I went for my first surgery dressed in jeans. It was a day surgery, needless to say, that was a horrible idea. Dressing up afterward was not easy, my bladder was sore and my urethra was upset that a catheter had gone visiting, yet there I was trying to keep up with fashion and fit into a snug pair of jeans while anesthesia coursed through my veins. For another one of my surgeries, I wore a loose dress but I over packed and looked like I would be staying at the hospital for several weeks.
Five surgeries later, I have narrowed the contents of my bag down to necessities and comfort. Before I pack it, I ask myself is it necessary? Will it make me feel more comfortable?
Here are a few items that make it into my bag:
For the hospital stay
- Surgery documents, pre-authorization forms if you need them
- A packet of pads or panty liners in case you bleed post-op
- Toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, flannel, shower gel/soap, lip balm, lotion, comb/brush )
- Wet wipes to freshen up
- Low waist or high rising underwear ( granny panties) that don’t touch the incision scars, and are easy to wear and remove
- Comfortable bra preferably without an underwire
- Shoes that are easy to slip on like sandals so you don’t have to bend
- Entertainment: colors and coloring book, a book to read, music/ podcasts to listen to
- Sweater and socks if you feel cold
- A blankie / Maasai blanket
- Phone and charger
- A notebook – note down any questions you have that you want to ask the doctor before the surgery and any questions you want to ask during your post operation review. Also, you can write down the side effects of drugs to look out for when you go home.
- Snacks – if you carry any, make sure that they do not cause bloating
For the journey home
- Comfortable clothes to leave the hospital – yoga pants or a maxi dress
- A pillow
- Something to fold and put between you and the safety belt.
Confirm what your hospital gives you so that you decide if you need to add items onto this list.
As you plan for the surgery, I pray that you will experience God’s peace and that His joy will be your strength. May you know that He is right there with you through it all.
Deuteronomy 31:8 New International Version (NIV)
8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Is there something that you packed and was a lifesaver, that you’d like to share with other endo warriors? Please leave a comment below.