needed - and believe me that 's impressive for me to say! (I fell down the stairs last week because i didn't think I needed help, that taught me a lesson pretty fast!). You'll find different ways of adapting things, sometimes it's a bit trail and error, and you'll get very frustrated sometimes, but then other times you'll be surprised about easy something was.

Good luck and take it easy!  :)
Bi-lateral anthroscopy on 09.03.07 - severe damage to both knees.
Diagnosed with Osteo-arthritis in January '08 - advanced in right knee and beginning to spread to hip.