Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What to bring when spending time with a child in hospital

I made this list to help me should I ever need it again, or perhaps it may come up on a google search and help another Mum. Having certain items with me made my stay easier and some were necessary.

List of things to take when spending time with a sick child in hospital.

1. Comfortable clothes as you'll spend lots of time sitting and may end up sleeping in your clothes too. Take jeans for when you walk to shops or leave hospital complex.
Make sure you have pockets so you can have your phone on at all times on vibrate so as not to disturb sleeping patients.
2. All toiletries. If you like to wear makeup take the bare minimum, for example blush, lip liner, lip stick and eye brow pencil. Don't bother with mascara, as it's too difficult to take off. Take a foaming cleanser/toner so you can easily remove. A powdered foundation can be handy too and is easy to remove.
Nail clippers and nail file. Nails grow quickly when you're not doing your regular chores. Nail polish of you like as you will have time to apply and it's nice to do something for yourself.
3. Lip balm as being constantly in the air conditioned room yours and your child's lips will quickly dry out.
4. Face moisturiser and body lotion. Soap isn't crucial as it's supplied on hospital bathroom walls but you will need to add moisture back afterwards.
5. Hand mirror and brush/comb.
6. Deodorant and hairspray if needed, and hairdryer of course. Unless your hair is maintenance free.
7. Large handbag, if you normally use a tiny one, switch to a larger one as you'll carry around more items than usual.
8. All prescription medication, and take scripts too as you may stay longer than you think.
Paracetomol and Ibuprofen. Nursing staff are not allowed to treat parents of patients so it's handy to have headache remedies.
9.A travel cup. Hot tea/coffee is not allowed on the wards. You may be allowed to use a spill free cup and a nice hot cuppa becomes quite a treat.
10. Cash. Many things you can EFTPOS but for buying small things like drinks and coffees it's handy to have cash. There are ATMs around on the hospital grounds if you need them.
11. A laptop or handheld tablet device. For me to have been able to wile away the hours emailing, writing and surfing the web. I can honestly say I was never bored. I also had my Devotional book but only for the latter part of my stay. I also have daily readings on my iPad. This helped keep me focussed, calm when things were uncertain and thankful for the many positive happenings. Perspective and comfort are powerful companions and to have daily reminders was a balm for my soul. Having access to the Internet meant I was always in contact with family and close friends. Messages, thoughts and prayers help with the long days and the feeling of loneliness is eased.

A collection of ponderings.

It's almost incomprehensible to believe that this all started two weeks ago. By the time we leave we will have spent well over two weeks in hospital.

Strangely enough, in spite of the stress we've had some good moments. It's been a time of bonding to what already was a close relationship which has become even closer. We've had some funny moments too which has been clinically beneficial as he'd fall into paroxysms of coughing.

We are living in a bubble here, quite insular without much outside influence. It's a strange way to be and quite amazing how quickly one can adapt.

As in all situations things continue around one. These are my observations in no particular order of occurrence and importance.

- there have been Apple updates which needed doing on iPhone and my iPad.
- I had to buy nail clippers and nail polish to redo my nails as they looked rather feral.
- the use by date on the milk has given me a shock.
- my prescriptions have needed renewing
- my mail is being brought in to me
- correspondence at home has needed tending too
- my hair has grown
- I've had lots of time to think and plan
- New routines are quickly developed

Time has gone by slowly and quickly. So much has happened and yet so little. I am very happy to be going home today with my boy and yet we will both always cherish this time we've had together.


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