I started biotin a little bit before surgery. A week before surgery I had to go off all vitamins & minerals. I started the biotin as soon as I thought I could swallow the pill at home.
If you drink any pop (diet or regular) or coffee quit now! Quit before you have to go on the pre-op diet.
I can only tell you things that made things easier on me. I brought one of those soft cuddly comfy throw blankets from Target (mine was brown, one side was soft and comfy and the other side was fluffy). I had it freshly washed and it smelled like home (Downy). It was my comfort in the hospital, I cuddled with it in the chair and it made me happy.
I went into the surgery smiling and humming. Made my nurses hum, even hummed my favorite little theme song to my doctor and anesthesiologists and nurses. It made everyone smile and lighten up and I was told I was one of the most positive people going into surgery and I woke up positive.
I found a decaff tea that was refreshing to bring to the hospital plus I bought my own artificial sweetener (truvia). I tried several decaff teas (after quitting coffee). Bigelow Peppermint Tea fit the bill with truvia. It literally calmed my tummy and felt better than water at first and even though it went from warm to cold, it tasted good cold. Hospitals normally serve hot tea with generic artificial sweetener in a coffee cup. It's not appetizing it smells like coffee though it's hot water. I probably have mentioned this 100 times since surgery in posts. This was my saving grace.
Bring Cottonelle or Charmaigne Box of wet wipes. After surgery your privates feel nasty (after getting the catheter out). It's a little harder to urinate on your own. Wiping yourself is a little hard because your tummy is swollen, but getting some of the orange stuff off you makes you feel cleaner. I also kept a brush on my table, because it was such a comfort to brush my hair because it became a birds nest.
When you go for your walk around the ward, bring along one of those mouth stick wipes because if you talk while you walk, your mouth will dry up on you so fast, especially if you are given the anti-nausea patch and anti-nausea shots.
You will be most likely be receiving shots in your belly every so often for blood clots. I wasn't prepared for this, nor was I prepared for a drain. Ask the doctor if you are getting one. The ted hose they use and compression thing I was afraid of but it actually didn't hurt and was comforting, I was nervous about those. If the ted hose starts rolling down and hurting, makes sure you get someone to fix it.
I made sure I kept my mouth sticks, water and peppermint tea and spirometer and I brought my own Kleenex (Vicks) type to the hospital. Those I made sure were close to me. When I would wake up during the night I would make sure I used the spirometer. I am prone to pneumonia and I used it OFTEN. I would take my big brown blanket and ball it up with a pillow and then cough. I still use it and it's 19 days out.
My hardest part of surgery (I was in the hospital 5 days) was the leak test. I had an allergic reaction to the Gastrique used and it was really hard on me. My face, neck and chest turned a bright red and I got dizzy and sick. Most people just feel sick from their first drink being something like that.
Things I did not use. I didn't use my kindle, didn't change clothes once (all the iv's getting any real pj's on there is no way.) I did have a pair crocs that I used to walk in, which was more stable to me than wearing their socks.
When I came home getting in and out of bed was not easy for me, and I spent a lot of time sleeping in the lazy boy. I walked as much as I could and I started spacing it out 20 minutes walking through the kitchen, living room and dining room 3 times a day.
I had the drain for 9 days and the last few days it started bugging me. Getting it out, was not comfortable but there was HUGE relief getting it out. I could finally actually breathe again.
Realize that no two people heal alike. There are people that sound as though they have surgery and go home and are out walking miles in the first week. You may have had previous abdominal surgeries and have more scar tissue, you may have never had one and aren't used to it and take it harder. Everyone recovers differently and don't compare your experience to others because it's unneeded frustration. Try to remain positive, even when the going gets tough. I had only questioned my decision when I had the reaction to the gastrique, and then when my drain got infected (I have lupus), they were fleeting.
I have tried to stay positive otherwise and it's done me well. I have a brain tumor, and I suffer from Lupus, I had diabetes and sleep apnea, and I suffer from raynauds and severe migraines and I have a lot of things that could contribute to me not staying positive. I had complications during my surgery which were pretty severe and still I would do it all over again. I will be 49 in August, which is how old my Great Grandmother Died due to obesity, and I am built just like her.
Good Luck to you and stay positive, keep a fun song in your head that day, be it a theme song - like Brick House, or whatever current music you like. Mine was the Theme from Sanford & Son and old TV show that I loved as a little girl. The music is happy & funky and to remember the look on my surgeons face or remember the nurses trying to hum it or my husband and son humming it as I was being wheeled out still makes me giggle