Re: What to take to hospital - suggestions please!
This is what I would suggest from my experience of a 7 year old having surgery to insert a growth rod:
Preparing at home
I brought up the subject of surgery a few times in the weeks prior to surgery so that she could ask any questions that were on her mind. She had already had experience of a cannula so I told her she would have two of those. I didn't mention a catheter as I didn't want to freak her out, and it turned out that she was grateful not to have to get up for the loo when her back was hurting.
The main thing I did was focus on the positive which, for her, was 6 weeks off school with her mummy at home. We planned all the things we wanted to do together and brought her a few craft activities that she could look forward to doing.
Also, make sure the school enquires about home tuition which the council should provide.
Clothing and toiletries
Whatever she normally uses including shampoo and a good quality conditioner with afro comb. If the hair is long enough, plait it. If it isn't long it's going to get very matted and, so that you don't have to tackle washing it yourself at home, I would make sure that you ask for her hair to be washed before you leave the hospital.
Vests are needed for underneath the brace. Ones without seams are the best but I could never find any. We've never had any problems with normal vests turned inside out to prevent the seams digging in.
Pyjamas with a button-up top. This makes it easier to take off when the wound needs to be checked.
Clothes post-op will need to be at least one size bigger than before to accommodate the brace. I suggest stretchy leggings and big tops.
For the patient - favourite drinks/snacks and straws for when they first start drinking lying down.
Maddy's classmates all made cards which she received on the 3rd day. This was the first time she smiled after surgery - well worth suggesting to the school (although they would propably do this anyway).
For the mummy - mp3 player, phone and charger, tissues for a good cry and chocolate for comfort eating!
Getting home and back to normal
A step for getting in and out of the bath as you cannot lift her under the arms.
A mattress topper for extra comfort.
We also used her old bedguard for a while as she was frightened of falling out of bed.
I hope this helps.
Mum to Maddy aged 14. Maddy is a patient at Great Ormond Street Hospital and had a growth rod inserted in November 2007. In March 2011 the growth rod was removed because the curve became too strong. In May 2011 Maddy had anterior release, 2 weeks traction on a Stryker Frame and then spinal fusion.