Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Tips and Hints to help Moms recover after Surgery (or bed rest)

A month ago I had a surgery that required me to take it really easy for a few weeks.  As a result of my recovery it was impossible to do my regular job, you know, parenting two kids and taking care of my household.

Fortunately for me I had a very capable and helpful husband, a mom who flew in to stay for a week and a few amazing friends who did SO much to make things run smoothly.  I also did quite a bit of preparation to make things easier for me (and my family) until I could get back to normal.  It's been 5 weeks now and I'm at about 90%!

I thought I'd pass along my favorite tips for recovering moms, or even for moms on bed rest.

Before surgery do shopping trips to fill your cupboards but also make special care to get items that are heavy (many procedures have weight lifting restriction for days/weeks after).  Things like dog food, bottled water, cat litter, bleach bottles/detergent, soda, etc.  Stock up your pantry and freezer with easy to make or ready made meals.

After surgery you can have these same heavy items as well as regular groceries delivered to your house with services like Safeway Grocery Delivery or Amazon Prime Now (both available in my area).  You can also use or (regular) Amazon for basics like toilet paper, dog food and other must-haves.

We used Safeway Grocery Delivery two weeks after my surgery.  By that time our stocked up groceries had depleted and my mom had gone back home. ;)  We've been so happy with Safeway Delivery that we've had 2 more orders!  Not only are they super convenient but the delivery charge is very low (I paid $3.95 for my last two orders, the first time was FREE!).

They bring the groceries where you want.  We had ours brought all the way into the kitchen so I didn't have to lift a thing.
Delivery workers have been very courteous and kind, and you can't tip them, so they're just naturally that way.
Produce has been fresh, no complaints!

Some items are more expensive, especially produce.
They use dozens of plastic grocery bags (I normally use re-useable grocery bags).  

I normally enjoy grocery shopping so once I'm back to normal I'll probably return to my regular stores (especially to get FREE Starbucks refills!) of the best things about grocery delivery is my cold/frozen items stay that way since they arrive in a freezer truck!  Living in Phoenix where the summer temps reach 120 this is huge.  There are months in the summer where I can't even try to purchase ice cream, it's just not possible to get home without melting.  So I might just keep getting deliveries for all things frozen until it cools down out there....sometime in November. ;)

Now moving on to other non-food helpful hints. :)

Bedroom/Bed rest Tips:

The first couple of weeks I spent most of the day in bed and I found ways to make it more comfortable and kid friendly.  Here is what worked for me.

For your bed/bedroom:

1. Make sure you have extra pillows and a Boppy if you still have one.  That pillow worked great to keep me more upright the first few nights!
2. Folding bed table tray - This was a lifesaver, I used it for my laptop, dinner tray and iPad (while watching shows).  My daughter also used it as a table to color on.
3. Lined Notebook Pad/Pen - Keep one on your bedside table to keep track of medications/times and other random notes.  Trust me, if you're taking enough meds you won't remember unless you write it down!
4. Water Pitcher - I took the pitcher from the hospital but you could use your own.  Hydration is super important and the easier it is to get water the better!
5. Last but not least - Snacks!  Fill up a bedside table drawer with snacks like saltine crackers, chocolates, protein bars, etc.  That way if you need food without getting up it's right there!  If you don't have drawers then try a shoe box next to the bed.

For your Kids:

Preparing ahead for the kids was key, since there were days where my little one (4 year old) would spend hours with me while I was resting/sleeping.  She's a great kid but I still did some prep to keep it interesting for her.  The upside is that my kids wanted to be in my room with me!

Before my surgery I bought a variety of special activity books (w/coloring pages, stickers, make your own book, etc) that they could only work on while in my room.  I included a bag of colored pencils (pens/crayons would have been messy on my white sheets!!) that stayed in the room with me.  

I also bought some new-to-them toys (vintage Fisher Price of course) that stayed in my bedroom (put away in a bottom drawer when not using).

Last but not least I had my mini iPad loaded up with kids apps, so if I absolutely needed to rest I'd give her my iPad/earphones and she was in heaven. :)

Those are my tips!  My family survived and thrived during my recovery and it went much more smoothly thanks to a little preparation and of course lots of help from friends and family!

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