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Questions On Hospital And At Home Needs ??? Questions On Hospital And At Home Needs ???

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Unread 09-10-2001, 10:41 AM
Questions On Hospital And At Home Needs ???

Hi to all !

I am scheduled for a TAH/Bladder suspension on Monday, 9/17. I have a knee surgerys and a D&C, but these were all out-patient and much different than what i have to look forward to. My question is this: I need to spend this week preparing and wonder what I should take with me to the hospital and what should I have ready for when I get home. I live in a 2 story house with 2 full baths upstairs and a 1/2 bath downstairs. I will sleep in the guest room with the 1/2 bath, but not sure how I will navigate the stairs to shower. Mainly concerned that I am prepared both for the hospital stay and for when I get home.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated !!!!!

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Unread 09-10-2001, 11:07 AM
Questions On Hospital And At Home Needs ???

Hi Lori. I had a TAH and last minute appendectomy last Tuesday and I definitely over-packed for my trip to the castle. I won't go into the list of things I TOOK to the hospital, but instead I will list for you only the things I actually USED.

1. One knee length night gown
2. Hairbrush
3. Shampoo
4. Hershey Kisses the hospital staff and my guests

That's it!

The hospital room (brand new Women's Center) even had a built-in hair dryer so I didn't even need that. The clothes I wore to the hospital are the same clothes I wore home.

Once I got home, the only things I needed close by were a telephone, a clock, Motrin, my laptop computer and lots of pillows. I did move my pj's to a higher drawer in my dresser so that I wouldn't have to bend down to get them.

I am day 6 into recovery and feel surprisingly well. I can easily get in and out of bed and I move freely about the house. I have even done the stairs without so much as a twinge of pain. I haven't taken any pain meds (not even Motrin) since day 4 and I am fully mobile and able to care for myself. I really expected this whole ordeal to be MUCH WORSE. It's been a breeze! I'm starting to feel real guilty milking this "princess" thing for all I can get out of it!

I hope you and the rest of our September sisters have as easy a time with this operation as I have! Best of luck to you!
Unread 09-10-2001, 11:15 AM
Questions On Hospital And At Home Needs ???

the hippos - have time for a few more questions????

1. What are you eating and drinking?

2. Did you buy a "bed wedge" if so did you feel you need it?

3. Any gas problems? What worked/what did not?

4. Did your doctor have you do any bowel prep stuff?

Glad to hear you are doing so well!



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Unread 09-10-2001, 12:01 PM
Questions On Hospital And At Home Needs ???

Hi Traci. I'm happy to answer all the question you might have! I am so bored at 6 days post-op that I'm happy to have something to do!

1. The day of surgery and the day after surgery I stayed on a clear liquid diet. Mostly water. A few sips of cranberry juice. I really didn't have an appetite at all. On day 3 I graduated to a "soft" diet of oatmeal, grits, sherbet, but still drank lots of water. Since then I have been eating normally but trying to fill up on fruits & veggies and things that are good for me.

2. I didn't buy a bed wedge and really don't think it's necessary. I just have lots of pillows around me. I have been able to sleep on my side since about day two but I like to "hug" a soft pillow when I do.

3. The only real gas problems I had were the evening of the day after surgery. I had been in bed with an IV and catheter for the first 24 hours, but on that second day I was up and down quite a bit using the restroom often because of all the water I was drinking. That's when my innerds woke up and things started moving around in there. It seems like all of a sudden my tummy swelled up and I felt real bloated and full of gas. The nurses told me that hot drinks would help so I drank three cups of hot tea, took two pain pills that knocked me out and I slept through the night. By Thursday morning I felt much better and started passing some of that gas. Been passing gas a good bit since, but haven't had those gas pains like I did Wednesday night. This might be more info than you want to know. . . but I had my first BM this morning. No pain, no problems at all. Perfectly normal. (but it was 6 days in the making!)

4. As far as a bowel prep goes, I was instructed to take 2 ounces of Milk of Magnesia the morning before surgery and then a Fleet enema the night before surgery.

Any other questions?? I am happy to help!
Unread 09-10-2001, 12:05 PM
Questions On Hospital And At Home Needs ???

HI Lori!

All I used out of the pile of stuff I took to the hospital were:

slippers (slip-on)
chap stick

I didn't end up needing the underwear and pads I had packed, because I was lucky and didn't have any bleeding, but you may want to bring some. I also didn't feel up to changing into my pajamas, or reading any of my books.

Once you're at home, you'll need to have some comfortable clothes to wear. I found men's pajamas very comfortable, because the large, drawstring waists came up well above my incision, and the button-up tops didn't have to go over my head (hard to get my arms up). You will probably want to have large, "granny-panties" in a size or two large than you normally wear (you will be swollen and sore!).

Have a tummy pillow handy at all times! This would be a small pillow that you hold against your abdomen when you have to sneeze or cough. Keep it where you can grab it with only a second’s notice! I had a sneeze sneak up on me once when I couldn’t grab my pillow – ouch! It felt like my insides exploded.

If your doctor says you can do stairs (mine said once or twice a day only), I found it much more comfortable to take the stairs going sideways (it didn't pull on my abdomen that way), and I held on to the railing as I went VERY slowly.

Have plenty of no-preparation foods on hand, like fruit, soup, cereal, snack bars, etc. I had absolutely no appetite for a couple of weeks, and my frantic husband finally convinced me to drink some Ensure, which went down ok. You may want to have some of that in the fridge for times you just don’t feel like eating, but need nourishment.

Also, buy PLENTY of juice! You will need to drink LOTS of liquids when you get home to help with the gas. I got bored with the same type of juice, so my husband bought lots of different types, and put them in small containers for me (I found it difficult to lift and pour large containers for awhile). Don't drink anything carbonated, and don't use a straw (makes the gas worse).

I also found a shower chair very helpful. Standing up long enough to shower wore me out! You could also use any plastic chair that will fit in your shower.

VERY IMPORTANT: have anything you might need at waist-level. This includes toilet paper, pads, clothing, cups, food, plates, etc. Believe me, you will NOT want to bend or reach for anything! The house may look cluttered for awhile with everything sitting out on counter tops, but it's worth it!

If you’re going to be alone, make sure the phone is where you can reach it at ALL times! Several of us have gotten “stuck” (couldn’t get off the couch without help, problems in the bathroom, etc.), and have needed to call for assistance.

After about 10 days, when I felt a bit better and felt like doing more than just lying around, I got a little bored. Here are some things I did to occupy myself, without hurting myself!

Reading LOTS of books
Writing long letters to friends and family (real letters, not e-mail!)
Organizing photo albums
Drew out plans for the garden
Bought a tape to improve Spanish skills
Watching lots of movies
Crafts, quilting, etc.

Traci, I already listed what I ate up above, but to answer your other questions:

I didn't use a bed wedge, but I did sleep in our guest bed for awhile (our bed was MUCH too tall, and didn't want my husband to accidentally bump into me). I used pillows beside me and under my knees to help get me comfortable.

As far as gas, I found walking and drinking lots of fruit juice took care of it for me, but talk to your doctor about over-the-counter remedies he/she can recommend, in case that doesn't take care of it.

I didn't have to do any bowel prep, other than eating/drinking nothing after midnight the day before, but most ladies ended up with some type of bowel prep. It is extremely important that we each follow our doctor's pre-surgery instructions to the letter! In the year I have been on the boards, I have seen several ladies who had their surgery cancelled at the last minute due to not following their prep instructions exactly.

Good luck!
Unread 09-10-2001, 12:20 PM
Correction to my hospital list!

Sorry, Chemyn's post reminded me that I DID use my toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant also!
Unread 09-10-2001, 12:30 PM
Questions On Hospital And At Home Needs ???

Looks like a simple list of items. Most of the items I already have on hand!

I did buy some (3) extra pillows last week (big sale at K-mart) of various sizes and firmness. Did not know what I would need! So I may just forget the bed wedge. I confirmed they are in stock at a home medical shop here for 30.00. Can ask DH to pick one up if I really need it later.

Will start looking for juice and soup sales now!!


Unread 09-10-2001, 01:16 PM
Take little to Castle

I am just home 3 days from the hospital and I overpacked. The most important things to take are:
1. lipbalm
2. hair brush or comb
3. tooth paste & tooth brush
4. out fit to come home in and slip on shoes (I found soft long dress that just dropped over my head with no binding waist for $3.00 at end of summer sale and it was perfect!
5. slippers
6. TV Guide and couple other magazines
7. pen and paper
Everyone said keep it to a minium and they were right and I took too much as I always do when I travel. I did not use my own robe or nightgown (I went out and bought new ones) as my IV was in longer than expected because the doctor was too busy to get to me until dinner time 9/6 and said I could go home noon next day. It is hard to put on pretty robes and gowns if you have IV in. When it was time to leave the hospital the ride home was no problem. The seatbelt actually felt good over my tummy pillow and I enjoyed the ride. My house sounds like yours. I come down stairs in the morning and land on my reclining sofa for the day and go upstairs when it is time to go to bed. The stairs have been no problem for me and I am on no more pain medication than Motrin since 48 hours after surgery. I had TAH/BSO and Appendix removal on 9/4. Yes, my tummy is tender, very, but I love my tummy pillow and if I cough or sneeze I push it against my tummy as hard as I can. I have had no problem in the shower. I shaved my legs yesterday and washed my hair at the same time. I blew my hair dry, and I have a thick head full, no problem. Today, I have been up and down the stairs a couple of times to change to lighter weight robe but as my doctor said, there is no limit on the stairs, just use your head. If you go down stairs, stay there for a good length of time and when you need to go upstairs, stay upstairs for a while. Rest in between trips. It does not hurt to do stairs just go slow and hold the railing and take your time and do not carry things. Have a tummy pillow on both floors. My worst problem has been getting comfortable in bed at night. I have body pillows on each side, a water pillow under my head and my tummy pillow. It is quite a picture at night, me, my husband and a 17 1/2 pound black cat and pillows galore in a king size bed. It works! Good luck and best wishes to you. Let me know how you make out.
Unread 09-10-2001, 01:58 PM
Questions On Hospital And At Home Needs ???

Hi Black Cat Lady. Our surgeries were the same day. I am happy to hear (read?) that your recovery is going well. I am so surprised at how little I hurt and how mobile I am at 6 days post op! How 'bout you? Maybe we are just the lucky ones??

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