What would you want in a post-surgery care package?

My friend just had knee replacement surgery and is doing well with healing, and PT services. If you had your druthers, what would you put in a care “recovery” package that fits in a Priority Mail box? (Her husband is running the errands.) I’d like to send her something that just wouldn’t sit and eventually get thrown out . . . ?

It really depends on the likes of your friend. I would like magazines. My MIL used to give me her old People and health type magazines. I’d never buy them myself, but fun to curl up with, read, and toss/recycle. And puzzle books (suduko mostly. I’m not a crossword fan). And junk food. I love junk food - goes perfectly with those health and fitness magazines! :wink:

Edit - readers digest. I loved those too. You can kill a lot of time with those. I miss my MIL’s mags

A good book or two.
Some good quality tea.
Some hard candies like those nice French fruity ones.
A new pair of fun socks or slippers.
A relaxing lavender pillow mist.
Nice soaps.
Nuts and dried fruit.
A good jar of jam.
Homebaked treats, maybe something like shortbread to go with the tea. :slight_smile:
Gift card to a restaurant for takeout.

When I had my knee replaced, the best thing I had at home was an ice/hot pack (freeze or microwave) that came with a wrap with a velcro closure.

When my friend broke her femur, I sent games (direct from Amazon, no shipping). I sent cards, Uno Attack, Sorry, things like that.

She’s been home bound a few weeks before I got to it and she’d read everything, done all the puzzles, received flowers, etc. She was happy to have something new to do. One difference is she was totally immobile, and your friend may enjoy a little movement.

I would assume she has proper icing system so shouldn’t need ice packs. She will be doing a lot of exercise, Bluetooth headphones? A cross body bag for her stuff while she shuffles around with her walker/cane. No food! As she is ?already days post op, she is probably up and about a fair bit. Anything that makes that walking around more interesting is good. Also a nice little Tens machine, they are inexpensive and really are nice to use a little later once the wound is OK. It is just soothing, not magic, and helps swelling. Joint replacements in younger healthy people don’t really involve down times now. Make sure she knows about bonesmart website. Some kind of step counter if she doesn’t have a smartwatch or fitbit.

I’m having a partial knee replacement in October. I really don’t need or want anything as a gift, but I hope my friends come to visit me or offer to pick up groceries or carry out.

Can you send your friend some gift cards to places in her area that deliver food? That might be helpful.

If she has an ereader, maybe a gift card to whichever service she uses to buy her online books?

How about a new “fanny pack” for walking around and keeping hands free? She can plop her phone, reading glasses, a key, cash, bobby pins, chapstick - whatever she likes to have on hand in her pack and have it on her all the time.

Nice chapstick/lip balm would be nice on its own.

I have two fake hips, received at the same time. The best gifts from my recovery? The bags of ice my friends left on the front porch rank number one! Guess you can’t send that through the mail, though.

A friend made me a bag with long straps that I could use to carry things from one room to another when I was on crutches and had no free hands. I could put my laptop, a water bottle, and a snack in it then sling it around my neck. That would be mail-able, as would a water bottle or some other lidded cup and a snack. My brain was pretty fried the first few days and I was very tired, so I couldn’t read for awhile.

Casseroles were nice, too. H was in charge of caring for me and he was not much of a cook. Any food was welcome. You could arrange a meal to be delivered.

My best friend brought me milk of magnesia for the opioid induced constipation. She probably doesn’t need that if she is past the first few days. We laughed about that gift for a long time.

Thank you everyone. I had already planned on giving her some food gift cards for delivery in this pandemic. The sling bag, or fanny pack, is a great idea since I had no idea she would need to be hands free (duh!!). I can make one of those on my sewing machine.

I like all the ideas to keep her entertained. I’ve never had my knees replaced so I didn’t know.

Would anyone suggest one of those lightweight towels? We’re having intense dry heat and I’m assuming she’s using her air conditioning? Unfortunately, she’s a property manager so she has to show properties but in this heat and given her surgery nothing is happening.

Hiking poles. I had a torn ligament repaired, and those were awesome for the few weeks after I got off the crutches but still needed support. In a fun color. :slight_smile: Mine are bright purple. Amazon or REI sell collapsible ones.

Make a pie and bring some vanilla bean. Nothing is better in rehab then pie heated with ice cream on top… Lol ?

But depending on her family situation, going grocery shopping for her (just running the errand not paying for everything), sending some take out as suggested.

She likely won’t be cleared to drive for four weeks post op. If you live close enough, maybe offer to drive her to some places. She should be able to go out sooner than her driving clearance

Nice non-slip slipper socks.

If you’re nearby, driving your friend to PT would be a terrific gesture. I couldn’t drive for a couple months after my cardiac event, and folks at my synagogue arranged to drive me to cardiac rehab. (DH was at work downtown, sons were overseas/cross country.)

This was better than food drops!

Another idea is a pouch that hangs over the arm of a chair or sofa which can hold a magazine, remote, pen, candies, hobby supplies. That’s a fairly easy sewing project, too.

Dry shampoo bc she likely won’t be able to shower for a bit and it will make her feel more human. Simple flowers for her bedroom bc she’ll be stuck in that room for a bit for long periods of time. Chocolate.
My mom had this surgery last year and she appreciated all these things greatly. (I also bright her fresh ice every day and periodic meals Bc my father is used to my mom doing everything!)
Anyhow…:yes to fluffy nonskid socks. And lotions make you feel better, too, if you know her scent preference.
Hope her recovery goes well and is uneventful.

Last year I sent food to somebody that was living alone, recovering from knee surgery.
I
made a large egg casserole and packaged into 1-serving portions for fridge and freezer. I also sent a jar of green chile. and called it “breakfast, lunch or dinner” food. She later told me that it was terrific to have that stash of food, along with the items sent by other people.

I’d check this before I make that assumption. I’m having knee surgery in October, and the only time I plan to spend in my bedroom is when I’m sleeping there.

The biggest issue I will have is not being able to drive for four weeks. I’m going to need rides to outpatient PT for weeks 3 and 4. I sure hope that is what I get as “gifts”.

IMO socks are a bad idea, she needs real shoes, re PT, hopefully she has home PT, and she will be able to shower.

As per Thumper, no one with joint replacement is lying in their bedroom, unless she has a CPM machine that is only set up in that room. The last hing joint replacement people need is high caloric foods. They could do with friends who will walk around their house with them or be active with them.

Thumper, if you are a good patient you may not even need long PT. they might fire you for being too good. If you are very proactive. I had a hip (much eaiser than the knee) and never went to PT at all beyond the home visit. I really saw my kid go through a lot of very passive outpt PT for his knee issue and it was all really easy to do at home for a motivated adult. It was a bit eye opening for me to see what this business model was, and in the covid era I would hate to be in that set up (multiple pts, multiple stations, multiple staff under one actual physiotherapist).

Well maybe the suggestions depend on specific age of the recovering patient and the type of knee surgery involved.

I had knee surgery when I was late 30s and yes, hated being in my bedroom and avoided it most of the time.

As I indicated earlier though, my mother age 76, had knee replacement surgery which I believe is what the OP’s friend is having, and she literally was in her bed for hours every day. She was attached to a knee immobilizer that had a cooling unit that required fresh ice around the clock. PT came to her at her house.

She loved fresh flowers. Brightened her mood. Flowers can be moved to other places in a house, too, not just kept in a bedroom.

And she loved her socks! I don’t know why people have to be so judgmental about my suggestions. Really?

Whatever you do will be appreciated no doubt.

And you could ask her directly what is most helpful.