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Thread: What to take to hospital - suggestions please!

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
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    Smile What to take to hospital - suggestions please!

    hi everyone! you may have spotted this in "general discussions", but i thought it might be appropriate to have one here as well, because i know that sometimes parents supporting younger children face different issues to adult patients.

    the plan is that everyone post their suggestions and then i'll pull it together a bit more neatly.

    items falling into the following categories would be gratefully accepted:

    1 - preparing at home

    2 - clothing and toiletries

    3 - home comforts (e.g. things to keep you occupied!)

    4 - getting home and getting back to normal

    looking forward to hearing your suggestions!
    Diagnosed in March 2001 by family GP after my mum noticed an asymmetry in my spine. Referred to a consultant at the RNOH, Stanmore and started attending consultations for x-rays twice a year. Prescribed a TLSO brace to be worn 16 hours per day. Began with double major curves at approx 48 degrees. Offered surgery in 2003 aged 16 and declined to continue with school. Requested surgery in 2005 instead. Had T11-L3 fused on 16th July 2005 and haven't looked back! Released for all activities in March 2006, having been driving and riding horses with consultant's permission since 7 weeks post op.

  2. #2
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    Default 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.

    Home comforts

    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.

    Rachie x
    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
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    447

    Default Re: What to take to hospital - suggestions please!

    Thanks again Rachie,I realised when reading your list button up tops!! Re the vests,we have the gilbert and mellish ones so will take these,do they get quite mucky etc,how many per day do you think we'll need? I saw on the RNOH site the parents bit has a washing machine there so hopefully will be able to keep up with demands.
    *Tissues were the first thing on the list I know what I'm like..and the biggest bar of choccie I could find is hidden away in the fridge*
    When I get home I'll add my list from a 'stopping over' parents point of view in case it helps anyone.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What to take to hospital - suggestions please!

    ryansmum that's a great idea thank you.

    rachie your contribution has been fab too, i'd forgotten your idea of turning vests inside out! when i was in my brace, M&S had a normal vest in their underwear section which didn't have side seams and mum used to bulk buy them for me (in case they ever stopped making them).
    Diagnosed in March 2001 by family GP after my mum noticed an asymmetry in my spine. Referred to a consultant at the RNOH, Stanmore and started attending consultations for x-rays twice a year. Prescribed a TLSO brace to be worn 16 hours per day. Began with double major curves at approx 48 degrees. Offered surgery in 2003 aged 16 and declined to continue with school. Requested surgery in 2005 instead. Had T11-L3 fused on 16th July 2005 and haven't looked back! Released for all activities in March 2006, having been driving and riding horses with consultant's permission since 7 weeks post op.

  5. #5
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    Kent
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    Default Re: What to take to hospital - suggestions please!

    We only needed one vest in hospital (but take more) because as soon as she was in her brace she was able to go home! In the hot weather they get very wet with sweat so we take off every night. If uncomfortable during the day we do a change then, but seeing as it hasn't been very hot this summer one a day has usually been fine. I expect boys would be more sweaty though!

    Rachie x
    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.

  6. #6
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    Jan 1970
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    447

    Default Re: What to take to hospital - suggestions please!

    Yep,boys = sweaty and I have 4 to live with

    Thats great thanks again Rachie I've got quite a few we've accumulated over the years so we should have more than enough.I'm off to hunt for button up pj's tomorrow..think we may have to get small mens in M&S as I can't recall seeing them anywhere else?? I'll just take them in for him as he's such a skinny minny still.
    I've got spare batteries for the camera so we can record it all for him,he wants to keep pictures of everything!!
    Our case is going to weigh a ton lol

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Derby
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    Default Re: What to take to hospital - suggestions please!

    helloo.
    when i was in hospital, i took a suitcases full of books, magazines, crayons, nintendo ds, game boy etc.
    but i didn't end up using any of them!!
    it was my mum who sat hour after hour reading and playing whilst i was sleepin!!!
    i had five days in high dependancy so I didn't feel like doing much and when eventually i moved on to the ward, there was a good old telly for me to watch.

    one bit of advice is to make sure you have got lots of pillows at home to support your back, (I still have 4 in my bed now and that is 12 weeks later) i wish i had one of those beds in hospital that i could move up and down!!

    when i was in hospital i wanted something nice to drink rather than water or strong tea!! so maybe take some favourite drinks in with you, my favourite was capri sun!!

    hope this helps

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    939

    Default Re: What to take to hospital - suggestions please!

    HI....

    this is all quite interesting... thanks, although Karen has been given her date. I have sort of being thing what would I need to bring.... ??

    This info has been good.. the loose button up night dresses as I was unsure what would be best......

    We have not had the op gone thru in much detail with us, and bracing afterwards has not been mentioned... but is this something that is definitely going to happen and we just have not been informed yet or is it a case that different surgeons, different hospitals have different ways ?

    But thanks for all the tips i will be taking note

    xx Sandra

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What to take to hospital - suggestions please!

    If it is spinal fusion (which I assume it is) then it is down to each individual consultant whether they brace or not. If they do it is usually only for a few months. The metalwork for fusion is like having scaffolding on the inside so it can do a good enough job supporting the back without a brace.

    Rachie x
    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.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: What to take to hospital - suggestions please!

    Rachie, I just wanted to say a huge thanks to reading all of your useful advice. We still do not have a date for Millie for her sugergy but checking this forum periodically means that I feel in touch with people who appreciate the feelings of anxiety and I guess the unknown. Keep on passing on your advice. Thanks.

    Carol.
    Millie's mum.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    South of England
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    Default Re: What to take to hospital - suggestions please!

    this is fantastic advise - we are pending surgery in a few weeks so thank you for all this information Deborah x

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Rep. of Ireland
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    45

    Default Re: What to take to hospital - suggestions please!

    Thank you for excellent suggestions (I mean, who would think of coins for vending machines/laundry/etc.!) for hospital stay - going in with my son next week for full posterior fusion and making lists
    Vesna, mum to Luka (age: 11) who was diagnosed with congenital scoliosis when 9 months old.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    53

    Smile Re: What to take to hospital - suggestions please!

    Thank you. I have written a list, my daughter who is 11 is having full spinal fusion in a week so thank you for the info x x

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