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***** Kristi's Hospital Survival Tips *****
 -- One woman's feelings on hospital surgeries

I admit when it comes to my surgeries I'm a control freak. Everything has to be so-so. I have my own way of surviving hospitals so I want to share them with you. These are really for older kids, teens, and adults who can speak for themselves.

First of all, I can choose how I want certain things done, such as IV's. I admit that I detest needles big time. To make it easier on me, I tell the nurse or whoever is going to put an IV in me where to put the IV in. I prefer my right hand/wrist because my veins are better on that side. Usually the IV goes in smoothly. Anti-nausea meds after surgery have to be suppositories. I refuse to be stuck with a needle unless I absolutely have to.

Secondly, I do NOT like to be pre-medicated. I have a history as a child of having major dry heaves after being pre-medicated. It's bad enough sometimes being sick afterwards. One of the hospitals here cannot understand this simple request. I feel like I am beating myself against the wall. Fortunately my surgeries are no longer at that hospital.

Third, no awake preps for me. Once I get in the OR, I want to be put out.

BTW, I got a funny for you all: When I had my surgery in May, I was lying on the OR table waiting to be put out, my plastic surgeon was talking with the scrub nurse about my prep... I was like, knock me out.

Fourth, only my Mom can come into Pre-Op and wait with me. She's always been there for me. The hospital where I had surgery from 1988 to 1992 was a stickler about that. Only once or twice did they let my mom come back with me. And that was only because the surgeries were late in the day ones.

Fifth, after surgery, I just want to be left in peace and quiet. I like dark and quiet rooms after surgery because I don't usually feel very well and don't want to be bothered. My last stay-over in May was bad. I was in a semi-private room and my roommate, an older lady, had her TV on all nite. I couldn't deal with that. Next time I have to stay over, I am requesting a private room. When I come home the day of my surgery, I sleep in my room, which is in the basement. It is quiet and dark which I like. Oh yeah I usually keep my cordless phone close by me so I can call upstairs if I have a problem.

Sixth, if I have a planned stay of more than a day, then I need my own clothes and a boombox. I cannot survive a hospital stay without these. The most appropriate clothes for hospitalizations: sweats and t-shirts. Once I am 
able to get up and around I'm in sweats and tees. I'm not a TV watcher normally so a radio is a necessity. In May it drove me nuts because all I had was TV so I did a lot of channel surfing. The hospital happened to have some cable channels.

These are just some of the things to help me get thru my surgeries. Anyone have any survival tips??

Take care & talk to you soon,


From: "Sharon" 

Kristi had a great post about her hospital survival techniques. I've had some surgery in my life, though none of them were cleft-related as I myself am not CA.  I have all my babies via Cesarean birth, and after two, plus one hospitalization during my last pregnancy, have come up with some survival techniques of my own.  Some of them are effective whether I'm the patient or the parent or spouse.

One is to bring an abundant supply of magazines.  TV's here are expensive to rent, and I find I usually don't have time to get into a book, as there's always some sort of interruption no matter who it is who's hospitalized for what.  Also, last time I rented a phone, and this will be standard equipment for us from now on, as it allowed me to be in contact with my family without having to leave the room.  It was well worth the expense. I've mentioned this before, but I always bring my own over-the-counter pain medication.  When it was Debbie having surgery, she was allowed aspirin-substitute every four hours and I preferred to just give it to her myself rather than wait for a nurse to have the time.  Same goes for me being the patient...I hate having to wait for a nurse to have the time to bring me some pills non-prescription pills.  I'm in no way advocating giving a post-op child any meds that the doctor hasn't approved, 
but if the surgeon allows Tylenol after the surgery, it's easier IMHO to administer it myself and inform the nurse so that she can put it on the chart.

Also, having a family member with me especially in the first post op day is essential.  Even when I was 19, I  appreciated having my mom there (and believe me, my mom isn't exactly Florence Nightingale!)  Even though he/she is less than useless when I'm either waiting around for the induction to work or being prepped for surgery, having him there is better than not. :)

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