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I will be a caregiver
Hello. My roommate and best friend of 20 years is currently in the hospital recovering from a mild heart attack when turned into a triple bypass surgery. She is doing well but not home yet. Not sure when she'll be home. My question(s) is/are - how do I prepare for her arrival and what initially can I do for her when she returns home. Thank you in Advance!
Kaybay19, July 15, 2019 5:05pm EST
Hi! So great that you want to be prepared when your best friend arrives home! That shows you will probably be an excellent caregiver! I have been a caregiver for my husband since October of 2018, he had a hemorrhagic stroke along with pneumonia and kidney failure. I am not sure about heart attack victims or the bypass surgery but here are my 2 bits anyway!:) I would tell you to talk to the nurses find out what would be helpful at home, like can they take a shower if not you may need a shower seat to help with bathing or maybe a sponge on a stick so they can wash themselves. How will they be able to get around? If walker is needed widen spaces at home, make sure paths are clear to where they need to go, make sure where they will be either sitting or laying has the necessities nearby, table with tissues, wipes, nail clippers, lotion etc. If lots of meds are needed get a pill box to organize, you can get one for however times a day they are needed. If the person is somewhat able to do for themselves, make sure things they like to eat or drink are accessible to them, will they need assistance in the restroom? We had bars installed to help my husband due to paralysis on his left side. May need a bedside potty at first, some insurance will cover items like this, I was told we were going home with both a bedside potty and a shower seat but as we were walking out the door they said by the way, you will need to purchase those! So I had to go by Walmart on the way home! My hubby says that he is thankful I make him feel human, like taking care to provide privacy during bathroom issues or just a rub on the back to say, hey you do matter and I care. He still gets frustrated with the things he can’t do, has temper tantrums and throws and breaks things. I kinda have to not say a lot to him in that moment but realize how he struggles and he will have down days and angry days. It’s easy for me to follow suit but then I remind myself that doesn’t help anyone! If you have anyone who offers to help, even with the tiniest of tasks, take them up on it! Caregivers are pulled in all directions and you will need a break too!! I take care of my 10 and 11 year old as well, so when you have a chance to have “me” time, take it!! I wish speedy healing for your friend and patience and understanding for you, it’s not an easy thing but it will show you and your friend that most will be kind hearted and you will feel blessed in your journey 💜
DolphinWrite, July 15, 2019 11:53pm EST
First, you have the best attitude. 😃 The first commenter gave great stuff. Talking to nurses, other patients, and research will all help, but I think the best is being there. God bless. 😇
JamesPL, July 24, 2019 7:05pm EST
I had a quintuple bypass so I'd like to share my own experience. Although you do feel as though you've been struck by a locomotive, bypass patients have a lot of mobility. In fact, my doctors encouraged that I walk twice a day after I got home. My surgeon told me I'd be climbing stairs before I left the hospital and he made sure I did. Taking a shower is not a problem but having a shower seat is highly recommended. My first shower was in the hospital and I was totally exhausted immediately after. I had to sit even before I was able to dry myself off. For a comfortable sleep, I highly recommend a few pillows under the torso. Being elevated helps a lot. The only other advice I would give is to listen to the doctors closely and follow what ever they say. I'd also recommend the patient enroll in cardiac rehab. This is usually about 6 weeks after the procedure to allow the sternum to heal. The rehab helped me gain strength quickly.
Hope this helps and sorry I didn't notice your post sooner.
queenbeem, July 25, 2019 9:54am EST
My husband had double bypass surgery, so I know what you are going through. My best advice, is be there for your friend, she is going to need someone to help her. Make her surroudings as comfortable as possible. Your friend is going to go through some emotional feelings, so try to be patient and kind to her. You are a good friend because you are concerned about her and you want to know how to prepare for her return home. God bless you, he will give you strength. If you need help, do not hesitate to ask someone to help you. It is not easy to do it all by yourself, you will get overwhelmed, I know I did, but it will get better in time. I wish you the best!