In my Wide Brim Ribbon Roller hat by San Francisco Hat Company

In my Wide Brim Ribbon Roller hat by San Francisco Hat Company

September 2, 2013 | by Darcy Blake

Goodbye to Magnetic Jewelry
“You could try it,” said my doctors at Kaiser Permanente, Redwood City rather reluctantly, when I asked them about wearing my magnetic jewelry after Deep Brain Stimulation surgery. “But if it turns off your stimulator, you’ll have the answer.” The fear of messing with my DBS hardware did it for me. I packed up my favorite bracelet of Italian black leather bands and a silver magnet clasp for my daughter. And what about the full set of Nikken magnets that I believe saved me from arthroscopic shoulder surgery in 1993? What a lifetime investment that was. They’re now in my son’s room.

The Underpinnings
Then there’s the stuff no one mentions. Like, on the day after your DBS surgery that leaves you with a 3 1/2 “ incision mark three inches above the middle of your breast do you really think you’ll be able to hitch up an underwire bra? Maybe this isn’t a problem if you have a super long torso, a particularly long chest or maybe you’re a size AAA. But if you are like me, 5’3 ½” with a medium size bust, the thoughts of hooking up any sort of underwire bra (forget the push-ups) even if you could put your arm behind your back is out of the picture. Ouch!

So what’s a girl to do? After posing incognito in some regular cotton camisoles in front of a squad of home repair people, I upgraded my look by wearing what is termed in the business, a sleep bra. I never understood who in their right mind wears a bra to bed, but I am ever so grateful for them now. There are a few brands that carry these lifesavers, and I can point out some of the nuances of them.

Hanro Touch Feeling Crop Camisole Top 1810
At the top of the line, and certainly the priciest is Hanro Touch Feeling Crop Camisole Top 1810. It is advertised as a lightweight unlined crop camisole for light yoga workouts, lounging or as an everyday bra. This bra feels divine! Although it doesn’t provide full coverage the way your regular bras do—meaning it is a tad see through if you wear white—you will look and feel a darn bit better than if you don’t wear a bra. Made of state-of-the-art microfiber, Hanro lingerie items are investment pieces that will last for years to come.

They will have to last so long because they cost a fortune. I scoured the internet for some closeouts and managed to hack off $30 to $40 off this pricey little garment, but if you pay full price, you’re talking about $86 at last look, and that isn’t counting postage. The Hanro Touch Feeling bra is totally metal free. The pull-over styling eliminates the need for metal hardware. The elastic shoulder straps do not adjust, but it is perfect for petites. Pure heaven to wear!

If you absolutely refuse to pay a small fortune, you can also try out Ahh Bra, Coobie, Bali Barely There, and cheaper still are some of the two-for-one sets you can find in Macy’s, Marshalls and TJ Maxx. The thing to watch out for in the “other” brands, is make sure the elastic is not near the incision, and doesn’t expand and retract on your incision. That might happen depending on the cut of the neckline. Ouch!

A Clean Scarf
Then we come to your head. How will you display your stitched up head? For two to three weeks, you will have stitches. That is a time that you will mainly be in the house anyway, but should you go out, you’ll want to cover your head in some freshly washed cotton or silk scarves. I say fresh washed, because when the nurse was taking out my stitches, she lamented that sometimes guys will come in with a baseball hat that they have lived in 24/7 for 10 years or so without washing it, and the grit and grime is like a petri-dish ready for discovery. If you wear a scarf, just be sure that it is a clean one. You don’t want to infect your healing incisions!

San Francisco Hat Company Hat
Once your stitches are out, you will need something else. If a scarf treatment is too severe and itchy for you, you still need something to shield your scars from UV rays as the incision heals. I recommend a San Francisco Hat Company hat.

I bought a Wide Brim (5”) Ribbon Roller hat at the local Ducky car wash gift shop. I love it because it made of cute striped ribbon, it is washable, and the stretchy, moisture wicking sweatband is soft, and comfortable. When UV radiation strikes a fabric, part is reflected, part is absorbed, and the rest is transmitted through the fabric to reach the skin. As measured by a radiometer, if 1/50th or less of UV radiation passes through a textile, it is awarded the highest rating of UPF 50+, which means it blocks 49/50 or 98% of harmful UV radiation. This San Francisco Hat was tested and rated in accordance with AATCC  183, ASTM D6544, and ASTM D6603 at the International UV Testing Lab, Auburn University, Alabama, USA.

Oh, Those Sunglasses
The wide brim serves another useful purpose. As I have written before, due to the swelling of your head, you may find sunglasses are very uncomfortable. The broad brim of this hat makes it possible for you to not wear sunglasses, which makes it much more comfortable when you are out with your walking sticks building back your stamina!




7 thoughts on “What Not to Wear After DBS

  1. Thank you Darcy. Sometimes it’s so hard to get the “where the rubber meets the road” information. Best to you, and great photo!

  2. Can I ever relate to this! The underwire bra thing – doesn’t matter what size you are, underwire is out! You can just take the wires out of your bras. They don’t define your figure as well, but at least it is more comfortable. One other thing to note: no colouring your hair while the incision heals. I had just the front of my head shaved, and I had to let it grow out gray for about six months. And I don’t know if this is common, but I had the DBS for almost six years now, and the tunnel of wires across my scalp still feels swollen and sore. It is comforting to hear of others with the same surgery, misery does love company.

  3. Pingback: DBS Success at 7 Weeks | Parkinson's Women Support

  4. I am due for the operation and am scared to death. Thank you for clearing up some facts for me. Specially the hair situation, as I have long hair. Also the speech side effects.. I am someone who love talking!

  5. My Neuro is considering DBS for me and I was so excited that I haven’t really considered the risks or postsurgery effects.Thank you for making me more aware of some things to expect.

  6. I am in the process of finding out if I am a candidate for bilateral DBSfor dystonia. I have been reading about some people having enormous amounts of weight gain.Have you had any problems with it?I am not afraid of this surgery,but I’m afraid of weight gain.Call me vain.
    I actually have my appointment on Wednesday to see if I am a candidate. how long did it take you from being told you would have the surgery to getting it?
    Thank you

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