By Lisa Lurie, Survivor & Co-founder-Cancer Be Glammed
One of the best bits of advice that I received prior to breast cancer surgery was to prepare for recovery ahead of time. Like many people facing surgery I was focused on the medical decisions and details. I was familiar with some of the more common discharge instructions regarding driving and lifting but in retrospect I realized that it would have been very helpful to know-about and prepare-for additional post-op challenges that impacted my daily life. Many surgeries make simple tasks complicated including getting dressed or undressed and create unique recovery struggles like having to cope with post-op drains.
Here are 4 tips for helping you to be better prepared for a successful recovery:
Before you head to the hospital, set up your bedroom so that you have the things that you need close-at-hand. Clear your nightstand and place tissues, lip-balm, hand-sanitizer and other must-have items on it. Plug in a long power strip or extension cord close by to simplify plugging in your chargers. And one note of caution, remove any area rugs that might cause you to trip.
Find out in advance if your surgery will create limited mobility issues like trouble raising your arms or legs that could impact your ability to get dressed. If it does, scan you wardrobe for front-closing styles that are easy to take on or off or purchase specially designed ease-of-wear clothes that are adapted for limited mobility and more.
From your closet, assemble a post-op wardrobe of front-closing bras, button-down jackets, shirts and pajamas, and soft pants with a drawstring waist. Purchase specially designed easy-access recovery clothes ahead of time. These adaptable shirts and jackets have built-in solutions like strategic zipper openings or side zippers and pull-up loops on pants. They can help you to have a “life-made-easier” recovery.
They’re Really Draining
Surgical drains are tiresome and frustrating! Thankfully today there are recovery clothes and products designed to conceal and manage drains. Options include robes, shirts and jackets with interior pockets that can hold drains or a drain-belt which can worn under a variety of outfits.
Following surgery, your body will need a lot of R & R: Resting & Recovering. Finding a comfortable sleeping position can be difficult. Create a cozy, comfortable nest for yourself. Mix and match a variety of pillow shapes including a wedge pillow for sitting up and small pillows to support your legs, arms and back. Opt for soft, cotton (breathable) sheets that can be washed. Have two sets at the ready for unexpected sheet changes.
Surgery and recovery are stressful! Preparing ahead of time can help. For more recovery tips, lifestyle blogs and to shop for “life-made-easier” recovery products--visit our website, Cancerbeglammed.com.
As always, I wish you well.