First of all, I want to say how sorry I am that you've found yourself in this position. I completely sympathise and am glad you've found Jo's - there's lots of support here.
Ok, so, my major tips for hospital! :-)
- Big, comfy knickers. These will be invaluable.
- Soft and comfortable pyjamas. I had nightdresses as they were easier to deal with in terms of sorting out drains/catheter etc...
- Slippers. You don't want to be walking barefoot on hospital floors.
- Peppermint oil. A laparoscopy can result in trapped wind, which travels upwards to your back and shoulders and can be a bit painful. A few drops of peppermint oil in a small glass of water helps to disperse this.
- Anti-bacterial gel. Use this on your hands before every time you eat.
- Face wipes. You can get clammy in hospital and just having some wipes available can help you freshen up your face and hands. I got through loads!
- Take in a brand of toiletries you don't normally use. I bought a cheap range of moisturiser etc.. from Boots and even bought a different toothpaste to the one I normally use. Then I binned the lot when I got home. This meant that the smell of my usual range of stuff wasn't tainted by having come into hospital with me and the smell will never remind me of my op.
- ipod. You might not have the energy to read a book but, listening to come relaxing music can be helpful. Perhaps take in some 'easy' magazines, as well.
- Get your partner/visitors to bring in extra (healthy!) food for you. It depends on which hospital you're in, but the meals in my hospital were both unidentifiable and inedible. My husband brought in tupperware boxes filled with treats he'd got me from the deli (bless him!) and it made SO much difference to me. Also a good idea to have some snacks to hand for those nibbly moments.
- Sometimes you can have vomiting as a result of a general anaesthetic and as a result of gynae surgery. Lay it on thick with the anaesthetist before you go down to theatre and emphasize how much you don't want to be sick, so he/she can give you anti-sickness medication.
- When you come round and throughout your stay, be honest about how much pain you're in. Do not think you have to bear it - you don't. They will ask you what your pain level is on a scale of 1-10. Be honest! Take the pain relief they give you - it will make it a lot easier for you.
I completely understand that you're scared and I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. I was very scared before my surgery as well. You can tell them how scared you are when you go down to theatre and they will help you - I did this and they put me under very quickly, which when I look back, was absolutely the right thing for them to do. Before you know it, you'll wake up in recovery with a lovely nurse looking after you and offering you drugs!
I hope this helps.