Post-surgery Essentials

seat belt cover mastectomy breast cancer

There were a lot of things that I knew I needed to do leading up to my surgery, and I did a pretty good job of getting them taken care of. I came up with a pretty good list of things I thought I’d need at the hospital, and it turned out to be almost perfect. With two glaring omissions.

First of all, percocet is lovely. It really does a good job at knocking out the pain. (And the rest of me, in the process.) But it makes me so itchy. Like all over, can’t make it stop, but only mildly irritating itchy. Not so bad that I wanted to ditch the good drugs, but after a mastectomy, arm motion is pretty limited, so an itchy back is a nightmare. Try though he might, Clay was just too afraid he’d hurt me to scratch hard enough to make the itch go away. I must have mentioned it at some point, so a few days after surgery, a good neighborhood friend showed up at my house with the best gift ever.

back scratcherGlamorous, right? But the simple bamboo back scratcher she picked up at the local hardware store (they have everything!) was exactly what I needed. I wished I’d had it a few days earlier, but it still got loads of use.

The other thing I’d missed I didn’t pick up until a week or so ago. I knew it would probably help, but kept putting it off. After a mastectomy, the last thing you want is a seat belt pressing against your chest. Even though the initial pain is long gone, there’s still a general irritation from the tissue expanders and I hate the way the seat belt feels. Enter: the seat belt cover.

seatbelt coverSeriously, why did I wait so long to get this? I finally picked one up at the automotive store, but for only around six bucks on amazon, it’s ridiculous that I didn’t buy it earlier. It’s not the perfect solution, but for the most part, it lets me drive around with my seat belt where it’s supposed to be instead of me holding it out with my “non-driving” hand.

So while it may be the strangest assortment of gifts ever, I’m thinking that the next friend I know who has a mastectomy will be getting a back scratcher, a seat belt cover, and maybe a can of pringles. Oh, and some lip gloss. Always lip gloss.

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