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Making Hospital Stays "More Fun"

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We all know what a joy it is to be hospitalized (not...!) I hope no one is in a hospital or has to go into one but I was just thinking of things that can make a hospital stay so much more fun than it already is. :yes: I usually consider it a good year if I am not hospitalized. I do have a couple of tricks up my sleeve that have helped:


Someone told me once to have wrapped candy, preferably chocolates, in your room. That way the nurses and staff will come into your room to get a little treat. I tried this when I was in ICU and made very good friends with the nice man who cleaned the rooms. He would come in to get a piece and stay and talk awhile. When I was wheeled out to go to a regular room all the nurses shouted, "bye chocolate lady!" (This does not work if the nurses are dieting  :lol: )


I always have a headset to listen to at night. Everybody knows there is no rest or quiet, especially at night. I had a roommate once that had her days and nights mixed up so she slept all day and talked out loud all night. Putting on some nice music blocked it all out.


Now that cell phones are allowed having one is a great way to stay in touch. Before cell phones I used a calling card and racked up $$$$ in calls. And remember to bring the phone charger and extension cord. 


Antibacterial gel is a must. Who knows when the last time the items in your room were disinfected well? I've watched as they have "cleaned" a bed from one patient to the next. With gel you can keep your hands clean, especially before eating that wonderful hospital food if you are unable to get up to go to the bathroom and wash . :P


A pen and paper, reading material, your own toiletries, dry shampoo, slippers, robe...do you have anything to add?


I hope no one has to go to one of these high end hotels but just heard of someone who is in the hospital for her birthday, too far for me to go to visit, and it made me think of this. I have also made hospital survival kits for friends who are going to be hospitalized with some of these things in them and something special for them.



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I like the chocolate treats idea, never thought of something like that :emoticons-clap: Great for cheering oneself up too I guess, but my usual trick is to be there because of some gastro problem and either have a hose in my nose or be on 'NIL PER MOUTH".


What I enjoyed most the last time I was there was a good supply  of books to read.



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Great ideas, Miocean!! :emoticons-clap:


I also like the idea of having sweets and chocolates to hand; when my mother broke her hip she was in a ward where one of the patients had a supply of gin and tonics in little cans to have each night before her meal! :)


Before I was actually diagnosed with Interstitial Lung Disease, I had to go into the Royal Brompton Hospital for a few days, for them to give me a barrage of lung tests. It is unlike a run-of-the-mill hospital, more like a country club in as much as I wasn't confined to bed and wore my ordinary clothes ( I was unsure of what I would need, so packed enough for a world cruise!! ;) :rolleyes: ) I referred to the chap in charge of the ward as "my social secretary" as he would tell me which tests I would undergo and when I would be doing them. In the meantime I spent my time toddling around chatting to anyone I could find, wandering down the King's Road looking at the shops and although it makes me sound a bit sad I actually had quite a nice time there and met some really lovely people! :P

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Hi Miocean,


The idea of treats for the staff is beyond fabulous!  I never would have thought of that, but it is downright brilliant. This is a great topic and your list is very comprehensive.


I would add ear plugs to the list, because of the noise, and also an eye mask, because of all the lights at night.  Also, we keep a packing list in the suitcase so that we don't have to try to think things through when we are rushed or distracted. We will add candy to the list! 


Bear in mind that as a patient, or caregiver, you might have more control over the situation than you realize.  When Gene had his lung transplant, I would visit him every afternoon from 2 to 3, and then I would put a large sign on his door, prohibiting all visitors until 7pm, because it was impossible for him to sleep with all the night checks and activity.  We also allowed only 1 other family member to visit because of the huge risk of infection and the interruption this would be to his rest and sleep.  His charge nurse agreed with the enforced rest period, he thought it was downright brilliant, and he enforced it!  Within a day or two, everyone learned to arrive before 3pm for anything they needed to do, such as his physical therapist, the visitors, the pharmacist, the volunteer hand massager, etc. ad infinitum.


Gene heartily objects to looking sick, even if he's on his deathbed, so I cut up some fancy t-shirts to open in the back and added tie-strings.


He nearly set land-speed records for getting out of the hospital after a lung transplant.  The average is about 30 days, but he was out in 8, and the quick release also helped him avoid hospital-borne infections.


I have spent way too much time in hospitals, myself.  People with chronic illness or repeated hospitalizations develop their own attitude to the whole thing. Mine is that I am not there to be entertained or comforted by family or friends.  I am there in order to rest as much as humanly possible -- because the only time we heal is when we're resting -- and to get out at the first possible second in order to not get even more sick.


Artists, try not to let this prime studio time go to waste.  With the cool drugs they often provide, you might find yourself even more creative than usual!  Bring a sketchpad at minimum. You never know when inspiration might hit, and art is a healing thing.



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Ear plugs, MP3 player AND charger, little radio for when MP3 on charge, laptop and dongle, handbag with all meds in. During my stay in January I had my MP3 player on all the time, people had to poke me awake!


My secret for dealing with noisy ward mates, get nurses to drug them. In January a dear, elderly lady who was deaf and blind would start shouting at night, sitting with her helped until you left her, she was so loud and distressed it could not be blocked out and the night staff just shut the ward door so they could not hear it! I opened said door and told them they had to do something about this patient or said door would stay open and they could listen as well! They gave her a sleeping pill and as she rested so did I. It was probably the best night sleep she had.


I hate hospitals because I need my sleep, about 18 hours a day, without it I can't cope and they seem designed to keep you awake. One thing I have noticed, ward visits are a free for all, lots of visitors, all hours, all loud whilst staff look on, even on cardiac units. When having my biventricular ICD I was on cardiac care unit but one patient had family come all hours and argue with her including swearing loudly, bringing plates of hot food at 10pm and the ward was a small 4 bed unit. Eventually staff acted but they rewarded this behaviour by putting the patient in a single room! :emoticon-dont-know:  :emoticon-dont-know: My whine is now over!


Take care.

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