So, you’ve recently been to the doctor, and they suspect you may have endometriosis. You’re booked in for a laparoscopy to investigate. It’s totally normal to feel worried about what’s going to happen and having to prepare for surgery, yet through a little planning, you can make sure your hospital stay is more comfortable.
It’s a good idea to have an overnight bag sorted ahead of time, to save you unnecessary stress with last-minute drawer searching and packing. With one less thing to think about, you can focus on heading into your surgery calmer and with a clearer head.
Whilst you might only just be going in for day surgery, it’s always good to prepare for any scenario: you’ll feel better knowing you’ve got your go-to stash if or when you should need it.
Here are some of the essentials to help you pack with ease:
Dress for comfort both when heading to the hospital, and bring some loose-fitting clothes to go home in too. You don’t want to be fiddling about with belts or buttons when you’re changing into your hospital gown and the looser the better for when you’re recovering. Avoid anything that may rub your incisions or restrict your movements.
Big, loose dresses without elastics, that big beautiful billowing pair of granny undies that you wear when you’ve got your period, (or just some undies a few sizes up!) and your favourite comfy pyjamas are the perfect items to pack. Leave your laces at home and opt for socks, slippers or thongs that are easier to hop in and out of. A small pillow might come in handy on the ride home to pop between the seatbelt and your surgery spots.
Remember your phone. Make sure you’re easily able to contact your doctor, your mum, or your best friend and that they can contact you too – especially if they’re coming to pick you up. Also, pack an extra long phone charger – this will ensure you can reach your phone and charge it without needing to get out of bed.
Load up on fresh episodes of your favourite podcast or television series, or even create some relaxing playlists ahead of time to help you chill while you’re staring up at the ceiling, or when you’re recovering post-op. Remember to pack your headphones too! Not everyone on your ward loves Game of Thrones as much as you do (odd, I know). They’ll also come in handy if you’re lucky enough to be lying next to the loudest snorer on the ward.
Post-surgery you may still be a little groggy from the anaesthetic and probably won’t feel like doing too much, like taking a shower. At some point, however, especially if your doctor wants you to stay the night, you might want to freshen up a little. Some items to consider having at hand include:
- Pads or period undies
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
- Face wipes
- Hand towel
- Lip Balm
- Hairbrush & hair ties
- Hand sanitiser
It’s a good idea to pop all of these into a toiletry bag so you don’t have to go fishing through your overnight bag for the item you’re after. The travel section in your supermarket or chemist can be a great spot to load up on smaller items, so you don’t have to bring the kitchen sink with you.
Feeling stressed and anxious while you’re in the hospital is totally normal. You may be in discomfort or may just need a little distraction. Surround yourself with some of those small things in your life that help you relax when you’re feeling overwhelmed like:
- A quiet activity A good book, journaling or your favourite colouring book can help you while away any waiting time and can be a nice distraction.
- Eye mask The lights on your ward are going to be on the bright side. A luxurious satin mask or one you got free on the aircraft last holiday will do the trick if it’s time for a rest.
- Water bottle it’s always important to stay hydrated, and you also might find you wake up parched from the anaesthetic. Consider this awesome hack to keep your water cooler for longer!
- Snacks A small packet of trail mix or your favourite lollies are great to have at hand post-surgery if you’re feeling a little peckish.
- Herbal teas A delicious brew may ease any discomfort or pain you may encounter. Peppermint is a favourite among other Endo Warriors, as the peppermint is said to help with gas, shoulder and chest pain.
- Photos of your favourite pet/partner/parent/plant A little reminder of your support network who will be waiting for you when your surgery is done.
We hope this list helps you get cracking on your packing. All the best for your surgery.