Tips and Tricks part 2
Updated: Jan 16, 2019
Hey, Hey! As I type this I am just about 12 weeks post op from having my prophylactic mastectomy and DIEP flap reconstruction. You can read more about why I had this surgery here.
I want to share some of the things that I used or did to help me get through a very stressful time in my life and help me to recover from a 12- hour surgery. This is part 2. You can read part 1 here.
These are things that worked for me and may not work for you. ** Always follow your own Dr's advice and protocol first.**
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So here is a list of items that I used either at home while recovering or while in the hospital or both.
Face wipes - I used witch hazel ones. My face was super oily after the surgery and these kept it under control
Colgate Wisps - So many women that already had this surgery recommended these and they were right, what a help. Those first few days at home getting up and down is hard. Stay resting while you can but still get your teeth cleaned :)
Coloring Pages - My sister bought me this coloring book and I loved using it
Protein Bars - The one word you will hear over and over from every nurse is protein! Try to find a bar that isn't also high in sugar.
Comfortable Bra - once you are done with your surgical bra a sports bra that zips in the front in the easiest to use but once you are more healed and ready to ditch the zipper but still need comfort try something like this one. SO sexy! ;)
Button Down Sleep Shirt - I lived in this! This made it easy for my home nurse to check on my wounds and was easy on/off since you have such limited arm mobility in the beginning. I sized up one size to make room for my four drains
These were some of the supplements that were either recommended by my Dr, home nurse or by other women in the Diep Flap community. Always talk to your Dr about what supplements would be best for you.
Biotin - I had some wound issues and was told that this could aid in my healing
Bromelain - So many women in the Diep Flap community recommended this one for healing
Collagen - This was for healing with the added benefit of protein. I added it to my green tea every morning
Calm - This is my new best friend! I have slept so well since my surgery and I really think it was because of taking this every night. It can also help if you become constipated after the surgery which is a real possibility with this type of procedure
I also took 10,000 IU's of vitamin D every day and vitamin C per my Dr's instructions. However,I didn't' rely on supplements alone. I planned my meals and ate like I was being paid to do it, like it was my full-time job. Every meal and snack was loaded with protein and some healthy fats and I loaded up on fruits and vegetables. Nutrition matters, guys.
Expect the Unexpected
One last thing I would recommend is to expect the unexpected and to give yourself lots of Grace. Things will happen even with all your prepping and all your self-care. You can follow all the instructions of your Dr's and nurses and you can still have complications. I ended up with some wound issues and had complications from the surgery and it was hard on me mentally. I had to accept that I can only control so much and I tried to focus on each day and each small milestone. I am positive that my issues would have been worse if I didn't take such good care of myself and put my health first.
If you are about to have major surgery or just had one I would love to hear from you! How are you prepping? How are you recovering? Send me a message! You can also ask me ANY questions about this procedure. I am pretty open. If you ask I will answer!
Thanks for listening!