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Thread: Anyone had arthroscopy? What to take to the hospital in my TB bags?

  1. #1
    Registered User ncb4's Avatar
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    Anyone had arthroscopy? What to take to the hospital in my TB bags?

    It's a lot more fun to share tips on how to use our TB bags for travel, but now I'm wondering if anyone of the wise folks on this forum has had an arthroscopy, and if you could share tips on what to take you with you on the day of surgery (in a TB bag, of course!). I just found out yesterday that I'll be having an arthroscope of my knee to remove a badly-torn meniscus (and also to evaluate the status of several other issues in hopes of delaying for a while the inevitable knee replacement).

    It's an outpatient procedure, and I'm crossing my fingers that my insurance will approve having it done at a freestanding surgical center instead of at the hospital. (Much less fuss, inconvenience, delay, and paperwork if I can avoid the hospital.) I'll be having general anesthesia, which surprises me, but that's what my surgeon stipulated. So I'm especially wondering what it would be good to have with me in the car for the 45-minute drive home afterwards, while I'm still groggy.

    I'm stalling, and put off the procedure until October, so there's plenty of time for me to make up my packing list!

  2. #2
    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
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    I don't remember doing anything after I had my knee scoped (1992) other than getting sick (allergic reaction) off of the post surgery meds (blech) shortly after getting home. I doubt you will feel up to doing anything other than sleeping. Hoping you have a rapid recovery and successful surgery. Make sure you follow the instructions on when and how to bear weight post surgery, even if you feel up to doing it sooner. And do your physical therapy, it's key to a successful recovery.
    I really, really like TB Bags!

  3. #3
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    I don't know anything about the procedure but I have been to outpatient facilities.

    Use a bag that will fit a Large Pouch so that you can carry all the paperwork they are going to give you, take a FJN or a small notebook inside the Large Pouch to write down last minutes questions and most important meds allergies.
    Take reading glasses if you need them.
    Portable snacks and drinks are a good idea. (for the caregiver while waiting and for you after surgery)
    Take only one bag, once I took two, not enough space to stow them and there is the risk of losing one of them.

    I took a Large Cafe Bag and another time a Large Cafe Bag and a Backpack Packing Cube for Aeronaut.

    Due to hospital floors always cleaned with harsh chemicals, I, now, believe it is better to use Dyneema bags.
    Swift or Backpack Packing Cube for Aeronaut or Backpack for Western Flyer.
    Large or Small Shop Bag
    Packing Cube Shoulder Bag and/or Clear Quarter Packing Cube inside for organization.



    The patient or the caregiver are going to be a little bit disoriented because the caregiver is focused on the patient well being and the patient on avoiding pain and recovering from anesthesia which makes one groggy.
    Alternatively, you might be hungry.

    Cooking and freezing a big batch of your favorite dishes or buying frozen food, able to sustain you and your family for a week or two might be a good idea.


    They will most probably send you to a pharmacy to get further pain meds, make sure you check all the prescriptions carefully because they might give you meds you don't want or are allergic to.
    (It happened to me as well as Dorayme so it is 2 out of 2 posters)

    Schedule physical therapy as soon as possible.
    Last edited by backpack; 08-24-2011 at 10:25 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Thumbs down

    @ most hospitals here in the greater Phoenix area
    outpatient procedures are handled in a separate wing
    of the hospital much like a freestanding surgical center.

    Over the years,I've noticed that many people have
    serious issues with freestanding surgical centers
    b/c their staff tend to be poorly qualified (if at all)
    to perform medical procedures.

    I would think twice before using a freestanding surgical
    center...they also tend to be less professional and not
    handle emergencies well.

    My $0.02
    Last edited by PM4HIRE; 08-24-2011 at 03:03 PM. Reason: Corrections
    Tom Welch > Mesa, Arizona, USA
    Author of 101 Financial Ratios 5.0
    Travel Lite & Smart

  5. #5
    Registered User ncb4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PM4HIRE View Post
    @ most hospitals here in the greater Phoenix area
    outpatient procedures are handled in a separate wing
    of the hospital much like a freestanding surgical center.

    Over the years,I've noticed that many people have
    serious issues with freestanding surgical centers
    b/c their staff tend to be poorly qualified (if at all)
    to perform medical procedures.

    I would think twice before using a freestanding surgical
    center...they also tend to be less professional and not
    handle emergencies well.

    My $0.02
    PM4HIRE, I appreciate your concern, and you raise an excellent point. My surgeon would be the same, regardless of where I have the procedure done. He does some of his cases at a teaching hospital and some at the surgical center that is attached to a large orthopedic clinic. I've checked him out, and he has a spotless record. But you raise a good point: I should check out the record of the surgical center itself.

  6. #6
    Registered User ncb4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorayme View Post
    I don't remember doing anything after I had my knee scoped (1992) other than getting sick (allergic reaction) off of the post surgery meds (blech) shortly after getting home. I doubt you will feel up to doing anything other than sleeping. Hoping you have a rapid recovery and successful surgery. Make sure you follow the instructions on when and how to bear weight post surgery, even if you feel up to doing it sooner. And do your physical therapy, it's key to a successful recovery.
    I'm so sorry you had an allergic reaction; sounds awful. And I need to remember your advice to take it slowly in terms of weight-bearing; I have a tendency to overdo.

  7. #7
    Registered User ncb4's Avatar
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    backpack, I'm copying your list for future reference: so many great ideas! I hadn't considered that Dyneema might be a good choice because of the chemicals with which they clean the floors: I do have a Large Shop Bag in Dyneema. I have a Medium Cafe Bag, but my Large Cafe Bag in Azalea is on pre-order and I'm not sure it will get here before Oct. 26. (hint, hint, in case anyone at TB is reading this)

    And I think I might keep a cooler in the car with water and snacks, if not for me, then for my poor husband. For me, a blanket in case I'm cold on the drive home, a travel pillow, and maybe some plastic bags in case I feel ill.

    I'm not sure how I'll feel afterwards. Although I was starving after one procedure, I only had "twilight" sleep for that, and I don't think I ever felt better in my whole life than afterwards. I think it might have been the best sleep I'd had since becoming a mother. On the other hand, the one time I had general anesthesia, many years ago, I felt like I'd been hit by a truck for about 48 hours. Forget about eating!

  8. #8
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    For what it's worth, I have used TB bags in health care facilities for a couple of years. The bags have been everywhere -floors and other surfaces and have been exposed to lots of cleaning and other fluids. I have never had a problem and the bags look pristine. The bags and fabric are tough.
    PM4HIRE and ncb4 like this.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncb4 View Post
    backpack, I'm copying your list for future reference: so many great ideas! I hadn't considered that Dyneema might be a good choice because of the chemicals with which they clean the floors: I do have a Large Shop Bag in Dyneema. I have a Medium Cafe Bag, but my Large Cafe Bag in Azalea is on pre-order and I'm not sure it will get here before Oct. 26. (hint, hint, in case anyone at TB is reading this)

    And I think I might keep a cooler in the car with water and snacks, if not for me, then for my poor husband. For me, a blanket in case I'm cold on the drive home, a travel pillow, and maybe some plastic bags in case I feel ill.

    I'm not sure how I'll feel afterwards. Although I was starving after one procedure, I only had "twilight" sleep for that, and I don't think I ever felt better in my whole life than afterwards. I think it might have been the best sleep I'd had since becoming a mother. On the other hand, the one time I had general anesthesia, many years ago, I felt like I'd been hit by a truck for about 48 hours. Forget about eating!

    Right after I got my first Brain Bag and right before I got my first Large Cafe Bag, I took a train to visit a specialist who was affiliated with a hospital with numerous campuses, I got lost and had to trek all over to find the shuttle that was going from one campus to another and finally get to the appointment.
    I was very early, luckily, my Brain Bag was perfect, it felt lightweight on my back, fit in the train and the shuttle, just perfect!
    The little designer backpack, I brought with me was, by contrast, an enormous pain. Hence the Large Cafe Bag order right after the specialist visit. He said: 'wait to get the surgery."

    I waited and a year later baby cat was sick so I could not care less about going to docs.

    Another year pass, around the same time baby cat got sick, I start not feeling good, not wanting to eat, not keeping the little food I put in, thirsty all the time, it was hot and I didn't think much of it until one day after dragging myself around, I found out I had a high fever.
    My husband was scheduled to visit his brother but I asked him not to go because I really needed to see the doc the next day.

    We did see my primary physician, she sent me to blood work and ultrasound right away, we found a slot in a place two towns away, on a friday afternoon and she gave us a call about the ultrasound on our way back to her office which was in our hometown.

    She gave us the name of a surgeon, and said to call sharp at opening time on Monday. I think she also said, if you feel really bad, go to the ER.

    The organ in question was about to burst and gave me an severe infection as a fair warning. So I spent the weekend taking it easy, sleeping and drinking lots of fluids.

    On monday, lovely husband called the surgeon office and got the ball rolling, I had to talk to a nurse and wait until the end of the week for the stuff to be removed. Needless to say, that was an uncomfortable week.

    The day before surgery I did my hair, eat a little, drank a lot of fluid then had to stop at a set hour, as it is customary.

    Day of surgery, getting there, signing in, pre-op prep, pre-op long talk with all the docs, nurses and anesthesia team and signing up of papers (yes I want you to remove that stuff that is giving me an infection, I wouldn't be there otherwise!)

    I tell every single one of them and my husband, multiple times, that I want only one specific kind of post-op pain meds.

    I wake up, doc nowhere to be found, as soon as I awoke and he saw I was fine, he went off. I go to the post-op routine of please give a sample, they discharge me.

    We then went to the pharmacy and I found out they gave me the wrong pain med! The ones I didn't want!
    The strong hospital pain meds were still working so I got reeeeally irate at the docs and my husband. I walked in front of the pharmacy counter so agitated that the pharmacist said he would fix it, and I could have a seat, as if he was afraid I was going to pop my sutures.

    WE, then, went to the store to get food, I used the little cart-mobile and had a blast getting lowfat yogurt, drinks and a salad to eat right after we got home.
    Now, our home had stairs and I wasn't in a hurry to use them so we went around and used the ground level back door.


    I had my Large Cafe Bag with me and it was fine; no, I didn't take it to the O.R, yes, it was left in the custody of my husband.


    Sorry for the tome, ncb4, it was done to highlight the utmost importance of checking the doc's prescriptions, have him write them at the pre-op meeting and read them yourself (hence the inclusion of reading glasses in my first list).

    With a knee operation, you obviously cannot be much feisty post-op so do your own Hulk and mayhem impersonation, if needed, at the pre-op meeting, right before signing the papers while they still listen to you.
    Then sign the papers and relax.
    Last edited by backpack; 08-24-2011 at 10:40 PM.
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  10. #10
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    I'm going to a surgical center next month, but it
    is routine since I have the same procedure done
    every 3 months. Here in AZ, we've had a number
    of surgical centers shut down recently and a
    coupe of doctors have had their licenses pulled
    and gone to state prison.
    Tom Welch > Mesa, Arizona, USA
    Author of 101 Financial Ratios 5.0
    Travel Lite & Smart

  11. #11
    Registered User ncb4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PM4HIRE View Post
    I'm going to a surgical center next month, but it
    is routine since I have the same procedure done
    every 3 months. Here in AZ, we've had a number
    of surgical centers shut down recently and a
    coupe of doctors have had their licenses pulled
    and gone to state prison.
    Every three months? That doesn't sound like fun. Hope it all goes well for you.

  12. #12
    Registered User ncb4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    I tell every single one of them and my husband, multiple times, that I want only one specific kind of post-op pain meds.

    I wake up, doc nowhere to be found, as soon as I awoke and he saw I was fine, he went off. I go to the post-op routine of please give a sample, they discharge me.

    We then went to the pharmacy and I found out they gave me the wrong pain med! The ones I didn't want!....
    Sorry for the tome, ncb4, it was done to highlight the utmost importance of checking the doc's prescriptions, have him write them at the pre-op meeting and read them yourself (hence the inclusion of reading glasses in my first list).

    With a knee operation, you obviously cannot be much feisty post-op so do your own Hulk and mayhem impersonation, if needed, at the pre-op meeting, right before signing the papers while they still listen to you.
    Then sign the papers and relax.
    What an ordeal you went through! I can't believe you still had the energy in you right after surgery to stand up straight, much less do your "Hulk" impression for the pharmacist. And I certainly won't be doing my own grocery shopping right afterward!

    But I do need to remember to be clear about all this at the pre-op meeting, and take notes for my husband. I'm the one who is normally in charge of all the medical/vet stuff for the family and even my friends; this isn't my husband's forte at all. So if I can get it all straight with the doctor beforehand, and write everything down, that will make it easier for my husband.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncb4 View Post
    Every three months? That doesn't sound like fun. Hope it all goes well for you.
    I second that PM4HIRE, take good care.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncb4 View Post
    What an ordeal you went through! I can't believe you still had the energy in you right after surgery to stand up straight, much less do your "Hulk" impression for the pharmacist. And I certainly won't be doing my own grocery shopping right afterward!

    But I do need to remember to be clear about all this at the pre-op meeting, and take notes for my husband. I'm the one who is normally in charge of all the medical/vet stuff for the family and even my friends; this isn't my husband's forte at all. So if I can get it all straight with the doctor beforehand, and write everything down, that will make it easier for my husband.
    Writing everything down for your husband and yourself is a must, I too, do all the medical related stuff.

    I had an infection from the stuff that needed to be removed and did not have the strength to go grocery shopping before. I had a very high fever and was scared the stuff was going to burst on me, when your doc look scared, it is not reassuring.
    So I mainly drank fluids, ate some rice and took it easy.

    As a result after a week of barely eating and a 12 hours fast, I was really hungry, especially now that I could eat real food. Being that hungry I got irate and when I saw that all of them screwed up, I got even more irate.

    I was not really up straight and I mainly used my voice to show how upset I was.

    Besides, the pain meds prescription needed to be taken with food. I really didn't want the effect of the operation pain meds to run out before I took the other ones.
    Last edited by backpack; 08-27-2011 at 06:35 PM.


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