Since we scheduled the surgery, I've been doing a ton research to figure out what the recovery will be like and what I can do to make that easier. Luckily (for me, not them) I have two friends that have had laparoscopies to remove endometriosis in the past so they were able to give me a bunch of tips as well. I figured it would be a good idea to make a list of what I have and, after surgery, what was actually helpful in case I ever need to do this again or in case anyone reading this needs to go through surgery as well. So here is my Pre-Laparoscopy Checklist:
- Loose clothing - Doctor will make three incisions in my lower abdomen and I'll also be puffed up with CO2, so it's a good idea to wear loose clothing to the hospital. I bought a cotton t-shirt and a pair of PJ-ish sweatpants that are a few sizes too big. Seth was surprised that I "needed" a new surgery outfit. Duh.
- Prescriptions - Picked up all of my prescriptions a few days ago so I don't need to worry about it on the day of the surgery. They, and all of my other OTC supplies, are in a box next to my bed.
- Heating pad/hot water bottle - I've heard that one of the most painful things about the recovery is when the CO2 moves around and gets trapped around your shoulders/collarbone. A heating pad should help the gas get re-absorbed more quickly and ease the pain. I have a really awesome memory foam heating pad. It was a birthday gift from Seth. He also gave me a TempurPedic pillow and a bottle of vitamins that year. I believe I was turning
- Over-the-counter supplies - Your throat may be sore from the breathing tube, so I picked up my favorite throat lozenges. Gas-X can help with the extra gas and bloating. I've also seen Colace (stool softener) recommended many times. I forget why - either the pain killers or the anesthesia can mess with your digestive system and since your abdomen is already in pain you don't want to get...blocked up. I also grabbed some baby wipes and tissues. Just because I felt like I might want them.
- Mild foods - The anesthesia and pain killers can make you feel sick, so it's a good idea to have some bland foods handy. My friends recommended saltines, graham crackers, ginger ale, and mashed potatoes. I also picked up some gatorade to help with the bloating.
- Movies/books/activities - My friends told me that they weren't in too much pain for long, but they felt a general crappiness for a few days after the surgery and spent a lot of time in bed or on the couch. I picked up a few books from the library and I have my yarn and crochet needles to keep me occupied.
- Clean sheets - Tomorrow, day before surgery, I'm going to wash my blankets and put fresh sheets on the bed. I hate when sheets feel "old" and if I'm going to be spending a few days in bed I want everything to be nice and clean.
- Pillow and plastic bag - Apparently it is a good idea to bring a pillow with you so that you can hold it over your belly during the car ride. I think I'll ask my dad to drive. Seth's a wild driver - too many years driving in Guatemala City. The plastic bag will serve as a barf bag. Yay.
- Baby gate - This one makes me really sad, but I think it's necessary. We're going to put up one of the gates in my bedroom doorway so Binky and Bear can't get in. I know they'll want to jump in bed and snuggle with me, but it's probably not a good idea. They think they're lap dogs, which I love, but I might not want 50 lbs resting on my stomach for a few days.
|They hate being separated from us. They also haven't figured out that they could easily |
A) jump over the gate or B) bust right through it.
I think those are the highlights. We'll see what is actually helpful (the new surgery day outfit is going to be key, I know it).
This morning, I went to the hospital so they could collect some blood. I'm scheduled for 5:30 AM on Thursday, but they'll call me tomorrow afternoon to confirm that. My parents are arriving tomorrow morning and I can't wait for them to be here. Having them here will make the day go by quickly. Before I know it, it will be Thursday afternoon and all of this surgery bullshit will be over. I can't wait for that!