This blog's purpose is to chronicle my journey, which I think will be a means of catharsis for me, but the main reason I'm publishing it online is in hopes that it will raise BRCA genetic testing awareness and maybe even help others along their own journey. When it came time to make decisions regarding my medical care, I found that the blogs of other women in similar circumstances were the most helpful for me.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tips & Checklist for Home Recovery

I've decided to share some of the tips and things that helped me throughout my recovery. I've already covered the hospital stay so here are the things I recommend for recovering while you're at home.

  • Before Surgery
    • Recovery Area (guest bedroom, couch, etc)
      • Clean sheets
      • LOTS of pillows, at least 2 to prop your head up if not more, and one for each arm. I also had one under my legs
      • Extra blankets (unless your surgery is in the summer)
      • Set up 12 bottles of water next to your bed. You should be drinking a lot of water anyway but you will need these to take your pills
      • Speaking of pills, have your pain medications filled prior to your surgery, besides pain meds you will need the following placed by your bedside:
        • Benedryl (you will be itchy from your pain meds)
        • Stool softener (constipation from pain meds is a pain in the a**, pun intended)
        • Meds for nausea if you think your pain meds will make you nauseous 
        • Daily meds & vitamins/supplements
      • Crackers - in the first few days of recovery I would wake up early before breakfast time and need to take my meds, it was nice to be able to eat a couple so my tummy wasn't empty and then I could fall right back to sleep.
      • Granola bar or something to snack on during the day when you don't feel like eating a whole meal
      • Cell phone/laptop/tablet chargers- hook them up ahead of time so that the cord reaches your nightstand or whatever tabletop you have next to your sleeping area.
      • Reading material- laptops, tablets, magazines, books, whatever floats your boat
      • Baby wipes - nice for a quick clean up in the no showering phase (if you aren't allowed to shower)
      • Breath mints - in case you get unexpected visitors before you can brush
      • Hair brush and hair ties
      • A couple sets of pajamas, underwear, and socks
      • Slippers and a robe
  • Tips and Pointers
    • Have some prune juice in your fridge in case you don't feel like going full on stool softener
    • Find a series to watch on netflix or ondemand, you will have a lot of down time
    • The first couple days after surgery, the last thing I wanted was a meal for breakfast. Smoothies were the key. They also helped soothe my sister L's throat after her surgery. Her throat was very raw from her breathing tube.
    • Check with your doctor first but, I utilized both an ice pack and a heating pad after my surgery for swelling and for that "cold feeling" in my chest I couldn't shake.
    • Do NOT reach for things. Even if it seems like it's close enough. Ask for help or walk over to what you need. Reaching can lead to trouble: stitches popping, incisions opening, strained muscles, etc
    • If you're not allowed to shower until your tubes are out, schedule a wash & blow dry at your local salon or even supercuts. You will feel SO much better with your hair washed
    • On the topic of hair, I have longish hair that mats if I lay in bed too long. Braids helped with this. It also helped my hair not feel dirty. If you have short hair this obviously isn't applicable.
Well that's it! Hope my ideas and lists are helpful! Remember it's different for everyone though. Think of what your likes/dislikes are. What will soothe you and make you comfortable after surgery? What will make things easiest on you?

<3 Rosanna

1 comment:

  1. I agree!!! My husband laughs at my spot in bed. He calls it my nest. I have 3 pillows to prop up my head, I have 2 pillows on one side so I can side sleep, one pillow on the other side, and a pillow between my knees! I also have a secondary nest in the living room , by the recliner. It has my magazines, water, tablet, phone charge, etc...