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3 Easy Steps to Manage Your Hospital StayArticle posted on Thursday, July, 15th, 2010 at 10:20 am
Fortunately, During our Greenville Children’s Hospital stay last year we were flooded with concerned friends and family that were concerend about Neely and offered to do any and everything to help us. From candy to meals, and research to hospital connections, anytime we were need, there was someone there to help. We couldn’t have made it without them.
The difficult part is showing everyone how much you apprecaite their support and keeping everyone updated on progress while you are so focused on the next procedure, medecine, therapy, or medical challenge that lies ahead.
This may not be the best way – This is the path we chose in 3 easy steps.
Step 1: The Progress Updates….Get a point of contact.
My sister, Carrie, became our first phone call when we received any news to share. She posted updates about Neely on her blog, and then she shared that blog link with any and everyone who was interested. (You can still read those posts on this blog) Carrie was able to communicate information to all of our friends and family allowing us to stay focused on Neely. Most hospitals have caring bridge sites that can help you do this. Everyone seemed to be glad for a place to go to get updates and were very gracious in not wanting to take our attention away from Neely’s progress.
(Side Note: Would you believe there was actually one couple that was upset with us for not giving them more frequent updates? They even came to the hospital to tell us we weren’t doing enough to keep them informed. ~ The lesson here is: You can’t please everyone, but don’t let that stop you from being focused on what’s important.)
Step 2: The well wishes…Let them be seen.
We kept every note, card, and email that was sent to Neely during the day. In many cases people sent “well wishes” through the Greenville Childrens Hospital Patient Site and represenatives from the Hospital would print them out and bring them to us once each day. We loved getting mail! At night – when visitors were gone and Jamie or I was alone with out thoughts, we would break our the tape and make posters from the cards to hang in Neely’s room. She was always excited to look at them the next day and it was a great distraction for us at night.
Step 3: The Conversations with your doctors….Document Everything.
Medical terminology can be overwhelming – Especially when you are worried and exhausted. Keep a Journal to track your progress, document conversations with physicians, and write down questions as you think of them. During extended hospital stays, the days start to run together. It’s easy to get lost in all the tests, medications, and explanations. Bu writing everything down, you give yourself an opportunity to process what is happening, think about what is best for you, and ask the right questions.
The worst thing you can do is float through your days in a state of dispair. Take action – and take control of your own education and healthcare choices.