CSN Login
Members Online: 4

Hospital Stay - Suggestions?

kimmygarland's picture
kimmygarland
Posts: 313
Joined: Aug 2009

With my husbands throat and neck surgery looming in the next couple of weeks (no date at the moment), and knowing there is a lot of experience on such stuff here - question for any of you who were hospitalized. Hubby will be in hospital for at least a week. Doc says couple of days in ICU, then 5-7 in regular room.

I realize he won't need much in ICU, but after that, any suggestions?

Already got one from someone on here about pad and pen for communication since he likely won't be able or want to talk for a few days.

What about pj's - do they need to open in front or will they even let him wear them?

I am also going to be "monitoring" visitors and will keep them at a minimum. I am making a schedule for someone to be there with him most of the time (me, our son, or one of my parents). I realize when he starts feeling better he will probably want visitors (he loves people), but in the beginning I'm thinking he needs his rest. I just want to do whatever I can to make sure he is comfortable.

Thanks for the help, we have no experience with hospital stays.

rush1958's picture
rush1958
Posts: 201
Joined: Jul 2010

I don't know if this will be any help or not, but my wife brought me a body pillow for the hospital stay.

I like to sleep on my stomach or side but couldn't in the hospital bed without the extra pillow support. Maybe it was just the "teddy bear" effect. I don't know. It helped me.

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1547
Joined: Jan 2010

Kimmy

I'm not really sure about the PJ's. Seems like some hospitals prefer the patients to wear the sterile hospital robes. Here's a trick I recall from the past... If he has to use the hospital robes, make sure he always has two. If it has to open in the front, do so. Then slip another robe on loosely over the first, except opening in the back. Then, when the doctor needs to examine him, he can easily slip the outer robe off so they can check. Otherwise, he keeps it on, and gets to feel fully covered up.

If the robe needs to open in the back, just reverse this and put the second robe on so it opens in the front.

Deb

GraceLibby's picture
GraceLibby
Posts: 88
Joined: Jul 2010

I would suggest pajama bottoms, warm socks, and slippers so he can walk around the floor when he feels up to it. He'll need to use the hospital gown so they can get to his head and chest areas, but several pairs of bottoms were very useful for me.

SASH's picture
SASH
Posts: 284
Joined: Apr 2006

I would add to the slippers and make sure they have a thick rubber sole in case there is something on the floor that shouldn't be when walking.

charles55's picture
charles55
Posts: 87
Joined: Aug 2010

I see a lot of hospital rooms, being an hospital RN. I am always most impressed when someone brings something like a collage of family pictures and hangs them on the wall opposite the bed. It is so easy to slip into a deep blue funk when your body feels that bad. To give a patient a constant reminder of why they want to put up with the yuck, get better, and get back to their life has just got to improve their ability to heal. You might have to wait until he transfers out of ICU to the floor to do this (but they may be progressive enough to allow it).

Also, I am not that into New Age stuff, but I did use a meditative CD about cancer and prepping your self mentally for surgery that helped me so much. When I went into surgery, I was pumped to get this cancer out and help the surgeon in ways that I didn't even dream about. I will to look up the titles if you are interested.

Oh yeah, I have to give you the standard commercial: when you are in the hospital visiting, wash your hands.

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2194
Joined: Nov 2009

Watch EVERYONE - make sure that anyone who will touch him washes or sanitizes their hands before they approach him - one of my nurses gave me this heads-up.

Scambuster's picture
Scambuster
Posts: 975
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Kimmy,

I had a rough time with surgery and also treatment so was in for about 5-6 weeks total. I would recommend to have him dosed on multivitamins and esp. vitamin C and any other useful antioxidants in the days before he goes in to help ward of hospital bourne infections and generally help him through.

I got a free dose of pneumonia when I had the PEG put in. I remember the OR was ridiculously cold before they put me under. Woke up with pneumonia. Not great when you are going through all the other stuff. Make sure he is kept warm enough and to tell the nurses etc if he not comfortable.

I had my Laptop which was great to keep up with email and I used Skype to contact family as i was away from home. Make sure it's all hooked up and working (Wireless ?)when you first go in as he won;t be in a mood to figure out why he can't get a connection post op.

Note pad is good also to take notes on meds and other things going on, questions to ask when the Doctors cames by etc.

Hope it all goes well.

Scam

SASH's picture
SASH
Posts: 284
Joined: Apr 2006

A small dry/erase white board that you can get at an office supply store so you can communicate as you might not be able to talk.

If you can't talk, make sure the nurses station has that marked so if he hits the "button" they don't just ask, "what can I do for you", which will probably still happen until they look at the room. Then they will send someone down to check on him.

kimmygarland's picture
kimmygarland
Posts: 313
Joined: Aug 2009

Especially will remember about telling the nurses station if he can't speak - hadn't even thought about that. He may not be able to the first few days.

I have a couple of note pads/pens at the ready for him to write down stuff/communicate. May try and get a small dry erase board.

I know this is all minor, in the scheme of things, but I am trying to be as prepared as possible where I can.

stevenl's picture
stevenl
Posts: 587
Joined: Jan 2010

And you are doing a great job of being prepared. Y'all hang in there.

Best,
Steve

Kent Cass's picture
Kent Cass
Posts: 1747
Joined: Nov 2009

Pajama bottoms should come in handy. Wore them for all 4 days of my Chemo-sick stay.
Best of hopes, and Prayers, for y'all.

kcass

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2194
Joined: Nov 2009

I wasn't expecting to end up in the hospital; there are a few things I found useful, or would have liked. Extension cord, puzzle book,laptop, book, comedy DVDs (short shows, not full movies), my own toiletries (especially lotions for my dry hands and feet), chargers for electronics, light hat (my room temp was not consistent, so I would go from a little too warm to a little too chilly), snacks (I kept my own sugar free version of Ensure with me, and also sugar free chocolate milk mix - yum), non-skid shoes (toward the end of my stay, I was allowed to roam the hospital with my buddy the IV pole), something for guests to amuse themselves with if they're in the room while he's being examamined or is dozing/sleeping. Dunno how he shaves, but I was permitted to use an electric razor only (when I had to shave at the beginning and end of treatment), no manual blades.

At my hospital, some guests were allowed to wear their own clothes. I was not. I dunno how they decided. But I always had two gowns, and had my robe from home.

Does he have a port or PICC line? I was not allowed to shower in the hospital (PICC - yay, sink bathing). If he's not allowed, you may want to bring dry shampoo, or ask a nurse for some (I was bald, so hair washing was not an issue for me). There are lots of other things, I'm sure, but I can't recall them right now.

SASH's picture
SASH
Posts: 284
Joined: Apr 2006

I got sponge baths instead. :D

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network