So it’s the day before my surgery. It’s safe to say that the nerves are really getting to me, but that’s normal I’m sure. As the hospital I will be having my surgery at is in London and I need to be there by 7:30am, mum and I will be taking the train up there tonight and staying somewhere to sleep for a few hours.
As I have never stayed overnight at hospital (apart from one time through A&E, but that’s a whole other story!) I wasn’t too sure what to pack, as I’m going to be there for 5 nights – at least that’s what I have been told. I wrote down the usual necessities (such as toiletries and loose, comfy pyjamas) and then I went to the internet (Instagram) to ask what others thought would be useful. I haven’t quite included everything that was mentioned in this list as some things haven’t arrived in time but reading through their suggestions was very helpful.
So above is everything I’m taking (note: I may not be taking all of these with me tonight/for the first day, as my mum will be travelling up daily – bless her – she will probably take a few things along with her for me). Most of it is pretty self-explanatory, however if you’d like more detail, please keep reading!
A good family friend very kindly gave me a nightie (top left, with pineapples on) and this is perfect as I’m expecting a very swollen and tender abdomen, meaning that I wouldn’t really want any waistbands making me any more uncomfortable. When this feeling does ease, however, I am bringing my comfiest trousers (tracking bottoms, pyjama bottoms and leggings – all of these are very forgiving with their waistbands which is great if you have a distended stomach, like me!). Also, is the softest dressing gown known to man, which can also conveniently be used as a blanket – of sorts – with slipper socks which, again, are incredibly soft, warm and comfy. I’ve also included an XL t shirt I once got free at a festival years ago and, even though I’m only a small 5ft 2″ girl, I love it.
These are the usual items you’d expect; toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, but in addition I’ve added a few others which will come in handy. Since I don’t know how I’ll be, or if I’ll feel like showering (hopefully I will), I’ve also got dry shampoo, baby wipes and roll on deodorant with a few tissues as well. One item which may be quite random, but I thought it would be nice, is a little nail kit, with a nail file. I probably won’t use this but it is nice to have the option!
I don’t know if I’m really allowed to take my laptop so I’m leaving it out of this list (each hospital varies on this!) but if I am allowed it, then my lovely mum will bring it up – mainly so we can watch films on it. Other than that though, I’m a music addict and will be happy to just listen to my music, so I do have earphones and a portable phone charger with me. I think I’ll be able to use a plug in charger but this is just in case. I also bought an art ‘scratch’ book – I used to do these when I was little and I do love doing stuff like this, so I thought this might be quite therapeutic. I’ve also got a whole load of information booklets, but I probably won’t read all of these – it’s just reassurance really. I’ve also included the IA Journal, as I signed up for the yearly membership and Stomawise have started to do a magazine (for a cost) as well.
Being gluten and dairy free and having not eaten solid food for over a year now, it’s safe to say that these choices are very limited. I have no idea if I’ll be able to eat normal food whilst I’m at hospital. I’m getting a feeling that I will have to be patient for my stomach/body’s digestive system to re-learn how to digest solid food again, it will probably take a while. The hospital will get me to speak to a dietician whilst I am there, which will be very helpful. I’m still thinking relatively ‘liquid’ food for now so I’ve got almond milk, peanut butter powder and cocoa powder (to mix up into a milkshake – I can’t even digest these at the moment!), some strawberry soy milk (which I haven’t had for a while as soy is high in FODMAPs, but I think my body can digest it) and some dairy free puddings – which sound delicious, I can’t lie! I am aware that there is nothing savoury here – I haven’t had anything savoury for over a year so tasting those foods again will be very interesting. I do intend on making my own soups at home though – which I’m very much looking forward to!
So these are things that are quite random but it’s nice/helpful to have! Because of having EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome), my joints don’t always behave as they should – leading them to sublux (popping out of place, but only partially, so it’s not a total dislocation). This can sometimes be quite painful and seems to affect my right side – my right wrist, hip and knee, so I do have bandages for my wrist and knee with me, just in case! I’m also bringing some scrubs to treat myself once I’m at the hotel the night before whilst I’m having a shower and a 2 litre water bottle for the journey (I’ve taken some bowel prep medication which will leave me quite dehydrated!
I will also take medication and my ensure drinks with me, as I may need them (or not!). I’ll be updating my blog as soon as I’m well enough after my operation – hopefully won’t leave it too long!