Hello Endo sisters, I wanted to share a list of what I packed in my hospital bag and some things that I did not have but wish I had during my hospital stay. When you are planning to stay at the hospital after a surgery it is best to be prepared to make the stay more comfortable. This means packing with time and anticipating some hospital inconveniences like lack of privacy or the food you may like. (Images on this post are linked to Amazon for purchase.)
- Cell phone, phone charger, and portable charger: When I had my surgery, it was in the middle of a pandemic (Covid-19) and the hospital only allowed my husband to visit me a few hours a day. The first few days you may not be able to move, especially if you have colon resection surgery. It is important to communicate with your loved ones for support and to let them know how you are doing. In my case, my husband was in the hospital a few hours a day and during that time we would charge the portable charger and when my phone battery was low, I would just grab it from the side table to keep using my phone. Having access to my phone for entertainment or to keep in touch with my family all the time was crucial, and it made the time go faster. I was placed on a shared room due to lack of space in the hospital. I recommend taking headphones because sometimes there are sounds or conversations that you might not want to listen to. Try to keep this organized in a travel case as this is easy to loose.
- Earplugs: Machines are constantly beeping in the unit where I was and having earplugs on at night helped me sleep better as I am a light sleeper.
- Cleaning wipes: I was not allowed to shower until the day that I was going to be released which was 7 days after the surgery. Having alcohol wipes allowed me to keep fresh and clean my body.
- Cozy Socks: Hospitals are cold and having socks on can help you feel warm. For me is hard to fall asleep if it is cold but having thick or heated socks helped greatly.
- Sweater with a front zipper: A cozy sweater can help you stay warm in the hospital.
- Velvet scrunchies: They are great for allowing you to rest your head on the bed without pulling or bothering you and it keeps your hair out of your face.
- Sleeping Eyemask: There are so many lights in the hospital flashing all the time that having an eyemask is a life saver to be able to get a good sleep.
- Cream: My skin was so dry after the surgery on my legs and feet that it was even itching me. Having lotion to put on my skin helped with the dryness.
- List of current medications: It is important to tell the doctors and nurses about all the medications that you are taking. Having a written list with the names, doses, and dosing schedule of the medications can save them time and it will make it easier for you.
- Slippers with rubber soles: The slippers with rubber soles are important because it will prevent you from slipping. You cannot bend down when you are in the hospital so make sure they are easy to slide on.
- Hygiene products: toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, deodorant, soap, hand sanitizer, shampoo, and conditioner. If you can take them in a travel size is even better because they will take less space on your bag.
- Comfortable clothing: I used the same outfit in which I was admitted to the hospital, to get out of the hospital but you may choose to bring additional clothing to go home with. You will be in a gown most of your time at the hospital.
Things I wished I had:
- Electric heating pad: I was having to constantly call the nurses because I was cold. They used to bring me warm blankets to keep me warm. Having a heating pad would have helped me greatly.
- Period panties: I wore the hospital ropes and disposal panties the entire time that I was in the hospital but having my own period panties would have been a lot more comfortable, especially when trying to walk around the unit as required.
- Snacks: I did not pack any snacks, but I wish I had packed a few crackers or something like that to fuel my stomach in between hospital meals (or if the food wasn’t great).
Another tip that I would give is to not take anything valuable to the hospital as they do not take any responsibility if something goes missing. My belongings (including my phone) got lost a few hours after my surgery and I was lucky to get them back, but this might not be the case for everyone. Jewelry and expensive belongings can stay at home where they are safer.
I hope this list serves you well, would love to know your feedback and personal experiences!