Timeline — April 17, 2017 — Surgery

One moment, I was counting backward from 10, the next moment I’m waking up in my hospital room with my little dog there to greet me.  What a great surprise.  I’d been through a lot but didn’t feel like it.  The funny thing about a double mastectomy is that you think you’re going to wake up with bandages everywhere and really, you’re just wrapped in plastic wrap.  Go figure!  I had tissue expanders put in so I never quite looked like I didn’t have breasts, which was a little bit of a relief.  Over time the expanders are filled with saline until your skin has expanded enough to accommodate implants, which was my reconstruction method of choice.  There are others methods and pros and cons to each.

For me, the worst part of the BMX was dealing with the drains afterward.  I understand they are necessary, but they drove me nuts.

Here are a few tips about a living with drains:

  1.  First, the best news is that you will probably only need them for two-four weeks.
  2. When I showered with them I often wore a lanyard with clips on the end or carabiners on the end so I could clip the drains to it and hold them in the front of my chest while I showered. It made a big difference.
  3. Initially, when wearing the drains they fill up quickly so you have to be careful with them. In those instances, I typically wore a long top that went past my waist. I also wore shorts or pants with front pockets and I would put the drains in each pocket.
  4. As time went on I would often put them in my waistband where half showed above my waistband and half below. This worked well, especially if my top was a little blousy.
  5. There were a few times when I had to dress up. In those cases, I wore a blousy top and fitted pants or a skirt and was able to conceal the drain.
  6. You can also buy these pockets that you can stick on your clothes on the inside to hold your drains. They never worked well for me, but maybe they will work for you.  You can find them at Amazon.com.

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