If you read one of my first blog posts (If not, read it here), you’ll know that I am undergoing tests for Endometriosis. I recently got my surgery date, and I will be having a laparoscopy on the 26th May. The gynaecologist said how she’ll first only make 1 incision to see whats going on in there, and then if she finds anything, she’ll then make more to either remove/fix whatever is happening. It will sound ridiculous to those who don’t understand fully, but I know if I only wake up with one cut, I’m going to be devastated. I need answers! I’m starting to think I’m going insane!
I thought though that it may be helpful for others going through the same thing that might not know where to start with packing. I tried to look online for ideas on things to pack for going into hospital, and the majority of the lists were for those going into hospital to have a baby. Also, laparoscopy surgery is usually done as a day case (no overnight hospital stay), but my gynaecologist said how she keeps people in for a minimum of 1 night. My stay is most likely to be looking a little bit longer than the 1 night, since I have had a laparoscopy before to remove my appendix, and I ended up discharging myself on the fourth day (due to a horrible nurse), since I didn’t react well to the anaesthetic, and I couldn’t keep the pain under control. Don’t let me worry you though. This was only my experience, which was made more difficult due to my health conditions, and everyone is different, so don’t panic that you may have to stay in for awhile.
Hospitals sometimes have a list available of things that they suggest to bring in. These are just the items I’m bring with me. Theres no right or wrong thing to bring. Just make sure you’re prepared! Also, since the surgery is taking place on my abdomen, I need to make sure I bring in lots of entertainment that I can use whilst being bed bound.
- Loose fitting clothes – Trust me, you will not want ANYTHING tight pressing on your stomach. It may be more comfortable for you to wear dresses. I usually just stay in my pyjamas the whole time.
- Dressing gown – Depending if you’re lucky enough to get your own room with a en-suite, you may have to be walking around to get to the toilet. Also, who doesn’t feel better whilst wearing a dressing gown?!
- Pyjamas – You obviously can wear the gowns that they usually have patients in (in some hospitals, this is mandatory), but you’ll most likely be more comfortable in your own pyjamas.
- Slippers – Make sure these are easy to slip on and off, and have good grip on the bottom.
- Socks – Hospital are known for being cold.
- Loose underwear – Depending on where the incision sites are, you’ll most likely be wanting a pair a size too big for you. Also, they’re going to be so much easier to remove.
- Period pads – You’ll likely get some breakthrough bleeding since they’ll be prodding around at your uterus…
- Deodorant – Goes without saying
- Shower gel – If you’re going to be staying the night, its best to bring in some shower gel to freshen up. You may not be able to have a shower in the first 24 hours though, so bare this in mind.
- Tooth Brush and Toothpaste – Again, really goes without saying
- Body spray/light perfume – You may not want too, but bringing a body spray or light perfume with you might be a good idea if you’re unable to shower. Just make sure its nothing too heavy… This is a hospital…
- Shampoo and Conditioner – Just be careful with getting soaps and bubbles into your fresh wounds.
- Dry shampoo – Good for freshening up quickly!
- Hair Brush and hair bands/clips – Good idea to bring to get all your hair out the way, and not have to worry about it.
- Face wipes – These will save you from having to bend over the sink and doing a full routine.
- Moisturiser – I always find my skin dries out a lot in hospital
- Lip Balm – Same as above. Also, the tube they put down your throat has to be secured with tapes, and this can also make your lips dry.
- Hand Sanitiser – No thanks germs.
- Wet wipes – Easy way to freshen up ya pits.
- Throat sweets – The tube which will be down your throat will make it quite sore. I personally buy the numbing ones.
- Tictacs – You may feel sick, so have mints available!
- Pillow for car home – I didn’t do this before, but I read online how a lot of people tend to bring a pillow for the car home to put in-between the seatbelt and your stomach.
- Book – You may not be able to concentrate after your surgery, but its best to have something to do whilst you’re waiting to go down!
- Tea – Now this may sound stupid, but I’m bringing in Lemon and ginger, and peppermint tea with me. Not just because I like the taste, but the ginger can stop you from feeling so sick, and the peppermint to help get rid of that horrible gas pain you’ll likely feel in your shoulder for the next couple of days.
- Headphones – If you’re on a ward, I doubt other patients want to hear you watching The Walking Dead at midnight.
- Macbook – You may not have a television in your room, so bring along something you can watch shows/movies on.
- Chargers – I’m mainly writing this on here for a reminder for myself. I always forget something…
- Pills and Potions – Your doctor will likely want to see your medication, and obviously you’ll need it if you’re staying in. Also, like I said above, you get a horrible gas pain in your shoulder, so I’m bring some peppermint capsules along with me. Also, I’d bring along some laxatives, as the medicines they provide can usually bung you up…
What are your essential items to pack for surgery?