Finally, more than 3 months since Coach’s back surgery, the last bill has arrived. While the experience won’t ever be forgotten, I look forward to the day Coach can run again, the day we pay off the final bill (in like 2023), and the first time robo-husband gets stopped by a metal detector. 😉 And as I look back, there are certainly some lessons to share:
10. Have change for the hospital vending machines, because the cafe has hours and they will not align with your hunger.
9. There are two temperatures for your room. “It’s so hot I wish I could sit here in my skivvies and not fear a nurse walking in,” and “It’s so cold I’m about to steal Coach’s heated blankets. He’s on drugs; he won’t notice!” Prepare for both.
8. A nurse can make you or break you. Be nice! Say thank you…a lot!!! However if they are not doing what they are supposed to, be a nagging jerk and get it done!
7. Stay connected to the world. In other words, bring your laptop, iPhone, iPad and their chargers. Netflix was a God-send.
6. Keep your family informed, but don’t feel like you have to call each one of them. Task key family members to make the bulk of the calls. You are tired and stressed enough, don’t retell the story 20 times!
5. Rejoice when you have trusted family members or friends take care of “home” issues like small children, animals, etc.!!!! It frees you to focus on the patient and give you a sense of calm.
4. There are some things a spouse can do better than a nurse–adjusting pillows and blankets, deciphering medicated mumbles, and staying one step ahead for comfort. There are also some things that you are paying good money for–emptying catheter bags, putting in supos… Let’s just say anything that has to do with pee and especially poop. Let the trained professionals deal with that!
3. Never underestimate the power of a well-timed visit whether it’s to say hello or bring some take-out! (Cause a DQ Blizzard can certainly lift your spirits!)
2. Use the drugs! Don’t be brave! Be comfortable, relax, and heal!
1. Get home as soon as physically and medically possible. Your bed, bathroom, and couch are far more comfortable than anything the hospital can provide!