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  1. #16
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    Jul 2014
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    ICU nurse here (though, the tiny human variety). These are all great suggestions! I want to add a couple things:

    Long USB cables should be fine, but the hospital’s facilities people will probably not let you have actual extension cords (the kind you plug a standard plug into, not a USB extension). I’d be surprised if the staff really notices or cares, but just keep that in mind.

    As for home meds: Sure, bring them with you. If it’s something your husband needs to take that they don’t stock , they should write an order for the home med, and you’ll give it to the RN for a pharmacist to verify. They’ll then keep the bottle secured with the other medications for the duration of the stay (make sure to retrieve it before you discharge!) Any thing they stock at the hospital will be provided by the hospital’s pharmacy. Just to reiterate it again, all medications must be administered by hospital staff.

    I’d be surprised if they limited your electronics, unless he is on a ventilator, then they may restrict cell phones until he’s off. Be careful with bringing a Swiss army or any kind of knife—especially if it’s a public hospital, they likely have a low tolerance for that.

    There are some pretty cool overbed tables that actually have a hidden slide-out table, so hopefully your hospital has one of those! It makes it way easier not having to move everything off the table for a meal, when you can just slide out an extra table.

    Be mindful about essential oils. Scents can be triggering, so even if he’s in an individual room in an ICU, the lingering smells could trigger someone’s asthma. It’ll sure make the place smell better, though!

    Please remember that YOU ARE HIS ADVOCATE, as is his nurse. If at any point you don’t understand something, or think something seems wrong, speak up!! It is an unfortunate truth that medical errors cause a great deal of harm in this (and other) countries, and one of the keys to preventing errors and harm is having attentive family members at the bedside. Nothing is ever to small to ask the nurse or physician about, and if you aren’t satisfied with the answer, go up the chain to the charge nurse, attending physician, or —if the hospital has it—ask for the ombudsman or nursing supervisor.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me in a DM or through here and I’ll answer what I can.
    DLBC (black Dyneema) **Missing **, Synapse 25 Black Dyneema/Ultraviolet), Synapse 19 (Navy/Wasabi), Aeronaut 45 Black Dyneema/Ultraviolet), PCBP for TriStar (Iberian), Synapse 19 (Navy/Solar), Ristretto for iPad (Black/Wasabi), Large Shop Bag (Island),mini Q-kit, various packing cubes, stuff sacks, and pouches.

    Retired but not forgotten: TriStar (Black/Wasabi), Aeronaut 45 (Navy/Solar), Synapse 25 (French Blue/Steel).

  2. #17
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    Jun 2018
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    Washington DC
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    Hi, veteran of multiple multi-week stays at the hospital here (for my son, who is now recovered from his illness). Commentators above caught most of the main things, but I'd add that if either of you cares about the quality of your coffee or tea, bring your own supply and your own non-electric means of brewing, like Starbucks VIA packs, a French press, or an Aeropress. Hospital coffee is notoriously bad and it can make you feel a little more human and civilized to have your own source of decent brew. Most in-patient hospital floors will have a hot water spigot somewhere, or you can always go to the cafeteria and use the hot water spigot there.

    On that same note, I brought metal silverware to eat with and even though it was a little thing, it helped me keep my sanity even though we all ate off of styrofoam plates for every meal. Sometimes it really is the little things!

  3. #18
    Forum Member bunchgrass's Avatar
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    eastern Washington
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    I had bypass surgery five years ago. Coming out of surgery I was attached to more monitors and machines than family members cared to count. The first day or so was spent sleeping. When I did get up, there were still tubes and wires to deal with. The first days were spent sleeping and doing the mandatory walks around the unit. The original poster didn’t state whether this was open heart surgery or something less invasive. I was in the hospital for five days following open heart surgery. I took an electronic device to keep up with email. A book and a knitting project. I didn’t get to the knitting project until the day before I went home. Much time was spent sleeping.
    List -
    Lip gloss, lotion
    Button front shirt or other open front top to wear over a hospital gown for walks down the hall
    Means of communicating with friends and family - portable charger to go with it
    Book - many hospitals have libraries and volunteers who come around with a cart load of reading material
    Good luck. I hope things go well.

  4. #19
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    Oct 2018
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    Springfield, MA
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    Thanks, this is very helpful! He had a pre-op meeting with blood draws, etc, and I took a small ZTSB with just edc stuff, but we walked out with it bursting with special soap and ensure vitamin drink and breath inhaler thingy... I learned I'm Definitely gonna need to bring the biggest bags to all the appointments!

  5. #20
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    Springfield, MA
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    Hubby is home now. Of course I packed way more stuff than he needed, especially because I was there every morning and evening, supplementing whatever he needed. Mostly it was the small ZTSB lugging that day's supplies in and then laundry out. That is an incredibly useful bag!

    The surprisingly useful item I learned from this thread was the note pad. I'll never go to a hospital without one again! Thanks for all your suggestions. Everything came out fine, and fingers crossed it will continue the same!

  6. #21
    Forum Member threeteez's Avatar
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    May 2015
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    I'm pleased the notebook suggestion was helpful, but even more glad that your husband is home and had a positive outcome! My clinical nursing days in a hospital were long ago, but keeping organized with a notebook sure helped me when I was present with family members in the hospital so that I could stay organized and jot down questions or concerns.

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