Dressings or bandages – they can be called either.

Dressings and any ointments need to be changed twice a day along with emptying the drains.  You will probably need two dressings –one over your incision and one over the drain site.  They are probably going to be gauze with a non-stick surface, 2″ x 3″ or possibly larger.  You may be told to put a antibacterial ointment on yourself and that helps to hold the dressing while you get your bra back on.  Getting them to lay flat is initially the only challenge here.  Sometimes it’s hard to see under your boob/replacement prosthesis and it is unlikely that you will be able to feel it as you will be numb.  Your bra will hold the dressings in place once they are in the right spot.  You may need a little tape, but the nurse (the visiting nurse the insurance will pay for and the hospital/clinic provides if you ask for one) can determine that. Visiting nurses are a wonderful help here as you may still be a bit groggy from the anesthesia and they will make sure everything is the way it should be.  If a nurse isn’t helpful, gentle and generally nice – call the hospital/clinic and ask for  another one.  This is your health we are talking about here, not a popularity contest.  Once you get the hang of it after 3 or 4 or 5 or more days, you can change the dressings by yourself.  If after the nurses are no longer visiting and your wounds look really red and/or pus-y, there may be an infection so do not tough that out.  You need to call your doctor right away.  A washcloth soaked in an Epsom’s solution can be used after a week or so for a light cleaning compress – check with your doctor for when it’s okay.  I had trouble healing with a petroleum based ointment as it sat on top of my skin and kept the incision from closing.  You may want to try our Jen’s Gift instead.  It was made for radiation burns, but it works really nicely for healing incisions also.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month day by day information

October is breast cancer awareness month.  Being a survivor and thriving myself, I am thinking of others who may be fighting this scary disease and trusting that they have the love and support of others that I had and continue to have.  My support group is called “Breast Friends.” It is a wonderful group of more than 100 other thriving women (I am so proud of them) who are able to talk about and laugh at our various survivor issues, only one of which is what the lack of estrogen does to our bodies.  To be able to face life’s travails head on and then be able to see some humor in them is never easy, however it’s a really good coping skill to develop.

I have some information to share which might help you feel better in general.  As you can imagine I do quite a bit of research and have found a couple of sites which may give you other information.  Each day for the next month, I will post something I found useful.  I will tell you the subject so if you think it is too much information, you can skip it.

I wish you all good health and remind you that you don’t have to have more chemicals to have a satisfying intimate life.  I thought this was a great discussion.  It’s about 30 minutes but you can stop it part way through and go back to it when you have time to listen.

Our moisturizing and soothing herbal products help women with vaginal dryness, a common and sometimes painful condition,  which affects around 40% of women at some point in their lives.  Menopause, breast cancer or any situation where there is low or no estrogen are some reasons for this dryness.

Last night we had First Thursdays at the Falls, here in Rollinsford, NH.  People drop by with the most interesting questions.  The one that really got my attention last night was “Why don’t people talk about this more often?”  My guess is that people are shy talking about their sex lives.  I have talked with regular doctors who say their menopausal patients never bring up the subject. Women joke about hot flashes being “power surges,” but they rarely talk about vaginal dryness, even to their best friends.

The oncology world is so happy to have patients live that they aren’t that good at thinking about the whole patient and what the effects of their treatment may be.

I say, if men can have viagra and cialis, women can have functioning, pain free vaginas!

Women’s Intimate Solutions, for soothing relief of vaginal dryness.