What items do you feel it is important to have on hand for recovery once you arrive at home?

  1. When you arrive home from the prostate cancer surgery, it helps to have the room ready.  You will want a table or stand of some sort within reach of the bed to put water, food, etc. on.
  2. Having a TV would be nice to help pass the time during the first few days when you don’t really want to get out of bed.
  3. Have lots of bland and easy to fix foods ready.  I ate a lot of soup. Spicy is not good for the first few days.
  4. If you have allergies, you want to avoid anything that will make you sneeze. A sneeze is really going to hurt for the first month.
  5. You should start on a stool softener as soon as you start solid food.  Don’t wait until you get constipated.  It will really hurt.
  6. You may have seepage at the wound site – you’ll need some sterile absorbent dressings and tape.  This is normal and doesn’t last.
  7. Most of the items needed were provided by the hospital. You may want to get the medication before hand than waiting to be discharged especially if you have your own pharmacy.
  8. I had bought a small table to put beside his side of the bed–to hold his medication, water and meals.  I think he only had meals in bed 1-1 1/2 days.  But he did continue to keep the meds and water bedside.
  9. Foods for the first few days should be soft and easily digestible – this isn’t the time for gas or constipation problems. I stocked up on soups, juice, some canned fruit, and oatmeal. Limit dry stuff like bread and nuts. Puddings and Jell-o are good treats. Drink lots of water.
  10. I had two pairs of the support stocking so I could wash out a pair each night and put on a fresh pair while they dried.  That felt good to change them nightly.
  11. I used a little Neosporin to rub on any redness around the incision.
  13. Ointment and the plastic bucket for hanging the bag
  14. “Invalid” cushion (looks like an inner tube)
  15. A pair of slippers or sandals or loafers
  16. Over-the-counter stool softener
  17. Another thing I was told by my doctor, and it worked great for me, was to take a spoonful of mineral oil daily for 30 days or so after the surgery to keep the stool soft.  It is not a good thing to strain during a bowel movement after any abdomen surgery.
  19. I had lots of good books to read and lots of quiet time to myself.
  20. I had easy food to make for lunch.  We only had small containers of milk.  I couldn’t lift a full gallon of
  21. milk for about 5 weeks.
  22. A pillow to hug early on to ease pain in laughing, etc.
  23. A pillow to put between your knees while sleeping on your side
  24. Grab bars in the area of the commode (don’t use towel racks for grab bars!)
  25. Have enough easy to prepare food on hand for 2-3 weeks.
  26. Book(s) and Magazines you’ve been intending to read.
  27. Fresh batteries for your TV remote
  28. A cordless phone and up-to-date phone list
  29. Two dozen inexpensive white washcloths (in a big bundle)
  30. A watch or interval timer to remind you not to stay sitting too long. The small kitchen timers would work for this and to prompt you to get up periodically at night if you need to do so.
  31. An electronic thermometer (about $10) for keeping track of your temperature for a couple weeks postoperatively.
  32. A walking stick may prove to be helpful.
  33. A safety bench (maybe a plastic lawn chair?) for the shower (sometimes you’re a little light-headed when you first come home and it’s nice to have something to sit on)
  34. A raised seat to put over the toilet (as an alternative, or in addition to, grab bars)
  35. A grabber for picking things up if you drop them so you wouldn’t have to bend down
  36. A “toilet seat lifter”. I would be inclined to bend a coat hanger into a hook that I could work under the lip and lift, but there are probably commercial step-on type mechanical devices akin to garbage can lid lifters out there. Just use a stick or bend at the knees, keeping the back straight. Heck, just leave the lid up for a few days.
  37. One person indicated his hospital made him wear a pair of anti-embolism stockings the whole time he was there. He bought another pair when he went home and suggests considering doing the same.
  38. Drinking straws – you will want some for the first week.
  39. Plastic cups – they’re lighter than glass
  40. Extra pillows – for sitting up in bed and as arm rests at night and for the couch.
  41. A current phone list – one of contact people who must know, one of friends to come visit you, walk, and meals, shop for you. Spread the burden.
  42. Travel bag – like a baby changing bag for when you go out or the keep women’s pads in your pocket.
  43. Viva paper towels – to help when wet – they’re soft.
  44. Toilet wipes – the first few times they’re nice, along with baby wipes for everything.
  45. To deal with the rash and itch consider getting tubes of Desitin and/or Butt Paste, both containing zinc oxide.What items were nice to have on hand during the hospital stay?
    1. A minor item but useful is a set of headphones and some favorite CDs and a portable player.  I didn’t realize how loud hospitals are and that would have helped me sleep.
    2. Bring your own pillows and pillow cases to the hospital – even if you have to smuggle them in.  It is so much nicer to recover on your own pillows.
    3. One thing I will recommend is to burn a couple of CD’s with favorite music.  This is a great way to pass the time in the hospital.
    4. If you have the hardware, fill up a MP3 player with your favorite tunes & use headphones to help “drown-out” the hospital noise.