10 Tips for Shopping after Hysterectomy
Once you start feeling your energy level increase and aren’t feeling pain, you may decide you are ready to go shopping. Even if your doctor releases you to shop, you’ll need to use some caution when you start venturing out. Even though shopping can seem like a harmless task, it can use up your energy faster than you think. It can also put strain on healing areas and leave you hurting and sore.
Before you head out for your first shopping trip, consider these 10 tips which can help your first outings be more successful and minimize negative side effects.
1. Keep it short.
No matter how well you feel, keep your first trips short. You might be surprised as to how quickly your energy disappears and which areas might begin to hurt. Save your all day shopping ventures for a few months down the road when you have healed a bit more and have energy that lasts a bit longer.
2. Take someone with you.
You shouldn’t drive yourself until you are released by your doctor, so you may need a driver for your first outings. Even if you are released to drive, it can be a good idea to take someone with you the first few times you venture out. That way, if you suddenly feel overwhelmed with pain and exhaustion, you’ll have someone to help you and even drive you home.
3. Look but don’t touch.
Even if you are up to walking around the store a bit, you shouldn’t be pushing the shopping cart or carrying the shopping bags. Let others pick up the items you need, push your cart, and carry the sacks. When you return home, you should also let others put your purchases away if they are heavy, require bending and stretching, or if there are lots of them. You can pick up a few small and light-weight items, but be careful and don’t overdo it.
4. Dress appropriately.
For your first shopping trips, it can be helpful to wear supportive clothing that is not too restrictive. The increased activity, especially if you overdo it, could cause some swelling which could make you uncomfortable in tight clothing. You’ll also want to wear comfy shoes that won’t pose a balancing challenge. Now is not the time for jeans or high heels.
5. Consider using a motorized cart.
Using a motorized cart can allow you to get out without overdoing it, though driving these carts can be a bit challenging! If you feel confident you can maneuver a cart, you might choose stores which have them available for customers. You should still keep your trip short, but you may be able to stay longer than if you walk.
6. Choose smaller stores.
Choosing smaller stores can help you keep from overdoing it by limiting how far you would need to walk. It can be easy to overdo it at a big box store or the mall if you continually look at just one more item in one more department or one more store.
7. Choose the day and time carefully.
For your first shopping trips, plan them when the stores won’t be as crowded with people and merchandise. Fridays, weekends, and evenings can be the most crowded. During the night, big box stores can be stocking shelves which could make it hard to maneuver through the aisles. People might be in a hurry and not as careful at lunch time when they are trying to shop in a rush during their lunch breaks. Mornings might be the best time as many will be at work or in school.
8. When alone, accommodate.
The first time you do go alone, be sure to accommodate. Choose smaller versions of the items you normally purchase. Buy only a few essential items rather than everything on your shopping list. Ask clerks to place only a few items in each bag so the bags won’t be too heavy. Choose stores where associates take your purchases to your vehicle. If necessary, when you get home leave non-perishables in the car until after you have rested a bit.
9. Plan to rest.
Because your first shopping trips could leave you exhausted and maybe a bit sore, you should plan to rest after them. Once you are back home, sit back in a comfy chair with a glass of ice water and a stool under your feet. Rest for a bit and minimize your tasks for the rest of the day so your body isn’t pushed too far and you suffer the consequences.
10. Shop online!
If you are mentally ready for shopping but not physically ready to get out, try online shopping. Many brick and mortar stores also have web sites, so you may be able to shop at all your favorite stores in the comfort of your pjs and recliner! You can find many products that are helpful to your recovery at the Hysterectomy Store.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: 10 Tips for Shopping after Hysterectomy