Now’s when it’s frustrating to do this abroad

So with 48 hours to go until I enter the hospital, Del and I spent all day trying to get the last things in order. The most important thing for me to get is a reclining chair for my home recovery. I’d also like back massager. If I were in America this would all take 2 hours. I’d get in my car, drive to one of a gajillion furniture stores and pick up a recliner. (Assuming I didn’t borrow one from the plenty of people I must know who have one.) Then I’d go to the mall, walk into Sharper Image and get myself a massager. Of course, I could probably just go to Walmart/Target.

But here? Life’s not not that convenient. I have no idea where to find either. And they’ll be pricey. Oh, and I don’t have a car. Usually I love this. But not today, as the stores we need are always outside of town and not easily accessible by public transport.

First, I wrote to all my Belgian friends asking if anyone knew anyone with a chair that we could borrow. If not, where could I buy one? I didn’t even know what stores might have one. Guess what? The Belgians didn’t know where to get these things either.

I did (not surprisingly) receive generous offers to take me to get one if I could figure out where, or to transport one if I found it elsewhere. Del and I thought we had scored big time when ebay Belgium had one – perfect price, perfect condition, even electric. We won it!….but it turns out that the guy who sold it was doing so for a friend. The number he gave us for her does not appear to be correct and we’ve heard nothing further. Typical. Grrrr!

So today Del and I went on a search for a new one. It took all day. First we went to IKEA. Rejoiced when we found a couple that (were much more expensive and less perfect, but) would suffice. However, we can’t get it with less than 6 weeks notice. We then took the bus further and further outside of Brussels where a lot of effort and searching led us to only one furniture store offering the chairs. In the $1200-$2500 range, and not even that great. Double grrrr!

I can only hope that the ebay people come through at the last minute. Doubtful, but I have to be optimistic. Anyhow, other than these 2 things, I’ve prepared myself for the surgery with:

• face cloths (for easy face cleaning)

• large, loose clothing (that I can wear comfortably and also bleed on)

• an iPod full of movies that my boyfriend wouldn’t see (thanks, sis!)

• a pile of good books

• A lighter (to burn my falsie in celebration when I need a cheer up!)

• I’m expecting the the hospital will give me something to carry my ton-o-tubes. (?)

UPDATE:  • oh, and fans (The kind that Spanish women use.) – to combat the (recently harsh) hot flashes.

I wonder, if I sit in the bath allllll day tomorrow, you think it would hold me over till I can properly shower again? Hmmm. It might be relaxing to try anyway.

Am I forgetting anything? Anyone having tips for things that might prepare me/make me more comfortable, I’m eager for suggestions! Thanks!



Filed under breast cancer, surgery, this time THIS year

2 responses to “Now’s when it’s frustrating to do this abroad

  1. They are going to make you walk in the hospital so bring some pjs… pull on pants with a button shirt. Don’t forget socks or you’ll have to wear their lame slippers.

    Also, here’s a suggestion for a reclining chair… the hospitals here have them in the maternity wards & such for husbands to “sleep-in” with the mothers. Perhaps you could rent one from the hospital or a hospital supply house like you would a hospital bed.

    Best of luck on Monday. I’ll be thinking of you.

  2. so many thanks! more good advice! you’ve been awesome stella!!!!

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