I'm not a fan of Facebook. It seems an overwhelming blob of fodder constantly raining down on me. The first few days in the hospital were much the same. I have always had the ability to come out of anesthesia well and seem alert. This is good for me, because I like to be aware of what is going on around me. The down side of that is that it makes me look good. I don't mean pretty. I mean it makes me look as if nothing has been wrong and I feel the top of the world. When that is added to my effort to appear happy and upbeat, I seem to be much better than I actually am.
I love all the people who came to visit me. I would not have changed anything about how much time and effort they all went through to come all the way to Murfreesboro and visit. That is a two hour commute from my hometown. I appreciate so much that so many people care so much about me. It made me feel good to know that, and helped me to recover faster.
My advice to anyone who is going to have a hospital stay after recovery.
- Before going into the hospital, appoint someone as your assistant (bouncer, guard, minion, secretary).
- Let everyone know that visitation will be a scheduled event.
- Leave time between visits for mental re-energizing.
- Cut off all visits at a certain time in the evening.
- Take a calendar or notepad.
- Be aware that the TV in your room may not pick up all the baseball channels.
- Don't forget the 'no touch' rule.
So, if possible, get your assistant to contact people who they know will visit. Call those with more time and ask them to visit during the work hours of the week, when most other people cannot. Have them make sure you get a half hour or so without visitors during busy days, between visits. It's a delicate situation to maneuver but will help in the long run if you can spread those visitors out over your entire hospital stay, so that you have a consistent set of visitors but are not bombarded.
The notepad. I learned this the hard way. I know I became irritable with the note thing, but as time passed I realized what I should have done. The number one plan would have been to take the Franklin Planner and have the assistant mark everything down. That would be easiest. For example if someone came to visit on Thursday at 11am, just put their names down at that time. If something went wrong or an extra medication was asked for, or whatever, could simply be marked down at the proper time and day. Otherwise, number two plan would be to just take a notebook. Train your people beforehand Make sure they understand what you want. For that matter, know for yourself what you want. I was ready to come home before I realized what I wanted. I wanted a journal of everything that happened. But in the least, get your assistant trained on how you want notes taken.
Realize that your assistant may be a group of people. I was fortunate that someone was with me every day and night. My family and friends took turns being my assistant. It was a great help, made me feel better and helped to keep track of what was going on. In the end I came home with a notebook of information about things the doctor said that were important, names of people who visited (because it's easy to forget while medicated) and any issues I wanted to pursue later.
Plan ahead with the hospital social life. It will make your stay much better.