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  #1  
Old 8th August 2008, 12:48 PM
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BeckyH BeckyH is offline
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Smile What to take to hospital - back by popular demand!

hi everyone!

well it would seem that i'm behind the times! lisalou's thread sparked a dim and distant memory in me of a thread we had on the old forums which was a collaborative effort on what to take to the hospital when you go in for surgery.

apparently this thread has long since disappeared into the ether of the internet but seeing as it's something we get asked a lot i thought it'd be nice to bring it back for ease of reference.

the plan is that everyone post their suggestions and then i'll pull it together a bit more neatly.

please feel free to contribute if you are someone who has had surgery or someone who has supported somebody else through surgery, as both sides of the story are incredibly valuable.

items falling into the following categories would be gratefully accepted:

1 - preparing at home

2 - clothing and toiletries

3 - home comforts (e.g. things to keep you occupied!)

4 - getting home and getting back to normal

i also thought it would be appropriate to have a couple of these about, for example, there might be some more specific advice that parents of younger children would like to share, so there's a thread in the infantile/juvenile room too.

looking forward to receiving all of your contributions
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Diagnosed in March 2001 by family GP after my mum noticed an asymmetry in my spine. Referred to a consultant at the RNOH, Stanmore and started attending consultations for x-rays twice a year. Prescribed a TLSO brace to be worn 16 hours per day. Began with double major curves at approx 48 degrees. Offered surgery in 2003 aged 16 and declined to continue with school. Requested surgery in 2005 instead. Had T11-L3 fused on 16th July 2005 and haven't looked back! Released for all activities in March 2006, having been driving and riding horses with consultant's permission since 7 weeks post op.
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  #2  
Old 8th August 2008, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: What to take to hospital - back by popular demand!

I'd say to girls to bring nighties as you'll have the catheter in and this might make it a bit easier. Well, it depends what you're most comfortable in really.

Brilliant thread =D
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  #3  
Old 8th August 2008, 01:18 PM
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Default Re: What to take to hospital - back by popular demand!

ok i have a feeling my contribution could get a little long!

1 - preparing at home

this largely depends on your domestic situation and how quickly you will be required to be independent! for a lot of teens/young adults, they won't need to do much as they will probably be cared for by parents or guardians, though i would advise anyone that if you don't think you'll be able to make it to your local surgery, inform them beforehand that you will require a visit from a nurse for a dressing change/wound check (this comes from me having a horrible experience where i had to go to the surgery as they didn't understand why i wanted a home visit and i passed out because it was so hot and there was nothing available for me to sit or lie on that came within my restrictions!).

i digress. so if you're living fairly independently, ensure that anything you will need to pick up is not too heavy and well within easy reach. re-arrange cupboards if necessary and perhaps cook lots of food and freeze it so that you can re-heat meals (you may not feel up to standing to cook). some hospitals are better than others at sending pre-admission advice and the one thing that i'd suggest you do is measure up a chair so that you have something you know you can sit on. the advice is that you have something with a strong back and arms (so that you can push yourself in and out of it) and that is no lower than the back of your knee (because you have to keep your hips above your knees).

2 - clothes and toiletries

some of this is down to personal preference, but i believe this is a sound list of things you will find useful!

- nightwear (you may just be comfortable in gowns, but it can be nice to have your own stuff)
- an outfit to come home in (zip or button up top and loose trousers e.g. tracksuit)
- comfortable shoes/slippers (to get home in or potter around the ward in when you're well enough)
- vat of moisturiser! (your skin can get really dry, especially when wearing the highly attractive surgical stockings)
- lipbalm (even for guys! your lips can get quite dry if you're not drinking much or wearing an oxygen mask)
- "brushaways" not sure if they're still called this and they were quite new when i went into hospital three years ago! they're basically a throwaway toothbrush that goes on your finger so that you don't need water and toothpaste. they don't quite do the job as well as the real thing but can make a big difference (you can't bend over to spit easily)
- baby wipes and/or antibacterial hand gel. kind of speaks for itself, it's really nice to be able to freshen up a little!

3 - home comforts

again, just a list!

- bendy straws (same problem as tooth-brushing, you might struggle to lift your head) a bottle with a sports cap could also be good
- favourite drinks (sometimes you don't feel up to eating but drinking is important and water can get boring)
- music/books/magazines/dvds (some hospitals have tvs and dvd players, may be worth checking! i was fortunate enough to borrow a portable dvd player and had it on my over the bed table thingy. if i were going in now i'd take my laptop, because this does the job but i didn't have one back then. of course with everything electrical don't forget the chargers because you may regret it!)
- snacks/mints (again you may not feel up to eating but it's worth having stuff on standby and mints are good for nausea)
- a diary (this is quite a personal thing - i took a notebook and instructed my dad to get everyone who visited to write in it, in case i was out of it or asleep when they came. it was a really nice thing to look back on and read when i was alone)
- a camera (for posterity you may not be looking your greatest but some of us have found it positive to look back on our recently post-op selves and see how far we've come)
- pillows for the journey home

4 - getting home and getting back to normal

being a bit of a child i got some colouring books in and used to sit colouring (graphical books, not kiddie ones!). i did it to keep me distracted, so that i would stay sat up for a few hours because i was banned from spending the entire time in bed!

i think the big thing in helping me through was my family, they were fantastic and i really did lean on them heavily. it's what everyone says but you have to take one day at a time, really think about the small improvements you're making and set some goals or things you'd like to achieve when you're better. it's great to have things to look forward to: i know people who've booked a holiday for a year after surgery and things like that. you'll have bad days, but the community here is testament to the fact that it's worth it in the end. that and you have all of us here cheering you on
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Diagnosed in March 2001 by family GP after my mum noticed an asymmetry in my spine. Referred to a consultant at the RNOH, Stanmore and started attending consultations for x-rays twice a year. Prescribed a TLSO brace to be worn 16 hours per day. Began with double major curves at approx 48 degrees. Offered surgery in 2003 aged 16 and declined to continue with school. Requested surgery in 2005 instead. Had T11-L3 fused on 16th July 2005 and haven't looked back! Released for all activities in March 2006, having been driving and riding horses with consultant's permission since 7 weeks post op.
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  #4  
Old 11th August 2008, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: What to take to hospital - back by popular demand!

Nice list, BeckyH! I'd like to add:

- earplugs or earbuds/headphones for a music player, because sometimes hospitals can be quite noisy.
- a notebook and pencil for by your bed -- if you have a question that you want to ask your doctor you can write it down so you don't forget, and then ask them when they see you next on their rounds. Or you can use it to write down information from the doctor that you want to remember.
- a calling card, for talking to friends and/or family if you wish.
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  #5  
Old 11th August 2008, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: What to take to hospital - back by popular demand!

These are all great suggestions. I don't have anything to add, really, but I wanted to say how much I love this site, and how great it is that we help and support each other. *feeling good about SSO*
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  #6  
Old 12th August 2008, 08:27 PM
Ryansmum Ryansmum is offline
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Default Re: What to take to hospital - back by popular demand!

Thanks so much just what I needed to try and get myself organised!
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  #7  
Old 25th September 2008, 09:43 AM
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Cool Re: What to take to hospital - back by popular demand!

I'll see if I can dig out our old list, but one thing I do remember is that we kept running out of nightwear (very sick!) and the best ones were night shirts that were too big, cos they are far easier to get on and off - quite good if some buttons down the front.

H x
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  #8  
Old 25th September 2008, 08:11 PM
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Emily-Evanopsi Emily-Evanopsi is offline
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Default Re: What to take to hospital - back by popular demand!

1. books (make sure someone else reads them as you probably wont be able to lift it)
2. Nightwear, like scolioscott said, Big t-shirts are very good
3. some sort of portable DVD player. I remember watching The Day After tomorrow whilst having an enema (Heehee)
4. rescue remedy (for obvious reasons)
5. HAIRBRUSH. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!
6. camera
7. lip balm. seriously, this is pretty vital
8. Hand cream. I got really bad dry skin when I was in intensive care
9. A plastic bag. You never know what you might need it for
10. staws for drinking
11. A mood beam
12. games consel, for when your able to sit up
13. A cuddley toy. I got very attached to them when I was in hospital.
14. ear plugs, headphones, portable music player
15. Phone

This is all I can think of at the mo

P.s The night before you have the op, if you've got long hair, put it in a really tight plait (sp?). This will help you later
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  #9  
Old 25th September 2008, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: What to take to hospital - back by popular demand!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily-Evanopsi View Post
P.s The night before you have the op, if you've got long hair, put it in a really tight plait (sp?). This will help you later
i definately agree with that! my hair was in french plaits for the first few days, and as soon as i took them out it practically turned into an afro
xx
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  #10  
Old 28th October 2008, 05:20 PM
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Default Re: What to take to hospital - back by popular demand!

ALL THESE ARE ABSOUUTLEY VITAL!
TXTING IS ALL I DID! GETS UR MIND OFF THINGS!
and listening to music is great as well

Quote:
7. lip balm. seriously, this is pretty vital
14. ear plugs, headphones, portable music player
15. Phone
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I am curve free now, scoliosis has gone, even if you are different, even in the slightest way BE PROUD! Hold your head high don't let anyone put you down!

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  #11  
Old 29th October 2008, 03:29 PM
kails13 kails13 is offline
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Smile Re: What to take to hospital - back by popular demand!

Heya
I think everyone has said everything but one important thing!
The glue from the electrodes in your hair is really horrible to get out and we were told that the best thing to get it out was nail polish remover.. so dont forget it lol.
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  #12  
Old 4th November 2008, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: What to take to hospital - back by popular demand!

I must absolutely stress *make sure the nail polish remover is acetone* It will not remove the glue otherwise. In any case, I'd actually recommend that you have someone pull most of it out for you (me and nail polish remover did not go well together, and resulted in me losing a large patch of hair - it grew back, but it was very distressing - I'm pretty sure it was due to the non-acetone remover that was used first and did not work). If I have to remove glue again after my next surgery, I'll just be pulling it out gradually just in case.

I don't want to worry anyone too much - it is normal to use acetone for example to remove glued in hair extensions, so I'm more or less certain it was the non-acetone stuff, but worth being aware of so it can be avoided.
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Diagnosed at 15 with 50 curve, but probably juvenile IS. Fused in kyphosis (by non-specialised ortho) with a/p surgery T10-L2 @ 21, posterior only revision surgery to correct kyphosis @ 29. Now 38 with further revision surgery and extension of fusion to sacrum required to correct residual kyphosis, restore lordosis and address spinal stenosis.
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  #13  
Old 4th November 2008, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: What to take to hospital - back by popular demand!

the hospital provided me with some especially for my surgery! also, i painted my nails the night before surgery just to calm myself down, and they made me remove it. any idea why? xxx
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  #14  
Old 9th November 2008, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: What to take to hospital - back by popular demand!

I'm going to add shiny silk/satin PJs (from Primark for example, less than 5) to this list, on the basis that it makes sliding about in bed a lot easier which is ace when you're flat on your back and having to be shuffled around.

I was lucky enough to have a portable DVD player as well and think I would probably have found things much harder without it, I was in for a fortnight and found watching discs of things like QI and The IT Crowd cheered me right up when I couldn't sleep at night.
Downloading audio books to my Ipod was really helpful as well.

EDIT - TG, I'm not 100% certain but I think the nail varnish thing is either to do with them using the colour of your fingernails to check on your circulation (which seems a trifle unlikely but it's something I've heard!), it getting in the way of any of those monitors they attach to your fingers or plain and simply hygiene reasons, they won't want it flaking off in theatre, pieces of this season's colour falling into your giblets is probably not cool

Last edited by GloomCookie; 9th November 2008 at 09:59 PM. Reason: Forgot to answer Twizzle's question!
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  #15  
Old 9th November 2008, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: What to take to hospital - back by popular demand!

I found I couldn't actually focus on anything properly with my eyes, so watching DVD's was useless!! I had the whole first series of heroes on DVD as well...
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