SLEEPPHONES! Gotta get em!!!
These are soft headbands that have felt pads inside with ear phones embedded in the pads. They are VERY comfortable to wear and sleep with. Down load some white noise music, favorite relaxing music or my recommendation; Steven Halpern sleep and relaxation music. The SleepPhones company even has their own ITunes App. Then tune all hospital noises out and SLEEP or Relax. I also used them to cover my eyes to block out the light. You can find them on Amazon, Ebay and I think directly from site. Www.SleepPhones.com
There are wired and bloothooth versions. I like the Bluetooth at home but found the wired version much more useful in the hospital (also much cheaper than Bluetooth.) The BT version has to be recharged after each use whereas the wired version does not. I had NO problems with getting tangled or choking myself on the wire. LOL.
More about Halpern's music. He has produced synthesized instrument pieces scientifically researched to induce sleep and relaxation. They are designed to activate deep Alpha and deep Theta waves in the brain. I am one who HATES white noise and at home couldn't train myself to sleep to any music. But I downloaded several of his albums out of desperation to at least help with the hospital noise issues. I was amazed at how well it worked the whole time I was there. I also downloaded a few Tibettan OM chants and some ocean sound music to use for Guided Imagery relaxation pieces. I then set up various playlists for specific uses (quick relaxation/guided imagery, Sleeping, Healing, Just relaxing.)
TO DEAL WITH PREOP and PROCEDURE STRESS:
NOTE: I am a high energy ADD person who has a very hard time relaxing and hates repetitive stuff. It took me some hunting to find a Guided Imagery recording I could tolerate and not end up wanting to throw the IPod across the room, but I eventually found one. I could never fully reach relaxation nervana but even so, found the suggestion below GREATLY BENEFICIAL to keep calm during all the testing and pre-procedures. Don't worry if you can't fully veg out, any bit will help! I WAS UTTERLY AMAZED at how well this helped me. This surgical go round was my 12th surgery (only! 4 for heart issues) and by far the most relaxed and calm I've ever felt!
1:Buy a used IPod or whatever music system you like, so you don't have to worry about if it gets lost. I did end up using my IPhone and just kept it hidden below my blankets or pillow. Set up music playlists as above. But this suggestion is specifically for quick calming stress relaxation for before surgery, caths, MRI that sort of thing.
2:Find what music works best for you to just do a quick calming session. I purposefully limited this to about 20 min of music and one guided imagery piece. It took me a while to put this list together and I refined it after I actually started using it in the hospital. But keep it simple. I had the Guided Imagery piece and 4 selections of music.
3:Then, before your surgical date, begin to actively train yourself to whatever level you are able to relax to this grouping. I would listen and practice relaxing once a day, for me usually when I first woke up. I focused on the pieces of music in this grouping kind of memorizing them; roughly! don't stress about it. This was so I could think about them and zone out to it even if I wasn't allowed to physically have the music with me. I even would practice with my arms out like they would be on the surgical table so my body would have muscle memory of being relaxed in that position.
4:now at the hospital, put on Sleep phones, pull down over eyes and veg out whenever you have a chance before procedures or while waiting for Dr.s , ect. I'd tune out and then when I had to go where I couldn't take my music, I'd just hand things over to my husband and continue to "listen" to those pieces in my mind. Don't feel guilty about tuning people out and focusing on you. Reaching any level of inner calm is very important to how well you'll get through your procedure and heal afterwards.
I hope this helps those prepping for surgery. Best wishes!