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Be Safer After Post Bunion Surgery, Ankle Surgery, Knee Surgery, etc. With Safety Products

by Barbara 30. January 2014 06:52

Question about products to make recovery after foot surgery safer.

Q: "I am scheduled to have bunion surgery in a few weeks. Do you have suggestions about what preparations I need to make and what products I need to make my recovery safer. Thanks, Mary."

Answer: Having gone through bunion surgery in November 2013, I have some knowledge about this, for sure! I wish someone had given me this information prior to my surgery.

First, at the visit where you schedule the surgery date, ask the doctor for a medical statement so you can get a temporary handicapped parking permit. In the State of Iowa this means filling out a short form and sending it to a state office with the doctor's statement. In my case, I learned about this permit 6 weeks after my surgery. My sister knew Pennsylvania had them. I got the mdical statement and took the on-line form to the orthopedist after my hospital discharge. (I was one of the 10% who developed an infection and spent 5 days on IV antibiotics in the hospital two weeks after surgery). In Iowa, the permit is good for 6 months. (Oh, and if your foot hurts worse 5 days after surgery, what you need is to see the doctor quickly, not be prescribed more pain medicine. I was not to unwrap the foot prior to the first post-op visit and took the additional pain meds.

Second, here are some items I believe you need for safety prior to your surgery.

  1. A foldable walker with wheels. Buy or borrow one. Medicare does pay for walkers. Your insurance might. Have it at home when you return from surgery. Why? Because the "boot" (Medicare pays for this, too) is made so that you can put no weight on the front of your foot. Therefore walking is dangerous to say the least. Your "booted" foot is higher than your barefoot or foot with a shoe. Also getting on and off a toilet without a walker requires at least one grab bar (which my bathroom could not accommodate due to design. You will need this when you walk outside your house as well unless you have a wheelchair and someone to push it!
  2. A shower chair or bath bench. Borrow or buy one. I love my shower chair even now. Your foot cannot get wet and washing standing up is a real trick if you cannot put weight on both feet. My shower chair has side handles. For a shower, you take off the boot and wrap your foot in plastic bags, etc.
  3. Either a higher toilet or a toilet seat riser or one that clamps onto the toilet toilet seat with lid that clamps to the side of the toilet. Here is one with removable arm rests.Getting up and down off a low toilet is a real chore. We have had the higher toilets installed in two bathrooms.
  4. Grab bars. See below.
  5. Slip proof your ceramic tile floors. Either use Grip On solution which lasts for years and years or use lots of skid proof floor rugs and shower and bath mats.
  6. Make a chart for date, time, medications, etc. or buy a pill box with timer. You don't want to miss your meds!

Remember that you must keep your foot elevated above your heart level as much as possible to reduce swelling. This means you'll be sleeping on top of your comforter with your foot propped up on a large or many pillows. Ice packs do help when the boot is off. I found having an electric blanket or electric mattress pad under me and wool blankets as covers kept me comfortable in the winter. Get lots of library books or tape your favorite TV programs. You'll spend a lot of time prone those first weeks. Ask the doctor lots of questions like: do I have to wear the torture boot day and night? Etc. Do not miss your pain pills!

Home grab bar installations can be vertical, horizontal or diagonal.

1. Vertical grab bars  (straight up or down).  Have a handyman or carpenter install grab bars into studs or use anchoring devices.  A shorter vertical bar mounted at the tub or shower entrance helps the person to enter or exit without losing their balance and falling..  Two more grab bars in the shower or tub let the person rise from the tub or bath chair or give more stability when the person is washing herself or himself. Usually the grab bars are 12, 16 or 18 inches long. We also sell Lumex Chrome Grab Bars - 32 Inch, Knurled that have better gripping surface and have a 250 lb. weight capacity. Save if you need several by buying the Chrome Grab Bars, 32 In Knurled, 3/CS by Medline.  For those with glass sliding tub doors, the grab bars offer a secure way to regain balance.  In order to install this grab bar for my mother, the handyman had to remove the 1950's glass sliding doors as the door track interfered with the mounting.

2. Horizontal handicap grab bars. This installation gives the option of using the grab bar as a towel bar, too.  Typcially wall studs are 16 inches apart on center. If you examine other exposed areas of your home, you can determine more accurately where the centers are in the studs. Otherwise use a hollow wall anchor system available at hardware stores.  That is why 16 inch, 32 inch and 48 inch grab bars are most common.

3. Diagonal  installed. At the side of my Mom's toilet, there is a diagonally installed 32 inch grab bar. Installation may be more difficult. The positives are that grabbing a diagononal bar puts less stress on one's wrist. If installed in a shower, the diagonal bar is preferred by those who face only the shower head.  The horizontal bar has can be used facing forward or backward but the height if obviously the same no matter where one grabs.

Grab bars are  measured from the center of one flange (the round area that conceals the screws) to the center of the other flange. The flange covers typically measure about 1.5 inches on either side of the grab bar. So add three inches to the total length of the grab bar you need.

Safe Home sells quality grab bars from Lumex (Graham Field Health Products) and Medline Industries. Most are sold in packages of 3, all the same size. Lumex has individual packages as well. Your material/color choices include Chrome plated, White enamel over steel and Nickel Plated Steel. ADA compliant grab bars include the Carex brand from Medline in 12, 16, 18, and 24 inch sizes. Additional lengths are available. Just send us an email if your grab bars must be compliant with ADA.

Thank you for your question. Good luck with your surgery. By the way, I had an orthopedist do my foot: my podiatrist said that if he did it, I'd be on crutches for 6 weeks. I've since met women who had both feet done at the same time: they had family and friends care for them for several weeks.

Sincerely,

Barbara

Lectron II Chloride Free Electrolyte Conductivity Gel for ECG, TENS, Electosurgery, Etc.

by Barbara 27. January 2014 06:36

Question about sizes and qualities of Lectron II Conductivity Gel.

Question: "Please explain the sizes and qualities of Lectron II Conductive Gel. We use nerve stimulation equipment and need conductivity gel. Thanks. Rebecca."

Lectron II conductivity gel is made in the United States in compliance with ISO 9001/EN 46001. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard represents the requirements for a comprehensive quality management system for the design and manufacture of medical devices.

Lectron II comes in these sizes:

Save money by buying quantities of 12 or 24 of the 8.4 ounce (250ML) size or in boxes of 4 of the gallons with pump.

Use Lectron II Gel conductive gel in 250 ml tubesin hospitals, radiology clinics, etc. Use this conductivity gel with ECG electrodes, EKG testing equipment, TENS nerve stimulation units, Relief Bands for motion sickness prevention device, etc. The Lectron II conductive gel is a chloride free electrolyte. This conductivity gel is non-allergenic, odorless, water soluble and non-staining. Its non-thinning formula resists breakdown from body heat and salts in perspiration and remains moist, thick and uniformly conductive throughout the most prolonged procedure or wearing period.

  • For: Electrocardiography, Electromyography, Electrosurgery, TENS, and EMS.
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Water soluble: just wipe off with a tissue.
  • Odorless.
  • Non-staining.
  • One tube,  250ml or about 8.4 oz.
  • Manufactured in USA
  • Shelf Life: Indefinite. No expiration date: Date on container is lot date of manufacture.
  • External use only.
  • Note: This product is not returnable due to health and sanitary reasons.

Thank you for your questions.

Sincerely, Barbara

ReliefBand Motion Sickness Device Helps Most People with Vertigo and Nausea

by Barbara 22. January 2014 10:44

Question regarding using the ReliefBand EL Motion Sickness Device for nausea from vertigo.

Q: "Recently, I began having attacks of vertigo. Some are mild, some are not. Along with that, I feel nausea, almost like mild morning sickness. Can the ReliefBand help?" Thanks. Fran

Answer: Nausea is nausea no matter what the cause. My employees and I have successfully used Reliefbands for nausea from flu, from migraines and also from vertigo. Recently, I've had to deal with those symptoms myself. According to internet sites, the symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) usually last only a few seconds to a few minutes and are intermittent (i.e., come and go). Rolling over in bed, getting out of bed, swinging on a swing, etc. can also cause symptoms of lightheadedness and imbalance as well as nausea. Unfortunately, BPPV is more common as we grow older. ccording to the American Academy of Neurology, the most effective treatment for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) caused by ear crystals in the posterior semicircular canal, are treatments where the patient moves head and body in certain positions. The idea is to move the calcium crystals into another inner ear canal where the body can absorb them. This OTC Relief Band is disposable and gives up to 120 hours of mild electrical stimulation to the inside of either wrist. First you apply a thin layer of conductive gel (included) and then turn the unit on until you can feel mild stimulation in the palm of your hand going up into your fingers. Increase intensity until you feel relief. Decrease and then turn it off for as long as 15-30 minutes once the nausea subsides. Batteries cannot be replaced. We cannot guarantee success for every user. Once shipped, the unit is not returnable except for mechanical defect due to hygienic and limited hours of usage. Compare to the side effects from most OTC or Rx medications. You don't have to worry about blurred vision (often with the patch) nor abstaining from a glass of wine (if you are old enough).

We also sell conductive gel in separate packages. The units work best with conductive gel. Remember the Reliefband if you get seasick or airsick, too.

Thank you for your question. Good luck. What was recommended for me was physical therapy,too.

Sincerely, Barbara

Wooden Gates Expand to Block Off Larger Areas from Dogs

by Barbara 21. January 2014 08:28

Question about attractive options in wooden gates to block off areas in home from dogs.

Q: "We have several dogs. They can be a nuisance when we have company. What wooden gates do you suggest that are portable and can block off a wide doorway. Thanks. Bill."

Answer: Safe Home sells both extra tall gates for larger dogs and step-over type gates for smaller dogs. These are Cardinal Gate. Choose white, black or stained wood depending upon the model of the gate.

For example, choose the white wooden extra tall free standing pet gate if your doorway is 27.5 to 51 inches wide and you need a gate that is 36 inches tall. This gate also comes in black and in oak. The white 20 inch high step over gate also expands 28 to 51.75 inches. An extension is available to increase the width another 22 inches. Multiple extensions can be used to increase the width.

If you want to make a "dog play pen", I suggest you purchase the Cardinal Gates Perfect Fit Small Pet Gate or Puppy Pen.The PFPG model dog gate, the Perfect Fit Pet Gate, by Cardinal Gates is the perfect portable gate for owners of small dogs who want to contain dogs in an area without kenneling them. No assembly required: remove from box and set it up as a puppy pen or dog gate ! Portable dog fence for indoor use only. This is not a child gate.

Small Dog Gate, Enclosure, Puppy Play Pen Features Include:

  • Painted wood and steel construction:non toxic spray enamel on wood and powder coated metal.
  • Rubber pads attached under the hinge brackets for stability.
  • 6 gate panels: 5 are fixed plus a two part panel that forms the gate door
  • Each panel measures 26.25”Wide x 26.5” High.
  • Bar spacing is 1 inch.
  • There is a 1.75” space between the black post and wood frame of panel.
  • The 1” bar spacing within each panel keeps puppies contained, too.
  • Width of each upright bar is 1/8 inch: gate is 3/4 inch thick 10.5” wide puppy door opens to 10” tall.
  • Spring loaded. Door can be left open if desired.
  • Weight: 30 lbs. Ships as 45 pounds due to dimensions.

Capable of multiple configurations—See Manua:

  • Maximum straight-line width: 152” or just over 12 feet with 16” deep side panels.
  • Pen/Hexagon maximum span: 52” wide
  • Rectangle: 30.5” wide x 61” length

Please measure carefully. Gates are returnable only if damaged in transit or in unopened boxes. Hope this helps.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara