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!

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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: 30 days out til surgery!

Today June 13, 2013 marks 4 weeks until my excision surgery! I am exactly 30 days out from surgery!

I had not idea time would start to fly like this. I am glad that I have OCD and started prepping as soon as I did. I am extremely  happy to say I have absolutely nothing left on my Pre/Post Op Surgery list!  My hospital bag is already packed and my home care supplies have been set up. I will do a blog post soon with my recommendations for your hospital bag and home care supplies. I will also be doing a post with tips on the bowel prep & post op ailments that can happen once you are home.

On another note….I logged in today to find my last post was 7 days ago…I didn’t even realize that. Crazy thing about having Endometriosis is that life can change in seconds! My pain went from moderate to intense in a matter of hours! I pretty much sat in bed for 6 days straight except to go to the restroom or eat. My partner has been working overtime to save a few bucks just in case any other bills/emergencies come up before or after surgery. I realize I am really lucky to have her support.

Only issue we are dealing with now is trying to figure out my sleeping arrangements prior to surgery. We don’t own a recliner and our futon is way to firm and low to use as an option. Our current bed is a full and very hard with broken springs. She is also a wild sleeper so there isn’t much room for someone with stitches to recover LOL. I would not want to be sleeping and to be jolted by a knee or elbow. In order to prevent this very possible disaster we want to get a queen bed. We had saved for a queen size memory foam bed but that money has had to go else where. That leaves us with 30 days to figure out where I will sleep.

I also just realized that my ID expired June 30th and I have to get a new one. I have 30 days to do so for surgery but 20 before I need it for a FNA(Fine Needle Aspiration) of my Thyroid on August 2nd. I am starting to stress a bit and worry but I know it will all work out!  I am sure it will all get done…I am making it a priority starting next Monday.

I am so excited for my new life….new me will be born on August 12th 2013.

My Endo Journey begins: 41 days out til surgery!

Today July 1st marks 41 days til surgery! We are almost at 5 weeks and 4 days out! It is closer than I thought it was! The other day I didn’t even realize we had already passed 6 weeks Pre-Op!

I have realized that many of the women that I know that have Endo rarely if ever have enjoyable intercourse with their partners. I have also noticed that lots of women blame themselves as to why they can not have sex. It saddens me that our bodies can control and prevent such important parts of our romantic relationships! On top of that is the shame and embarrassment that we hold in not wanting to talk about the painful side of what should be pleasurable!

So lately I have noticed that intimacy for my partner and I isn’t happening as much as we would like. For one it has been way too painful during intercourse since I have scarring on my ligaments and ovaries. Two because I have constant cramping in my uterus which I am hoping isn’t Adenomyosis! My partner gets really sad when we attempt to be intimate and have to quit because it hurts. She thinks it is her fault and that she is the reason I hurt but we both know different. Also sometimes I feel guilty because we can not have sex as often as I am sure she would like or need.

Just a few months ago I rarely ever had pain with sex unless it was a week before my periods was due. Other than that I never really noticed any discomfort let alone pain with penetration. I am starting to think that it is because my Endometriosis has been so active due to hormonal imbalances and it being untreated for 13 years now. Yes I have done birth control for 1.5 years when I was 15-16. However since I have only used pain management to treat my Endo. I am sure that this has let Endo grow deeper and implant and scar more places in my pelvic floor.

I have been looking into trying Pelvic Floor Therapy to help but I have not been able to find a clinic in Atlanta. So far all that helps is taking a pain killer before and after sex. But even then we still have to be extremely careful. We have started using a lubricant to help with friction discomfort and that does help a lot.

Anyone have suggestions for PFT? Or any other methods that could help us? Please feel free to leave a comment below or email me at lala.life.with.endo at gmail We would really appreciate it!

My Endo Journey begins: 42 days out til surgery!

Today June 30th marks 42 days until surgery! I am almost at 5 1/2 weeks Pre Op! OMG it is really becoming real! I am having surgery in a little over 6 weeks! Okay I am back now!

My niece Leona’s 2nd birthday party was today and we had a blast! She looked like a divine princess in her birthday dress! We ate loads of hamburgers, hot dogs and we sang happy birthday. She opened all her gifts and of course only liked one and ran off to play….Kids!! I played Baseball with my nephews Cayden, Trison & Timothy! Cayden is the youngest of the boys at 3 years old , Triston is 5 and Timothy is 8. None of us truly knew how to play but it was all in good fun. Can I just say how badly I hurt after that but it was worth it.

Oh yea my partner Christina & I FINALLY got all of the Pre/Post surgery supply list done today! We added nausea meds, anti acids and stool softeners to out checked off list. We also picked up all my bowel prep supplies which includes: MiraLAX 14dose, 4 Dulcolax laxative tablets and 1 fleet enema. Yep this is going to be a party!

Christina is planning on setting up the bathroom really nicely in preparation for the night before surgery. I get to watch TV/Netflix from the hallway closet just so I won’t have to go far from the restroom. You never know when you may get the urge to go : ). We are making a comfy bed in the closet as well just in case the prep wakes me up in the middle of the night. Our bedroom is a ways away from our bathroom and we don’t want to chance it LOL. I will stock the hall closet with all my necessary things like gingerale, gatorade, fragrance free wipes and any other things I may need for the bowel prep.

Doesn’t it sound like I am prepping for a fun sleepover or party? I wish it were the case! 🙂 But oh well I will do what I have to do before surgery day!

My Endo Journey begins: 43 days out til surgery!

So today June 29th marks 43 days out til surgery! I am so freaking excited I added a countdown widget to the front of my Android Phone. Yep you read that right…it wasn’t enough that I blog about it day to day but I had to add a widget that counts down to the days/hours/minutes/seconds up until surgery! Call it what you will but it has helped to ease my mind quite a bit!

Any ways so today I woke up in not as much pain but I do still have some discomfort. It is mostly my back pain that hurts the most today. I think it has more to do with my bed needing to be replaced that my Endo or the Estrogen I am on. I do have scoliosis so I am sure that that combined with a hard/bumpy bed isn’t a great idea! Lately I have been extremely tired and falling asleep around 10 pm & waking around 10 am and still feeling tired! I know that it has a lot to do with my body not resting well.

Christina and I are still shopping for a few things for my home recovery post op. Things on our list for home recovery are sheets in a dark color in case I bleed from my incisions. As well as a new bed & pillows!  I have been on Amazon looking at Lucid memory foam beds today & I found an amazing bed. Now I just have to find the cash for it! : ) We have also been talking about getting new bedding and pillows. A friend of mine told me about nomorerack and we found some great 1600 count sheets for under $40…amazing steal! I am hoping to be able to afford to redo our entire room before surgery! If not tax time isn’t too far off and I can always ask for gift cards for Christmas: )

The only bummer about today is that a close friend of mine came into town from North Carolina for a day. The kicker here is that I was too sick to even say yes to going out with her. That is the only thing about Endo & Chronic Pain that really gets to me. The lack of a life that I get to live! It has been more than a year and a half since I have seen a bar or friends. Yes I get to chat with them online but you will never see me in photos with my friends having FUN. I mean what is fun again?!

This is exactly why these next 43 days can not go by any faster!

Bring on a better quality of life!