Thursday, October 6, 2011


You (my readers) realize, of course, that for the sake of modesty, some of the photographs we are submitting for the continuing story of Beloved's total knee replacement require that we pose them instead of showing you the 'real time' version, this one above being a prime example.  Beloved doesn't take his red wooly sweater off for nobody, no time, not ever!  (Besides, he has a big head and it was with great difficulty that I removed his sweater years ago.  After getting it back on again, I decided it would be as permanent a part of him as his ears.)

With that said, I continue .... One of my concerns before surgery was the acquisition of the equipment necessary for Beloved's weeks of incapacitation.  Now that it is a week after the big event, I see that much of that worry was for naught -- at least in our case.  Here is a list of what I have heard is available:

hospital bed in the home
a raised toilet seat
shower stool
reachers (to reach anything)
a sock aid
a leg lifter
a long-handled shoe horn
a long-handled bath sponge

The counsel we were given was that probably not all of this would be necessary (just wait and see), and find out which of these items will be given to the patient while hospitalized and billed to health insurance at that time.  There were some things that the insurance would not cover, but the hospital physical therapist could get for us to take home and bill it to us separately.

Of all the things in that list, Beloved already had crutches and a cane, so he did not need more of those.  He was advised that climbing the stairs to go to bed at night would be excellent therapy (as long as he did not exhaust himself on the stairs during the day), so a rented hospital bed for the living room would be unnecessary.  

The raised toilet seat in the hospital was okay for the first day or two, but after that in the case of Beloved, this was not needed.

He did come home with a hospital-issued and properly adjusted walker, which our health insurance did cover; and we requested a shower stool (pictured above) that we had to pay for out of pocket.  

None of the rest was needed due to Beloved's quick healing, dexterity, and having me close by to help him.  As for the items we did get, they were essential for a few days but now, barely a week later, I am already seeing them set aside.  I daydream  how to incorporate the walker and the shower stool into my country decorating scheme.  I don't want to get rid of them in case one of us needs them in the future -- we're not getting any younger, you know!

One thing that we got without the help of the hospital was a temporary handicapped parking permit.  Just prior to his surgery date, Beloved logged onto our state department of motor vehicles website to download the appropriate form, hand-carried it to his surgeon for a signature, and then took it to the DMV offices for 2 permits to hang in our cars.  I can't use the permit if he's not with me.  (Let's not abuse the privilege, people.)

Although one would think that  walking from a distant parking space into the stores would be excellent exercise, at this stage of the game Beloved has to guard against getting over-tired, hence the necessity of the permit.

Tomorrow's topic: men in tights.  You won't want to miss that one!

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