The first required tool is Lots of pillows. I use 9 pillows to set-up my 'recovery nest', not including all the little pillows I use to fill any 'gaps' that need filling and for your neck support. There is a 'day-time' position (see left photo) in which I have the pillows pilled up at a little steeper/more-upright angle, so I can watch TV, surf the internet, or work on my web page. At night the set-up is the same only I pull the two pink vertical pillows down (not so up-right). I sleep face up or very slightly favoring my right side (micro-d was on the left side of the disc).
Note the 'gap' or crack I've made between the two vertical pillows at their base: This is where your tender back/stitches go when you get home. Don't forget the spiderman pillow... Its a must! I've also got four pillow (pink fringe) that are used to support my thighs and legs. This is a very comfortable position - even with the ice-belt on, and NO I didn't buy these PinK pillow cases 'Judy'! LOL That's my wifes doing! Like most males, I'm completely oblivious to color, especially when on drugs!
Also note the lap top computer connected to our home network, another essential.
Here we have the most important piece of equipment of all. Its the 'Iceman icing system' from DJ Orthopedics Inc. (Model #1100). All you do is keep that 'blue cooler' filled with ice and a little water, put on that belt/bladder combo so the thin rubber bladder is against your aching & swollen back. and plug it. A built in pump forces water through that blue hose and fills the bladder with ice cold water! (if its too cold you can turn down the temperature by adjusting that thermostat in the middle of the hose. But I like it cold!) It works as good, if not better that direct ice and the elastic belt gives you a little extra support while your supine in your nest. On for 30 minutes off for 60 minutes. I was doing this 5 times a day and finally, after 4 1/2 weeks, I no longer need it.
(disclaimer: always OK this form of treatment with you primary treating physician blah, blah, blah)
I had no idea what this thing was or how to use it. I woke up after my micro-d and had it on. The nurses kept filling it with ice but no one bothered to tell me what it was. I figured it out when I had to go to the bath room for the first time. A very clever gadget!
When my condition was at its worst, back in February of 2003, my wife bought me a 'cheer-up' pet. Sometimes this rare Tan & White, blue eyed beagle is a real pain in the butt but I've got to admit I've grown pretty attached to the little beast!
Here's Maxwell at two months old: It doesn't look like he's cheering me up but I'm happy deep inside! If I remember right, he peed on me about 5 seconds after this picture was taken! My wife thought it was hilarious!
Here's Maxwell all grown up at 1 year old: Like most of our animals have been, he's defective (kind of like his owner I guess). He's severely bow legged and literally walks like he has got a 'stick up his butt'! He's suppose to be a 13 inch beagle but he's huge! Over 16 inches and weights 34 pounds (already!) We still love our little hound anyway!
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