Sunday, December 26, 2010

Going Home or Going to a Rehab Facility

When the social worker finally comes into your room an says "tomorrow you are being discharged", you will feel scared, elated, insecure, and happy.

The choice to go home or to  go to sub-acute rehabilitation is a decision that you should make prior to your surgery if possible.  There will be many elements that will be the deciding factor.
After my first surgery, which was a laminectomy, I was ambulatory.  I was in pain, but otherwise I could get in and out of bed myself, get to the toilet, etc.  My husband and son escorted me home.  Getting into our family car however, was not an easy great.  I could not sit without great discomfort.  I actually laid down in the backseat of our car with a pillow at my back so the incision wasn't pressing in.

My second surgery was a spinal fusion.  At day three in the hospital I could barely walk, I was merely able to get out of bed and get to the bedside commode.  Therefore the decision to go to a rehab center became an easier one.  There are different types of rehab places.  Acute and sub-acute.   Acute care means that they have to do everything for you,  you may possibly still have IV lines and drains and be unable to get out of bed, wash and dress, etc.  Sub-acute care, means that you will needs assistance in daily activities but not in everything.  I went into a sub-acute facility near my house.  The food was awful, the nurses were terrible and dumb.  Everyone else there was basically over 70 years of age,  I was 54 years old.  The rehab people did not know what to do with me,.  The first day they had be juggling balls from one hand to the other!   I was restricted in activity so exercises were out of the question.  WE focused on leg lifts, walking with my walker and occupational assistance.  How to put on my socks was a great learning experience.  By the time I left rehab 8 days later, I could walk with my walker,  wash and dress myself.

After three surgeries, I have come to realize that the first few days after surgery on the crucial one.  You must get up out of bed and try very hard even if the pain is at its worse,  During my last hospital stay, the nurses and rehab worked very hard with me to get me to be ambulatory.  If I could get to the toilet myself and walk 30 feet with my walker  could go home.

Before your surgery, call your insurance company to find out if you have coverage for a facility.  You should also arrange to visit at least 2 sub acute facilities in the event you need to go to one.   You have to be prepared for any possibility.  Even the biggest, strongest man undergoing spinal surgery has no idea how difficult it will be post op and may need assistance in daily activities.

No comments:

Post a Comment