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I'm scared. What can I expect? I'm scared. What can I expect?

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  #1  
Unread 03-13-2012, 03:47 PM
I'm scared. What can I expect?

My surgery is not even scheduled yet, but I am terrified. Each day that goes by makes me more tense and nervous. I know what to expect after the surgery from what I have read here, but I have not found out too much about what to expect beforehand. I know each situation is unique, but I need some sort of an idea of what to expect. Here are my questions y'all may be able to help me with.

1. What should I expect the day of? Do you check in the same day or the night before?

2. How long should the surgery take. I go in tomorrow to have an ultrasound done to ensure that things are the way they need to be and if they are, I am having a vaginal hysterectomy.

3. Is the hospital stay just a big ball of pain or is there time to read and such? I am going to bring my laptop and my iPad because I go to school full time and have loads of stuff to do, but I am trying to get an idea of whether I should bring books or magazines.

4. Should I bring my own blankets and such or just use theirs?

5. Any other advice you may have would be nice. I saw the list to bring to the hospital and some of the things on there I never would have thought of, but they will be nice to have. Like the belly band thing.
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  #2  
Unread 03-13-2012, 04:03 PM
Re: I'm scared. What can I expect?

Relax, I will try to answer some of your questions... But realize that every doc, and every hospital are a bit different. I have been a nurse in several, so in general, here you go:
1. The day before surgery you may have a bowel prep of some sort. Plan to be in your home, near the toilet, and get some flush able wipes because your bottom will get raw!
2. The day of surgery you will not be able to have anything by mouth after midnight. If you take medication, including herbal, vitamin, over the counter and supplements, ask your doctor when to stop taking them, and when you should take morning medication.
3. You may or may not go in the night before. It depends on your health and if there are any tests to run beforehand.
4. Surf can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. It all depends on the amount if work they need to do in there.
5. The hospital stay you will mostly sleep through. I can almost promise you will not want to study, not will anything stick in your brain. Light reading will be ok, but you will doze off a lot. Even visitors aren't enough to hold your attention, you will be super tired, so keep visitors to a minimum, maybe bring one thing to study, if your up for it, great. Either way a vaginal is typically only one night, so there won't be time to get a whole lot done!
6. As for blankets, you can use theirs, no sense getting all the yucky junk on yours. I tend to get really cold in moderate temperatures 75-80 degrees, so I'm bringing my electric blanket, but usually theirs are fine. Bring your own pillows though, because hospital pillows are crap.
7. I packed some juice, because I don't like apple, orange or cranberry, and that's usually the only choices. I packed a pillow pet, toiletries etc, and also some really soft comfy homemade hospital gowns that actuallY cover my bum! And nice fuzzy slippers. I can't stand those non slip socks!

Hope this helps, although your prep experience may differ somewhat. We are all here for you! Hugs!
  #3  
Unread 03-13-2012, 04:23 PM
Re: I'm scared. What can I expect?

My surgery is not even scheduled yet, but I am terrified. Each day that goes by makes me more tense and nervous. I know what to expect after the surgery from what I have read here, but I have not found out too much about what to expect beforehand. I know each situation is unique, but I need some sort of an idea of what to expect. Here are my questions y'all may be able to help me with.

1. What should I expect the day of? Do you check in the same day or the night before?

I checked in the morning of surgery-I had a "welcome" packet when I went in for pre-op blood tests that walked me through everything. My surgery was at 9 am, I arrived at 7:30 having had no food, drink, and had smoked my last cigarette the night before. I took my two blood pressure pills the morning of with a tiny tiny sip of water. Ask your nurse in charge of surgery-pre op any questions-that's what they are there for, to help you get through this with ease.

2. How long should the surgery take. I go in tomorrow to have an ultrasound done to ensure that things are the way they need to be and if they are, I am having a vaginal hysterectomy.

My surgery took 2 hours. I had a bikini cut (C-section) hysterectomy, not vaginally because I had never had children. They took my uterus and my cervix, and left my two ovaries and one fallopian tube. If you are not having a divinci, or lapriscopic, it could take from 1-2 hours, or more if they painting a picture inside there tee hee.

3. Is the hospital stay just a big ball of pain or is there time to read and such? I am going to bring my laptop and my iPad because I go to school full time and have loads of stuff to do, but I am trying to get an idea of whether I should bring books or magazines.

The first day you are on so many pain meds, it's really foggy. Family/friends usually come to visit, but when they have to go home, and if you have roommates in the hospital hogging the television, magazines and books are a friendly companion. I slept and ate, slept some more, and aparently chatted my head off to my angry roommate I was told...I had pain meds and a block, an epidural, and some other fancy stuff that put me in la la land.....it was a surreal experience, my husband even took a picture of me because he said I was glowing!

4. Should I bring my own blankets and such or just use theirs?

I would just use theirs. Bring your own pajamas for the last day, slippers, socks, and changing clothes for the ride home. The best thing I brought was my bathrobe. Treat yourself as if you are going to a spa for three days. Fuzzy bathrobes, your cough pillow (belly pillow) if you have one (my seamstress best friend sewed one with a matching blanket for me) and my fuzzy slippers. I was in heaven.

5. Any other advice you may have would be nice. I saw the list to bring to the hospital and some of the things on there I never would have thought of, but they will be nice to have. Like the belly band thing.


I didn't use the belly band, but yes, these girls put together an awesome list of items to keep you cozy. and that's what you want, to be cozy and have the things reminding you of home which is your destination. Now I'll tell you the things I was glad these girls told me before I even left for the hospital, and that's to have your princess bed and things made out for your home trip!
I'll tell you how I did it:


1. I put my bed next to the bathroom door (I did not have a master bedroom with a bathroom so I made a "throne room" outside the bathroom door so I wouldn't have to walk as far). I had a weird shaped house so I had a big room outside my bathroom.

2. I had a princess cart. It was a rolley cart stocked to the max! I had pads, ice gel packs, spare underware, 5 nightgowns, towels, pillows, snacks, cooler with drinks (stay hydrated!) my fiber mix (my doctor told me to use Myralax to soften stool, I was SOO GLAD I DID! those pain killers bind you up!) extra blanket, remote control, laptop, puzzle books, and some other stuff my mom needed for her "nurses station" shelf on the cart. The kitchen was upstairs and I was down, so we needed to think ahead. my mom is awesome, she had a hot pot and a gallon of water for my after noon instant coffee craving! LOVE U MOM!

You don't have to go all crazy, but I did because I was celebrating starting a whole new life. I had balloons taped to my walls above my bed with "Ovary" written on them and a sign that said "standing Ovation for the surviving ovary!" it was a "angry uterus going away party" we threw, like a bachelorette party the night before.

Just go with it....this stuff really took the edge off. And I was leaving my cigarette habit behind on the operating table also so I found lots of reasons to celebrate.
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  #4  
Unread 03-13-2012, 06:50 PM
Re: I'm scared. What can I expect?



1. What should I expect the day of? Do you check in the same day or the night before?
I checked in the day of surgery. I waited for a while, then into a gown and onto a bed. RN came and started my IV. Then anesthesiologist came and asks some questions. I was totally freaked and crying the whole time. I think they put somethingnon my IV but not enough because I kept crying. Then into OR, my doctor held my hand and I asked him if I really had to go through with it. Then scooted bum onto OR table. Before I could even look around I had a mask over my face. For some dumb reason I thought it was oxygen and I breathed deep and that's the last thing I remember.

2. How long should the surgery take. I go in tomorrow to have an ultrasound done to ensure that things are the way they need to be and if they are, I am having a vaginal hysterectomy.
I also had a TVH. It took about an hour. I was told I would stay one night but ended up staying for two nights.

3. Is the hospital stay just a big ball of pain or is there time to read and such? I am going to bring my laptop and my iPad because I go to school full time and have loads of stuff to do, but I am trying to get an idea of whether I should bring books or magazines.
The hospital isn't a big ball of pain because you're on morphine. I wouldn't bother bringing anything to read. You will be sleeping and saying things you won't even remember later. All I took was my iPhone and that was plenty. Music to listen to while I fell asleep and I also texted my son.

4. Should I bring my own blankets and such or just use theirs?
The less you have to carry back home the better. Besides hospitals aren't clean. Yuck.

5. Any other advice you may have would be nice. I saw the list to bring to the hospital and some of the things on there I never would have thought of, but they will be nice to have. Like the belly band thing.
I couldn't have worn the belly band. My tummy was unbelievably sore and sensitive. I could hardly stand blankets or my nightie touching me.
  #5  
Unread 03-13-2012, 07:56 PM
Re: I'm scared. What can I expect?

I arrived at the hospital at 7.30, and dressed in nightdress, dressing gown and slippers. I was also given some support stockings to put on to reduce risk of blood clotting.
I was not given any stool softeners etc before, some people are, but was able to go anyway.
They did ask for a urine sample - after I had already been to the toilet!
I read my book till I was called through.
A third year Med student gave me my anaesthetic, and while we were chatting about her training, I zonked out.
Mine was a simple TAH. Large fibroids and cysts, with everything being whipped out, but no adhesions from previous operation scarring to sort out.
No further pain meds needed, just the lovely sleep, drifting in and out for the first day. If fact I have not needed any pain relief at all through my recovery.
Best thing I packed was a sleeping mask!
Hospitals often leave the lights on all night so they can find you for blood pressure tests through the night.
Plus phone, so I could text husband once I woke up.
I couldn't concentrate enough to read much, but did chat to other patients a lot.
The concentration and sponge brain problems go on for months!
I hope you have as good an experience as I did.
  #6  
Unread 03-13-2012, 10:04 PM
Re: I'm scared. What can I expect?

Thank you, all of you. I feel a lot better. Maiden, I will make sure I have my room fully stocked for a few days of vegging. You ideas are perfect. What to expect is common and sounds about what I expected, but for some reason seeing it come from you ladies and knowing it is real, makes a world of difference.
  #7  
Unread 03-14-2012, 08:27 AM
Re: I'm scared. What can I expect?

Think positive and just go for it! That was my philosophy.
Glad I did it.
I took care through my recovery, and have had very few problems.
Best wishes
  #8  
Unread 03-14-2012, 06:56 PM
Re: I'm scared. What can I expect?

I talked to my surgeon today and I had a lot of my questions answered so I am feeling much better.
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