Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The List - READ THIS even if you don't read anything else about my surgery!

What you need if you go into the hospital and have any kind of abdominal surgery!

This list is real..my comments may be funny and sometimes a bit crude..but I am being totally honest!

1. Short night gown. Bring 2-3 that are mid thigh to knee length. Best if they button down the front - but I was unable to find this type so I bought over the head styles. A mid to short robe is handy too. You will be parading down the halls...it's your choice what your "Float" looks like!

2. Soft peppermints. My mouth was very dry after surgery. It was the first physical thing I noticed about myself. Those mints help the natural saliva flow again.

3. Cough Drops! Holy CRAP.. these things should be issued by the hospital for their patients. You can not sneeze. You cannot cough. You cannot even clear your throat without ripping pain that will bring you to your knees! I coughed one time ..on my way to reach my cough drops and OH MY GOD!!!! After the tears cleared from my eyes, I was shocked to see that my guts had not spilled out on the floor in front of me. You will need these for no less than 2 weeks after your surgery.

4. A stomach pillow. Something to hold over your stomach in many circumstances. When I coughed or sneezed, the pillow did little for me other than dry my tears...but it was useful when I had to go to the bathroom. Instead of pushing...I rolled my body over the pillow and allowed it to push on me.

5. SUPER Control top panties. Buy a few in your size and several in the next larger size. These are like abdominal crutches for my body! The reason I referred to them as 'Super' is because you need to get the ones that are made of the mesh fibers. The front panel should be a bit stiff. My stomach is still distended and that swelling puts even more pressure on the wound. The panties actually relieve a lot of that pressure. Note: It is NOT easy to get them on and off! You must devise a plan so that you do not let the top band ever hit the incision. The first time I put mine on, I did it while lying down on my bed. The second time was quite a bit different since I did it after using the bathroom and we don't have a bed or even a fainting couch in our bathroom!

6. No less than 1 person whom you can call upon 24-7 if you need ANYTHING! Trust me - there are a lot of people who will tell you prior to your surgery, "Call me if you need anything!" ..and it is nothing more than a polite statement. You really need to know who is going to be there for you and it is best not to rely on just one person. My list included several different people at different times...as not to wear out my welcome with any one person:

My Dad - for the hospital stay

My Husband - graveyard shift

My Daughter Joy - Evening farm chores, cleaned house, entertainment (okay that came from her massive dog whom enjoyed sleeping with me!) and my beck and call girl..even to the point of helping pull me up into a sitting position from laying down those first couple of days.

Debbie...OMG Debbie! I will be eternally grateful for everything she has done for me. She lives just down the road and that was very important...but still she was ALWAYS there, ALWAYS willing and what amazed me..she just went out of her way to do things for me that I had not even asked for...cooked food, restocked my caffeine when I was out, fed the animals when Don was on late shift so they did not have to wait to eat, and if it was inconvenient for her..you NEVER would have known it. I could go on and on.... and BTW - she is hardly ever on a computer and is not someone who reads my blog.


There are other things that are nice to have..like a headband is good when you know someone is coming to the hospital to visit you...it won't make you beautiful..but might tame the bed head a bit.... but the list above are of the MUST HAVES. I truly hope this helps someone!

(((((HUGS)))))

12 comments:

Susan said...

I'm sure that the list will be helpful. Hope you feel better each and every day.
Hugs, Susan

common ground said...

Really good list, wish someone had told me what to expect when I had mine 26 years ago, and then 6 years ago with the open heart surgery. THE WORST! Hospital stays are so difficult. You REALLY need and advocate with you to help with all these "necessities"!
Debra

bj said...

That is nice of you to make a list.
When I had my last surgery (3 weeks in the hospital), they didn't allow my own gowns. Wanted me to wear theirs. Easier access, I think. I could have my short housecoat to wear after i started walking. They furnished both my hubby and myself heart shaped pillows to hold over our ouchies when we coughed or laughed.
My long stay in the heart hospital was a comfortable one. They did start me on a diuretic and THAT was uncomfortable, trying to get up, get to the bathroom and sit down on the low but normal potty. They did bring in a potty chair after a bit, tho.
Sure hope you are feeling close to your old self again.
And, hope Don is doing ok....

Ginger said...

Great list. I hope I never need it though. I've heard abdominal surgery is the worst when trying to heal. (that and open heart surgery). Everything hurts when you sneeze or cough.
Tomorrow morn. we have to be at the medical center at 7. Hubby is having a heart catherization. It's a 45 min. drive from our house, so we'll be up early.
Hope you're feeling better.

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

So glad to hear you're recuperating nicely. Doesn't sound like much fun, what you've been through. Hope Don is doing well.

Kat said...

So glad you still have your sense of humor! Great list! I hope you're feeling better each day.

Hugs!
Kat

Sandy said...

That is an awesome list - gonna copy and paste in a document in case I ever need it!
Hope you are feeling better SOON!
Blessings,
Sandy

Bunny Rose Cottage said...

Thank you for this list Julie!

This surgery sounds just terrible!! I hope I never have to go through it but I am sure I will!

I love reading your posts Julie!! I love the way you write!!

Love ya sweetie,
Amy

pedalpower said...

This is such a helpful post Julie. I hope you are starting to feel a little better. Sounds like you had it pretty rough! I'll be keeping you in my prayers.

Kari (GrannySkywalker) said...

I hope I won't need such a list, but glad to have it just in case. Good to know you've made it through as well as you have and I'll keep you in my thoughts until I hear from you that you've healed COMPLETELY. :)

Kari

vivian said...

great list! my hubby is having hernia surgery on friday. He developed a hernia where his colostomy was when he was sick last year.. I'm going to share your list with him and ask him if he would like a nightgown!!
heehee!
glad youre feeling better!
hugs
vivian

Garden Antqs Vintage said...

You pour thing, I can envision and actually feel your pain. I hope it's better soon!