Must-Have Recovery Products
Many people have asked me what sorts of things they should buy to prepare for their recovery. I’ve prepared the following list of the items I found most useful during my first month after the surgery.
Note: These are all affiliate links to products listed on Amazon, so clicking them and completing a purchase helps me pay for hosting this site (at no extra cost to you), yay! No pressure if you’d rather run to your local supermarket to grab these things. 😉
- Food preparation (blend all the things!):
- Magic Bullet blender — This blender makes perfectly-sized portions for those first few weeks when you’re on a liquid diet. It blends frozen fruit without trouble and you can prepare up to 5 meals at a time using the included cups. (A smaller version with only 2 cups is available for half the price.)
- Syringes — Your hospital should provide a few syringes, but in case they don’t, you may want to buy a few to make drinking soup easier for the first few days when swelling is the worst.
- Food (for the liquid diet days):
- Ensure meal replacement drinks — These may not be the most delicious drinks, but they provide enough calories to give you some energy during the liquid diet phase.They should also satisfy any chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry cravings you’re having.
- Boost meal replacement drinks — If you don’t like the flavor of Ensure, these will serve the same purpose. Also available in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.
- Chicken broth — During the first few days when the swelling makes it difficult to open your mouth, things like chicken broth can provide some much-desired flavor.
- Tomato soup — Also good for the first few days when you’re on a purely liquid diet.
- Campbell’s Chunky Soup — These were my favorite meals while on a liquid diet. I would heat them up on the stove and then blend them in the Magic Bullet before “eating” them. Lots of tasty flavors available: Chicken Noodle, Chicken Pot Pie, Pot Roast, Grilled Sirloin Steak with Hearty Vegetables, Beef with Country Vegetables, etc.
- Prune Juice — This may sound like a silly one, but it will make your toilet time a lot more enjoyable during the first couple of weeks.
- Fruit smoothies — These were another staple for me while on the liquid diet. I blended strawberries, bananas, oatmeal, peanut butter, honey, yogurt, vanilla ice cream, and whole milk for a delicious, high-calorie drink. Read my post about it.
- Entertainment (to keep you from going crazy!):
- Complete series of your favorite TV shows — The first few weeks of recovery are quite boring, unfortunately, so having lots of TV shows and movies to watch will help pass the time. (I recommend Friends and Cheers.) Video games and books can help as well, but note that you will be lacking in energy (both physically and mentally) due to your body being focused on healing.
- Other useful things:
- Hot packs — Heating these up in the microwave and resting them on your face will help ease the pain and soothe you to sleep.
- Medicated lip balm — You’re likely to have cracked lips during the first couple of weeks and this can be quite painful. Lip balm will help with this. (Vaseline works too!)
- Waterpik flosser — I never used this myself, but many readers said it was the only way they were able to clean their mouth at first. (Once you begin to taste your breath, you’ll understand.)
- Lots of cloths — Having cloths handy will help during those particularly “drooly” days.
You shouldn’t have to worry about medicine or syringes because the hospital should provide both of these for you. Be sure to fill all of your prescriptions the day you’re allowed to return home, because you’ll likely need each and every one of them eventually. I didn’t pick up my painkillers at first because I was completely numb and felt no pain, but a few days later, when I was unable to sleep due to discomfort, I wished I had that medicine on hand.
If you found something that really helped you through your recovery, feel free to share it with others in the comments.