Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hospital visitors

When I am hospitalized, I have a list of people who can visit me. They include my husband, my parents, and my siblings. Anyone else has to call and ask. I am serious about this. If people visit unannounced, they will find out how rude I can really be.

My strong feelings about this are due to the fact that once, after a significant surgery, a friend had to stop at the hospital for an early morning appointment, the day after my surgery. So she decided to stop by my room at 830am. I was not ready for guests.

I was talking to someone who was a friend and a nurse who was giving me some information. I did not want to socialize. She didn't understand the concept of good manners and to think that the morning after major surgery might be a bad time to visit someone.

When I am in the hospital:
  1. I probably feel like crap.
  2. I probably look like crap.
  3. I am probably cranky.

Its not that I don't want visitors at all - they do help the time go by - but my goal is to get better enough so I can leave as soon as possible. If I can't get my naps in, I won't be able to get better.  I find the concept of visiting people in the hospital for hours on end to be a bit ridiculous.

I actually feel sorry for the patient's whose families come to visit and stay for hours in big groups. If you are sick enough to be in the hospital, you don't want to host a party, you probably want to take a nap.

There is a hospital in Hawaii which has started the policy of visiting hours 24/7 and let the patients set their visiting times. This was done at patient request citing a study that found that people surrounded by family and friends heal faster and cope with their hospital stay better.

At first I was pretty appalled by this. But then I started to think.

There are lots of people who work odd shifts or have child care issues or travel distances or work nights and I can go on and on that have off hour schedules normally and are used to getting a lot of sleep during the day wherever they are so why should hospital visitation be any different?

Hospitals are where they wake you up for a sleeping pill or to take your blood and vital signs at 2am. So you might as well have a friend hang out with you for it.


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lisa lee said...

My first hospital stay for my leukemia was 5 weeks. Everyone wanted to come and visit, and I agree with you...sometimes you just don't want any visitors! My parents had people call me to see if that day /time was ok, before they showed up. The few days where I lost my hair was the hardest. I was lonely, but I only wanted my parents, siblings or boyfriend. No one else.

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