Your stay in hospital

Staying in hospital can be a bit scary, especially if it’s your first time. It’s a good idea to control the things you can. Our tips can help you to bring everything you need, and we have some tips from other people who have had hospital stays.

What to take to hospital stays

This is a list of items that you might find useful on a multi day stay in hospital. You may not need all of these things, but it can give you an idea.

  • Three pairs of pyjamas (if it’s going to be a long stay, track suit bottoms or other loose-fitting, comfortable clothing)
  • A lightweight dressing gown•Comb and/or brush
  • Face wipes/baby wipes/body wipes•Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Slippers (best with non-slip soles)•Small tin of Vaseline or lip balm
  • Lots of drinks (non-alcoholic naturally, Lucozade or squash)
  • Earplugs
  • Soft/balm tissues -LOTS! -the hospital will provide but they are a bit rough
  • Sanitary products
  • Your own soap/towel/flannel/shower cap
  • A cheap pair of flip flops for use in the shower
  • Cardigans or zipped jumpers –over the head sweaters can be trickier put on.
  • Nibbles that don’t make a mess in your bed
  • Sweets/mints
  • Books/puzzle books
  • Two or three pens and notebook to journal or take notes on what your consultants say.
  • Phone and phone charger
  • Hand held gaming device
  • Wallet
  • Headphones
  • A couple of cuddly teddies (optional)
  • Mum, sister, wife, hubby, best friend – or the like
  • Don’t take jewellery -including wedding rings

“If someone says ‘can I do anything?’ say yes! Helps you and makes others feel very worthy. A friend cleaned out my rabbits -just what I needed!”

Other things to consider

You may choose to have a cascade system for letting people know how you are doing. One person could ring the ward, and then have a list a people to contact to let them know. Organising these things in advance gives you a sense of control and means that everyone is kept informed on how you are doing.

It’s best to avoid wearing make up or nail polish if you are having surgery, as the nail beds are a good indication of circulation. It’s also helpful for the anaesthetist to see your normal face colour.

It’s best to spread out your visits, especially from your wider support network. When you are recovering from surgery you will get tired easily, so having too many people visiting in one day can be a bit much. Spreading out your visitors also gives you something to look forward to throughout your stay.

Suggestions from the pituitary community

“Go out and buy a nice light perfume or body spray. Not your usual one, because you will probably always associate it with your stay in hospital, so if you throw it away afterwards, it doesn’t matter. It makes you feel so much better having a quick ‘spritz’. The other daft things I did were things like taking a face pack in with me for when feeling better post-op. I could convince myself it was a spa not a hospital. Being in my own room helped with that one!”

“Plan something for afterwards. After my hysterectomy, a dear friend came to visit. I was two days post-op and feeling awful and she TOLD me I was going on a trip with her school to a Tapas bar in five weeks’ time. Seems an odd school trip, but they had been taking Spanish lessons!! Seemed impossible, but I was determined. I went, had a great time with all the children and was so glad I had set myself an achievable target.”

“I took a photo in of the family and had it on my bedside trolley which was nice to look at.”