Laparoscopy for Endometriosis: Post Op Care Supplies

I have already posted my Hospital Bag, Bowel Prep & Post Op Ailment Tips. Please head over and check those out for great tips & tricks for before & after surgery. Today I will do a short post about the OTC meds & supplies I have stocked up on for after surgery!

Once I leave the hospital and come home I want to be as prepared as possible. I am sure there can be any number of possible bumps along the road to recovery. Whether it be gas pains or diarrhea(doesn’t sound too pleasant after surgery) I want to be as prepared as possible.

Here is a short list of great things to have on hand Post Op!

  1. Gas-X or another anti-gas OTC with the main ingredient Simethicone. It helps to move excess gas out of the body!
  2. Imodium or another Anti-Diarrheal OTC with the active ingredient Loperamide HCI. Counteracts/reverses diarrhea!
  3. Nauzene or another Anti-Nausea OTC with the active ingredients Dextrose (Glucose) &  Levulose (Fructose). Chose one that also includes an Anti-Acid.
  4. Prilocec OTC or another Anti-Acid like Equate Acid reducer for acid reflux. There are several active ingredients to chose from in OTC Anti-Acids.
  5. Colace or Dulcolax stool softeners.  The active ingredients should be docusate sodium. Avoid stimulant laxatives!
  6. Allergy Relief OTC like the Equate Allergy Tablets. The active ingredient should be diphenhydramine HCI antihistamine.
  7. Kleenex Tissues for any tears of joy or sorrow after surgery!
  8. Hand Sanitizer wipes or liquid to keep infection down to a minimum risk!
  9. Dried Prunes or Fiber supplements. Helps to naturally encourage bowel movements…prevents constipation!
  10. Gingerale or Ginger suckers. Great for helping with nausea.
  11. Thermometer to keep an eye out for any post op fevers!
  12. First Aid kit for any boo boos you may get!

I hope this helps you to be better prepared once your wonderful nurses are no longer there! I will update this list as soon as I find new items that may be helpful! Please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments!

Laparoscopy for Endometriosis: Post Op Ailment Tips!

A few days ago I posted my Hospital Bag & Bowel Prep tips. Please check those out if you would like to know what I have packed & purchased in preparation for my upcoming surgery.

I have noticed that lots of my fellow Endo sisters complain about Post Op Ailments like gas pains more than the actual surgery it’s self. So I figured I would go ahead and post what helpful tips & tricks I have collected over the last few weeks. I hope you all find these to be helpful and will be prepared before & after surgery.

Lets get started!

Gas Pains OR Shoulder Pain…..

Unfortunately this pain is most likely going to happen regardless of how much your surgeon tries to suck out all the gas. They will never be able to get it all so regardless you will have excess gas trapped in your abdomen. Beautiful thing about this is that it has no where to go. It can’t exit the digestive tract so it has to SLOWLY be absorbed into the blood stream. This can take minutes, hours & for some even days.

  • Immediately after surgery take some Gas-X. I know I said that the gas can not be expelled through the digestive track. However it can’t hurt to try & see if it works! : ) This will of course help if you have any gas in your digestive track.
  • Sip on hot tea with peppermint as soon as you are able to hold down liquids.
  • Drink plenty of carrot juice…it naturally helps absorb the gas!
  • Use a heating pad on the front & back of the area you are having gas pains. It helps to bring increased blood flow to that area & allow the gas to be absorbed faster! It also helps with the pain!
  • Walk as much as you can as soon as you can! Most hospitals have patients up walking within hours of surgery. This helps to move the gas around & out of the abdomen. It also helps to increase blood flow to the body. Once you are home walk a few times around the house or even outside….careful not to over do it!
  • Avoid cold food/drinks…I find that they give me gas. May just be in my head but it could not hurt to avoid it for a few days post op!
  • Elevate your feet & head to allow gas to pool in the center of the abdomen instead of in the shoulders!
  • Elevate your hips and allow your head & feet to rest lower….this also helps to disperse the gas!

Constipation…..

Constipation is something that just comes with the territory with surgery! All the pain meds & General Anesthesia stops you up! Only issue is that it makes ‘going” extremely scary when you are sore almost all over but especially your core muscles.

  • Keep your diet light for the first few days! This a great time to start the Endo diet.
  • AVOID foods high in fiber for at least the first 2 days Post Op.
  • Take a probiotic daily…make sure that it has at least 5 different strains & live cultures.
  • After a few days eat foods high in fiber like prunes apples, bananas & pears. Yogurt also helps to keep your bowels moving. Greens are also great for this!
  • Stay hydrated & drink plenty of liquids! At least 8 glasses per day!

Diarrhea….

In case of diarrhea Post Op this can be very uncomfortable! I would suggest if it is severe or you have a fever to call your doctor.

  • Try OTC anti-diarrheal.
  • Try fresh ginger in boiling water…this can help to stop diarrhea naturally.
  • Chamomile tea is also known to possibly decrease diarrhea.
  •  AVOID soda or things with carbonation.
  • AVOID  dairy.
  • AVOID caffeine.

Nausea and/or Vomiting…..

For me after surgery no matter what meds I am given I am nauseous. Not so much the vomiting but still no fun! I think it has more to do with not having anything to eat than the actual meds. Some articles I have read report that nausea occurs more often in gynaecologic surgery than others.

  • Ask your surgeon or anesthesiologist if nausea meds can be given along with GA. This way you don’t wake up with nausea.
  • Lying flat helps to reduce nausea.
  • Gingerale or sliced ginger in boiling water does wonders on nausea.
  • Teas with ginger in them also work well!
  • Snack on saltines or graham crackers.

Pain….

Of course since this is a surgery you will have some pain. It really depends on your level of pain tolerance & amount of “work” done to determine how much pain.

  • Stay on top of your pain! Take your meds BEFORE your pain hits. It is often too hard to stop pain once it starts.
  • Fill your prescription BEFORE leaving the hospital. In case you have pain on the way home once the hospital meds wear off.
  • Use a heating pad for any left over pain that the pain meds did not take away.

I really hope this helps you to care for any Post Op issues you may run into! I know for one that I am not looking forward to the gas pains but I am prepared to handle them with the tips I provided above.

If you have any other tips please leave them below in the comments!

Laparoscopy for Endometriosis: How to beat the Bowel Prep!

Bowel Prep*Click photo to enlarge* 

If you have not seen my Hospital Bag post please go check it out. It has helpful tips & what I suggest packing for your trip to the hospital. This post however will focus on helpful tips/items to have on hand before you start the Bowel Prep process.

On August 11th I will be doing the dreaded Bowel Prep for my Laparoscopic surgery for Endometriosis. Since I will be having a possible Bowel Resection my surgeons ask that I be completely cleaned out. Many surgeons recommend this even if you will not be having bowel surgery done. I did a mild cleanse with 10 0z of Magnesium Citrate for my lung surgery in 2010. My Bowel Prep this time includes four Dulcolax laxative tablets, one 8.3 oz bottle of MiraLAX powder & one Fleet enema the morning of my surgery. I am sure by that you can tell already that this will be one SERIOUS Bowel Prep. Because of this I have gotten/found some great tips/items to make it go a lot smoother…no pun intended! 🙂

Tip #1 Eat lightly for a few days leading up to your Bowel Prep. Light foods that are gluten & soy free are what I prefer. Try to avoid things like red meat, milk, yogurt, cheese and bread. Stick with lots of fresh green veggies & fruit. Less in….less out!

Tip #2 Have lots of flushable moist wipes on hand! Baby wipes will work as well just do not flush them! I suggest fragrance & alcohol free wipes with aloe in them if you do not have an allergy to it. Pat…do not wipe!

Tip #3 Have plenty of hemorrhoid cream and/or wipes available if you are prone to hemorrhoids! Something with soothing ingredients like aloe will be even better.

Tip #4 Have some Desitin or other diaper rash cream on hand. Just in case you get a rash or broken/irritated skin. Even Vaseline could work.

Tip #5 Stay away from drinks with artificial food dyes like red, blue, & etc.. These colors stain the bowels and make it hard for your surgeon to see disease in order to remove it. You have a better chance of your surgeon removing more disease IF they can see it!

Tip# 6 Drink plenty of clear fluids like Gatorade that has added electrolytes. Water, popsicles, jello and chicken broth work well also. At least 8oz every hour is best to prevent dehydration! You can have coffee or tea…no milk or creamers.

Tip #7 Have some slices of ginger on hand in case you get nauseous during the prep. Add it to some boiling water for a homemade gingerale.

Tip #8 If you find yourself getting nauseous even after trying steps like gingerale…slow down on the prep. Try to space out the amount you are drinking at one time. Another option is starting your prep a few hours earlier so that you have a bit more time to get it all down.

Tip #9 Make the mixture ice cold! It tastes better…at least to me it does. Also mixing it with a strong soda helps. Pick one you won’t mind not ever drinking again…trust me!

Tip #10 Clean & organize your bathroom. You will be in there for most of the day & you will want it to be nice and tidy. Add some candles to make it nice and inviting!

Tip #11 Bring in your tablet or laptop and watch things like Netflix or Redbox online. My partner suggested bringing in my favorite gossip magazines…I think having some magazines/books on hand is a great idea.

Tip #12 Prepare a room close by. Have it prepped with pillows & a blanket. If you can place a TV close by with your favorite movies. You will not want to be very far from the restroom during this process.

Tip #13 Make sure any family members or visitors have another restroom to use. You will not want to be sharing a restroom when you have to “go” and it is occupied!

Hope these tips & items helps you to make it through the Prep process a bit easier! Please leave any helpful tips in the comments section!

Laparoscopy for Endometriosis: What’s in my hospital bag?

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24 days out until surgery and I am finally all set up! My bag is packed and waiting by the door. My bedroom is organized and stocked with my Post Op Surgery Supplies. Now it’s just sit and wait it out!

For weeks I had the hardest time finding a list or blog post of things to take in my hospital bag. I got extremely lucky with some tips from some wonderful ladies in my Endo support groups! I am hoping that this will help you to decide what to take with you. I have included all the things that I hope will make me to feel comforted before & after surgery. Feel free to build off of this list and pack things that will make you feel at home away from home! I am not sure if I will stay 1-6 days so my bag is a “just in case” measure.  Not everyone will need or want to take all of these things! Most of these things I already had on hand in my home. No need to go out and buy all of this stuff if you don’t think it is a must!

If you are traveling out-of-state for your surgery I will include a few extra helpful tips at the end of this post!

What I packed in my hospital bag:

  • Loose Fitting Clothes– Relaxed clothing with no zippers to wear to and home from the hospital.
  • Robe & Pajamas- I will be taking pajama sets that are 1 size bigger than I normally wear. They all have soft waist bands with lots of give.
  • Comfy Slippers/Socks- After surgery you will need them for walking plus hospitals are notorious for being cold.
  • Loose Underwear- I recommend buying either bikini or hi-cuts at least 1 size bigger. Some hospitals give you those stretchy mesh panties. They are wonderful…take as many home as possible.
  • Menstrual Pads- In case there is any post op bleeding. Most hospitals offer them to patients….but just in case take your own.
  • Feminine Hygiene Spray- I am not sure how soon I will get to shower…I prefer to bring this just in case!
  • Deodorant & Body lotion- Your skin can get really dry and itch…try to take something slick and long lasting.
  • Body Wash- In case you are there for a few days & have a shower in your room!
  • Mouthwash, Toothbrush, Tooth Paste, Floss Picks- Floss picks come in handy when your hands are shaky but you have food in your teeth. Traditional string floss can be tricky.
  • Body Spray or Light perfume- Easy way to feel fresh & pretty after surgery. Please keep it light in case a nurse or etc. has an allergy.  
  • Shampoo/Conditioner- If you have a shower in your room and feel up to it. Instead of buying the small travel size get those small clear bottles and use your current product!
  • Comb/Brush- The smaller the better!
  • Hair Ties or Head Bands- You will not want to deal with hair in your face.
  • Facial Cleansing Cloths & Moisturizer- Easiest way to refresh your face without needing a mirror or sink.
  • Chapstick or Vaseline- Your lips will be really dry after surgery!
  • Hand Sanitizer & Wet Wipes- Mostly for any visitors or my partner if she needs to change my bandages or etc.
  • Throat Lozenges- Your throat will be incredibly dry and a bit sore after surgery from the intubation tube.
  • Mints/Gum- Will work wonders for dry mouth and nausea if you have any!
  • Nail Clippers, Nail File, Nail Polish- Since you cannot wear polish into surgery I find that painting your nails after surgery is a great way to peep yourself up. Yellow is always a great color choice!
  • Ear Plugs & Eye Mask- If you will not have a private room these will be your best friend.
  • A small soft pillow- For the car ride home. Put it in between you and the seat belt to protect your wounds. Also will come in handy of the pillows provided aren’t very comfy.
  • Light Weight Blanket- In case you are cold and want something from home to comfort you.
  • Magazines, Books or Puzzles Books- You may be waiting before going back & get bored. They also come in handy for your family/friends that will be waiting during your surgery.
  • Phone, Tablet, Chargers- I will need these for updating my fellow Endo Warriors! Also create a soothing playlist of music before surgery to relax you!
  • Camera, Charger- If you would like to document your surgery!
  • Medical Records, Insurance Card, ID, SS Card- These are a must!
  • Emergency Contact list- If you are traveling without your closest relatives this may come in handy. Just in case!
  • Medication/Allergy List- In case you are too sedated and the nurses may need to give you a new medicine. It is good to have a current list as well as things you are allergic to.
  • Pre Op Forms/Hospital Registration Forms- Cannot forget these!

Those of you traveling out-of-state please consider bringing the following:

  • Food & Drink– It may be less expensive to bring these in than to buy once at your hotel or etc.
  • Hot/Cold Packs/Cooler– To keep foods cold while driving. Cold packs are also great if you have swelling in your joints.
  • Allergy Meds– In case you run into pollen or etc on your drive. Pollen levels are different in various states.
  • Pain Meds– Fill them in advance in case your pharmacy isn’t out of state or you have pain on the drive.
  • First Aid kit– In case you get in minor burns or scraps.
  • Razor & Shave Cream– To prep before surgery!

I hope this helps you to prepare for your surgery! I know it can be overwhelming to go through surgery as it is without the stress of packing. Hopefully having your bag packed and ready to go will free up some anxiety and allow you to focus on more important tasks.

What are you hospital bag must haves?

My Endo Journey begins: 46 days out til surgery!

So today June 26, 2013 marks 46 days until my Laparoscopy surgery for Endometriosis! I am not counting the day of surgery as a day hoping that the surgery flies by.

Today I woke up feeling a bit overwhelmed. Maybe it’s all the money I had to spend Monday to prep for surgery. Christina(my partner) and I went to Target, Walgreens, Publix & Ross. I ended up with a new robe, 3 pajama pants & 3 pajama shirts for the hospital stay & for home recovery. I got them all in a small/medium instead of my usual x small/small so that my excisions would not be rubbed against. We got 2 pairs of long warm sucks in case the hospital is a bit cold. I already have slippers and loose panties from a previous lung surgery so I will be taking those.

We picked up fiber supplements for after surgery to prevent constipation from the loads of heavy narcotics I will be on. We also picked up anti-diarrheal….just in case my body decided to go in reverse LOL. Of course we also have to get anti-gas, anti-acids and anti-nausea meds for home recovery. But that’s for a later shopping trip. We picked up hemorrhoid cream/wipes for the bowel prep. Yes it will be as awful as it sounds! I will later pick up some fragrance free baby wipes for the bowel prep as well. I decided to pick up some allergy pills just in case I have a bad reaction to something once I am home.

We purchased menstrual pads in case of any after surgery bleeding as well as pantyliners for any spotting/discharge. We got some Dial antibacterial body wash & bar soap for use before and after surgery. I am also planning to have Christina to use the antibacterial hand soap we picked up for when she changes my bandages. I got a small first aid kit just in case Christina or I need it in the car or something. She has a big tendency to hurt her self at work…like daily LOL.

We picked up a small 3 pack of plastic bottles to put lotion, mouthwash and face moisturizer in. I got a 3 pack of pre-moistened facial wipes to cleanse my face after surgery. I also picked up a pack of toothbrushes for Christina & I to use at the hospital if I stay. We decided to get a small pack of wet ones for small clean ups if need be.

Granted we got most of this stuff on sale/clearance however it adds up and we spent way more than we had to spend! Christina of course made me feel better about it by making me realize I need these things. She wants to make sure I will be as prepared and comfortable as possible which is so sweet. She is so right…I need these things so I have no choice but to put out the cash and to suck it up!

I still have the bowel prep supplies on my list which is just MiraLAX, Dulcolax laxative tablets and fleet enemas. Doesn’t that sound like a recipe for a sore bum?! Well I am hoping the Desitin cream I will pick up & the baby wipes with help that hahaha! I still want to get new sheets…dark ones in case my incisions bleed. And a bed rest pillow or maybe a body pillow instead!

So not that many things left on our list of pre/post surgery supplies! I am excited to be completely done with this surgery shopping list of mine! ❤

What’s on your must have list for surgery/recovery?