i just wanted to share a few tips which a good friend shared after her DIEP and I have recently put into action.
1) do the pre op exercises from the physios
2) buy Bridget Jones knickers ... allow for dressings so maybe a size bigger.
3) a sip flask for water as you may not be able to sit up to drink from a glass and you need to drink plenty water
4) instant ice packs (used for sports injuries) to help cool down other parts of your body whilst they “baste you like a Xmas turkey” to keep the breast really warm to promote the healing of the new breast. The room is kept hot... you have additional dressings over the breast... and I was flushing due to letrozole. And you have the dreaded TEDstockings on too.I made a material pocket and got the staff to crack the ice packs and place them between my feet and on my head .... really helped.
5) being a nurse I knew of the sensory overload of being on a ward... they check your new breast every 15 minutes then every 30 mins building up to every couple of hours ... day and night! So rest is almost impossible. I took in ear plugs and eye mask to shut myself away. They just removed my ear plug to take my temperature!
6) sadly they were not very helpful with personal hygiene... and I was hooked up to a variety of tubes (things did not go straightforward!) so having wipes and lovely fresh smelling goodies was essential. Luckily my daughter was allowed in for an hour to help wash me. Dry shampoo... although my hair was like a barristers wig by the time i escaped! First shower at home was MARVELLOUS!
7) Audio books ...
😎 CALM app or something similar .
9) Get up ASAP and mobilise. Do everything the physios tell you. 10) accept any laxative as the anaesthetic and pain relief may make you constipated and with a abdominal scar you do not want to have to strain!
11) buy Vit C and zinc to promote healing ( do not use pre op)
Hope this is useful. I am 3 weeks post DIEP and feeling more like myself. It is hard work but worth the effort.