Feb 6, 2008 07:11 PM otter wrote:
I just got home from the hospital a couple of hours ago (SNB + left-side mastectomy w/o recon). I, too, had seen lots of helpful suggestions on this board. Here's my experience (so far), FWIW:
Some hospitals provide camis and/or surgery bras to their patients. Mine provided 1 safety pin and a measuring cup, plus some opened packages of sterile gauze bandage material they'd used on me.
My onco surgeon's secretary told me to bring a sports bra to wear home. There is NO WAY I could wear a sports bra, or any other bra, right now. The site is sore and a bit swollen, and my skin is very sensitive from tape (see below). A soft flannel shirt is just right.
I took books, magazines, everything except my ipod; but I didn't use any of them. My dh did a lot of reading while he waited for me during & after surgery, but I was too woozy-headed and just wanted to nap.
My meds were simple: I had 3 meds I was taking regularly, and they gave me those while in the hospital. In addition, they gave me Percoset for pain, Cholase for constipation, and Prilosec. At discharge, they gave me a prescription for the Percoset and Cholase. Since Percoset is an opiate, I doubt they'd have given it to me ahead of time. My dh filled the script as we drove home.
My biggest problem right now is skin damage from the bandaging tape. My skin is thin and sensitive to adhesives, so I have big red blotches everywhere the pressure bandage was taped. On my chest I have a nickel-sized erosion that feels like a burn, where my skin ws actually pulled off with the tape. Another bandage placed over that erosion produced more soreness from tape. I've decided to go tapeless, where possible; and use only the softest cloth tape if taping is necessary.
The nurses made sure I knew how to empty and measure the drain fluid, "recharge" the drains, and strip the tubing. They had me show them I could do it before I left. No big deal so far.
The drains themselves are a problem, of course. This morning I noticed a firm cord running across my chest from my shoulder almost to my sternum. It hurt like heck. When I asked the docs what it was, they said it was one of my drains. They said normally that drain is not so visible because there's more fat over it. On me, it looks like a tendon that wasn't there before.
Oh, and the small, soft pillow was essential for the drive home. It kept the shoulder harness off my chest.
Dx 1/14/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage I, Grade 2, / nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-