Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Top Ten Things to take to the Hospital

It's TOP TEN TUESDAY!!!  Just clickly the linky and play along!  Today at ManyLittleBlessings, her TOP TEN is about HOMESCOOLING Must Haves!!! EGGGGcellent!!!!!  I'm must add her blog to our Homeschooling Blog :)

This is ACTUALLY my first Top Ten Tuesday (yay me!!!) ....   I'm going to *try* to become a more active blogger now that Nathan's surgery is over and my soul focus isn't on the crazyness and nuttyness that runs through my head prior to my kids having surgery/being in the hospital.

SO....... I decided to put it in THIS blog because it's more appropriate here then at A PAGE IN MY BOOK (my normal everyday blog)...

I'm going to dedicate my TOP TEN to HOSPITAL TRIPS......


#1: Comfortable Cloths:  Look, you aren't trying to impress anyone - you are in the hospital with your child.  You don't need to spend time a lot of time (if any) on your make-up...  or how fabulous you look... because, it's not about you - it's about your kid!  So take the time to just chill - in your sweats - in your PJ pants.... in that grungy sweater you love to death but wouldn't wear out in "public" ...  no one cares..    ON the other hand, if you start to feel down - make sure you do have stuff along that makes you feel good, picks you up, perks you up, makes you feel human.

#2: Toiletries ... Do you like smelling people?  Ewwwwww ... I mean if they smell good I don't mind, but I don't want to stink - ever - especially in close quarters ... gag.  So make sure you take a minute to clean yourself up too...  take some shampoo, body wash, razor & shaving cream, toothbrushes, tooth paste... whatever you might need.  Bring it for both you AND your child.  Sometimes they have some supplies to help out, but not always so make sure you have your own.  Most the time you can use the bathroom in your child's room - but at the same time, a lot of hospitals like to reserve the in room bathrooms for the patients (especially if you have roommates) because the patients need access to the bathroom at all times.   So there will be a "public" bathroom - and a lot of the time, they'll even have showers located someplace for the parents.   Just don't be afraid to ask.   And if anything - there are paper towels and water to refresh yourself.... 

#3:  Clothes for your Kids:   PJ's are great - also some loose clothes that are comfortable for them!  A robe is always fantastic, they can always wear that over their hospital gown.  You never know when they might be freed up from the IV's ... the wires, tubes, whatever... or just be mobile enough to take a walk.  A lot of hospitals have wagons or strollers or something you can push your child in - other than wheelchairs - and it's easy enough to push them and drag along an IV pole ...  you don't have to stay in your room all day unless your child doesn't feel up to it.  If you can, get off your floor and explore the hospital - you might find some hidden treasures, I know we did!

#4: SLIPPERS ...... oh such a must!!!  They don't have to be your pretty pink "houseshoe" slippers ... break out the boggly eyed  purple people eater slippers!!  Make sure you have some for your child too!  I don't know about you - but those hospital non-slip socks aren't always the best, I know they won't stay on Nathan period!  And you don't want to be walking around barefoot... (shivers) ...  Your feet might end up looking permanently like this if you do.... 

#5: Activities!!! ....  Sometimes even the best Children's hospital doesn't have a lot or enough to go around ..  you can always ask them if they have some toys on site that your child can play with - they are usually more than welling to help make your child's stay as pleasant as possible... and we all know they are not pleasant....  so if you don't know or are worried, get a bag and pack up some of their favorite stuff - and some new stuff if you can afford it.  It's always fun when they can look in the bag and see something new - that keeps their interest a lot some of the time.  This last trip, I packed up my pink gym bag with nothing but stuff for him to do.  We had Lovies (some of his favorite stuffed animals) ... and our friends sent stuff for him to do ...   we had coloring books, crayons, magic wonder markers and books, things that lite up (because he's autistic and loves that stuff) ... glow sticks in whatever form are always amazing! ...  he had bubbles and some new dinosaurs ...  and some of his down right favorite stuff like some playdoh from our stash packed up and some stuff to cut & play with it with (we use cookie cutters too) ...  
 Some of the stuff that one of our friends sent and his bag packed with goodies!
Nathan with his bee glow stick glasses on

#6:  DVD's & GAMES ... most hospitals have DVD players in the room.. some might even have a collection that you can "barrow" from .... however, I highly suggest at least slipping a few of your child's favorites into the mix of stuff you take.  The hospital we were just at - there was a limited amount of TV channels to watch, the DVD player on our side of the room was broken (so if you have a portable system, you might even want to take that - or a laptop as a last resort, because trust me, if you have one, you'll want to take it for you...) ....   luckily one of our nurses (after I complained to several people) took pity on us and completely changed the dvd player we had with another one herself!  She went above and beyond!  And we took Nathan's whole collection (or at least most of it) because he has tons of cartoon videos (he doesn't like movies, he gets super scared or anxious if there is something bag going on) ...  so I knew I would have stuff he liked to watch on hand.  HUGE life saver for us - because the one channel that played "good" cartoons - was done at 9am.  Yep...  that sucked!  Sometimes you can even take game systems - just call ahead and ask!  If you have handheld game systems like Gameboys or what not ... definitely take those!!

#7: Entertainment for YOU - because lets be honest here....  it's all about your child but if you are uncomfortable and bored they will either feel it too, or feel like a burden.  We don't want our kids feeling either.  If you like to read, bring some books.  If you have a tablet (like an iPad) take it for sure.  Or E-readers...   and definitely a laptop if you have one or can even barrow one from someone.  Most hospitals have public WIFI ... sometimes you have to connect to it and then open the hospital website to accept some terms and conditions.  If you can't figure it out - ASK ASK ASK.   Do what you can for you ... to keep you occupied.  Your child is in the hospital because they aren't feeling the best ...  so there will be a lot of down time.   I took some books, a notebook for any notes I needed to make or writing I wanted to do... my husband's laptop, my mom's tablet that Nathan used most the time...and a few other things.  (Like a cell phone!)

#8: Camera.... you want to remember the moments... the milestones of them having a bad day, or having a good day.  Of them being goofy or their sillyness.  Take pictures of stuff they draw, stuff they make, activities they do ....  take pictures ...  you may not want to always remember it, but you'll be happy to have them, someday.   "You remember that one time, when you were five, and you ended up in the hospital...." .... (um, no) ....  "Oh, well - look at these pictures...  this was a really bad day, this was a good day ..."

#9:  Change & Dollar Bills.... Vending machines can be your best friend, especially in the middle of the night when the cafeteria is closed.... and let me tell you, vending machines are and entity of their own.  Some work just fine, some only accept exact change, some don't take the dollars even though THERE IS A DOLLAR SLOT! ... Some like to eat your money, some like to spit out more ...  and some ...  just don't care.  Those are the ones you want to kick.  Regardless - be prepared....  because, they are ALL.... completely OVERPRICED!

#10: Bedding....  We all know to pack up our kids favorite blankets...  pillow, whatever ... But don't forget about you.   Usually they give you a pillow, a sheet, maybe a blanket.... but if you are anything like me, I sleep on several pillows, I have my favorite blankets to use..  So don't be afraid to take a couple of your pillows anyway ...... a blanket or two.  You'll me much more comfortable for it :)

And my biggest tip is something you can't "bring" .... but rather "leave" .....  Leave any frustrations at the door - remember - this is time for your child to rest and get well...  it's about your child, not how much you don't want to be there.  Don't take it personally if you have to stay longer than expected and have friends or family come in to sit with your child if you need to leave to escape or do something .... don't leave your child alone (at least for not long) because it's a scary place with scary people they don't know and if your kids are shy, they aren't going to speak up so make sure someone is with them, you are with them with a happy good attitude and ... things will be much easier.  Especially if you have a "roommate" ... and they are loud - remember you are all doing the best you can and have compassion for what they are going though even if they don't see to have any for you..... and just remember.... You are ....

1 comment:

Jodi Z said...

You left out candy and snacks for youself, or I missed that part. And water bottles. Fresh fruit, too. Junk food just loses its appeal after a day or two. I'm glad you are home - and this list is great!