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Ideas for post-operation supplies

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

My DH was recently diagnosed with cancer.  Yes, I am freaking out... BUT-- we have 5 weeks to go before the surgery and the waiting is making me truly lose my marbles.  There are numerous tests scheduled between now and surgery... We are focusing on upping his immune system as much as possible, sensible exercise, stress reduction (Ha!) and preparing.  We are at the point where we are extremely well educated on the condition, prognosis, side effects, etc....  At this point, additional "research" leaves me stressed and worried about things beyond my control.


Besides your prayers and good vibes, I am looking for some suggestions for making home use post op supplies-- like waterproof bed pads, incontinence pads (for a male), etc..  This is likely to be a long haul for him, and I want things to be like home, not like a hospital/nursing home.  He will be using a catheter for a few weeks, and incontinence is going to be an issue (to some degree) for a while.  I want to make some discreet, comfortable, washable pads for the beds, chairs, etc... and perhaps some inserts for catching minor leaks.  Any ideas?


We are a CD/cloth menstrual supply family, so I have some of the basic supplies kicking around.  I just cringe at the thought of all that plasticy, hospital supply stuff.  I know we will use this in stuff in the immediate aftermath, but I want to have things as normalized as possible, as soon as it makes sense.  Sewing, crafting, knitting all keep me sane and boy could I use some sanity just now.


My DH is 45, in great shape, healthy (well, was seemingly), and active.  We have an awesome sex life and we are eachother's best, best friends.  This really sucks you guys...


BTW--I am a regular MDC user, but I changed up my user name, etc... for some privacy.  I know too many people IRL and we aren't quite ready to go public with this crappy news yet.  Our kiddos don't even know.  


post #2 of 10

I am so so sorry!  I can not even imagine.  That said- I have no idea other than making some washable chux pads.  You could use pul- covered with nice soft flannel or cotton velour- or I would probably go with wool- but that is just a matter of opinion.  As far as pads- my brain can't wrap itself around that.  I am not much help- but will be praying for your family.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the well wishes.  I do much better when I am busy!  I went lurking at Walmart today to check out the post op supplies and it was def. depressing....  It's hard to walk fine line between being realistic & informed about what lies ahead and staying sane.  


I have a plastic backed bed pad from pregnancy, and an older wool blanket.  I was thinking of making a couple good sized pads with an outer covering of navy flannel.  I'm wondering if I can keep it clean easily.  Maybe I need to rethink the wool


I did check out male incontinence supplies and they may be the easiest, most discreet way to go.  New normal, here we come...



post #4 of 10

It sounds like you have a lot going on, I hope you find some solutions to make things a bit easier for you. I know having non "medical" supplies can make a big differnece in how things feel.


For waterproof bed pads, how about taking a towel of the size you need and backing it with PUL fabric. I was planning to make some like this but ended up buying a couple as I needed them right away and wasn't feeling up to makeing them.


We've used a fleace blanket as a throw under sleeping children, just in case. If you go to an outdoor place you can find wash in waterproofing solution for coats etc Washing the fleace in is supposed to make it more waterproof.


For absorbant undies I wonder if you could add an absortbant linner to some normal undies. I made some for DS when potty training which worked out well. Initially I wondered about makeing them changable (based on my cloth pads) but them moved around too much so I sewed them in.


To make the linner take a pair of undies and draw round the gusset part, to make the middle of your linner. At the back I ended with a straight edge between the two sides. At the front I flared out to give enough coverage and took the linner up to the elastic waitband.


For each linner I sewed 3 layers of terry fabric, just zig zaged round the edge. If you want a waterproof layer then add that in before stiching it all together. Then I hand sewed the liner into the undies, my machine was not up to the cobination of fabric thickness and lots of curves.


post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions.  I have not sewed with PUL before... just made my pads out of flannel and cut up some leftover crib/changing pads that were made of a some sort of absorbent felt backed stuff.  I'm happy with them-- no leaks ever, but on heavy days I need to change fairly often b/c they feel kind of yucky (They are not like the commercial suck the wet away kind of material).  PUL sounds better for this application because it is so thin and would be discreet.  I'm going to make a bunch of different chair pads/bed pads/carseat pads and make them out of regular blankets so they look normal and feel normal.


I've been thinking about just sewing some kind of PUL-backed flannel liner into his usual undies.  It's worth a shot... Typical guy, I don't think he EVER throws underwear a way and there are 800 pairs in the closet!  Ooo, just had an idea.  I wonder if I took some of the extras and just made an undie-sandwich (they are knit boxer-brief style) with PUL/flannel in between.  I'm thinking it would look 'normal' inside and out and wouldn't require too much sewing construction.  Hmm, inspiration may have just struck.


Anyway, thanks for responding.  I know it is a weird question for MDC, but I can't take the cancer forums.  They are just too depressing for me right now. Plus, have not found a crunchy-dyi type/crafty thread on them anywhere. It's good to be educated and realistic, but I just can't process too far into the future right now.  Crafting has saved my sanity in less stressful situations, lets hope it will work now too.

post #6 of 10

Thoughts are with you - this has to be hard.

My DD was diagnosed with Crohns Disease 2 years ago.  She has a constant 'peri anal' leak - i have made her pads to sleep with - terry cloth top, PUL backing - for her i dont always use an inner layer, but i would imagine post - op you would need more absorbancy - i recommend some of those old blankets or towels you mentioned.  if not, hemp terry cloth is great - pricey, - i get it here:  http://www.hemptraders.com/

i make her reusable pads as well - but those are just the same as mini pads.  I am just starting to make my own luna pads for myself - as i am just returning to normal after having my DS in 2010.

i use flannel, then Zorb, then PUL i second the idea of lining his underwear with a layer or two of flannel then PUL on the outside.  It stands to reason that he would be losing some weight - so im sure the padded underwear would still fit him.

I can relate when it comes to crafting - i made myself 3 - 4 reusable chux while in labor......for a quick labor - it kept me very calm!

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for the suggestions.   Your DD must have a tough time of it.  Hugs to you all!  


What is Zorb?  I'll have to look it up. PUL sews readily?  I have not tried this--yet-- but did some holiday sewing with waterproof coated fabrics and that went ok.  My sewing machine is starting to be ancient, but keeps plugging along!


My DH has been hoping to lose a bit of weight and sees that as a silver lining of this whole deal ;-)  I'm glad he can think that way about the road ahead.



post #8 of 10

I first ran across Zorb on a diaper making site  here is a good explanation / picture :  http://www.zany-zebra.com/diaper-fabric.shtml


it feels like a think felt - not very giving -  - also tends to be a little pricey  - this seems to be the best price i have seen :  http://www.etsy.com/shop/boogerbutts

the zorb would be a good choice for underwear or inserts...i use it for diapers and Luna pads.  I think Zorb for the inner layer of a reusable pad would be overkill.


as for PUL - wait until Joannes has one of those 40%  off one regularly priced items coupons  and get a a few yards  - i believe its 54" wide - so i make my reusable pads 27 x 30 or so.  the PUL sews very nicely - but you MUST put the shiny side down ....a normal, metal feed dog will make it catch and bunch up. 

also - this is sort of dumb - but i made the mistake of sewing it shiny side OUT - you are better off sewing it shiny side IN - its still waterproof of course   - the other side of PUL is smooth, feels like  polyester - it moves better, feels better, and like i said - washes better - hope that made sense! 


do you have a serger?   the absolute easiest reusable pad is PUL - shiny side face up, then a layer of terry cloth or old blanket or flannel, then a top layer of terry cloth or flannel - put through the serger - no turning inside out - so easy! 

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the scoop.  I don't have a serger, but I have gotten by lo these many years with a zig zag stitch around the edge.  A serger is on the 'someday' wish list for sure.  Gotcha on the Joann's coupons--I refuse to darken the door there without them. I also found some info.on Zorb.  It def. has mixed reviews, so it was helpful to hear how your experience has been.


I went through the closet yesterday and pulled out plenty of undies to experiment on.  Honestly, that man never tosses out a single thing!  We have been joking (as humorous as this deal can get) that if he didn't have cancer, I would be annoyedduck.gif  I think I can doctor up a few pairs to try and see what I can come up with. If it works, I might open up shop:  Hillbilly Hospital Supply Co. 

post #10 of 10

I know nothing about crafting, but I saw and couldn't not post at least a hug2.gif


My only concern with PUL is that it might be sweaty and hot at night (my ds is the hottest person EVER and never uses blankets and would probably sleep naked in the snow if I let him - PUL makes him sweat like crazy, but I don't have any insight on whether its sweaty for normal people who wouldn't want to sleep in snow).

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