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British Heart Foundation
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Getting in and out of bed after heart surgery

With my op date approaching I'm wondering if it's a good idea to buy an orthopaedic bed wedge to use at home to aid getting in and out of bed as I understand it's quite hard to manoeuvre around to start with. Has anyone else found it necessary to buy one?

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Hello shopgirl,

A thread on this, here, healthunlocked.com/bhf/post...

Myself i didn't have an aid, i just sort of rolled swung my legs (then after catching my breath and puffing) pushed myself up with my thighs and bum, that's ok if you have strong thighs but I'm sure some others will give you their examples

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Great question, having talked to a few friends they said that after surgery it can be a difficult process but once they found the knack of getting out of bed they continue to use it permanently. Only one bought an aid and they decided it was more trouble than just taking time.

Best thing is to ask the staff after the operation as they look for ways to get you moving independently, if you think it will help ask if there is an OT or physio around and get a recommendation.

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I was due for a mattress upgrade anyway and bought myself a Simba mattress which has been great but didn't help immediately following surgery.

For the first 4-5 days after coming home I actually slept in a reclining chair as I found lying in bed very uncomfortable and a friend who had gone through a bypass too had suggested this.

I also used a V shaped pillow (and still do) it tends to keep me in position without rolling over.

Sleep is so important in the healing process so I hope you find something that works for you.

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I was lent one from a charity. I used it the first night home, but never used it again.

I found it made it harder to get out of bed & it made my wound feel far more painful ☺

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Thanks everyone for your responses. Glad I asked and I think I won't get one after all. X

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I used a V shaped pillow and found it a great help. I did not sleep well, still don't and spent a lot of the nights the first 4 weeks downstairs sitting on the sofa.

It's slowly improving now at week 5 . Wishing you the very best, take care X

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Thanks Madgranny I will get a V shaped pillow. Not looking forward to not sleeping well! X

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Ah yes the lack of sleep is a common thing get some good books, a couple of box sets at the ready. Naps that's what I remember and lots of 20 minute doses. I, like Madgranny, another great name!, still suffer with sleeping issues normally awake at 4 or so and habe at least an hour most nights where I compose shopping lists, diy tasks, work issues etc for an hour or so

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Thanks Skid I've got a few things lined up on Netflix just in case. X

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I used a spare duvet rolled up behind me so that I wasn't lying completely flat. As well as helping me sleep it also made it a lot easier to get up from the bed. I used my arms to push myself upright and then my leg muscles for standing. Not sure how I'll cope this time as I have rotator cuff problem with both shoulders, so much so that I can't even sleep on my right shoulder or move the shoulder joint much. I have an electric recliner and found that great for napping in, with a neck pillow.

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Hi there,

I as you know i have just had the surgery..believe me when i say this but you will be able to get in and out of bed by the time you leave hospital.the physio's have you out all being well day 2 you will swing your legs round fine.get yourself plenty of pillows as its your chest that hurts more.

Good luck for your surgery,

Will be thinking of you

Jenny x

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Hi Jenny

Thanks for that advice. It's good to know you're on the road to recovery. I'm going in tomorrow ready for Monday. Trying to keep relaxed and positive. Today has been a long day!

I'll let you know how it goes...

Best wishes for a continued speedy recovery, Julia

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Dear Julia,

Stay positive,

Staff are amazing on these cardiac wards.

I am doing ok,just tired out and ache.

I will be thinking of you

All the very best,

Jenny x

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Good to hear you're doing fine, rest and recuperation take care

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