Monday, November 22, 2010

Get me out of here

So you had surgery and as soon as the really feeling bad part is over, you want to go home. Why stay in a 'pseudo-hotel' where you never get a good night's sleep because of noise and interruptions - I do not know why they insist on taking blood samples at 5 am. The food is not that great and frankly you'll sleep better in your own bed.

Hospitalization is often needed after surgery. Usually the hospitals send you home sooner as opposed to later but sometimes you need to stay hospitalized if you are in traction or have mobility issues or still have significant pain levels or whatever reason. Even after day surgery, are you ready to go home?

But is your home equipped with everything you need? What if you broke your leg and live in a split level? What if you live alone and don't have anyone to help you? What if you have a drain which needs to be checked twice daily? Are you equipped for all this?

I have been through two variations of this. I had day surgery on my knee to clean up a skiing accident. I lived by myself in a ground floor apartment. My parents took me to and from the hospital and a friend came and spent the night as I was not supposed to be alone during the first night after surgery. More recently I had a hysterectomy and was sent home after five days as an in-patient and was told stairs once a day only for the first two weeks. I was lucky that we live in a house that had everything I needed on the first floor. I would go downstairs before my husband left for work with clean clothes for the day. I could shower downstairs, eat, sleep. Then when my husband came home I would go back upstairs. That worked fine. After my axillary node dissection, I had a drain that a visiting nurse came in a checked every three days and my husband, who has a stronger stomach than I, would clear it out twice a day (yuck).

I was lucky in these that I was prepared and okay for my stay at home. I could easily see how others would have problems with this. If I lived alone after those two operations, things would have been much more complicated.

But there has never been a time at a hospitalization that I wanted to stay in the hospital. I am always the one to say 'get me out of here!

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