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View Full Version : Pudding was a lifesaver and other tips you might want to know about



samsmom
03-06-2008, 09:54 PM
My daughter is 1 month post op and I thought I would share info on what worked and what didn't for her hospital stay and at home. Of course everyone and every operation is different, these are just my personal suggestions. I hope this info is helpful.

Things to bring to hospital for your child:

1. No more than 1 or 2 pairs of lightweight pj's. They have IVs, catheters etc. until the last day or two. Lightweight because they may get hot from the pain meds.

2. Have your child wear baggy sweats to the hospital and slip on sneakers and they can then wear them home.

3. Bring some lotion. It will help soothe their dry skin and help with the "itchies" that develop. a side effect of the meds. The compression boots make them itchy too.

4. Baby Wipes. It will be a lot easier for them to take care of themselves.

5. Facial Cleansing Cloths - To refresh them a little bit and cool them off.

6. Non-Slip socks. Our hospital preferred the kids have those instead of slippers. The hospital will provide, but it is nice to have a few special pairs from home.

7. For daughters, hospital-size maxi pads seemed to work best.- Girls often get their periods after the surgery and the catheter is a problem. Try 2 back to back

8. Extra Emollient Chap Stick... Not the little sticks, get the squeeze tube. Lips will be very chapped.

9. Of course the usual things - hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, ponytail holders or hairbands

10. A pillow for the ride home - My daughter liked to hold onto it, not put it behind her. It cushioned all the bumps it the road

Things to bring to the hopital for the parent:

1. Laptop Computer: If you don't have one try and borrow one. It was invaluable to...

... update friends and family

... get support from your NSF buddies

... play some relaxing music for your child and you. The beeps from all the monitors and the sound in the halls can be unnerving. I also think that the music relaxed the muscles which meant less pain.

...play mindless games on during the day and in the middle of the night. My daughter had headaches and nauseau much of the time, a side effect of the meds and wanted lights off (so I couldn't read) and no tv on. Your child will be sleeping alot and you can only sit in the dark for so long staring at your child without going bonkers.

2. Bring Enough Cash. You don't want to keep making trips to the ATM all week. You will need $ for parking and or tipping the valet, food, water bottles etc.

3. Cell Phone Charger - you don't want your battery to go dead

4. Power bars - you never know when you are going to have time or energy to eat. Put some of these in your tote and keep your strength up so you can be there for your child.


Tips for at home
1. Pudding was a lifesaver. During recovery, the kids are lying flat on their backs, When they wean off the IV and the pump they take pills orally. Not easy when you are lying down flat. Pop the pill in a spoonful of pudding and my daughter was able to swallow the pill easily while lying prone. I used the little snak pak ones. (Ask for it in the hospital too) Get some plastic spoons too. If you are giving the meds every couple of hours it will make things easier. We kept running out of silverware, till we thought to do that

2. Flexi- Straws for drinking

2. A hospital bed should not be necessary. They teach the kids push off their nightstand and that worked fine. I bought a small wedge pillow and put that between the mattress and the box spring.

3. Get a full length body pillow. The kids can log roll onto their side and hug it and it helps them when they want to lie on their side.

4. Have some fiber caplets and high fiber foods in the house for after if needed. Most of the pain meds cause constipation. The softeners doctors prescribe might not be enough.

5. Had I known what I know now, I might have checked into a power lift chair to rent for a few weeks. Lying in a bed and walking are much easier than sitting. We had a regular recliner and we padded it to make it more comfortable, but we had to help her in and out and with the adjustments.
My elderly mom has a power lift chair and my daughter was in heaven when she sat in it. It was like goldilocks. That chair was "Just right" and she was so comfortable and felt much more independent.

6. My daughter is most comfortable in yoga pants. I also bought some t-shirts a size or two larger than she normally wears so it slips over her head easily. For modesty, buy dark colors and heavier weight as they will not want to wear a bra for a few weeks

I apologize for the length of this post, but I did not want to leave off anything that might be helpful to another mom and daughter.

Best to All,
Michele

Aussiemum
03-07-2008, 04:27 AM
thanks Michelle, wish you posted that BEFORE we went to hospital!!!

Just an add - make sure hair bands do not have any metal in them! I plaited Elysia's hair for surgery and had to take out the bands because it had a little metal bit on it!

Also - A comfy animal from home! Whilst Elysia didn't really need this (she ended up with about 10 as presents) for me having that cuddly cow, sitting on her bed in ICU reassured me that all nurses etc would not forget that this is a child we're dealing with here! Also Elysia had a pink snuggly blanket and her own pillow - it made her hospital room just that bit more personal.

We also took our own small fan from home which became invaluable when Elysia was running a temperature! Plus she normally likes to sleep with it on anyway Summer or Winter!!!!

Cheers
Del

samsmom
03-08-2008, 12:10 PM
thanks Michelle, wish you posted that BEFORE we went to hospital!!!

Just an add - make sure hair bands do not have any metal in them! I plaited Elysia's hair for surgery and had to take out the bands because it had a little metal bit on it!

Also - A comfy animal from home! Whilst Elysia didn't really need this (she ended up with about 10 as presents) for me having that cuddly cow, sitting on her bed in ICU reassured me that all nurses etc would not forget that this is a child we're dealing with here! Also Elysia had a pink snuggly blanket and her own pillow - it made her hospital room just that bit more personal.

We also took our own small fan from home which became invaluable when Elysia was running a temperature! Plus she normally likes to sleep with it on anyway Summer or Winter!!!!

Cheers
Del

Great idea about the fan. I didn't even think of that, but it would have been helpful!

lindabar
03-08-2008, 05:29 PM
Pudding is a great idea. I wanted to go to the hospital with a minimum of stuff, but I remember the first time I took oral meds. It was a huge ibuprofen tablet and I took it in the middle of the night. The pill was stuck at the bottom of my esophagus for a few hours until it dissolved and I was extremely uncomfortable. The only thing they had for the patients to eat on the ward at that time of the night was biscuits (crackers).

MATJESNIC
03-08-2008, 05:47 PM
Michele,

Those are excellent suggestions. Are you anywhere near Smith College? My son's girlfriend goes there and he took the train there today.

PNUTTRO
03-10-2008, 04:25 PM
For parents:

I should have done this more than I did.

If you know how many days you will be at the hospital and have access to a freezer, I reccomend going to the freezer section of the grocery store and buying some frozen entrees. It saves a lot of money when away from home and you don't have to leave your child for a long time to heat up your meal.

In the room, I kept some fruit in a cooler and few snacks. I tried not to eat while bored.

JamieR
03-11-2008, 07:44 PM
Thanks for all of the info. I am having surgery in two weeks so I like to read about everyone's experiences and things that helped them along in the hospital !!

Taylor's Nana
03-11-2008, 08:32 PM
Taylor 14 is having surgery tomorrow and the lists and tips were great.. Thanks and good luck Jamie!! ;)

Susie*Bee
03-12-2008, 07:44 AM
Taylor's nana-- I'll be praying for Taylor and you... keep us posted when you get a chance.