Checklists and Supplies

In the countdown to the surgery I searched lots of pages and blogs to pick up as many tips and ideas of what to bring with me to the hospital and the things I may need afterwards. I will continue to update this as I go through things, any suggestions – no matter how weird or wacky (sometimes these are the best ones!) are very welcome 🙂 x x x

WHAT SHOULD I TAKE TO THE HOSPITAL WITH ME?

  • Your paperwork – admission letters and any other information from your orthodontist
  • Plastic cups or a baby beaker
  • Towels to catch any spillages from the syringe/cups when drinking
  • A small mirror to guide your syringe or spoon to your mouth when eating and drinking
  • A dressing gown or pyjamas – anything that opens at the front – it will be uncomfortable to put things over your head at first
  • Slippers or socks with a grip on the bottom of them
  • A hairband to keep your hair out of the way
  • A pen and paper or small whiteboard to help you communicate as talking will be very difficult at first
  • *IDEA* I have also printed of an A4 page with a few sentences on, such as “i’m in pain” “I need the toilet” “can you take a picture” so i can point at them instead of having to write things out, just things I think I will be repeatedly asking at the start of the recovery.
  • Balm tissues as there may be nosebleeds and dribbling at first – I imagine there may be a lot of wiping your face in the first few days so try and get tissues that are soft.
  • Cleansing wipes
  • Moisturiser
  • Medicated lip balm
  • A Camera to track your progress day by day – and to look back in after you’ve recovered and think “wow” I’ve come so far 🙂
  • Your own food? – so you know that even though its pureed, it is a taste you will like
  • antiseptic mouth wash – the hospital should provide this, but you could take a travel size bottle as a back up – Alcohol free as your mouth will be very tender at first
  • Ipod (charged, – I’m so bad at keeping things charged, so make sure it is fully charged before you go) apparently the first few nights you don’t sleep very well so it may be nice to have some music to drown out any noise on the wards
  • Phone (Charged – yes, im as bad with my phone as I am with my Ipod…)
  • Chargers – just in case you are staying more than 1 night in hospital
  • A change of clothes to come home in
  • Toiletries
  • Thank you cards – because it’s always nice to say thank you 🙂
  • Sweeteners – I am like a Granny when it comes to drinking tea, so want to make sure that I pack these – I will have a dedicated tea syringe…. yes, I really do love tea that much 🙂
  • Your Mum/partner/friend, ideally the person who will be looking after you in the first week.

WHAT WILL I NEED AT HOME?

In addition to the above I would recommend:

  • A blender, liquidiser and/or a juicer
  • Small baby spoons
  • Plastic cups or a baby beaker…. whichever you prefer
  • Syringes
  • Straws (may be difficult in the first few weeks and may cause too much pressure on your top palette but some people prefer to use a straw)
  • A sieve to remove lumps from your food
  • A large plastic bowl. Used for spitting into or for catching drips from your mouth whilst using a syringe
  • A bib or towel to wrap around you when you are trying to eat or take your liquid medication
  • Around 4 to 5 pillows to make sure your head is elevated to reduce pressure and swelling on your face whilst sleeping and resting
  • V-Shaped pillow to support your back whilst sitting and sleeping sitting up
  • Heat pack or hot water bottle (can be used with your surgeon’s permission a few weeks after surgery)
  • Ice pack or packs of peas wrapped in pillow cases for either side of your face. This will help soothe the pain and reduces the swelling dramatically
  • Loose clothing that is easy to get over your head or clothes that can be buttoned up such as shirts
  • Hat and scarf when you go outside as the wind and cold will feel odd on your face
  • Hair ties and hair bands to keep your hair out of your face… it can feel quite strange after surgery
  • Bath pillow to support your neck when bathing
  • Cotton pads and/or facial wipes to clean your face
  • E45 or any other non perfumed moisturiser. Your face may be very dry after surgery
  • Vaseline/ chap stick for your lips
  • Cotton buds to clean your ears and nose from dried blood and/or iodine left from the surgery
  • Tissue box for times when you have nasal deposits, bleeding or dribbling
  • Baby soft tooth brush. You will find your average tooth brush to be too big to get into your mouth
  • Sensodyne toothpaste for sensitive teeth
  • Corsodyl mouth wash to rinse and gargle (can be used in your syringe and is really refreshing if you get the minty version). This product is also good for keeping your mouth and wounds clean.
  • Salt for salt water rinses to promote healing and cleaning
  • Bonjela for sores or ulcers inside your mouth (check with your surgeon first)
  • Surgical scissors or band remover to help remove and replace your elastics. Ask your surgeon or orthodontist
  • Liquid medication such as pain relief
  • Liquid or effervescent vitamins
  • Califig or lactose to help you stay regulated after this dramatic diet change
  • Entertainment: books, magazines, games, DVD’s, hand held games, your mobile, crosswords and puzzles
  • Pen and paper in case you are unable to speak or you are having a bad pain day and need to rest your jaw
  • A diary for daily progress, thoughts and feelings. This is helpful for when your surgeon asks specific questions about your progress

TOP TIP!

  • Keep a positive mindset; seek support from family and friends!

SHOPPING TIPS

  •  Buy several pairs of pajamas and clothes that do not have to be put on over your head.
  • Test out different types of protein powder before surgery so you can find the type you like.
  • Get your prescriptions filled before surgery.
  • Plan and prepare non-chew meals in advance.
  • Purchase a food processor or blender.
  • Shop for food and plenty of liquids so you have these items on hand when you return from the hospital.
  • Have ice packs available for use at home or stock up on frozen peas, corn, or other vegetables for moldable ice packs.
  • Purchase a gel cold/hot pack.
  • Purchase a back wedge pillow to put in your bed to make sleeping and resting easier.
  • Purchase a pillow to support your neck or roll up and tape a towel.
  • Buy a child-sized toothbrush for when you cannot open your mouth very wide. Don’t forget the mouthwash.
  • If your mouth is wired shut, consider buying a Zip’N Squeeze® which makes eating much easier.
  • Purchase ChapStick® to help soothe your lips.
  • Purchase Toothettes™ (oral swabs) to keep your mouth clean if wired shut.

ASK THE DOCTOR TIPS

  •  Ask about donating your own blood so that, if needed, you may receive it during or after surgery.
  • Ask your doctor if any of the medications you take should be stopped or others begun prior to surgery. If so, how long before surgery should they be stopped or started?
  • Ask your doctor for dental wax if you will be having arch bars or your jaw is wired shut.
  • Discuss with your doctor what will be done to manage any post-surgical pain you may have.
  • Discuss with your doctor how to maintain proper nutrition.
  • Ask about how to manage nausea post-surgically, should it occur.

OTHER PLANNING TIPS

  •  Consider having someone take care of your children and pets for the first couple of days after surgery.
  • Learn the hospital policy for visiting hours, parking and phone/TV billing.
  • Evaluate your need for discharge planning, home therapy and rehabilitation after surgery.
  • Try to be at a healthy weight before surgery.
  • Set up your bed area at home prior to surgery so that you will not have to do it when you return from the hospital.
  • Have plenty of reading material. Tackle the stack of books and magazines you’ve been meaning to browse for the last few months.
  • Consider getting a subscription to a DVD rental service in case you don’t feel like reading.
  • Make travel arrangements if surgery is out of town. Some patients have told us a long car ride is much worse than a short plane ride.
  • Have a list of people and their contact information for your loved ones to notify after your surgery has been completed.

POST SURGERY EXPECTATIONS

  • Post-surgery pain is the most severe the first few days. Once you make it past this point, the pain should begin to subside.
  • Sometimes, there is temporary or permanent damage to the nerve that allows the upper eyelid to open and close. You should tape your eye shut or wear an eye patch to avoid irritation and scarring of the cornea. If your eye is dry, artificial tears work well to keep it moist.
  • Many patients experience jaw muscle spasms after surgery. If you experience such spasms, contact your surgeon, and she/he may prescribe a muscle relaxant. Moist heat and massage can also be helpful.
  • Much of the swelling goes down after the first week, but it’s not uncommon if the some of the swelling lasts longer. Intermittent application of cold is generally recommended for the first 24 hours after surgery to minimize swelling, and intermittent moist heat should be used thereafter to help get rid of the swelling. Bruising can take up to six weeks to subside.
  • If you are wired shut, the tightness will decrease after the first week.
  • It is important for proper healing to maintain your nutrition and drink plenty of liquids. Initially, it may be easier to eat small amounts every few hours than to eat a large amount at regular mealtimes.
  • If you are prescribed antibiotics, be sure to finish the amount prescribed.
  • A Waterpik® can be very helpful in keeping your teeth clean and mouth fresh if you are wired shut.
  • If you are wired shut, take your wire cutters everywhere you go in case of an emergency.
  • Don’t rush to eat solid foods. Take it slow, and give your jaw and muscles plenty of time to heal. Follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding your diet.

 

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