As I sit here, winding down before bed, I am filled with trepidation about the events of tomorrow. I never thought I would find myself in this position again of preparing for out-of-state surgery.
So what do you need to take with you when you travel more than 700 miles for a surgical procedure?
From left to right, half of this suitcase is made up of pajamas. And the fuzzy socks to go with said pajamas. Honestly, from a clothing perspective, that is the majority of what I need. Clothes to wear to and from the hospital? Pajamas. Nothing fancy here.
There are two unique things I have going on this trip that I actually need nicer clothes for. See those yellow shirts in the middle (yellow for endo!) One of those shirts will hopefully be worn with some nice black shorts (buried under said shirts) to the Atlanta screening of Endo What?, a new documentary just out this past March that serves to educate and empower those with endometriosis, as well as anyone else who should want learn about endometriosis (perhaps, everyone!) The screening is set for Thursday evening, the day I am discharged from the hospital. The board of experts on the panel after the screening includes the medical staff of the CEC, so it’s going to be a very exciting Q&A that I would love to be there for. So if I’m feeling ok, I’m going! The other yellow shirt is for a film interview I have Friday morning with the director of Endo What?, Shannon Cohn, to record my story. I don’t know yet in what medium my footage will manifest itself, but I’ll keep you all posted!
Along with my necessary toiletries, you also see the necessities for the dreaded bowel prep I have do to tomorrow evening. This is the worst part of the whole thing; to me, the surgery is nothing compared to the bowel prep. I have the necessary jug of Miralax, as well as the Dulcolax I have to take. We’ll buy the Gatorade once we get to Atlanta. Doesn’t matter what flavor; there’s so much Miralax it ruins the flavor no matter how hard you stir it! And there’s some Desitin in there, too, because things definitely begin to burn after awhile…I’m so looking forward to this; I can barely contain myself. ?
Also in the suitcase is Ruby the Endo Roo, an Endo awareness kangaroo made by the wonderful Kelsey at Ask Me About My Endo. Ruby accompanied me to Atlanta for my last surgery and she’s coming along again this time. She gets some interesting looks, but all the more to raise awareness about endometriosis!
Now moving onto my hospital bag, since I will be staying overnight in the extended care unit. Underneath all of that stuff, a fuzzy pink blanket to use, if not actually in the hospital, then underneath seat beats in the car and the airplane, since seat belts of course cross right over the incisions. A few books in case I get really bored, among them being The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman, and How to Survive a Shipwreck by Jonathan Martin. Also, my iPad, iPod, and my written journal will be coming with my as well.
Another bag shoved in my suitcase contains some food I can eat post-op, such as gluten free oatmeal. The rest of the food, such as mashed potatoes and bananas, we will buy down there. I’ve been doing pretty well on my liquid diet so far today, aside from a slight headache.
So there you have it! Doesn’t seem like much, but it certainly takes awhile to gather it all. I probably should have started packing yesterday so I wouldn’t have felt so rushed today.
I’m not sure the next time you’ll hear from me. I have some finished drafts to post for your reading pleasure over the next few days that have nothing to do with any of this! Hope you enjoyed this tiny little entry about packing for a long-distance medical trip. Continue to follow this journey in The Day Before the Day Of!