If you or anyone you know and love should end up in a hospital bed; here are a few tips to help make your stay more comfortable.
First and foremost is when you are in your room, close your door! There are many reasons to keep your door closed both night and day. The most important one is that it is so much quieter; you and your visitors are allowed peace and privacy. You can escape from the hustle and bustle that is going on around you; and at night you can actually get some sleep. The other critical reason for keeping your door closed is that unless you WANT to be a fish in a fish bowl, you will protect yourself, not only from the other patients’ stares as they are doing their laps, but from all of the other patients’ visitors as well, not to mention the plethora of hospital employees that continually roam the halls.
Let me just tell you what I saw on my daily jaunts around the nurses’ station; there were several very elderly people, some falling out of chairs, others’ lying in their beds with their heads dangling and their moths’ open; almost always alone. It was very depressing and sad. Then there were the screamers, which every time you walked by they would scream out in pain. Yes, I know I screamed when I had my bone marrow biopsy, but my door WAS closed! One of my favorites was the guy that had his bed sitting straight up; he had his shirt off, his covers down and he thought that he was “all that, and then some”, it was hysterical, he would look you straight in the eye and grin when you walked by. Rather, creepy! Sometimes you would witness a patient with a full room of visitors and often you witnessed patients hobbling to the bathroom with their rear ends sticking out of there hospital gowns. So unless you want to become part of the entertainment; I would suggest closing your door. And yes, you can train the hospital staff to close it behind them when they leave; it just takes a few reminders per shift.
Second important tip is to be really nice to the hospital staff. You are at their mercy! This trickles right down the chain of command and gets you two egg croissants when you ask for them. If you are nice to them, they answer your call button on the first buzz.
Third tip would be items of comfort; have someone bring you your own pillow, slippers, socks, robe and jammies. You will be much more comfortable in your own clothing and resting your head on your own pillow. Ear plugs and an eye mask are essential; Desert Regional Hospital actually gives them to their patients.
Other items of comfort might include Charmin toilet paper, soft Kleenex, Chap Stick and lotion, a hairbrush or comb, snacks that are available when you are hungry and an electric hot pot that you can either make tea or coffee, or heat up that cold soup from lunch when you are ready to eat it. A notebook and pen are also nice to have so that you can jot down questions when you think of them. A large folder or envelope is helpful in keeping all of the papers that you will be receiving organized. A bag that holds all of these things and hangs on the side of your bed is great, too.