What to wear post surgery

My grandmother turned 82 last Sunday. She is a very opinionated, strong old lady, and to say that it’s not always easy with her, is the understatement of the century. Over the years, she has had her fair share of health problems as well- from kidney surgery, to gall stone removals, to several heart surgeries. I can not remember a day however, not seeing her well put together. Is she vain? You betcha. But, she also swears that she only turned 82 because she never “let herself go.”

Now, I have trouble with that sentiment. If you can never let your guard down, and tell someone how you feel and are, you might end up lonely, lonely, lonely. Over the years however, I have learned to appreciate my grandma’s advice (Damn, she was right, again!). When I am put together (and by that I mean an outfit that doesn’t look like I got dressed in the dark, has no dog slobber on it, and no coffee stains), and have my make-up on, I feel like a different person. Call me superficial, call me silly, but four days after my surgery, I asked my mum to bring me my make-up bag to the hospital.

My hospital selfie after all the war pain was on.
My hospital selfie after all the war paint was on.

But, as with everything, Crohn’s even complicates fashion. What to wear when you need to accommodate the PICC line and this:

photo(2)
My wound a few weeks ago.

I needed to get creative. Here is one option:

photo 1(1) photo 2(3)Underneath, the wound is packed with Aquaphor silver, and then a binder holds everything in place (I hate the binder!). The tights are, well, tight, but they actually support the binder around the waist and help me to walk upright. I call the shirt my bat-wing shirt- it has wide sleeves that make me feel like some artistic genius (whatever.). They have the nice side effect, that when it’s antibiotics time (twice a day) or blood drawing time, I don’t need to take off shirts or get myself discombobulated with sleeves that are tight. And, nobody asks why my left arm looks bigger than my right one.

It looks like my grandmother has passed on her vanity, but so be it. It helps me create a sense of normalcy, when “normal” is something of which I don’t remember ever having the luxury.

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