So, I had some elective surgery on Friday. Nothing life threatening, but necessary. Needless to say I was dreading the experience. I’m not usually one for medications and I hated the thought of having an anaesthetic, antibiotics and a stint on pain killers. I also hated the idea of eating hospital food for 4 days as I envisaged cornflakes, dried out pasta bake, instant coffee and Sara Lee cake being the more appetising things on offer… (Thankfully I was pleasantly surprised and discovered for most meals I could order meat and veggies/salad… phew!)
As my surgery date approached, I started to think about what things would make my stay in hospital more comfortable and my journey back to full health faster and easier. Here is a short list of those items and I can say with confidence that they have made a massive difference to my recovery. If you have surgery coming up this year, hopefully you’ll consider packing these things in your hospital bag – you won’t regret it!
1) Aroma Dew Diffuser and Essential Oils
I know it might seem a little over the top, but OMG, this has been the most amazing and positive addition to my hospital room! I honestly don’t know if I would have felt as good as did so quickly without it, and certainly my mood would have suffered.
I bought 10 essential oils with me, all designed to either induce calm, help sleep, or with anti-microbial or healing properties. I ordered chamomile the week before I left home, but sadly it didn’t arrive in time. I did manage to pack the following:
- Wild Orange
- Clary Sage
- Tea Tree
- DoTerra On Guard Blend (Wild Orange, Clove Bud, Cinnamon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus and Rosemary)
- DoTerra Purify Blend (Lemon, Siberian Fir, Citronella, Lime, Tea Tree, Cilantro)
If you’re interested in learning more about aromatherapy, or would like to sign up to receive doTerra oils, you can join my doTerra tribe here – http://purespacesolutions.com.au/doterra
I also brought a bottle of fractionated coconut oil and have been rubbing diluted Lavender and Frankenscence oil on the soles of my feet and back of my neck which is soooo nice! (Note: never put oils straight on your skin as they can burn – always dilute in a carrier oil.)
The diffuser has been running none stop with a variety of combinations of the oils I bought, and all the nurses have commented on how nice my room smells all time! Not a hint of hospital smell around here!
Before my operation I spoke to my doctor and anaesthetist about the supplements I wanted to take post surgery to aid my recovery to make sure they weren’t going to interfere with any of my medication. Thankfully, they were happy for me to take the vitamins I bought with me which included:
Probiotics. I purchased a really powerful probiotic powd by Bioceuticals and have been taking a sachet each day. I think it’s really important to look after your gut health after taking antibiotics and other medication that can disrupt things down there.
Vitamin C. The all round healer and immune system booster. Vitamin C also aids skin regeneration and therefore wound repair. I’m taking 1000mg daily.
Vitamin D3. For immune system support and because I’m probably not going to be seeing the sun for a little while!
Zinc. Zinc is also a really good wound healer and plays an important role in maintaining skin integrity and structure.
Magnesium. There are so many benefits to gain from taking Magnesium but I included it to help me with my anxiety, to help me sleep and for it’s anti-inflammatory benefits..
A Good Multivitamin. I chose one by Seeking Health that just supports overall vitamin intake.
(Note: it’s really important to check with your doctor before taking any types of supplements to make sure they’re not going to interfere with any of your medication.)
I am so grateful I bought along my Waters Co Ace Bio Filter. Not only because I know I’m drinking really high quality water with a high mineral content, but because I’m also saving plastic water bottles which seems to be the only other option otherwise!
If you think the 1L jug is a bit OTT for your luggage bag, then you could always opt for the 600mL Waters Co Mini BMP Waterman.
It’s really important to stay hydrated after surgery as this can aid the wound healing process. It also helps flush out toxins and helps prevent constipation which can be a side effect of some pain relief medication.
4) Coffee, Tea and Snacks
I suspected that it might be hard to get hold of a decent coffee in the hospital, and I was right. It was instant all the way and not a cappuccino machine in sight…
So. Worth. It.
At morning tea time when the tea/coffee trolley would come around to my room, I’d just ask for a cup of boiling water and could happily make myself a coffee right here in my hospital room that was exactly like the brew I have at home.
I guess I’m lucky because I prefer my coffee black so it’s super easy for me, but worse case I’m sure you could just ask for a small jug of milk and have it flat white style? Still beats instant any day for sure!
I also packed a few of my favourite teas including peppermint, chamomile and ginger. The ginger has really been helping me with the nausea I am getting from the pain medication and the chamomile helps to get me in the right mood for sleep.
As for other comfort food? A block of good quality dark cholocate (of course), and a large Onyx container full of organic Macadamia nuts from my bulk food store at home.
I absolutely LOVE Macadamia nuts and lucky for me they are also a powerhouse of nutrition containing loads of healthy fat, fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.
It’s important to listen to your body after surgery and not to push yourself to do too much. Even watching a movie can be really tiring and sleep is key to recovery. At the same time, if you’re feeling OK there’s nothing worse than being bored in your lonely little hospital room, so bring some fun things to pass the time!
My husband kindly let me borrow his iPad which I loaded up with some good movies I’d been wanting to watch for a while, and I also packed a good book and some good magazines.
I’m really loving how opulent it feels to just watch a movie or read a magazine as I never have time to do those types of things at home!
Anyway, that’s it from me for today. Time for another nap I think! I’ll touch base again once I’m back home and a little further down the path of recovery.