upcoming surgery

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 10/10/2009 3:32 AM (GMT -6)   
My husband has had UC since January 2008.  He has tried all kinds of medication with little to no positive results.
So, on Thursday, he is having surgery to remove his colon.  He'll have to use a bag for a few months and will then (hopefully) use the j-pouch.  He keeps saying that this surgery will "give him his life back."
Anyway...my question is:
What kind of things should I get for him to make his hospital stay more comfortable?  Also, what items might help him when he comes home to recuperate?
Thanks for your help!

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 10/10/2009 6:02 PM (GMT -6)   
BetterHalf...welcome to the forum! Your hubby IS RIGHT this surgery will give him his life back! My dx is Crohn's so I now have a permanent ileostomy, but have a wonderful quality of life:)

You'll be getting plenty of suggestions, but here are few of my favorites: I-Pod or MP3 (I sleep with mine on), laptop, slippers that slip on (easier when by yourself), bathrobe, shampoo and your favorite soap, bacteria wipes and hand sanitizer (think wipe down sides of bed and bed table and tv remote), hard candies/gum and air freshener. Books were always on my list, but with the pain meds I was never interested in reading but a magazine might work.

Please wish your hubby good luck and let us know how things go!

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 827
   Posted 10/10/2009 9:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, my 18 yr old son just went through the same thing a little over 5 weeks ago...and ABSOLUTELY it has given him his life back. For two years he was sick and his life was out of control. Immediately after surgery he felt "better"...very sore from the operation and some emotional things to deal with but over all he felt better. Hard to believe. I do think that he had forgotten what it felt like not to be sick. The first couple of weeks post surgery are hard but still so much better than UC days. There is not too much to take to the hospital. Your husband will really need to walk a lot so slippers are good and maybe a house coat (our hospital provided one). My son really liked having his own pillow and blanket and for us the best $15.00 I ever spent was on a fan for his hospital room. Most rooms are very warm and just to have the air moving made such a difference. Air freshener is great to have and hard candies. For a few days your husband will not be allowed to eat and the candies can taste so good ( Just DO NOT chew and swallow...they need to be sucked). The first food allowed is clear broth. I brought in some Campbell's chicken broth which tasted much better than what they give you in the hospital.

We will be thinking of you this week and please let us know how things go. Just to let you know....it is Saturday night and my son is out with his friends and as he was leaving the house I could hear his laughter for ages as he walked down the street....it has been such a long time since we have been there!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 10/10/2009 9:51 PM (GMT -6)   
i answered on the other thread in the UC board, but somethign this just reminded me of, if they give him red jello, or red gatorade, his output may turn bright red, its ok though, lol.
UC for 8 years, before finally kicking its butt and having a permanent ileostomy April 17 2007! 
-I have gone to find myself, if i get back before i return, keep me here-

Liza D
Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 10/10/2009 10:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I could not live without my lap top in the hospital. Pants that go either above or below the stoma helps; and loose fitting. Books. Mags. Fluids galore! If he does Sudoku, get him easy puzzles because with the pain meds you are just not yourself. :)

Be prepared for getting used to the changes. I had to postpone my reconnection surgery and now I have been having some down days. I was in really bad shape when I went in the hospital, so I did not get out of bed for most of the 12 days. If you are planning the surgery date your Hubs should be in pretty good shape.

Good luck and feel free to email if you have any other questions I could help with. It does seem to be different between men and women but I'm willing to help anyway I can! :)
UC (Pancolitis... 90%!) December 2001
Arthritis (2003)
Upper GI Ulcer (2006)
Osteopenia (2008)
Depression/Anxiety (2002)
J-Pouch May 2009

Check out my blog: shlookshlies.blogspot.com/

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 10/11/2009 12:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you SO MUCH for the replies! I appreciate the ideas!

I have a few days (until Thursday), so I'll definitely run to store and pick up some items that will help him. You have some suggestions that I never would have thought of!

Oh, I am so looking forward to seeing my husband back to his "old self" again! It has been almost two years of seeing him get sicker and sicker - and more and more isolated.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 10/11/2009 10:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome, Better Half! :-) This surgery absolutely gave me my life back, and I'm sure it will do the same for your husband.

I would add cell phone and charger to the list and eye shades, so he can sleep during the day and have them on at night. That way he won't be bothered when the nurse comes in and flips on the big, bright light in the middle of the night! shocked

Please keep us posted on how he's doing, and don't forget stop back by after he's home to learn lots of ostomy care tips!

Wishing you both all the best,

Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at age 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free and medicine-free since surgery and very thankful to be healthy again.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 827
   Posted 10/11/2009 10:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Yay.....I agree with Cecilia about the eye shades. They helped a lot with sleeping. The other thing I just remembered is a back scratcher. It is hard to lift your body forward off the bed at the start and my son's back seemed to get itchy a lot.

Best of luck,


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 768
   Posted 10/11/2009 12:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Everyone gave good ideas. I loved having a story on my ipod. I couldn't read if you'd paid me. Magazines were OK. Walk him lots, that kept me encouraged.

Don't think anyone said EAR PLUGS but with ears covered and the eye covers I actually could sleep despite the crazy roommates and nurses station outside my door.

I have to say my husband would come twice everyday. I tried to be sociable but really just wanted to sleep a LOT. Don't expect the old Husband back right away. I think the older you are or sicker you were before, the longer the recuperation?

Hope everything goes well and we'll be waiting to hear.
This heights by great men reached and kept, were not obtained by sudden flight, but they while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.
H.W. Longfellow
Thyroid cancer removed 1988
Stomach problems finally figured out 2001 Crohn's/Colitus
Tried every drug without much success
Colon/rectal cancer removed Aug 2009

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 10/11/2009 7:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I had my husband read over your responses today. He also agreed that everyone is so helpful here! And, we have some great suggestions given here.

Hubby has tomorrow off of work (Columbus Day). So, he is going to get some items for his hospital stay.

Then on Tuesday and Wednesday, he has to start taking the stuff to clear out his system. The bottles of magnesium citrate are setting on the kitchen counter.

Thankfully, he has a lot of sick leave built up. So, he will be off work from now until the end of November (and longer, if needed).

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 10/11/2009 8:49 PM (GMT -6)   
This is a great thread. My surgery is this Wednesday. I hope mine goes as well as those I've read about

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 149
   Posted 10/12/2009 6:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Better Half! I think it's so great that you are doing this for your hubby! I just got home from the hospital yesterday after having my j pouch on oct 5. Don't forget to take all of his toiletrees as he will want to shower after a few days if he is able with help. Someone mentioned gum but maybe stick to the hard candies cuz chewing gum can cause too much gas and fill his ostomy with air. Also, they usually bring your water cups with a straw and have him take the straw out cuz of inhaling too much air again. The advice I got before I went in (from collicat i think-thx so much!) was walk, walk, walk and chew, chew, chew. Walking helps relieve the gas pain. For some reason, I had intense shoulder pain and they said it was from the air they injected cuz of using the laproscope and it radiates to the shoulders. The only thing to alleivate that is walking. It's also a good idea to use this thing called an incentive spirometer- they will give it to him in the hospital. It's for post surgical patients to help open airways. It's a deep breathing technique. It's normal to have sputum build up so deep breathing helps keep your airways clear. I tell you this cuz it hurts like hell if you have to cough it up. Very similar to the pain you get after coughing if you've had a c section in the first few days. HE will want to hold a little pillow over his incision when coughing. Hope this helps. Also, make sure he stays on top of his pain. I am having an issue with pain control 1 week later.
Darlene "Nutz"
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Proctitis 1999, changed to Ulcerative Colitis 2002.  J pouch surgery Oct 5, 2009

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 827
   Posted 10/14/2009 7:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Keep us posted as soon as you are able...we will all have you on our minds tomorrow.
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