Chiari Connection International

Chiari Connection International

Lifestyle Suggestions--Page 2
Post Discharge from Hospital:

1. When traveling home post discharge, be sure to keep your soft pillow with you and to take your analgesia at least 1/2 hour before you begin the journey. If the journey is longer then 4 hours, have a supply of analgesia with you. It is also a good idea to have sun glasses in the car (hospital for that matter too, for when you go walking out into the sunlight)

2. Ensure you have plenty of fluids and snacks in the car/plane to cover the length of the trip.

3. Stop every couple of hours for a coffee break or just walk around the outside of the car to prevent blood clots forming post operatively.

4. Ask the Pharmacy/Drug store for the first month or so to dispense your medication in a pre made up 'blister pack' as you are fairly disorientated for a while and could either not take enough, or take too much medication during this time.

5. REST REST REST, this is so important. Let your body tell you when it is tired and go with it.

6. Have plenty of nuts, fruit and fruit juice and water scattered around the house and in the bed room, so that you can just reach out for it rather then up and down into a different room and bending into the refrigerator all day.

7. Don't lift anything heavy, e.g. washing, food out of the refrigerator or oven. If possible have pre cooked meals in the freezer that just need re heating.

8. Initially keep the house/room dark, gradually allowing more sun to come in over the next few days/weeks.

9. Let family and friends visit you, your energy is still low due to the anesthetic and general state of being worn down pre surgery.

10. If possible, get sheep skin covers for the head rest of your car and if traveling in someone else's car, try and remember to take it with you as it is less pressure on the suture line, even 12 months later!

11. The rule of thumb is, for every 15 minutes you are under the anesthetic, it takes a week to recover, so try and find out how long the operation took and that should give you a good gauge as to when you will be feeling more like your new self!!

12. I had a lot of trouble with cognitive issues, probably, in part, because of the amount of seizures I had suffered. Doing crossword puzzles was a GREAT help to me. Initially they were almost impossible...just one took me forever, along with all the help I could muster. I almost quit. I kept plugging away and now I can whip out several in a fairly short amount of time. I just stick to the easier newspaper ones, not the NYT. I want to be dealing with words that I have a chance of encountering on a daily basis. A good exercise for the ole' mind!

13. I am, also a firm believer in the comfort and help that memory foam products offer to us. This varies from person to person, but a memory foam comfort pillow made a HUGE amount of difference for me. The addition of a 2 1/2" mattress pad almost eliminated neck/shoulder spasms that I was having.

14. Be sure to ask questions upon discharge as to what the surgeon involved wants one to do, and what NOT to do.

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