For weeks before my surgery I took copious notes on all the ‘what to bring to the hospital’ posts out there. I narrowed them down a lot, but still had items I brought and didn’t use. Learn from my experience, and pack the perfect hospital bag!
I brought an old purse I didn’t care about to keep in bed with me. I kept most of the below items in it except things that were large and bulky like clothes. I’d much rather have everything near me rather than always having to get up to find what I need.
ID, insurance card, checkbook
Even though my insurance isn’t paying for this surgery, I brought my insurance card like I’d been told to 🙂 I didn’t need it or the checkbook, which I only brought in case of some sort of payment emergency.
list of medications
I can’t tell you how many times I was asked pre-op what meds I take. By the time I got to the hospital, though, they’d finally got it all into the computer. I never used the list.
phone & battery pack
Of course I brought my phone so I could update my family on how things were going. But instead of a charger which would have to be plugged in somewhere, I brought a phone battery pack. These things are amazing! There’s no long cord getting tangled in your bedsheets, and it will keep your phone alive for days!
earplugs, ear buds
I once had a bad hospital experience involving a shared room and a lunatic roommate. She was loud 24/7 and earplugs plus noise cancelling headphones were a must. I knew I was going to have a private room, but I brought these anyway just in case. I never took them out of my purse.
If you wear glasses the day of surgery, don’t forget a case so you have a safe place to put them. I kept this in my purse.
I don’t use one, but if you do, bring it to the hospital with you.
hair brush, chapstick
I used the hairbrush a lot, but not the chapstick. Something about this hospital meant that for once my lips didn’t dry out like the Sahara. It was also the first hospital I’ve ever been in that didn’t smell like “hospital.” Maybe those two are related.
My doctor has a small printed manual, and I felt better bringing it with me. I never used it.
The hospital recommended bringing slippers, but I just used the grippy socks they gave me, and it worked out well.
The hospital also recommended bringing pajamas, but I was too tired to change into them. I slept in a hospital gown, and it was just fine.
I’d read in several places that it was handy to have a pillow for the ride home so you can press it over your incisions when the car goes over bumps. I didn’t need it, but I’d probably bring it just in case you have more pain or a bumpier ride. (Leave it in the car – don’t bring it in the hospital to get all germed-up.)
what I did NOT bring
I knew I’d never use a robe, so I left that at home.
I also didn’t bring the always-mentioned Gas-X strips, because the kind of gas pain you have from this surgery is not what those strips are for. The only cure is walking.
I didn’t bring anything to read either. Typically if I’m waiting around somewhere, I’m reading, but all drugged up in the hospital? I doubt my eyes would have been able to focus anyway.
I didn’t bring a toothbrush, because they always give you one to use.
Did I miss something essential? What did you bring? Did you show up with 5 trunks all Zsa Zsa Gábor, or just have a clean pair of underwear in your pocket?