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Crohn's Disease Forum » Surgery » What to pack for the hospital?


02-22-2013, 12:31 AM   #1
snowhite_dahlia
 
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What to pack for the hospital?

Hi all! I have to say, this place is such a great resource - I haven't posted much since joining because there is so much great info here that I can usually find an answer to almost any question I have.

So, after four frustrating months of trying to get rogue symptoms under control, I am FINALLY scheduled for surgery in a few weeks to remove a couple of strictures from my small intestine (well, one will definitely be removed, surgeon is considering a strictureplasty for the second - won't really know until he gets in there and sees what's going on.) I'm definitely no stranger to the hospital - since my diagnosis in 2005, I've been hospitalized five times for obstructions. However, in those instances it was always more of a "grab your purse, we're going to the ER right NOW" type of situation. I haven't had a "planned" hospitalization since I got my tonsils out when I was 8!

When I've been hospitalized in the past, of course I've had my family to bring me things as I need them. But now that I have the opportunity to actually plan ahead, I'm sort of scratching my head as to what to bring. Obviously a couple of good books and maybe some PJ bottoms, but I feel like there's something I'm missing?

So, for those of you who have been through this surgery business before, any suggestions? Anything you remember wishing you had? This is also my first Crohn's-related surgery (had the tonsils and my appendix out before, but that was a loooong time ago), so any other general advice is DEFINITELY welcome. While I'm so excited about the promise of bringing my disease back into remission, I've definitely got a lot of anxiety about going under the knife. :/
02-22-2013, 01:48 AM   #2
Cross-stitch gal
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I'm afraid that I have not been in the hospital myself. But, this is what I found that I'm hoping might help you. Hope all goes well with your upcoming surgery

-Comfortable pajamas (loose fitting is best)
-Socks and slippers
-Glasses (contact wearers are usually more comfortable with glasses during a hospitalization, contacts can become dry if the patient is dehydrated or dozing)
-Outfit to wear home (something loose is best, also make sure it wonít rub on your incision
-Underwear
-Toothbrush and toothpaste, deoderant
-Hairbrush
-Shampoo, soap (if you prefer to not use what is provided by the hospital)
-Your pillow (if you donít sleep well with a pillow other than your own)
-A list of your current medications
-Your cell phone and a charger (some hospitals still charge for phone calls)
-Entertainment such as books, music, Ipod, portable DVD player, magazines
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02-22-2013, 08:57 AM   #3
Lisa
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Here is another place to look for suggestions - http://www.crohnsforum.com/wiki/Hosp...lp#vw-comments
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02-22-2013, 10:21 AM   #4
Manzyb
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taking dry shampoo with you is amazing! I couldn't shower for a few days after my resection, and the dry shampoo saved me lol. I can't stand it when my hair feels grimy, and it worked like a charm.
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02-22-2013, 03:52 PM   #5
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Antibacterial hand wipes, soap and lysol disinfectant spray.

You don't want to catch anything!

Can you tell I have germ issues??
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02-22-2013, 04:52 PM   #6
GutlessWonder86
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I always have a bag prepacked with 3 pairs underwear,my flannel hospital PJs that my mom made, 3 pairs socks, slippers, toothbrush, paste, hair brush, shampoo and conditioner, bathrobe, pad of paper and 2 pens.

if you have an ostomy, be sure to pack 5 wafers and 5 bags with a tube of paste, scissors, pattern to cut hole and put it in a makeup bag along with sandwich bags to put the old used one in. Also, pack some brown lunch bags or scented bags from the Dollar Store that are used to put stinky diapers in. I use them for my used ostomies when I change the entire appliance.
02-22-2013, 05:00 PM   #7
snowhite_dahlia
 
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Cross-stitch - Thanks for the encouragement. That's kind of along the same lines as what I was thinking, so good to know I'm on the right track! The pillow is a great suggestion, too (I have a Peeta Mellark (from the Hunger Games) pillowcase, and it might be just the thing to have with me to keep my spirits up! )

pasobuff - Ah, don't know how I missed this! Thank you so so much, what a great resource!

Manzyb - Omigosh, that is a GREAT suggestion! I've actually been wanting to try out a dry shampoo (I have dry, wavy hair and only wash it about every four days), so this might be a good excuse. I also don't know what my showering situation will be there, and I can't stand having greasy hair either. Do you have a brand you like? People have been suggesting LUSH's version of it to me.

Johnnysmom - Ah, great suggestion! I am super paranoid about getting some sort of infection in the hospital (those places are full of germs!), so I will definitely be bringing my Lysol wipes!!
02-22-2013, 05:04 PM   #8
snowhite_dahlia
 
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GutlessWonder - You know, I'm beginning to think more and more that having a pre-packed bag on hand is a really good idea. My parents are always great sports, but I'm sure it's annoying for the both of us trying to explain where to find all my toiletries. I won't be having an ostomy, but that's still great advice, thanks for sharing!
02-22-2013, 05:51 PM   #9
Cross-stitch gal
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I'm glad that helped Hadn't looked into the wiki part till it was brought to my attention. But, it's got some good stuff in it! Believe it or not, I just googled it and this is what I found. Can find some good info on the internet! Hope all goes well
02-23-2013, 02:47 PM   #10
2thFairy
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Cross-stitch gal really covered it. Most important for me are shampoo, soap, deodorant, hand lotion and lip balm.

I also have Henry, a stuffed dog that I've had since I was 4 years old. He goes to all of the hospital trips.
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02-23-2013, 06:27 PM   #11
GutlessWonder86
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also bring a computer print out of your latest medications, all of your doctors who treat you listing their address, phone/fax, meds that cause allergic reactions, also a list of your hospital stays with the reasons why (ex-surgery, abscess drainage, etc.). keep 2 copies in your bag. this why when they start to question you, just hand them the papers with all of that information.
02-23-2013, 09:26 PM   #12
Manzyb
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Snowwhite- I get the tresseme brand and I love it . They have a dry shampoo and a hair deodorizer. I love then!
02-23-2013, 09:40 PM   #13
Jim (POPS)
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laptop for sure.
02-24-2013, 09:53 AM   #14
Mark in Seattle
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1. If you wear glasses you should clean your lenses before going to the hospital and/or take your cleaner/wipes along.
2. Pen and a notebook to make notes.
3. If you are a tea drinker, take your own cup and tea; I've found that the room service delivers Luke warm water in plastic cups,but the nurse's station will provide you with truly HOT water in your own ceramic cup.
4. Extension cord with multiple female slots and possibly a 3-prong-to-2-prong converter if applicable. Having the extension cord helps you charge multiple devices while keeping them within reach; I find that there are also not always many plugins nearby, hence the multiple female slots suggestion.
5. Headphones for your devices, particularly for when you want to tune out your snoring roommate that you might get stuck with, etc.
6. Any paperwork your dr. may need to sign for missing work or school.
7. If you ever rely on relaxation tapes or cd's maybe see about burning to iPod/iPad.
02-24-2013, 09:17 PM   #15
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hey- Im also thinking about my hospital packing for my march 4th surgery. they estimated anywhere from 1-7 days in hospital (crazy to think it would only be 1 day though...) but Im guessing 3...anyways.. my ideas are mostly the same as everyone else listed...

definitely comfy sweats/pj bottoms (the pre admission nurse told me "wear your lulus" haha), extra cozy undies, my own cuddly blanket, iPod&headphones, easy reading material (Im certainly not into heavy reading in the hospital!), Im really into drawing and journaling so ill bring notebooks and pens and markers and stuff, only essential travel size toiletries (including a nice body butter to make me feel good in my skin), cell phone& charger, picture of my dog, cozy hoodie, slipper socks
mostly though I am concerned about bringing my own liquids and soft foods to have in the hospital because as a crohnie Im really picky about what Ill eat and hospital food just isn't up to my standards, and im going to be extra protective of my guts after surgery!
-organic apple juice
-homemade chicken broth in a thermos, will have fam bring warm broth daily (chicken broth is a really healing food but the stuff in hospitals is shitty microwaved powder salty gross stuff ice)
-herbal tea bags &mug- peppermint, ginger, chamomile
- little indivdual organic unsweetened apple sauce cups
-dont know how much solids i will be eating in the hospital but they say I should try to progress to soft foods as I feel ready so im thinking I may pack a boiled egg, avacado, maybe a cooked sweet potato, individual yogurt cups, maybe almond butter and crackers

(these are my foods choices but really think about the food in the hospital and if you are comfortable with it and bring anything that you know works for you and is comfort food and will make you feel safe and look forward to eating. in my e xperience hospitals always have a fridge and kettle station and it is your right to bring food if you need to. Im packing a small lunch cooler and my sister will bring it in once Im out of surgery and settled in my room)

hope this helps! good luck!
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02-24-2013, 10:37 PM   #16
nogutsnoglory
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I got a lot of goodies in the hospital, not sure if that's standard of some places provide bare minimum.

My list:
Computer, phone, chargers, toothbrush/paste, comfy clothes/pajamas, slippers, body wash, magazines.
02-25-2013, 01:47 AM   #17
Mark in Seattle
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The homemade chicken broth is a solid idea, if someone will bring it to you. I've gotten onto homemade broth recently and it' so delicious. And it's such a disgrace to see that virtually all hospital food is such processed chemical garbage.

Travel light though since they may move you from room to room.
02-28-2013, 02:07 AM   #18
Mark in Seattle
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I just got out of the hospital the other day from having my most recent surgery, so this stuff is fresh in my mind. It wasn't until the end of my stay that I became able to sit on the toilet, at which time I disappointedly discovered that my hospital is one of those that believes in furnishing its patients with the variety of toilet paper which has a thickness that is probably measurable only on a nanometric scale (think see-through toilet paper). Hence, my recommendation that you may want to pack a decent roll of TP for the end game.

I didn't see any tissue boxes during my stay, but similarly, you may consider packing some decent tissues.
04-06-2017, 11:29 AM   #19
GI Jane
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Funny, know this is old but was thinking of starting a thread like this and then found this with a search with a suggestion from Ron I think.

I have a "bugout" or "go" bad as we call it in the military which since I'm medically retired now I use as a hospital bug out bag. It frustrated me to not have the things I wanted and didn't want people to buy something I already have at home.

I have my medium military backpack with in it:

1. deck of cards & cribbage board
2. phone charger
3. slippers & slipper socks nonskid
4. book & Bible
5. word search puzzle
6. coloring book with pencils
7. tape & scissors to put drawing on the wall to cheer up room
8. three changes of clothes, pj's and thin coat
9. toothbrush, holder & paste
10. hairbrush & comb
11. self lotioning razor & deodorant
12. $60 cash in ziplock baggie, hate ATM fees
13. small computer with charger & case, it's an extra it was my school one
14. lotion
15. rub on pain cream, icy hot in a ziplock bag even closed it smells
16. room freshener
17. 3 ring binder w/ pen & sheet protectors to keep all documents & Dr notes in
18. thin bedspread & silk case like with feel like at home
19. coffee cup & glass waterbottle
20. eye drops individual twist off
21. shampoo & conditioner
22. hard candy & gum
23. instant oatmeal, soup, tea & coffee creamer (we all know stuff gets old in hospital)

I know it's a lot but it puts my mind at ease.
04-06-2017, 09:22 PM   #20
cmack
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GI Jane,

I think you have all the bases covered. Right on.
04-07-2017, 10:15 AM   #21
The Real MC
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The two essentials to pack for a hospital stay:

Cell phone. DO NOT use the phones in the rooms. I had family call the phone in my room and the next month's phone bill had a $20 chargeback for the call to the hospital. And don't forget the wall charger.

Netbook for surfing the web while recuperating. Hospitals have wireless internet for guests. Frankly the television is awful (hospitals are now charging for cable TV!) and I much prefer to pass the time by surfing the net. It also keeps me in contact with my friends during my stay.

Whether you take a laptop, a netbook, or iPad make sure that the charger isn't too big. They can be awkward in a hospital room. Smaller devices are easier to stow on the bedside table.
04-07-2017, 10:54 AM   #22
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Laptop to ward off boredom
Slippers, hospital floors are full of germs
Headphones and music, hospitals are noisy and sometimes one has to craw inside one's own head for privacy.
Pocket knife, very useful and comes in handy for peeling fruit.
Housecoat, the hospital gowns can be thin and cold.
Various snacks, as one recovers food cravings begin. Hospital food can be very limiting.
Bring with you the standard toiletries from home that include hair brushes, comb for your beard, toothbrush and paste.
Having a colostomy one should bring one's own ostomy supplies. However, I found the hospital quite accommodating to supply extra bags n flanges.
Good books and magazines also help move the time, it gets quite boring.
Cell phone, much easier and cheaper than using the bedside phone.
Bring your daily meds and vitamins.
04-07-2017, 11:29 AM   #23
GI Jane
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Laptop to ward off boredom
Slippers, hospital floors are full of germs
Headphones and music, hospitals are noisy and sometimes one has to craw inside one's own head for privacy.
Pocket knife, very useful and comes in handy for peeling fruit.
Housecoat, the hospital gowns can be thin and cold.
Various snacks, as one recovers food cravings begin. Hospital food can be very limiting.
Bring with you the standard toiletries from home that include hair brushes, comb for your beard, toothbrush and paste.
Having a colostomy one should bring one's own ostomy supplies. However, I found the hospital quite accommodating to supply extra bags n flanges.
Good books and magazines also help move the time, it gets quite boring.
Cell phone, much easier and cheaper than using the bedside phone.
Bring your daily meds and vitamins.
Thanks forgot the headphones. I startle so easy so awesome. Also, the extra charge bank and hands free head phones for my phone so I can wheel and talk when in wheelchair. Which is less lately yea....hoping some day to be free of it, the spinal cord people never promise anything it's so up and down dang spine....and yes on magazines then I can leave there and will have upcycled. Oh yes my vitamins, I'm a wimpy gummy one since I have a hard time swallowing....time for a Costco run.
04-08-2017, 10:25 AM   #24
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Bring a stuffed animal in. When I was in the hospital, my friends brought me some stuffed animals. They were a great comfort! Since I had surgery they also worked as a splint for my stomach.
04-08-2017, 11:11 AM   #25
GI Jane
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Bring a stuffed animal in. When I was in the hospital, my friends brought me some stuffed animals. They were a great comfort! Since I had surgery they also worked as a splint for my stomach.
I just packed my teddy bear thanks.
04-08-2017, 12:13 PM   #26
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I found it's a good idea to purchase a charger extension for your phone. Little cable that means you can be on your phone, whilst its charging in those plug sockets that are usually too far behind on the wall.
04-09-2017, 01:44 PM   #27
GI Jane
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I found it's a good idea to purchase a charger extension for your phone. Little cable that means you can be on your phone, whilst its charging in those plug sockets that are usually too far behind on the wall.
Oooh I do have a brick thanks will run and get that too. I just packed a phone cord for my computer my husband was able to get internet through the phone cord last time so yea. Also just packed Yahtzee nice small game that all my relatives know.

My husband just packed my security cable for the computer so it can be locked to bed or something. Yea.
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