Erin, you're in my thoughts and prayers for your surgery on Tuesday. I'll never forget when you posted your first message under the name "Considering A Bag." Now look at how far you've come! I'm so proud of you for trusting your doctors and for making a decision that's going to bring you excellent health.
Here are a few things I recommend bringing to the hospital: eye shades, ear plugs, Gas-X chewable tablets, liquid Tylenol, chewing gum, hard candies (butterscotch is my favorite), slippers, a robe, your cell phone with charger, hair conditioner, and a small pillow to press against your stomach when you get out of bed.
Also, ask your doctor for a pain pump, so you don't have to call the nurse every time you need some pain medicine. They get busy and can take up to 45 minutes to respond. With the pump, all you do is press a button, and it gives you the medicine through IV.
The medicine will make you sleepy, so that's where the eye shades will come in handy during the day. It also gave me a headache, so the liquid Tylenol will help with that, and the Gas-X will help with gas pain.
In the hospital, every medicine the nurse gives you has to be approved by the doctor, so if you have gas pain at 2:00 in the morning, the nurse would have to call the doctor for approval. Then, you'd have to wait for the pharmacy to get the order and send it up, which can take a couple of hours. It's something I learned the hard way after my surgery, so I'm happy to save you from having to be in pain waiting for some over-the-counter Tylenol or Gas-X.
One more thing, don't let them take you off the IV fluids too soon after you stoma starts working. In the beginning, it will put out a lot of liquid, so you'll need to replenish that through IV fluids. Otherwise, you could get dehydrated, so make sure they stay on top of that.
Good luck on Tuesday! I'll be thinking of you and praying for you. We'll all be anxious to hear how you're doing once you get home.
Take good care,
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Small Bowel Obstruction Surgery in '08, caused by adhesions.
Disease-free, medicine-free, and very thankful to be healthy again :)