Girls Write Out
Thursday, November 26, 2009
It's almost black Friday, and if you're out there shopping in the wild and wooly, my prayers are with you. I won't be there. Mel and I did have to go to Springfield (MO), and caught the front end of crazy shoppers. What I discovered, however, was that women are simply amazing. I've never experienced anything like it. Seriously, you may end up in a cat fight over a sweater or cute purse in a few hours, but if you wear one of the post surgery shoulder harnesses like I'm going to be married to for the next 4 1/2 weeks (I'm counting the hours!!!!) you will find a world of kindness and goodwill. Don't look for it from the men, unless the man is your husband--and he's still a man, you know?--but from the women. We can't help it. We see someone with a wound, and our hearts go all mushy and we do everything we can to heal the booboo. Estrogen or something, I guess. i don't know.

Last weekend when I was with my former high school classmates, they doted on me like I was a toddler, buckling my seatbelt for me, lifting heavy weights, making sure I had everything I needed, and doing without their usual shopping spree because they didn't want to chance my shoulder getting bumped. Yes, that's Doris and Sherry and Tess and Deb I posted about a couple of weeks ago. Of course, their cautions could have something to do with Mel's remark that he wanted us to have fun, but if they let me get hurt, he'd be coming after them. Knowing Mel, they probably didn't take him seriously. Still, it's nice to have a husband who cares enough to take over the litter box patrol, laundry patrol, cat herding, and--far above the line of duty--the bra patrol. (If you have any suggestions for that, I'd welcome them with tears of relief.)

And then there was this total stranger yesterday who approached me as soon as I walked into a store and grabbed my shawl, told me it was on backward, (Mel hadn't noticed. He is, after all, a guy) and proceeded to fix it for me, explaining that she knew what I was going through because her husband had had shoulder surgery a few months ago. And then there was the receptionist at my naturopath who tried to carry my supplements all the way out to the car, and one of the other patients who jumped up and grabbed me a drink of water. Wow. And then of course today my mother fixed all of Thanksgiving dinner and sent it home with us so we'll have meals for the next few weeks.

Kris is right, that grace we receive from others is such a gift from God. He knew what He was doing when he constructed us. What a huge blessing. I can choose not to be the person He created me to be, but I think if I follow His lead, and listen to His voice, I'll be fulfilled in ways I can't imagine.

Seriously, though, if you have any advice about a good, functioning bra that won't cause excruciating pain over the shoulder for a woman who NEEDS that bra, I'd welcome it! You'd be a true blessing if you have any useful information. Oh, and it has to be put on one-handed.

God bless woman.
Hannah Alexander  
posted at 11:46 PM  
  Comments (14)
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At 10:21 AM, Blogger Beverly said...


I appreciate your post! It prompts me to "go ahead" the next time I wonder if I should or shouldn't offer a helping hand in those more personal moments ... like fixing your shawl, etc. That is so sweet!

Can't offer any help on the bra, except to ask, are you SURE you don't want to take the valid excuse to enjoy life "without restraints" for the next 4 weeks? It is one of my secret perks since going through breast cancer and reconstruction ... and its doggone wonderful, I must say! :-) It's winter in Missouri, so I say, "Don, ye now your bulky apparre!" and just "fa-la-la-la-la" your way through the hoildays! :-)

Take care, Hannah! Hope your healing is a peaceful respite in spite of the awkwardness of it!


At 12:22 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

When I get out of my training bra, I'll call you.

At 12:48 PM, Blogger Jaime said...

Best bra I had when I was in a sling for 6 weeks was a FRONT closing bra. You can relatively easily slide it up your bad arm without having to move it and then slip your other arm in. Depending on how "mobile" your bad arm is (i could at least hold the one side with my bad arm's fingers) you can snap the front shut fairly simply with your good hand. Then adjust as needed...

GOOD LUCK! :) :)

At 9:26 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Oh, great, another day of fighting my bra and NOW I hunt down these great messages. LOL.

Yes, Beverly, I have often thought about what it might be like after breast cancer and reconstruction. Not that I would ever ask to go through all that, but if it happened, I'd ask for a B cup and no more. Maybe even A. Breast cancer does run in my family, so it's a possibility; I have to catch myself sometimes when I complain about that area. Women less "blessed", to me, look more feminine and less fat. Unfortunately, insurance doesn't pay for breast reduction surgery. I need to just lose the weight.

Front closing bra was one of my first ideas, but I can actually put on a regular bra, it just really, really hurts my left shoulder to wear it for more than an hour. Strapless, I can't even put on without help.

So the search goes on and on...
Thanks for the suggestions! And yes, always give in to those urges to lend a helping hand. For those few who might not appreciate the offer, most would be deeply touched.

At 2:32 AM, Blogger Cheri said...

There is no easy answer for this one. After shoulder surgery a couple of years ago and then falling and breaking my collarbone near the shoulder on the other side, I can say categorically there is no bra that won't hurt.

If absolutely necessary to wear one, my only answer was to get help. The only relief is no bra strap pulling on that injured shoulder.

Breast cancer also runs in my family. My mom, her two sisters and several cousins did get breast cancer. After talking to my doctor, I decided to have the BRAC test.

It came back negative, and I did breathe easier. I know it doesn't mean I won't or can't get breast cancer, but with the gene I would have an 85% chance of having the disease. If it does run in your family, I would recommend this test. It brings peace of mind not only to me but to my family.

I am so glad you are up and able to get around!

At 1:05 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Thanks, Cheri. I may get that test since it does run in my family. I went to church this morning, had to slip into the bathroom halfway through to remove even the cami strap. Sigh. Just no way around it, straps hurt.

At 9:01 PM, Blogger Cheri said...

I am amazed that you are able to get out and about. It was weeks before I could go to anywhere but the doctors.

I think the best thing for you to get the least amount of pain is to wear loose sweaters or layer! This way, you won't hurt and no one will know. Years ago I had a thoracotomy and the doc said "Get rid of that bra!". LOL, he was right as it was just too painful.

Praying for you Cheryl that you will heal quickly. You are very lucky to have a husband who understands.

At 9:09 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Thanks, Cheri. I'm thinking something Kris said, about going to a prom dress place, where they can give me some of that tape stuff that could provide some support without touching the shoulders, will be my best bet. Mel actually offered to pay for a breast reduction surgery--now, is that a wonderful husband, or what?-- but I realized I don't want any more surgeries than necessary, and this excess size is MY fault. I just need to go on Colleen's diet and lose the weight. And I need to do this before any more surgeries! This is a great incentive.

I just love you girls. I never had sisters, and now I'm seeing more of what I've missed all these years.

At 10:30 PM, Blogger Cheri said...

The tape idea sounds great, unless you are allergic to the tape, lol. Have you thought about a strapless bra? QVC has some from brand name Breezies and they are a really good fit. I haven't bought a strapless, but it might be an idea!

Tell Mel he is a wonderful husband to have suggested the surgery, but I am with you. I don't like pain. I read about that diet but not sure about hormones to lose weight, unless I misunderstood.

Good luck and take it easy!!

At 12:02 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Yeah, pain in any form is just not my style. I've been waiting for others to check out Colleen's hormone diet...LOL she knows I do that. It's worked for everyone else when they've done it right, and since I do take hormone creams, I'm thinking this wouldn't be so bad.

I got a strapless bra the other day. Oh, my goodness. Pain of a different sort. I'm thinking diet...definitely diet. Soon!

At 3:18 AM, Blogger Cheri said...

ROFL after reading about your experience with the strapless bra. And I was just beginning to get sleepy!!

At 7:39 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Hope you did get some sleep last night, after all!

At 11:19 PM, Blogger MD Kohake said...

I would recommend a Spanks bra. They have the kind that clasp in the front and are racerbacks. They are expensive...but by far the best bra I've ever worn. Not sure about the shoulder pain, but I feel much less pressure with this kind than I have with any traditional bras.

At 12:08 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Thanks for this info. We're going back to the doc tomorrow--finally, I'll get out of this stupid sling for a few hours a day! I'll check out the bra.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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