Packing question: What did you have ready for "the call"?

Posted by jodeej @jodeej, Feb 14, 2018

Hi all,
Happy Valentines Day!! <3
I’m just wondering if when you were packing for “the call” how much did you have ready and how much did you have to pack at the last minute? Also, was there anything that you didn’t take that you wish you would have?
Thank you,
JoDee

JoDee, such a good question. In fact, so good that I changed the title to “Packing question: What did you have ready for “the call”?” I got a bit excited and changed the title before asking you. Do you like the new title?

Liked by cehunt57, jodeej

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@colleenyoung

JoDee, such a good question. In fact, so good that I changed the title to “Packing question: What did you have ready for “the call”?” I got a bit excited and changed the title before asking you. Do you like the new title?

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@colleenyoung, you made me laugh! Yes, I like it. 🙂

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Hi @jodeej,
This is a great question, and I am certain that you will have many responses from the community. I wanted to be sure you saw our blog post “Preparing for Surgery”. This post has some useful information about packing and other things you can do to prepare for being away from home. You can find the blog here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/newsfeed-post/preparing-for-surgery-tips-for-your-wait-on-the-list/.
I hope this helps. Best of luck to you!
-Kristin

Liked by cehunt57, jodeej

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Hi Kristin, I have seen this and it helped me with getting my list of items to pack started. 🙂

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@jodeej, I have an awful time packing for a vacation, so this was a monumental task for me!

My husband and I were living in Gift of Life for the 8 weeks leading up to my transplant. We both knew that if I needed anything, that he could easily retrieve it. I got my call at 6:42 AM as we were getting ready to meet the shuttle for my dialysis treatment. My mind went blank, and I don’t even recall if I took my bag or not! I always carried my ID, lip gloss, hand cleaner, Kleenex, comb, and cell phone in my jacket pockets, so I know that I had those with me. But, I did not need any of them because I was immediately admitted, had dialysis, and prepped for the surgery. My bag, wherever it was, contained a CD player and CD’s, a puzzle book, notepad, pencil, hand lotion, slippers, robe. I did not need them;-)

My husband, caregiver, always carried our laptop with him, a paperback book, a jacket (hospitals are always cold!), cell phone and charger. So that is what he had when we got the call.
I think that the best thing he did to prepare in advance was to purchase our 1st laptop (in 2009). He had that loaded with whatever he could think we would need, and some favorite music.

I need to add this background information: We arrived in Rochester, in late Feb 2009 via air ambulance. I had only the hospital gown from my local ICU department. He was allowed 1 small suitcase, so half of his stuff and all of mine got ‘dumped’ before leaving the hospital. As far as the personal items, we could purchase them if needed. Our son had to ship winter coats etc to us! My transplant was in April 2009 for liver and kidney.
Rosemary

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@rosemarya

@jodeej, I have an awful time packing for a vacation, so this was a monumental task for me!

My husband and I were living in Gift of Life for the 8 weeks leading up to my transplant. We both knew that if I needed anything, that he could easily retrieve it. I got my call at 6:42 AM as we were getting ready to meet the shuttle for my dialysis treatment. My mind went blank, and I don’t even recall if I took my bag or not! I always carried my ID, lip gloss, hand cleaner, Kleenex, comb, and cell phone in my jacket pockets, so I know that I had those with me. But, I did not need any of them because I was immediately admitted, had dialysis, and prepped for the surgery. My bag, wherever it was, contained a CD player and CD’s, a puzzle book, notepad, pencil, hand lotion, slippers, robe. I did not need them;-)

My husband, caregiver, always carried our laptop with him, a paperback book, a jacket (hospitals are always cold!), cell phone and charger. So that is what he had when we got the call.
I think that the best thing he did to prepare in advance was to purchase our 1st laptop (in 2009). He had that loaded with whatever he could think we would need, and some favorite music.

I need to add this background information: We arrived in Rochester, in late Feb 2009 via air ambulance. I had only the hospital gown from my local ICU department. He was allowed 1 small suitcase, so half of his stuff and all of mine got ‘dumped’ before leaving the hospital. As far as the personal items, we could purchase them if needed. Our son had to ship winter coats etc to us! My transplant was in April 2009 for liver and kidney.
Rosemary

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Wow, what an adventure you had! That's the one thing I keep reminding myself, there are stores if I forget something. Thank you for the ideas. 🙂

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Hi all, I'm bringing this discussion back to top because we want to gather more of your tips to write an article for the Mayo Clinic app. Please share your tips to help other transplant recipients feel better prepared. What should they pack to be ready for the call that they have to get to the hospital for their transplant? The best advice for patients comes from patients (and their caregivers), like you: @contentandwell @gaylea1 @rrichardparker @parmcat @jeanne5009 @jerrydrennan @ca426 @amyintucson @luckonetj @glinda @jbilton @danab

What did you pack in your bag to be ready for the call? What important thing did you forget? What would you advise someone not to bother packing?
For those of you who are waiting, what's in your bag?

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Perfect day for this to come up. I was just placed on the active list for a kidney transplant

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@colleenyoung

Hi all, I'm bringing this discussion back to top because we want to gather more of your tips to write an article for the Mayo Clinic app. Please share your tips to help other transplant recipients feel better prepared. What should they pack to be ready for the call that they have to get to the hospital for their transplant? The best advice for patients comes from patients (and their caregivers), like you: @contentandwell @gaylea1 @rrichardparker @parmcat @jeanne5009 @jerrydrennan @ca426 @amyintucson @luckonetj @glinda @jbilton @danab

What did you pack in your bag to be ready for the call? What important thing did you forget? What would you advise someone not to bother packing?
For those of you who are waiting, what's in your bag?

Jump to this post

@colleenyoung I bet @marvinjsturing is waiting for the responses! 1.) If you know the area where your transplant will be, buy some gift cards for nearby eateries. That way your caregivers have a way to get some decent food when they need to. 2.) Don't forget a shawl or lightweight throw to use if you get chilled. 3.) Have a written contact list of people either you or your caregiver may need to contact, especially if you need to go any distance. 4.) If you have financial obligations that may be due while you face the first month, try to pay ahead to avoid late charges. 5.) Pack "comfy" clothes, ereader or book, puzzles, things you normally use to distract/amuse/entertainment yourself. Next?….

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Although my transplant was scheduled…I'd say pack as many elastic waist or tie-waisted pants as possible. Post transplant leaves most people with significant incisions so loose sweat pants are perfect. Your immune system will be on the down-and-out so pack small hand sanitizer bottles or disinfectant wipes so you can wipe down your cell phones (very germy), hands, etc.

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@colleenyoung

Hi all, I'm bringing this discussion back to top because we want to gather more of your tips to write an article for the Mayo Clinic app. Please share your tips to help other transplant recipients feel better prepared. What should they pack to be ready for the call that they have to get to the hospital for their transplant? The best advice for patients comes from patients (and their caregivers), like you: @contentandwell @gaylea1 @rrichardparker @parmcat @jeanne5009 @jerrydrennan @ca426 @amyintucson @luckonetj @glinda @jbilton @danab

What did you pack in your bag to be ready for the call? What important thing did you forget? What would you advise someone not to bother packing?
For those of you who are waiting, what's in your bag?

Jump to this post

I packed many things I didn't use but the following I found helpful and essential.
Notepad and pen for things that I wanted to ask my doctor but kept forgetting. Also used it to keep track of daily activities, medications and notes to my kids.
Earplugs!! Sure helped get me through the nights (and naps). Eye mask to keep things dark.
Charger, phone and tablet, For news and email/texts to family and friends. Earbuds so I could listen to relaxing soothing music.
Toiletries. Extra facecloths and hand towels.
I wore a hospiral gown the whole time but I had track pants for my legs. I found a shawl worked better than sweater, hoody or dressing gown. The shawl left my arms free for IVs bloodtests etc. Woolly socks and slippers.
My favourite blanket and pillow case.
Books if you read a lot.
Mints to keep my mouth moist.
A small flashlight was useful.
We all had our own rooms in the transplant ward but I always asked them to keep my doir shut.
Sorry for such a long list but these items made everything more endurable.
I had one gentleman on my floor who brought in a special pillow to sit upright with arm rests.
Hopefully this may be helpful.

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Hi all, I'm bringing this discussion back to top because we want to gather more of your tips to write an article for the Mayo Clinic app. Please share your tips to help other transplant recipients feel better prepared. What should they pack to be ready for the call that they have to get to the hospital for their transplant? The best advice for patients comes from patients (and their caregivers), like you: @contentandwell @gaylea1 @rrichardparker @parmcat @jeanne5009 @jerrydrennan @ca426 @amyintucson @luckonetj @glinda @jbilton @danab

What did you pack in your bag to be ready for the call? What important thing did you forget? What would you advise someone not to bother packing?
For those of you who are waiting, what's in your bag?

Jump to this post

For my heart transplant, I had difficulty handling all of my meds. I used Biotene lozenges and these settled my stomach for some reason.

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I see above a lot of great suggestions. We were going to stay at a hotel after release so you may want to decide and pack a suit case for after release. The one thing i figured out was packing an extension cord for your cell phone charger. They make a usb male to female cord the will help get the phone end to the bed. The wall outlets are always so far away from the bed. Or buy a cord that is pretty good leanth. I figure at least 6 feet. Hand sanitizer is a must too you can't always wash your hands in bed so i brought a small pump bottle of sanitizer. Pen and paper a must for questions. I find hosp rooms to be cold so maybe a robe to wear while sitting up or covering your backside while walking.

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Hi all, I'm bringing this discussion back to top because we want to gather more of your tips to write an article for the Mayo Clinic app. Please share your tips to help other transplant recipients feel better prepared. What should they pack to be ready for the call that they have to get to the hospital for their transplant? The best advice for patients comes from patients (and their caregivers), like you: @contentandwell @gaylea1 @rrichardparker @parmcat @jeanne5009 @jerrydrennan @ca426 @amyintucson @luckonetj @glinda @jbilton @danab

What did you pack in your bag to be ready for the call? What important thing did you forget? What would you advise someone not to bother packing?
For those of you who are waiting, what's in your bag?

Jump to this post

So many great suggestions here, I have little left to add.
People have mentioned paper and writing implements to jot down questions. I suggest a notebook to keep track of everything so when you look back you will remember all that happened and that you went through. I meant to do that but the notebook didn't get packed and my husband couldn't find it at home. Of course I figured I would remember everything but I did not.

As @gaylea1 mentioned, a flashlight. I always pack a flashlight whenever I go away.

Also, a lip balm. I found my lips got very dry in the hospital. Thankfully they did have some there and gave me one but it took about a day and requesting it a few times before they actually did. Also, if you prefer something other than plain hospital water ask whoever is visiting you to bring something like Hint, or some sparkling water type of beverages.

Definitely something warmish to throw over your upper body. I have a light fleece jacket and it was a perfect weight and could easily be left on in bed when I was sleeping. I found out from previous hospital stays that I tend to get cold in hospitals.

I like to have slippers too for walking around. Those socks with sticky pads on the bottom just don't do it for me. Unfortunately, I had my expensive UGG slippers with me for one hospital stay and when they brought me down for an endoscopy someone took them off my feet and I never saw them again so don't bring anything too expensive that you value. They were brand new, so I definitely think someone stole them. After that I brought inexpensive slippers.

I can't think of anything else right now, most everything is covered, plus they do give you the essentials in the hospital so if you don't mind using their basic brands you are pretty well set.
JK

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@colleenyoung

Hi all, I'm bringing this discussion back to top because we want to gather more of your tips to write an article for the Mayo Clinic app. Please share your tips to help other transplant recipients feel better prepared. What should they pack to be ready for the call that they have to get to the hospital for their transplant? The best advice for patients comes from patients (and their caregivers), like you: @contentandwell @gaylea1 @rrichardparker @parmcat @jeanne5009 @jerrydrennan @ca426 @amyintucson @luckonetj @glinda @jbilton @danab

What did you pack in your bag to be ready for the call? What important thing did you forget? What would you advise someone not to bother packing?
For those of you who are waiting, what's in your bag?

Jump to this post

Bring a comfortable pair of slippers with rubber soles and a pair of walking shoes. The sooner you get up and about the better. Sweats, zippered hoodies, baggy pajama pants. I got the call at 11 pm and left the house with very little. You’ll be in the hospital for 4 or 5 days and the only thing that I forgot is all my passwords for all my online accounts. Make arrangements in advance for someone to care for your plants and yard. And don’t forget about your pets. The one thing that I did need and did not have was pill boxes once I was released. There are apps on your phone like Medisafe where you can list all your meds, pill shape, size and color, dosages and times per day. The biggest thing for me was not what I brought along but who would take care of things while I was gone. You are going to forget things as you rush out the door but for the time you are on the 10th floor at Methodist in Rochester they will take great care of you.

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