Monday, May 10, 2010

How to Take a Shower While Wearing a Surgical Boot

The first few days after my recent foot surgery, i was content to take a sponge bath. But after a few more days, i really needed to wash my hair and the only alternative really is the shower. I tried looking for advice on the internet on how to manage a shower while keeping my foot dressings dry (the post-operative instructions very clearly say to keep the dressings "clean and dry.") Some merely said "keep foot elevated" with no clue how to keep the water from running down your leg. Others said "put a plastic bag around your foot" with no clue as to how to keep the water from running down your leg into the plastic bag! The orthopedic tech at my surgeon's office suggested wrapping a towel around my ankle first, so that any water that got in would be absorbed. She also suggested rubber bands or duct tape to hold the bag tight.

So here's what i did. First, begin with swollen foot in very bulky wrappings in surgical boot. 
Next, fold a hand towel in half length-wise and wrap it around the ankle firmly, tucking in the ends.
Finally, put foot into large (13-gallon) plastic trash bag. Pull bag up, place large rubber band around the leg, above the towel. Fold down the bag, place another rubber band around the top. (Notice "normal" toes to left for size comparison!)

Take shower...enjoy!! The only improvement was that once i was able to drive again, i went to the hardware store and got duct tape...it makes a nice tight seal around the top when applied to the top of the bag and the leg simultaneously, so you can take a nice long shower without worrying about springing a leak. The only drawback is that the duct tape sticks to the bag so well, it tears the bag when you go to remove it, so you only get one shower's worth per trash bag.

18 comments:

  1. Ah the challenges humans face for their love of water. We hope you get to feeling better soon so showering isn't such a challenge.

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  2. Yikes - I had to do this before when I had a hard cast on my foot (it went halfway up my leg). I don't remember exactly what I did but I know I used a trash bag. Duct tape is a good idea - plus everyone needs some duct tape around the house!

    Hope you're feeling all right - the cats and I send love and purrs.

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  3. Poor you, what a predicament! Hopefully you will be back to your regular bathing routine!

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  4. That does sound like a procedure--but, anything for a hot shower and a shampoo!

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  5. That sounds like a lot of work :-)

    Our Woman says she tried something like that when her foot had been operated on. She used gaffer tape (maybe it's the same as duct tape?) and it worked.

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  6. Quite a challenge, but it must have been lovely to take the shower!

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  7. Mom said she feels yoor pain and understands. When she had a bone graft in her leg last year (afta cancer) she was 3 months non weight bearing and couldn't get her wound wet. She said it was AWFUL. She used to sit in the bath wiv her leg raised up on the side in an ungainly fashion. She couldn't even use the shower 'cos she couldn't stand wiv owt crutches. She said it's NO FUN! So we hope yoo get much better soon.

    Purrs from us, and best wishes from our mom.

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  8. Gosh! Hope you are on the mend and feeling better soon!

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  9. Oh my gosh, been there, done that! (Well, mine wasn't a big boot!) Glad to see your wonderful docfurrs are taking good care of you! Healing purrs comin' to ya!

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  10. I just found your blog, and I think it is wonderful to be able to lie among the fabric pieces! I love fabric!
    Cat Mandu

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  11. thank you, everyone, for your kind wishes! I'm most definitely on the mend...even went back to work last Tuesday. I had my stitches out on Monday, so Monday night i was able to take a normal, barefoot, shower...pure bliss. Mishkat, i was embarassed that i didn't have any real duct tape in the house...now i do! Cliff and Olivia, i think gaffer tape is similar to duct tape, maybe stronger. Milo and Alfie, your mom had a much more serious surgery than i did...i was able to bear weight on my foot (at least with surgical boot on) right away. Your mom probably would have benefitted from having a walk-in stall shower instead of a tub. Tubs are hard to navigate! Cat Mandu, welcome! it's so nice to meet another quilter's cat, especially a handsome cat with a fine appreciation for fabric.

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  12. Paula! Didn't know you were going for an operation! I hope you're well on the mend now xxx

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  13. WE are glad to hear that you are on the mend.

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  14. Oh Paula, poor you! Hope you are on the mend since you wrote this.
    I have been away, now catching up on blogs.
    Thank heaven for kitty therapy!!
    Take care of yourself!

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  15. Saturday 10th July,

    Hi guys, it was great to hear from yoo today. We hope your momma's foot is completely healed now. Purrs.

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  16. I have bunion surgery tomorrow ... and I should have known the best advice would be from a fellow quilter! So glad your page is still up. Thanks ~

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  17. I am also glad your page is still up. Thank you for the great advice. Knew found the perfect source when I saw you were a cat person :)

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