• Need for Hospital??

    Asked by Catouheart on Friday, April 19, 2013

    Need for Hospital??

    This site has been an amazing resource and I am truly enjoying reading everyone's stories. I am scheduled for bilateral mastectomy/reconstruction with expanders next week, and I would like to know what I should bring with me to hospital, and what I should have ready at home. If you have any specific recommendations, or things you couldn't live without?
    Thanks in advance!

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • cris' Avatar

      Make sure you have button up shirts, to hard to do a pullover shirt after surgery, I also brought a small pillow for the ride home to put under the seatbelt. For home, do you have a recliner, I slept in that when I 1st got home, My husband was home for 2 weeks, but when he went back to work he always made sure I didn't have to reach into any cupboards he put everything I needed on the counter. Hope this helps alittle, best of luck to you!!!

      over 7 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      Here is a guide we have put together on how to deal with cancer on many issues. You may find some helpful information in some of these guides. http://bit.ly/10BQKCi

      over 7 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      I've said this before, but I went to Goodwill and bought a bunch of tank tops...there was no need for me to wear a bra anymore after my bilat and the cotton ones felt especially good against my poor mangled chest. Also, be prepared to cry/be shocked the first time you shower and see what you look like afterwards. It's TOUGH, but you can make it. Take it easy at home & heal well. All of us who've gone through bilats sympathize with you, but you can do this! We'll be sending good thoughts your way.

      over 7 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Dear Catouheart,

      Hi. I'm Aliza, the site's unofficial resident Medical Librarian. I offer advice (usually non medical), referrals to doctors, hospitals/institutions, agencies, books, media, etc. and research when required/requested.

      I think some of the advice you've been given by members of the community has been good. You must however, though you'll inevitably be sad when you see how differently you look realize that you've saved your own life and since you've opted to have reconstruction that you're going to look fine in the near distant future.

      I suggest you that you get in touch with CancerCare. Their Social Workers are amazing at helping you through the whole BC experience. They're specially trained to deal only with the highly specialized needs of Cancer patients and their caregivers. It's not like "regular therapy". No one cares about your "toilet training" and no one is going to "blame your mother"...;) They're really great!

      The one thing I found very helpful was a kind of tubular pillow made by Gaiam. Their URL is wwwdotgaiamdotcom. Sorry for spelling the URL out this way. If I didn't it would be removed. This prevented me from rolling onto my side or into my fiancé. You're going to be sleeping on your back for quite a while, so that pillow is something I found helpful.

      The other thing you may want to bear in mind is that your hospital stay is going to be very short. I'm guessing overnight. You'll be home before you know it. Insurance has changed these things so much in the past few decades it's amazing. I'm 54 and my daughter is about to turn 26. I gave birth to her by C-section. Back in that day we were in the hospital for a week (we were both fine-came through with flying colors and she roomed in with me). Today from what I hear C-Section patients are lucky if they stay 2 nights. It boggles my mind considering how exhausted I was!!

      You'll be tired when you get home and the hospital will give you good instructions about your pain meds. Listen to them. Don't allow yourself to be in pain. If you listen to them, you won't be worrying about becming a prescription pill addict like House, M.D....:) How does he make all those brilliant diagnoses on Vicodin when I can't even put a shopping list together?!...;)

      Another thing I suggest is that before you go to the hospital is that if you have time, and freezer space, you cook some meals that can be frozen like macaroni and cheese. Bake it, cut it in squares and then put the squares in small baking dishes or plastic wrap so that you can take out however many you want when you want to eat them. Defrost them and voila, you have a meal you can heat in your toaster oven. Just be careful. Do not use the big oven when you're alone for a long time!! Same thing with spaghetti and meatballs.

      A good thing to do is if you belong to a religious community is to contact your clergyperson now. Sometimes congregations have "sunshine committees". How active they are will vary from congregation to congregation, but some may actually be willing to cook meals for you and give you rides to medical appointments. Also be sure to click on the purple box on the right side of this page for some possible other useful resources.,

      You're going to be fine. A nice CD of meditation type music is a good thing right now (could be something like "sunset on the Amalfi Coast" [doesn't have to be break of day at the Dalai Lama's HQ"...;))

      Please keep us posted on your progress and let me know if there's something more I can do for you. I'm happy to help. You can contact me here or offsite via email.

      Warmest Wishes,

      over 7 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      Front zip/button/snap top and comfy bottom....shoes that are easy to put on.....extra pillows at home to sleep on as you'll be sleeping on your back.....keep a water bottle by your bed.....treat yourself to a shampoo at great clips/fantastic sams or similar place...I did that several days after my bilat and it was decadent....have someone help with cooking....keep smaller containers of liquids in the frig instead of gallons use quarts (milk, oj etc) as you will be on weight retrictions....All he best to you...by 2 weeks post bilat, I was feeling really good....

      over 7 years ago
    • MarianneT's Avatar

      I had the same surgery and the other ladies hit it right on the head... Button shirts/pj tops made life so much easier. Once I could move a bit I wore lots of tanks. I used baggy shirts to hide the drains and provide more comfort. I pinned the drains to the surgical bra so a few extra safety pins in case. I too had to sleep in a recliner for a bit, it was more comfortable and I could get up myself. I could not get up from bed myself the first few days. Before my husband left for work I made sure he laid out my meds...I couldn't even open the prescription bottle the first week. I had enough pain that I required pain killers at home and something to help me sleep. The pain killers really cause me severe constipation as does anesthesia, so be prepared with something for that. I take a lot of fiber usually and senna plus, but ask your doc. For my hair I bought dry shampoo. I have oily hair and would wash everyday typically. No showering allowed at first so I used dry shampoo and every other day my husband would wash my hair at the kitchen sink since it was high enough I did not have to bend too much. My family also brought in a huge basket of food that required no preparation. Healthy things like nuts, fruit, hummus, yogurts, etc. to encourage me to eat. You will not feel up to preparing anything at first.

      over 7 years ago
    • Nonnie917's Avatar

      Yes, make sure you have button up blouses or zippered shirts. You are NOT suppose to put your arms above your head. So I can't agree with Ydnar2xer. That was the one thing they stressed to me was to NOT put my arms above my head for any reason. I don't know if your doctor will tell you that or not, but I wouldn't do it just to be on the safe side.

      over 7 years ago
    • Grandy's Avatar

      My turn is May 3rd 2013. You can also check out folks answers to me.

      Here's somebody else's on the same subject. https://www.whatnext.com/questions/tips-for-preparing-for-after-surgery

      over 7 years ago
    • littlelady's Avatar

      Catouheart hope this finds you doing well! I am scheduled for bilateral mastectomy/reconstruction with expanders in 2 weeks. Would love to know how you are doing with your surgery and any tips you might give. I'm praying for you and wish the best for you in this victory over cancer! I have taken the suggestions that you've been given and know they will make things a lot easier for me. Thanks and God bless you!

      over 7 years ago

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