Between work from home life and post-operative recovery, I haven’t worn pants that actually button in quiteeee some time. Raise your hand if you don’t even want to think about putting jeans on again.
Even though I have had surgery for my endometriosis previously, I scoured the web for tips and tricks for my second recovery. I wanted to feel as prepared as possible! Honestly I thought I was overbuying and wouldn’t use half of the stuff I had packed away in my bag. But I was wrong! Today, I am going to cover some must have necessities for tackling the tough days (and weeks) after surgery so you can take it easy!
- Ice packs: I had three in rotation! I used my largest one the most but I do recommend buying them in various sizes if you can so you can target specific areas when needed.
- Pillow & blanket from home: Nothing is as comforting as having your own pillow and blanket when you wake up for recovery. If you are recovering at home, this won’t be a problem. But if you are traveling out of state, make sure to put these items on your packing list! Also, using a pillow over your stomach on the car ride from the hospital is crucial to lessen the pain of all the bumps along the way.
- Hard candies: The breathing tube from being under anesthesia will really give you a dry, scratchy, terrible throat. I was under longer than I anticipated and whew my throat felt terrible when I woke up! Thankfully I had some mints in my bag and they helped so much! The IceBreaker sours are my personal favorites!
- Mesh/high waisted undies: These are not that fashionable. Okay, they aren’t fashionable at all. But, they are necessary. You will not want to wear normal undies due to your incisions and these are comfortable and will not cut into your skin! Trust me, you need them (and you might just continue to wear them after you recover)!
- Pajama dresses/oversized shirts: PJ dresses, oversized t-shirts, whatever they’re called, you NEED them – as long as it isn’t pants! I’m linking one a girlfriend sent me from Target, but I also found a few at Walmart for less than $10. I would also recommend a comfy robe to throw over your lazy pjs if you have anyone over to visit or just to make yourself feel more put together in general!
- Loose fitting sweats/joggers: Since I did eventually have to travel several hours home, I had to find pants that wouldn’t be uncomfortable on the ride but would also let me look put together when we had to stop along the way. Highly recommend the ones I linked here!!
- Baby wipes: You can use these for a multitude of things, obviously! But I kept them bedside to wipe my hands before/after eating, to take quick “baths” when I didn’t have the strength to shower, etc… You get the idea!
- Notepad/Pen: I gave a notepad & pen to my dad to write down notes from my nurse in recovery because I knew I wouldn’t remember anything. I also used it to write down when I took medications so I knew when to take the next dosage
- Slippers or another slide on shoe: You’re going to need a comfortable shoe that you don’t have to put effort into when putting them on. I wore mine to the hospital (no one will judge you, I promise).
- Socks with grip on the bottom: When you get to the hospital and have to give all of your personal belongings up (including your glasses when you’re as blind as me), it is nice to have one thing that is yours. I wore my own socks with grips on the bottom, but they will give you some if you forget them! Also, if you are required to stay in the hospital after surgery, they require you to wear something with grip on it!
- Abdominal binder: I had never heard of one of these and there is no way I could have worn this the week after surgery, but it has been nice to have it as I am moving around more!
- Heating pad: For the love, don’t put this on/near your incisions. But for back pain and shoulder pain from the gas, you will be glad you have a heating pad nearby.
- Books: I got tired of watching television and it was nice to have the time to fully commit time to read. I recommend reading & watching Little Fires Everywhere!
- Large cup or water bottle: Pictured below is a huge cup I picked up at Target for $10. Works just as well a Yeti without spending all the coins!
- Small basket: I used this small basket from the Target dollar section to keep everything I needed together and close to me so I wouldn’t have to get up so much. I put my medications, the tv remote, lotion, you name it!
Additional small luxuries to have:
- Wedge pillow: This thing was so great to lean on in bed since it was painful to be completely flat. You can also use it to prop your feet up. I can’t get enough of it!
- Sheet face masks: It was nice to be able to pamper myself a bit to lift my spirits. There’s no mess involved in these, just apply to your face for 20+ minutes then toss in the trash!
- Lip balm: My lips always feel so dry after anesthesia and it was an additional little luxury to have on-hand.
- Silk scrunchies/hair ties: I have been wearing my hair up so much since I haven’t the ability to do much with my hair (including washing it). These are comfortable and lessen the damage to your hair caused by normal ponytail holders.
Things you need that no one wants to talk about
- GasX/Phillips Milk of Magnesia/Miralax/ Senokot S (Actually all of the above)
- Peri Bottle (listen you can literally use one of those reusable condiment bottles. I promise it works just as good as the $15 name brand ones)
- Flushable wipes
- Overnight pads: Try these HoneyPot ones! Once you try them, you will never go back to normal pads again!
If you’re preparing for surgery or just coming out of one, I wish you the best! You are stronger than you could ever imagine and you can get through this! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions, I am happy to help!