What to Bring to Hospital

Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,715 Member
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
I have surgery scheduled for March 26 and I am trying to make a list of what to bring. I do know that I will have a private room with flat screen TV, wireless internet, couch that makes into a queen or double bed for anyone staying there and private bathroom.

I want to know what I should bring with me. I already bought those little toothbrushes you can do with your finger and mouth strips but what about underwear (OK I'm a woman if you didn't notice by the name :) )

What about your prescriptions?

Anyone with any information on this would be so helpful for me. I have a list going and I think I'm going to need a hi-lo to transport it all.

The list I have so far is

Eye mask - because the nurses come in all hours of the night and turn the light on.
Cell phone and charger
Portable DVD player and movies and headphones
Extension Cord - for all the things you need to plug in
Pillow and blanket - someone on another board said you could do this but I'm not sure
Computer - for the wireless internet
Books or magazines
Radio - because I don't have an i-pod
For me personally - lots of Novenas, prayer books and scripture, even thinking about the Bible on CD.

Any other suggestions. I bought a new pair of pajamas, and bathrobe but I'm thinking I might just be getting blood all over them so if this is the case let me know and I won't take them.

OK underwear once again - what should I bring. I haven't been told where I will be cut, but I assume in the front so I want to wear something comfortable and don't want just an open hospital gown.

Thanks in advance!

Starting my journey on the road to recovery and being cancer free!!!

God Bless!


  • jenalynet
    jenalynet Member Posts: 361
    Personal items
    When I went into the hospital to have my resection, I had taken pajamas, robe, underwear etc...LOL...I didn't get use of any of them. The hospital gowns are convienent for IV's, dressing changes, bathing, bathroom uses etc. The nurses I had were excellent and it was no personal pj's for them. I sent the overnight bag home with my husband. I used toothbrush, soap, comb, etc given to me by the hospital. I had my clothes I was admitted in ( comfortable ) left there to go home in. You might want to check with the hospital before you pack. I will be praying for you that you may have a quick recovery like I did from the surgery. Hugs to you, Audrey.
  • lisa42
    lisa42 Member Posts: 3,625
    hospital items

    Your list looks pretty complete. I brought all of those things except my laptop because the hosptial didn't offer wireless. I found (with a 6 day stay for a liver resection) that I ended up not using much of the movies or ipod until the last couple of days because I was so out of it and just slept a lot the first few days. Maybe that won't be the case for you, though. I did bring my own comfy pajamas and was glad I did. One night at about 3 a.m., though, I woke up absolutely drenched in sweat and I mean drenched- it was like I had jumped in a pool and got back in bed. For whatever reason, I didn't want to call the nurse (maybe cause they were there so much already)- so I changed out of my wet pj's and put on the extra gown they had left me, put a blanket down on the bed to lie on, then flipped my other covers over to the dry side. I don't think it was a menopause type night sweat- I think it was from shock or the medication or something like that. So- it's probably at least good to bring a change of pajamas in case something like that happens. I've heard in the rectal surgery if you end up w/ a bag, that they can leak. Maybe that would be better to happen on the hospital gown instead of your own pajamas. I was glad to have my own light weight robe to put over the pj's or hospital gown (and my own slippers- somehting easy to walk in- definitely non slip), though, when I was out walking around the halls, which they make you start doing fairly soon.

    I found the hospital shampoo to be yuck- so I brought a small amount of my own. I didn't get to get in the shower until halfway through my stay & it felt sooo good. The first day before that I tried it, though, I fainted and had to have nurses help me up. Back into the bed I went for a sponge bath. The next day I was fine and that shower felt great!
    Take care & God bless-
  • kimby
    kimby Member Posts: 797

    I'd say take underwear. You won't be able to wear them until your catheder is out though. Doesn't your laptop have a dvd player? You won't need that and the portable. How about a couple cd's and not the radio? I'd go light on entertainment stuff....Between all the sleeping, getting woke up, sleeping, walking the halls, visiting with guests, I never have much time for all that stuff.

    You'll want deodorant and chap stick. How will you wear your pj's with an IV? Once that comes out you're going home. Same with the robe. Unless they snap at the shoulder you'll have trouble.

    The most important item I take is my humidifier. I have a small one for my bedroom and I always take it to the hospital - they are just SO dry there!

    Ok, take a GIANT pair of earrings, just for fun! Once you are feeling better you can stick those on as a distraction to how horrible we all look in those hospital gowns, LOL.

  • fighting for mom
    fighting for mom Member Posts: 96
    some other goodies
    I stayed with Mom the week in the hospital after her resection. It gave her so much comfort to have her own blankets, pillow, and jammies. A little of home. She had already packed her shampoo, lotion, some perfume, etc. I helped her with bed baths until she was ok'd for the shower. I also had taken several pair of warm socks- non-skid- so she could get up safely to go walking and to the bathroom.

    I curled/fixed her hair and that made her feel better.

    She also had lots of phone calls, visitors, flowers. I had packed a notebook to keep track of it- Mom is always big on thank yous. So that was important for her- she didn't want to miss anyone. She even had most of them done before she left! She wrote the notes and I addressed them.

    She had taken a busy bag- books, yo yo needlework, her bible. She really couldn't concentrate to do much of her busy bag- but it did give me something to do.

    Good luck- you sound prepared!!!
  • CherylHutch
    CherylHutch Member Posts: 1,375
    Hospital stuff
    Hey Kim,

    Sounds like quite the extensive list and I think you'll find, like when packing for a tropical vacation, you never use half the stuff you pack :)

    For the first few days, you won't be feeling like dressing to impress ;) And hospital gowns nowadays are the wrap around kind that aren't open at the back like in the old days. Some hospitals, apparently still have them, and if that's the case, then you just ask for two. One to put on you with the opening at the back. The second one you wear like a dressing gown with the opening at the front... that way, nothing is showing and you don't have to worry when off on your daily walks (once you are up and about).

    Perfume, I'd leave at home. I'm not sure what the US hospitals are like, but up here they are all "Scent-free" buildings, for the protection of patients who are sensitive to perfumes, as well as the staff. It might be a little different since you'll have a private room... but if the hospital has that policy, then it's throughout the building.

    I also wouldn't worry about bringing DVDs and a portable DVD player. For starters, your computer probably can play DVDs, but really, with all the pain management meds they give you, you won't really have the concentration to watch movies. Besides, you have a lovely flatscreen tv, so will be able to watch tv when you can concentrate on it.

    Bring your own toothbrush, toothpaste and personal toiletries. Even if the hospital supplies them, having your own is always better. I'm not sure about the little toothbrushes that you use with your finger... why would you have a supply of them and not use your own toothbrush? And I'm not sure what a mouth strip is... but do bring your dental floss :)

    Underwear... yes, I would bring it. You won't need it while you have your catheter in and that comes out depending on the individual. They don't like leaving them in for long because of potential infection... but they won't take them out until your body is producing a certain amount of urine.

    SOCKS! You might be lucky and your feet don't get cold... but if they do, there's nothing that can warm them up... although the blankets coming out of the warmer do a good job for a short period of time :)

    I did take my own bathrobe and although it was a challenge with the IV and various pumps and gadgets I was hooked up to... it still was comforting to have it.

    I also brought two of my own pillows from my own bed at home. The pillows you get in the hospital are these very flat, polyester filled lumps. Having my own pillows was a life saver!! My friends would bring fresh pillow cases and take home my used ones to throw in the laundry. Again... my personal pillowcases were more comfy and comforting than the hospital pillow cases that smelled of hospital.

    Final bit of advice... pack your bag of personal stuff but don't bring it with you when you check in the day of surgery. You aren't even going to notice if it's there or not for a good 24 hours after you go in for the surgery. And you have no idea if it will make it up to your room or not... especially electronic stuff and/or home pillows. They always say... do NOT bring valuables to the hospital... and there's a reason for it... they get stolen if no one is there to watch them. And you will be in the operating room and not awake when you come out. Have your husband or friend bring your personal stuff to the hospital once they know you are awake and out of recovery.


  • tiny one
    tiny one Member Posts: 465
    stuff to take
    I brought a lot of stuff when I went in to have my resection. Didn't wear any of the clothes I packed. I did use the makeup I brought, my shaver, your favorite body soap. Toothbrush, mirror. I brought shampoo but didn't get to shower until the day I went home. Talk about nasty hair. I brought underwear but didn't use them, I used the mesh ones the nurses gave me. I had my period 2 days after surgery. This can happen when the body is under stress from surgery. Take something to journal in, such as notepad or writing paper. You'll be glad later that you did this. I've been 2 years from my surgery and I still look back frequently and read about what I went thru. This has helped others who are just starting their journey. Make sure that you allow yourself to be pampered and spoiled and gushed over. Especially when you get home. This is going to be the start of your journey, you're going to be getting alot of attention all thru this. Sit back and allow it. God bless.
  • msccolon
    msccolon Member Posts: 1,917
    what to bring
    I have to echo what the others have already said; you won't use very much of what you're planning to bring, but if you have a loved one there, and they are willing to haul it back and forth, no harm! I know I used the television, sometimes just to have a noise to push the willies away when I was alone! I will definitely be bringing my portable DVD player when I go in in May for when I can pay attention cause I ALWAYS have to watch Grease to bring up my spirits! I lucked out my first hospital stay and it came on late at night so I got to watch it anyhow! In fact, my night nurse liked the movie too so he kept coming in to watch and chat! In fact, he even carried his own Lysol can cause he hated the smell of the stuff they used so you might even want to consider that as well! Also, some of your favorite lotion for after the sponge baths! Magazines if you're into them, if nothing else it will give visitors something to do while you nod off on the meds during their visits! Just wear some very comfortable clothes into the hospital to wear home (emphasis on comfort waist band!) and I did use my own robe when I went walking the halls. Personal wipes are helpful as well, but you can actually ask the nurses to bring some in; they should provide you with some if asked. Good luck!
  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,715 Member
    Should I bring my prescriptions or not. I was wondering about whether they will give me my calcium supplements and vitamins.

    Also do you suggest slip on slippers or one with a back.

    Just trying to get prepared.

    Thank you!
  • CherylHutch
    CherylHutch Member Posts: 1,375

    Should I bring my prescriptions or not. I was wondering about whether they will give me my calcium supplements and vitamins.

    Also do you suggest slip on slippers or one with a back.

    Just trying to get prepared.

    Thank you!

    Highly unlikely they will give you your calcium supplements and vitamins unless they are prescription ones. Most hospitals have a policy that any prescription meds, they must issue from their pharmacy, which is why they go over in detail at your pre-admission appt. what prescriptions and amounts you are taking. They will also tell you at that time whether to bring your non-prescription meds or to not be on them prior to surgery. Some supplements are not recommended before surgery because they may interact with the anesthesia or other meds that you may have to take while in the hospital. When you go for your pre-admission appt., they will go over all of this with you.

    Whatever slippers are easiest for you to slip into... just make sure they have a no-slip bottom because of the hospital floors. You do not want slippers that you have to pull on... you won't be able to bend to pull them on ;)