Hey Janet. Here are some tips from me:
1. Don't overpack for the hsp, it's not worth it. Bring essentials like comfy pj bottoms, socks with grippers or slippers. Few pairs of undies. Cream, chapstick, toothbrush & paste, a wet brush (this is the best brush, it won't pull your hair; you get it at a beauty supply store).
2. Magazines/books. You may not need them. I was too sick to even think of reading. It made me sick. I barely watched tv.
3. Your own pillow and blanket from home. Makes you feel good having something from hom. My recommendation for a pillow is either a feather pillow or a really squishy hypoallergenic pillow (they carry them in Home Goods). It's been a God send. It took me 5 months to find the right pillow. Another idea for your head (because it will be sore) is a fluffy fleece blanket rolled up. I did that for the longest time. It really worked great and was very comforting.
4. Stock up on gingerale, gatorade, water (don't drink too much water, it's crampy)
5. Bland eating only for a while. Puddings, yogart, jello, saltines without salt, dry cereal like Cheerios is yummy and tolerable, pastina is good. Careful with the BRAT diet. It's good, but can be constipating. You will be constipated already from the pain meds. Get yourself some pepcid and colace in the house before you get home. The pepcid helps to keep the tummy juices at bay and the colace will help soften your stool. Also, ask your NS to prescribe some antinausea meds for you. Most of us are very nauseous after this surgery. It's normal honey. I puked for weeks. Not everyday, but I did get sick often.
6. Rest alot and sleep alot in the hsp and especially at home. Sleep is your brain's best medicine. Take your meds on time and let people pamper you. Even if you have a good day, don't overdue it. Take things slow and most importantly, move slow. Gotta give the brain some time to adjust to the new flow. Mine is still adjusting and it's been 6 months.
Most of all, be at peace about your surgery. You have all of us pulling for you and most of us have been thru it.