View Full Version : packing advice?

09-12-2004, 09:45 AM
hi, everyone...wednesday is "the big day", and i'm wondering what i will need from home when i am in the hospital; what did those of you who've had surgery have from home that you found most helpful? what did you take that you should have left at home? what didn't you take that you wish you had? please let me know...thanks!

09-12-2004, 11:07 AM
Hey Sue,

Good Luck on your surgery! Take your own pillow! That was the first thing that I wanted from home. My dad went home to get it but he grabbed my husband's pillow instead of mine. Some slippers with a rubber bottom (the little isotoner ballet type slipper works great), a lightweight bath robe (for when you start walking in the halls), toothbrush and toothpaste, brush or comb, something very comfortable to wear home. I wore a sweat suit the morning of the surgery and that's what I wore home. Taking books and magazines was a waste. You are to out of it to do any reading. You probably won't even get through one tv show without nodding off. I was in the hospital for two weeks and really don't remember to much of it except a little bit of the last couple of days. I was even nodding off on my visitors! Once again Good Luck! Theresa

09-12-2004, 02:02 PM
Yes, do bring your own pillow. Also a comb and brush. If your hair is long bring something to tie it back with. Toothpaste and brush also. Do forget the book thing....you'll be to out of it to care and to druggy to be able to even read before falling asleep. Bring slippers that you can just slide into, you won't be able to bend over. A light weight robe that is loose fitting for walking in the halls with. I wore a cotton nightgown and robe home. Chances are that you will be more than ready for a nap when you get home. If it isn't volunteered at the hospital, ask for a raised toliet seat. It will make your life so much easier while you are there. Leave all your jewlery at home, even your wedding rings. The hospital will make you take it all off before surgery, and there is a danger of losing it. The hospital will supply you with the non-skid booties....leave them on, even in bed. That way when you are to the point that you can get up and go to the bathroom you don't have to worry about slippers.....especially at 2 am!! Shampoo your hair at home, the day you are to be admitted. Leave out all of the styling products, even cream rinse. You won't be able to shampoo your hair for a couple of weeks and all of the styling stuff makes your hair dirtier faster.
Good luck

09-12-2004, 02:06 PM
This is a P.S :D .....ask for pain med before you leave to go home. It will be a couple of hours before you get any more. By the time you get home and the Rx is filled at your pharmacy, you will proably need a pill.

09-12-2004, 02:16 PM
oh, how i dread not being able to wash my hair!!!!! you all are giving me good advice...i've already taken "war and peace" out of my suitcase! :)

09-12-2004, 02:29 PM

I have a list of useful items on my website at:



09-12-2004, 02:35 PM
hi, linda...i agree that your website is very useful and i've looked at it lots of times!

09-12-2004, 03:30 PM
My doctor told me to prepare for a two to three week stay because of my age (52 going on 53) and because of my asthma and other health conditions. I ended up staying for 7 weeks because of a staph infection (not fun).

Before heading to the hospital, I cut my hair very short. I didn't want to be bothered with it and knew it would grow back quickly. (Boy, was I glad I cut it!)

Then I packed my bags - one for someone to bring the day after surgery, and one to bring later when I was feeling better. The day after stuff included three dusters (similar to short robes but lightweight), hairbrush, battery operated toothbrush, facial soap, things to keep me clean and presentable. I didn't pack any sleepwear, I wore hospital gowns and was so glad I did. The leakage from the infection made a real mess at times. I wore the dusters to roam the halls.

I used hospital pillows - again, glad I did, the infection would have messed up my precious pillow from home.

I wore a sundress to the hospital and my family took my clothing back home the day of the surgery. Going home, I wore one of my dusters. Didn't matter really, I went home by ambulance, lying down because I couldn't bend to get into a car. While at the hospital, I was tranferred to the rehab floor, and my family brought my clothing from home. They teach you to get dressed, etc.

I had surgery on May 7 and May 10, on May 12 I called my daughter asking her to bring my laptop to me. I happily sent out e-mail reports for a few days and then the infection took hold of me. I was out of it for quite awhile. I also don't remember much of my early hsopital time. I had a terrible reaction to morphine and was 'out of my head' for quite a long time until they told me that's what I was getting and I was semi-lucid enough to cause a ruckus. I wasn't supposed to have it.

I did have a book packed in my bag, but couldn't concentrate on it. Mostly I slept, or watched TV (lots of drifting off). It wasn't until I was there about 4 weeks that I started making requests for items from home, including mail, photos, my computer again.

I guess everyone's experience was different, but just don't burden yourself with lots of stuff at the onset. Have it set aside for someone to bring it later when you are feeling up to it.

My weird dreams from the morphine kept me and everyone else amused for sometime. It was better than any TV show. I think I know how writers can write such far out stuff - they must be on hallucinating drugs. :)

Best of wishes for your speedy recovery.

09-13-2004, 10:43 PM
I took a walkman and a book on tape. I can't say I could consentrate on the book, but the sound of the voice plus trying to follow along was helpful in getting my brain to think of something besides the pain. I also had some hard candy to suck on, not to mention chocolate. You have very dry mouth from the meds. Good luck!

09-14-2004, 01:46 AM
Time has gone so quickly..and your surgery is wednesday...be brave,,,just go in like any other doctors appointment....u have a job and just flow with the motions...and when u wake you'll be half way there..the recovery...u will be amazed at how much u can do after surgery,,,when i walked up a flight a staires i felt so proud....bring slip on shoes....and button tops..nothing that needs to slip over your head...i enjoyedn my own PJ in the hospital....and 2 take a shower was the best...good luck i'll be thinking and praying for u...

09-14-2004, 07:10 PM
Best wishes ... i'll keep you in my prayer ... keep us posted.

09-22-2004, 03:08 AM
Hello All

I am 3 weeks away from surgey - the countdown is on!

Oh my goodness - I need to wash my hair everyday!!!! Can't the nurses wash it or something??? HELP!

Its all starting to feel real now with the pre op appoitment next week and my final doctors appointment - all too scary. My children have already started drawing pictures for me to hang on the wall :)

For all of you who have already had surgery, cast your minds back to 3 months post op - were you able to sit at a computer and work fom home??? I have the opportunity of a lifetime come up adn I think I may have to pass it up - oh well. Any back to work stories would be helpful!

Thanks again everyone and take care!

09-22-2004, 10:40 AM
LOL....I to thought I needed to wash my hair everyday while in the hospital. I discovered that you don't care what your hair looks like:eek: . However once you are up, while in the hospital you might want to use a non-rinse shampoo. It is a liquid that you can apply to your hair and then just towel dry. It isn't as good as regular shampoo, but is better than nothing. You should be able to find the shampoo in a good pharmacy.

09-22-2004, 11:12 AM
Hi Kylie-Ann...

I also wash my hair daily, and after about a week in the hospital, my dirty hair was really making me crazy. The first time I got to shower and wash my hair, I couldn't believe how great I felt. I don't know about hospitals in Australia, but it's next to impossible in the hospitals in this area, to find anyone with enough time to wash a patient's hair. (There is a tray one can buy, that allows one to wash the hair of someone in bed.)

I was 42 at the time of my surgery, and at 3 mos. post-op, I was able to sit at my desk for a few hours at a time. Then, after a short break, I could go back to work. Luckily, I work from home, so short breaks were easy for me.

Hope you don't have to pass up your great opportunity.


09-22-2004, 06:05 PM
I'm 3 months post-op and I'm doing pretty much everything..so rest assure you'll be feeling the same....

09-23-2004, 08:33 AM
Thanks Linda, Sandy & Connie for your replies! Are you able to shower in hospital???

Also, I live 1 hour away from the hospital - will I be okay to sit in a car for one hour 7 days after my operation or do I need to ask about alternate transportation?

Thanks again

09-23-2004, 11:22 AM
Hi Kylie-Ann...

You should definitely check with your surgeon's office, or with other patients in your area.

I was in the hospital for 12 days, and was able to shower on the 11th day.

I was fine sitting in a regular car to get home. If the hospital is a long way from home, you may need to take frequent stops to get out and walk, or lay down. Bring pillows of multiple sizes so that you can be made as comfortable as possible in the car seat.