Here are some of the things that I did to get ready for my radical prostatectomy:
- Made sure that my medicine cabinet was properly stocked with rubbing alcohol, bandages, tape, cotton swabs, stool softeners, antibacterial cream, etc.
- Purchased boxer shorts and sweat pants one size larger than I normally wear. The boxer shorts had enough room for the catheter hose to come out and the sweat pants were for the trip home from the hospital. (The only drawback to the sweatpants was the elastic around the ankles; I’d recommend the lounge/PJ bottoms without the elastic.)
- Purchased a package each of Depends underwear/diapers and Depends Guards for Men.
- Got an ankle length bathrobe that allowed me to wander around the hospital and house in my boxers and catheter.
- I had a wedge shaped pillow that allowed me to sit up in bed easier.
- Installed a means of hanging the catheter drainage bag in the shower (two S-hooks with a string between them; one hanging on the shower rod, the other for the bag).
- Had a plastic bucket handy for the drainage bag in case there were any leaks (there weren’t).
- I placed an old broomstick next to the night stand as something to lean on as I got into and out of bed.
- Because I live on my own, I stocked my freezer and pantry to have enough of the essentials to get me through three weeks of not being able to drive. I also had a gift card for the local grocery store so that if I had to ask a friend or neighbor to pick up a loaf of bread or some fresh fruit, they could use that to pay for the purchases.
- Positioned any entertainment materials (books, magazines, TV remote) on the nightstand.
- Placed an oral thermometer on the nightstand to make it easy to monitor my temperature for signs of infection.
I tried to think of all the things that I might need to have access to on my return from home, and positioned them where I thought I would need them. I didn’t realize how bad it would hurt to bend after the surgery, so position things where you don’t have to bend to get to them, if at all possible.