what to take to the hospital - a checklist

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pumpkinhead

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
14
Location
cincinnati, Ohio
I am not sure...I was in the Cardiac ICU with emergency surgery...so nothing I could really bring. But I can tell you...2 things I wish I had that I did not have, they could give me anything else I needed (even toothbrush and razor)...

1 or 2 SOFT pillows from home
my own blanket

*trust me, after surgery you will not feel like moving or much else. As for walking the halls, I hurt enough where I said, "I will walk naked and I dont care and started out the door...untill the nurse made me tie up my gown"
you will be in enough pain you wont care, but maybe its just me..I had a aortic disection
 

Guyswell

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Joined
Aug 17, 2012
Messages
225
Location
Kansas
If you have a laptop computer, consider taking that too.

We didn't have a laptop at the time so we bought one. We loaded Skype on the laptop and bought a webcam for the home computer. Since my surgery was out of town, my wife and I were away from the kids and grandparents for almost two weeks. It was really nice to keep in touch with everyone back home via the free video calling feature on Skype. The hospital had free Wifi everywhere we went so we did quite a bit of web-surfing too. One day, soon after surgery, I was video conferencing with the kids from my hospital bed. I'm sure I was still getting lots of good pain-killing meds because my son said at one point "Dad, why are your pupils so small"?
 

Jkm7

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Joined
Oct 15, 2005
Messages
4,384
Location
Massachusetts
My first surgery was emergent and I went to the hospital with nothing except what was in my pocketbook. I had a comb/brush, lipstick, reading glasses and a few dollars. The only thing I had to pay for was TV once out of ICU so I used the little cash I had. I needed DH to bring me almost nothing. The hospital supplied me with toothbrush and paste, non-slip slipper socks but I asked DH to bring me slippers when I was ready to walk the halls, he brought the book I had been reading but I couldn't concentrate for reading.

My second surgery, four years later, I brought a pillow I could use for coughing as I didn't like what the hospital provided me the first time....... the second time what they provided was fine so I didn't need what I brought.

All I needed or wanted of what I brought was pencil and paper to mark down any questions so I could ask when
the doctor(s) came, hairbrush/comb, reading glasses, cell phone (first time they weren't allowed but four years later the policy changed), slippers, breath mints, chapstick (the vent tube made my mouth and lips so dry), and comfortable loose clothes to wear home. Many of us bring way too much and never use most of what we bring.
 

aliciavicki

Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2013
Messages
21
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Hi everyone!

I'm on the cusp of getting my bag ready for hospital... I finish work in 3 weeks, and surgery is in 3.5 weeks... so now is too early really but I have my list somewhat sorted (with thanks to this thread):
-assorted toiletries
-prunes/dried fruit
-pyjama bottoms (but noone's mentioning tops)
-loose fitting clothing to wear home
-my brand new iPad loaded up with short tv shows and my favourite music
-small amount of cash
-underwear

Now one thing I was hoping to ask the ladies... I'm not excessively big busted, but if I wasn't wearing a bra you would know about it.... and recently my mum gave me a bunch of advice (do not allow flowers because they'll make you sneeze, pack a loose robe) but she also mentioned a bra that does up via the front, with no underwire... what have you all done in the past?

appreciate the assistance... sorry to all the blokes out there!
 

hensylee

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Joined
Jun 10, 2001
Messages
11,656
Location
snowy - Sharpsburg, Ga USA
There are two kinds. Zip up and front hooks, both padded with soft cloth under the zipper or hooks. A sleep or leisure bra is what you want and you can find these with front closures. Best wishes and good thoughts as you approach your surgery. We will leave the light on for you. Blessins......
 

MrsBray

VR.org Supporter
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
281
Location
Clearwater/Tampa FL area
I took with me:

3 pr pajamas
3 pr briefs, 3 pr boxers
slippers
toothbrush/paste
comb
feminine supplies
lotion
tablet
cell phone
I wore loose clothes to my admission, and wore teh same ones home.

What I used in the hospital:
tablet
cellphone
briefs/boxers

Everything else was supplied for me. I was comfortable in the hospital gown, and wore the boxers for moving around and walks.

I woke up from surgery with a surgical bra already in place. It wasn't removed until I got home 5 days later. It was like a security blanket!

FOR PRE-MENOPAUSAL LADIES: The nurses are more than adept at caring for us during that time of the month. I was uncomfortable at first, but quickly adapted. I only ran in to one caregiver that was more embarrassed than I was (a young male nurse, bless his heart, he went and got "help" LOL!).
 

Aggie85

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Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
167
Location
Woodbridge, Va. USA
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!
Linda C
 

hook

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Joined
Jul 5, 2010
Messages
289
Location
Nashville, TN
Shave yourself, trust me on this one. Make sure you have someone there after with a writing pad and thick pen to write with. Even if they say you won't wake for a while, have someone there who will not ignore your attempt to communicate.
 

Lsimon

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Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Messages
4
Location
Illinois, USA
I wasn't going to bring underwear or athletic pants. Glad I brought both. If it had been warmer weather I would have brought athletic shorts. I wear these around the house for lounging and at night as PJ's. In the hospital I wore the athletic pants when walking and when out of bed and in a chair during the day. Might not have worn them the first day or so but did the rest of my stay. I also had my own toiletries: Toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, electric razor, all of which came in handy. Didn't wear any other clothes I brought and wore the same clothes home that I wore to hospital.

I had my iphone with the standard headset, ipad (shared with DW who stayed in hotel next door) and extra long charging cords for these. I used them all but really didn't read or use iPad as much as I thought I might. Just didn't feel like it but glad it was around for the little I used it.
 

Dan Zulu

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Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Messages
46
Location
California
UCLA provided ear plugs and a sleep mask (eye cover) which were great. Two nights in the ICU they were trying to save the poor patient in the room next to me, and without the ear plugs and eye cover I would have been up 24 hours due to the noise and activity. Instead I said a prayer for the patient and fell asleep.
 

UncleSteve

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Joined
Dec 2, 2013
Messages
26
Location
Herefordshire, UK
For some hospitals they like electrical equipment brought in to their sites to have been tested for electrical safety, otherwise known as 'portable appliance testing' (PAT). Whilst in hospital a few years back for Endocarditis using my laptop had a night nurse (otherwise known as a jobsworth) come in and started griping on about all equipment needs PAT testing! She did get slightly more sociable after I'd been there a few weeks. I have heard of other hospitals being officious over PAT testing, so be warned.

I'm about to have more OHS, so taken the precaution of having my phone and tablet chargers tested, oh and my own fan (I find hospitals far to hot for comfort, so sweat buckets). Just didn't want any grief when I'm not feeling too good.
 

Paleowoman

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Jun 14, 2010
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Surrey, UK
I'm in the UK too and had that thing about testing any electrical equipement I had brought in with me. I kept my phone charger in my case and charged it at night when they were less likely to see, not because the charger was faulty but because I didn't want a whole palaver about it - I mean it was only an iPhone but the nurse said something about that PAT.

Where abouts are you in the UK Steve ? I'm in Surrey near Kingston. Best of luck with your OHS !
 

ajc1991

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Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
96
Location
Torrance, CA
I'm thinking of getting a pair of glasses. I wear eye contacts and know I won't be able to wear them during the procedure, and with the anesthesia it won't be easy putting them on afterwards either. Especially may not be easy to lift my arms up and try to put them into my eye. So I think finally getting a pair of glasses would be best.
 

UncleSteve

Active member
Joined
Dec 2, 2013
Messages
26
Location
Herefordshire, UK
Shaving. I too agree this is a good idea, however my admission ion letter specifically mentioned **not** to shave due to infection risk. With shaving there is a risk of breaking the skin which could allow infection in. Though I do have a beard trimmer that I'm going to use on my arms as they always use horrible plasters on my hairy arms.
 

UncleSteve

Active member
Joined
Dec 2, 2013
Messages
26
Location
Herefordshire, UK
Paleogirl. I'm based on the Herefordshire border with Gloucestershire (UK).

I need my electrical gadgets as I'm self employed running an on line sales company (just my wife and I), so did not want hassles with any 'jobsworth' with the electrical gadgets. I got a local company to test the bits at a minimum cost of £50 (well £40 cash). I suspect I could have got it done cheaper, but again did not want the hassle.
 

DachsieMom

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Joined
Mar 3, 2015
Messages
258
Location
CT
I only needed my phone, a pen and paper. They provided everything else. Only problem was I forgot to tell my husband that I had pen and paper in my bag! They gave me paper and an old stubby pencil for when I was on the vent.
 

almost_hectic

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Joined
Jun 30, 2015
Messages
548
Location
naples, florida
I brought a few changes of underwear, some pj bottoms and socks. Plus my iPad, iPhone, Bluetooth speaker and headphones and battery pack with extra chargers. Some mouthwash, toothbrush, deodorant, electric shaver.

Bottom line, I ne.ver even opened my bag. I guess I didn't know what I was in for, something totally other than what it actually was I guess. Didn't care about anything after surgery and was pretty out of sorts for almost the duration. It's just sort of mind numbing, pain mess didn't help that I'm sure😵
 
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