The following are some hints and tips that I have gleaned over the years, that may be helpful to anyone preparing for their surgery. Hope this helps!
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.
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).
WALKING is very helpful with the gas! Walk as often as is comfortable (my walks were VERY short and slow, but I did several a day), and it should really help get your bowels working smoothly again.
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. I kept a tiny cell phone in my pocket all the time. That way, I could even call my home number from inside my house if I needed my husband and he couldn’t hear me!
Also, it may be helpful to have some cash on hand. If you have to ask a friend/neighbor to run to the store to buy some milk, for example, it’s easier if you have some cash to hand them!
Once you’re feeling a bit better, you might start getting a bit bored. Unfortunately, you will be very limited in what you will be able to do. These are some things I did to pass the time, along with some suggestions from other hystersisters:
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.