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Old 05-03-2012, 09:36 PM   #1
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Ideas for care package after major surgery?

My SIL is having major abdominal surgery next week. She is looking at several days in the hospital and an 8-10 week recovery. We live several states away so I would like to send her a care package of items she might need during her rest and recovery. I've never had major surgery, so not sure where to start. I was thinking of books/magazines, dvds, hand cream, chap stick, slippers, ....

Any ideas of other things to include? If you have been in this situation, what did you enjoy or wish you had?
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:43 PM   #2
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The best thing you can do for her is to hire someone to clean her house... She will love you for this!

There is nothing better than to have a clean house... I had a hip replacement 3 yrs ago and all my friends chipped in and got me a gift certificate for xxxx amount of hours to clean my house. I could choose anything. ie clean the fridge out. vaccum. clean bathrooms etc...
It was heavenly and something I did not have to stress about

Many others will send food, fruit etc...This gift is truly a blessing
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:18 PM   #3
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The house cleaning is a great suggestion! When my sister had an abdominal surgery, I gave her a little basket with chapstick (dry lips after surgery), facial cleansing cloths (makes one feel so much better when showering isn't an option), hard candy and mints(helps with dry mouth/bad taste when eating isn't an option yet). A few magazines that are easy to flip through since attention span is short after surgery. I can't remember what else, but those items were popular!
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:08 PM   #4
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I had major abdominal surgery 6 months ago. Moisturizer and lip balm were two of the best things I got. Also a nice fluffy robe--it was cold in the hospital and I definitely used it! Loose yoga pants were great too, especially as my stomach was still distended, and the incision wasn't healed yet.

She might be put on a limited diet so it might be difficult to send food she can eat.

I hope everything works out well for her!

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Old 05-04-2012, 12:30 AM   #5
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I had major abdominal surgery 5 months ago. Is it catching?

The moisturizer and chapstick are good. She will need the chapstick as soon as she wakes up from surgery. I kept a back scratcher in every room, but I am itchy. Took one to the hospital.

A house cleaner is nice. What helped me most, you probably cannot provide, unless you rented it. I had a hospital type bed that I could raise and lower myself with, taking all the stress off my abdomen when I tried to raise up and get out of bed. It made a WORLD of difference.

There is an abdominal binder that lots of people use, but her doctor may give her that. Mine gave me one, but I'm short so it covered WAY too much territory. I ordered the shorty version from HysterSisters.

How about gift certificates/cards to restaurants that deliver, for once her appetite comes back? Or pay for Netflix if she doesn't already have something like that......
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:52 AM   #6
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After surgery my big issue was food and cleaning the house. Anything like that is great. Gift certificates to places with real food would be best as opposed to pizza and other junk food. I watched a lot of TV. Too many drugs to read.

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Old 05-04-2012, 12:53 AM   #7
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If she has to spend time in the hospital, perhaps a soft/fuzzy eye mask for when she's sleeping? I know that every time I've stayed in the hospital, it's almost impossible to sleep well through the night.

This is probably an odd suggestion, but a lumbar support pillow wouldn't be a bad idea either. When I had surgery a year ago, I spent so much time sitting that the muscles that hold the bottom of my spine in place became lazy, and I wound up in physical therapy because of it. Now I can't imagine sitting for more than an hour without my lumbar pillow (and I'm only 25!) If you're stuck sitting for a long time, it definitely helps with lower back pain!

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Old 05-04-2012, 01:03 AM   #8
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Gift cards to restaurants that have "to go" like Applebee's, Outback, O'Charley's, Cracker Barrel, etc...

I had shoulder surgery a couple of years ago and some WONDERFUL friends sent me gift cards to places where the family could eat. At first, DH would just go pick up the order to go and bring it home and then when I was feeling better we all got to go out to eat and I didn't have to worry about cooking. Those were SUCH a thoughtful gift.

The house-cleaning sounds great too.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:22 AM   #9
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I had a surgery involving my abdomen in November. How about one of those grabber things so she can get things off the floor without bending over. Get a good one that actually has a good grip. Sit with her in the hospital so she has help if she needs it. My best friends understood that I needed someone there to sit quietly so when I woke, I had immediate help if I needed it. This was for the 3-4 days after my surgery when I was feeling disoriented. Even today, I remember just waking to find my best friends(one of them) just sitting there reading. I,too, loved my hospital bed and later a bolster that helped me sit up in bed if I wanted to. Does she have good cable? Maybe a month of enhanced cable-HBO or Showtime. I could not read much while I was on narcotic pain killers. A walker might be helpful for a while-makes walking faster and gives some support. One of those with a seat will give her the ability to put stuff on the seat and move it around without having to hold things in her arms while she walks.
I have a lot of ideas. I liked teas that someone brought me.
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