TLSO brace: personal hygiene tool

Wearing a TLSO brace severely limits any bending or twisting. That is, after all, the point of the brace: to restrict your back movement. Whatever the reason is for your wearing the brace, the effect is the same: you will be unable to maneuver your body like you did without the brace. Adjusting to the restrictions can take time; it did for me, and I’m still not enthusiastic about this necessary addition to my wardrobe. Before you can absorb just how much this brace affects your activities–and it does affect everything you do–you never really think about one of the most frequent and obvious maneuvers you perform in the course of your day. Using the bathroom.

Some people consider it an indelicate subject and don’t really want to talk about it. Some others think you’ll just figure out how to deal with this unique challenge. When I was leaving rehab for home in February, I tried to look up information online on how to deal with personal hygiene while wearing a TLSO brace and could find nothing. The rehab facility and occupational health staff provided me with photocopied pages from a catalog of supplies, but I didn’t like the choices and no one could seem to recommend anything in particular.

Finally, after much online searching and then talking with a friend who’s an occupational therapist and a girlfriend who’d been through surgery that limited her personal mobility, I ended up adapting nothing more than a bathroom cleaning tool for personal use. Yes, that was the best suggestion: the Scrubbing Bubbles Fresh Brush toilet wand. Don’t laugh. I bought several: one for home, one for carrying with me and one to keep in the car. With a strong wand, curved head, slide-button release and shape that allows wrapping of tissue around the curved head for acceptable sanitary use, this was, in my opinion, the best choice. To use it: start winding tissue around the wand until the end of the tissue extends past the wand head. Grab the excess tissue and crumple it into the clasp end and slide the button to close the clasp. It’s easy to get the hang of after a few times.

As a matter of reference I am including links to the Bottom Buddy (gotta love that name) and the other personal hygiene tools as well. Also worth mentioning is the bidet, which is gaining popularity in the US but is more widely available in Europe and Asia; if you check out eBay, however, you can find bidet converter kits for the toilet that are available with or without heating devices.

Bottom Buddy

Ideaworks Comfort Reach

Self Wipe Bathroom Aid

Freedom Wand Wiping Aid

bidet converters–check eBay for a variety of sellers

Scrubbing Bubbles, Fresh Brush, starter kit–find it at a local grocery, Walmart or Target

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© 2004-2009 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.

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5 responses to “TLSO brace: personal hygiene tool

  1. I’m about to have lumbar spinal fusion and will be in a brace for at least 6 weeks after. While it’s a pretty radical procedure (with nuts, bolts, rods, and additional surgery for a graft of your own bone), believe it or not my most pressing fear has been: How in the world will I take care of personal bathroom hygiene if I can’t bend or twist? As you say, those who’ve been through it don’t want to talk about THAT. And I didn’t have nerve to ask my doctor! I just now found out about the available “tools” (who knew!!!) but they all have outrageous price tags. I’m going to try your idea and purchase a Scrubbing Bubbles kit. I’ll even have a good use for it after I’m all healed! Thanks so much for the idea! Whew!!!

  2. Hi! I just want to offer you a huge thumbs up for your great info you have
    got right here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

  3. Just want to say your article is as amazing. The clarity in your submit is just
    excellent and i can assume you are knowledgeable in this subject.
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    to stay up to date with imminent post. Thanks a
    million and please carry on the gratifying work.

  4. Currently it looks like Drupal is the best blogging platform available right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?

  5. Hello! I stumbled upon your blog by chance while looking for information on TLSO braces for a brochure project in nursing school. I want to thank you for your courage and strength with everything you have gone through and to write about it is amazing. I realize that this post is a little dated but it helped me to come up with a new topic that will be beneficial to patients while they transition to life with a brace that isn’t often educated on. Thank you so much and I hope you are progressing well with your healing!

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