Sunday, June 6, 2010

All Compression Garments are NOT created Equal

The one on the left is what I woke up wearing in the hospital.  The tag says it's an XL and fits hips 45"-50".  Umm, my hips are 41" and I can't imagine a smaller size in this thing.  It has velcro underneath the zipper and a weird foam strip that is not standing up to repeated washing, of course it does say to hand wash and air dry, but who the hell is going to do that after surgery.  It's also crotchless which I am sure you can see and I hate that about it.  The "reinforced crotch" as it is described is pretty much either right where my incision line is if it is pulled up high enough or if it is a bit lower, cutting across the vertical incision that runs down my thigh. All around pretty uncomfortable unless I stick an ABP pad underneath.  There is one thing I like about this garment however, it unzips completely for placement on your leg.  I would imagine that's why the surgeon uses it.  Weird to think about how they must do that when you are under.

The one on the right is what I ordered from the internets after much research.  Actually there isn't much to read out there.  But I did come across a couple of reviews and they were spot on.  The hook and eye closure is much easier to use than velcro, it has withstood repeated washings already and that fabric is surprisingly soft.  I brought it with to the doctors office to ask if I could put it on instead and he was all, "It's probably better."  The PA commented on how pretty the lace was at the bottom.  It's 30 dollars more than the other one and worth every penny. I actually can't believe they charge 40 bucks for the white one.  Anyway, It is not exactly crotchless but the back has an opening that closes when you stand and opens when you sit letting you poo.  I have had to wash it a couple of times after accidently peeing on it, yes, even with the urinal, in the dark and late at night it's hard to see and tell sometimes.  The only thing I don't like about this garment is that it doesn't let my skin breathe as much as I need.  I am still fighting that fungus and like my Gram used to say, you have to let things breathe down there!

Still these are an important part of recovery.  They hold you together until your body is doing the job on it's own.  It takes a while for your skin to reattach to the tissue underneath and these help force it along.  They also keep your swelling down and I find they help with pain.  Like the last surgery I feel less hurty if things aren't moving all that much.  I'm not sure what the doctor will say about compression garments tomorrow.  They come in two stages, one for the week or two right after surgery, they compress you less (if you can believe it!) and a stage two garment with more compression for several more weeks.  In the link above you can see the stage two garment I bought.  Those don't come with zippers because I guess they assume you are healed enough to wiggle yourself into it.  We'll see.

4 comments:

midlife_swimmer said...

I am picky about my compression wear too. I wear men's often that are for sports and have wicking qualities. At 90lbs from goal with the skin that's there already I appreciate the support.

Sarah said...

That is a great tip! I wish I had thought of that back when... By the way, I love your blog! My fear is not of being seen in a swimsuit but of germs, both in locker room and pool water...

midlife_swimmer said...

You know new pools use shocking chlorine and ultraviolet rays to kill bacteria. I swam in one and it felt like mineral water. I LOVED IT!I do not trust saline or saltwater pools much. My main pools are old school and too much chlorine for my skin but no germs so far. Many new rec centers have family changing rooms that are really clean in the morning because they basically hose it down each night to a drain in the floor and ... I am very picky about what touches surfaces in there and what does not kinda ocd about packing my bag ...and showering with flip flops or slip on sandals is essential.

Sarah said...

Thanks! Again, some good tips. My knee screams for a pool, and by the looks of your arms... if mine benefited even just a fraction of what you've got going on.

Thanks for giving me things to think about...