As of today, it’s only nine more days until I go under the knife. I’m a little nervous, but in a good way.
So what do I need to pack for my overnight stay at the hospital? I asked a few people who’ve already undergone the surgery and here are some of their tips for what you should have in your hospital bag.
Lip balm and lotion
Following the surgery, you won’t be able to drink anything for a certain amount of time and your lips and skin will probably feel parched. Having a lip balm and lotion will take care that uncomfortable dryness until you can finally have some water. And if you’re dark-skinned like me, the last thing you want is to have ashy skin. My favourite lip balm is from Carmex. It goes everywhere with me and keeps my lips from getting too chapped. Most likely, I’ll be packing Eucerin Advanced Repair Lotion since I have problems with very dry skin.
If you’re already on medication, bring it with you. You’ll still need to take it until you’ve been given the OK to stop. Make sure you’ve already informed your surgeon and the nurses about which medication you’re currently taking.
Tablet or laptop, books, phone and chargers
You’ll spend a lot of time waiting, so you may as well make sure you have something to keep you occupied. I’ll have my Kindle and my phone with me. I’ll also pack my chargers to make sure I can keep everything juiced up.
If you’re not an e-reader or tablet person, bring a paperback, some magazines or a newspaper with you. Why not bring a notebooks so you write down your thoughts? It’s always good to start a journal to help you keep track of your progress and this could be the perfect opportunity to start.
You’ll most likely be in the hospital over night and you’ll need a change of clothes for the next day. Because of the incisions, you’ll probably want to avoid bending too much won’t want anything that’s too tight. Opt for something loose and comfortable. Don’t worry about making a fashion statement. There’ll be time for that once your incisions have healed. Right now, focus on being comfortable and not having anything that will press on your already tender incisions.
Robe and two-piece pyjamas
After the surgery, you’ll need to walk around to help relieve gas pressure, which will also help with the pain.
You’ll want the robe in case you feel chilly and you’ll want your pyjamas for walking around and feeling a little less exposed than you do in a hospital gown.
Make sure you pack two-piece pyjamas and not a onesie. This will make it easier for your doctor and nurses to check your incisions or listen to your tummy.
I’ve got plenty of pairs of cute PJs , so I think I have this point covered already.
Slippers or slipper-socks
If you’re like me, your feet are always cold. As much as I like going around in bare feet, it’s winter here in Sweden (which means my feet are definitely cold) and since I’ll be walking the hallways trying to get rid of gas, I’ll want something on my feet. I have a very comfortable pair of slippers from mahabis, but any pair of slippers will do.
If you don’t like slippers, try slipper-socks. They have non-slip soles and should keep your feet nice and toasty.
Like I said earlier, before and after the surgery, you’ll have a period of time when you won’t be able to drink anything, and you’re probably going to want to get rid of that sticky feeling in your mouth as well as keep your breath from smelling too funky. If you can get up on your own, brush your teeth. Otherwise, use some mouthwash or breath spray to freshen your breath. You’ll feel a little better for it (even if it’s only psychological).
Your favourite pillow
You’ll want something comfortable with you, something that reminds you of home or makes it easier to sleep. Having your favourite pillow can help both at the hospital and in the car/taxi on your way home. Don’t forget to bring your pillow case too, since hospital pillow cases can sometimes be scratchy.
I’ll most likely take my pillow from home. I bought it from a store here in Sweden called Hemtex and it’s a hotel-style pillow, so it’s wider, higher and squishier than most pillows. In the US, you can find hotel-style pillows at any well-stocked department store.
Have you already undergone your gastric sleeve or bypass? What did you pack in your hospital bag? Share your tips with us! 🙂