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Hysterectomy 7/21: Packing hospital bag? (we stay in hospital longer in australia) Hysterectomy 7/21: Packing hospital bag? (we stay in hospital longer in australia)

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Unread 07-17-2015, 07:02 AM
Hysterectomy 7/21: Packing hospital bag? (we stay in hospital longer in australia)

hi all, I have been reading all the pre op forums now for a few weeks and have checked out the what to pack article, but I've noticed you all seem to be in and out of hospital really quickly (lucky you!!) where I'm having my hysterectomy you go in 24 hours before surgery and stay for 4-5 days after (hate hospital so this is scaring me so much) I guess what I'm wanting to know is what are the must haves the day before surgery (LAVH) and the first week after???
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Unread 07-17-2015, 07:31 AM
Re: Packing hospital bag (we stay in hospital longer in australia)

Hi Sarahmc.
I'm in Australia too. I've noticed the same, we spend more time in hospital in Aus. I'm going in the day of my surgery but have been told I'll be in for at least three / four nights. I've been in hospital before for a week at a time so I know what to take I suppose. Toiletries of course, PJ's, comfy tops and plenty of clean underwear and slippers. Maybe some magazines and a book?? If I am anything like I've been in the past after surgery I won't really be interested in reading 😩
Unread 07-17-2015, 07:39 AM
Hysterectomy 7/21: Packing hospital bag? (we stay in hospital longer in australia)

I'm in Melbourne and I had a da Vinci robotic hyster. My surgeon was suggesting I could go home about 30 hours after my surgery - and I have private health insurance!! I insisted on a second night and wished I had stayed longer.
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Unread 07-17-2015, 08:00 AM
Hysterectomy 7/21: Packing hospital bag? (we stay in hospital longer in australia)

I spent a week recovering in the hospital before.

Snacks. It became a real pain to have to order every single item and wait for it to be hand delivered. Sometimes I just wanted a snack. It was really nice having a stash of things I could get myself on the way back from the bathroom.

A blanket. I don't know about you guys, but our hospitals are cold and the blankets are super thin. I like to brink a personal size throw blanket, a lot of people prefer their own pillows too.

Chapstick, lotion, cough drops to rehydrate. Hospitals are very dry.

Your own toiletries, shower stuff, toothbrush and toothpaste, brush, face cloths, whatever you use, deodorant, qtips.
Unread 07-17-2015, 08:21 AM
Hysterectomy 7/21: Packing hospital bag? (we stay in hospital longer in australia)

I am in the UK and was in hospital for 5 days. I brought books but never opened them. I was too tired to be able to concentrate enough to read. All I really needed was a nightgown (pajamas with bottoms are no good for a catheter), slippers, toothbrush, toothpaste and phone with charger.I ate the meals the hospital provided.(It is likely that you will be dealing with gas and constipation, so won't have much of an appetite.) Wear loose, comfortable clothing that won't hurt your incision when you go home.
Unread 07-17-2015, 10:08 AM
Re: Packing hospital bag (we stay in hospital longer in australia)

I'm in Canada and had abdominal surgery. I was told to expect a stay of 3-4 days (i.e. leaving on the 3rd or 4th day after surgery). As things happened, I recovered well. My doc told me that staying a fourth day was up to me. The nurses at the hospital were sweet but I was getting bored and felt confident of being able to take care of myself at home, so I asked to be released. My roomie elected to stay another day, she and her husband just felt safer that way.

First, expect to be up and walking soon after surgery. The nurses had me out of bed for a walk around the ward the first morning after surgery. By the second day, I was walking multiple laps around the ward. This means that you need comfortable footwear with non-skid soles, something you can slip on which will then stay securely on your foot. I bought a pair of Croc wannabes for $5 CDN at Walmart and they were perfect.

I wore the mesh panties and hospital gown that the hospital supplied because they gave me clean ones every morning and someone else had to the laundry. However, I'm tall, with long skinny arms. Those hospital gowns don't go down to far on me, and my bare arms were chilly in the hospital's A/C. My long-sleeved, calf-length lightweight bathrobe was the perfect thing to wear for walking laps and then sitting in an armchair to rest and read. Got it for $7 at a thrift store and it even kind of matched the crocs.

A nurse came in with a basin, washcloth and bar of soap every morning to help me have a sponge bath from the waist up. I was glad I brought my own toothpaste and toothbrush, also my hairbrush. Since there was no opportunity to wash my hair, giving it a good, hard brushing everyday made me feel more human.

I brought a sleep mask and earplugs to help me sleep at night but never needed them. I actually slept quite well! Hand lotion and chapstick were a must in the dry air. I *wish* I'd've brought a large container for water as the nurses kept bringing me tiny little cups that did no good. A friend came in to visit me the first day after surgery, went out to a convenience store and came back with four one-litre bottles of Aquafina. Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!! :-)

A colourful cloth bag was useful to keep smaller items from getting lost, esp at night - glasses case, hair clip, watch, pack of tissues, chapstick, etc. For the first day, when I stayed mostly in bed, I hung it off the bed rail.

Food: I ate the hospital food, it was fine, small portions of simple, bland foods. When I got home, I found that my usual fare didn't appeal. My body wanted... Yup. Small portions of simple, bland foods.

I'm ovo-lacto vegetarian and made sure that this was on my records when I was admitted. The hospital sent a dietician up to talk to me and find out exactly what I would and would not eat. She looked a little panicky when I said I don't eat fish, but calmed down again when I pointed out that I *do* eat yogurt, cheese, eggs and peanut butter.

I was also told that the nurses had a stash of crackers and peanut butter on the ward for snacks.

Now, entertainment. I had a large window near my bed. Watching it was really fascinating the first day after surgery, when my body was full of anesthetic and narcotics. By the second day, I was up out of bed and also up for something a little more challenging. I brought a selection of reading material, ranging from a bulb catalog with nice photos to a couple of short-story collections to collection of geological essays. I blasted right through the catalog and the stories the second day after surgery and was getting into the essays by bedtime.

I also brought a notebook and pen for scribbling and found this useful.

The hospital had televisions you could rent. I was just as glad that my roomie didn't rent one, as I find the monotone drone of television annoying. I think it may also have been possible to rent a telephone? Not sure on this.

I'd be wary of bringing anything that requires being plugged in to recharge. My room had a notable shortage of free electrical outlets. There were outlets, but they were in use. My IV stand with its two separate pumps (IV and epidural cath) took up two all on its own. The hospital directions said specifically not to bring any electrical appliances except razors.

Bedding: the bed was quite comfortable, with multiple blankets and two pillows. I held one pillow against my belly for support when sleeping (on my side - I can't sleep on my back at all) and used the other for my head.

I also needed a pillow between my belly and the seatbelt for the drive home, but the friend who was driving me brought one.

Valuables: don't. I brought my provincial health card, my photo ID, a credit card "just in case" and $20 CDN cash, also just in case. I stashed my wallet and my apartment keys way, way down at the bottom my pack when I stripped off in pre-surgery prep.

I wore loose, comfortable clothes for my trip *to* the hospital. The pants were so loose I used a large safety pin to make the waist a bit narrower. When it came time to check out, I took the pin out and the pants fit perfectly. :-) I had no trouble pulling a sports bra and T-shirt on over my head.

The hospital will supply sanitary pads while you're there. I wore one out of my own stash for the trip home, but I could just as easily have asked a nurse for one.

Finally, don't forget morale! If you can bring one small thing that will make you feel better, bring it. Maybe it's a photo of your family. Maybe it's a religious or spiritual item. I brought what I jokingly referred to as a "pet rock," a billion-year old chunk of marble I'd collected near my home. It's from one of the province's two oldest rock formations. That rock had *endured*. It had been through a continental collision, the rifting apart of the Altlantic Ocean and numerous ice ages - and it's still here. I brought that rock to remind myself that *I* would endure and survive too.

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