Recovering from shoulder surgery can be difficult enough without having to worry about doing the simple tasks around the house or getting dressed. For example, each morning we get dressed without giving a thought as to what it takes to put on our clothes with one hand -- nearly impossible. We know shoulder surgery is painful but getting dressed doesn’t have to be. Here are some super useful tips that you may not get from the medical world.
- Post-Surgery Clothing – Getting dressed will be easier, if you have clothing that is easy to put on and take off. Shirts that have strategically placed zippers or Velcro closures instead of ones that you pull over your head will ease the morning dressing routine. Also, make these shirts and pants easy to access in your closet before your surgery.
Today, we now have adaptive clothing that is perfect for the recovery process. Not only does this clothing make it easier to get dressed or undressed, it’s great for physical therapy. No longer do you have to look like you just came out of the recovery room, while on your way to physical therapy. Stylish adaptive clothing which is not only functional but fashionable will make you “feel and look” better. Having healthcare clothing that looks fashionable is an investment in recovery that will live on after your surgery. Investing in a few shirts and pants will be well worth the money as you can continue to wear this clothing as athleisure wear beyond your recovery.
- Toiletries – take an inventory of the everyday toiletry items you use and stock up on the brands you prefer. This will eliminate having to run out and buy these items or having a friend or family run around looking for your favorite brands. (You will need their assistance for other activities, so you don’t want to abuse their helpfulness).
- Detachable shower head – You will need to keep your incision dry for a period after your surgery until your doctor tells you otherwise. Having a detachable shower head makes it easier to avoid getting you incision wet. You’ll also have to cover your incision with a waterproof bandage or trash bag when you shower to ensure the incision stays dry.
- Pillows – While sitting on the couch or lying in bed you want to be comfortable. Finding some extra pillows or purchasing one or two to prop up your injured arm can ease the pain and aid with comfort.
- Medication – You will probably be a little groggy after the surgery so keeping your medicine easily accessible in a container will be important. Taking medication can cause dehydration so to keep 2-3 large sport bottles near your bed so that you can get a drink in the middle of the night without worrying about spills and waking up your caregiver.
- Snacks – Keep sweet and savory snacks by your bedside – hunger can strike unexpectedly, and appetites change. And, remember it’s critical that you eat when taking medication in order to prevent nausea. Granola bars, Nutella snack packs, apples, apricots, dried prunes, apple sauce packs, small bags of crackers and pretzels and packaged cheeses that don’t need refrigeration will keep your stomach satisfied and settled. Snacks with lots of fiber will make all the difference to your digestive system.
- ICE, ICE, ICE - several times a day to keep swelling down- fun fact- frozen bags of lima beans stay frozen longer than peas- but bags of frozen peas are always great for icing
Finally, having friends and family around to assist with cooking and cleaning as well as provide you with some emotional support is beneficial. And, remember stay positive. A positive attitude is not something you can buy, but important to have because recovering from surgery takes time.
This list is not meant to be all inclusive. Just some suggestions, we thought would help during your recovery. Surgery may not be pleasant, but the recovery process doesn't also have to be so horrible. We all know that people want to look towards a quick recovery and get back to the things they love most.