Sunday, February 24, 2013

What To Bring For A Surgical Hospital Stay (A Brief Story of My Recent Medical Issues.)

I'm home!  Where have I been?  Long story short, I had surgery, just one week ago.  I had two issues that needed to be addressed, gallstones and an ovarian cyst.  Does anyone really want to read my long story of medical diagnosis?  Probably not, but just in case someone out in the internet land can gain something from my experience...  In September I started having pain in my right abdomen, coupled with spotting.  After an ultrasound, I was diagnosed with an ovarian cyst.  But there was a good chance it was dermoid (very good chance that it was benign). There was some hope that it would just go away by itself.  Followed with a 2nd ultrasound as well as a CAT scan, only to find that it still remained.  The CAT scan also showed that I had lots of gallstones.   I have a family history of this issue so I wasn't too surprised.  And that also further explained the right abdominal pain.  After seeing quite a few doctors, I finally found two surgeons that were willing to work together to remove both my gallbladder and my ovarian cyst at the same time.  This is not the most common thing to do.  And I had to work with surgeons to coordinate the whole thing.  The greatest lesson I've learned through this whole ordeal is that you really have to be an advocate for your own health and to trust your instincts.  Really trust your instincts. I knew that the best thing for me was to have both surgeries at once and had to really beg my primary care physician for a referral to a general surgeon.  She was sort of taking the gallstones situation lightly.  But in the end, got in touch with the right surgeons, who provided me with the best care.  And am feeling better each and every day.  Since I don't live near my mother or sister, I was lucky enough to have my grandma and uncle take me in for a few days post surgery.  (They only live about 40 miles away.)  They took great care of me and I will be forever grateful for their kindness and care. 
And finally, for the practical part of this blog post.  Before I had surgery, I looked on line for some tips on what to take to the hospital.  (For full disclosure, I was originally told that I would have at least one night's stay in the hospital.  That's when I got these things together.  When the hospital coordinator contacted me, she told me that the surgery would be Out Patient, so I didn't actually bring these things with me to the hospital.  In the end, I was admitted and wished I would have brought my bag along.)  The only information I could find on line was for hospital stays for giving birth.  So, I thought I would share what I would have packed to bring along to the hospital, for a surgical stay.

 I don't believe that I have had any experience where people have told me what to expect more.  And let me start by saying that they have mostly been wrong.  Just know that your experience is your experience.  And don't believe everything that non-medical advisees tell you.  First of all, keep in mind that you aren't going to a hotel.  They might provide you with morphine, but not usually shampoo.  (At least this was my experience, your hospital may be different.)  I would suggest you bring the bare minimum toiletries.  Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, chapstick.  If you are a contact wearer like me, a glasses case for whoever comes with you to keep your glasses in.  (You can't wear contacts during surgery.)  Some reading material.  Just a couple of things.  You'll probably sleep that first night, but may feel up to some light reading in the morning.  If you're in for more than one night, you'll want to bring shampoo and body wash.  They did offer me towels.  Don't forget the flip flops.  You'll want them for the shower.  (I hate to say it, but hospitals are crawling with germs.  The bad stuff.  Like C-Diff.)  Also, bring your phone charger, a comfy going home outfit and extra underwear and socks.  (Don't bring valuables!  I was lucky enough to have a private room, but that may not always be the case.)  That should cover it.  Hope this helps!

No comments:

Post a Comment