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Thread: What to take to hospital - suggestions please!

  1. #1
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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
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    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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    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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    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
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    Default Re: What to take to hospital - suggestions please!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryansmum View Post
    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
    i don't know if they do them in boys/mens but good old primark normally have a fantastic array of (cheap too!) PJs. you may struggle with button up ones because it's summer and everywhere is selling little vests and shorts though but good luck!
    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.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What to take to hospital - suggestions please!

    I'll do this properly when I get a chance but the one thing we found helped the most in hospital was a bottle of lucozade sport! They have a special top so when you open them,even if they are tipped up you have to suck to get a drink out...we found Ryan couldn't get the right angle to use a straw in a cup and these worked brilliantly,no spills at all.I just kept the bottles and topped them up with fresh water as required

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

    When taking straws, make sure they are bendy ones!

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

    My son was 15 when he had his two operations last year and we were both in Stanmore for about 3 weeks...

    My suggestions would be:
    1 - preparing at home - Get them to think about what they can take such as music, games etc, books. Make sure their mobile has all the numbers they need. Esp don't forget the chargers to all their gadgets.

    I also took blue tack as I knew he'd get lots of cards.... and I also used to make him smile by making rudey models with it, like bottoms, just before the consultants came round lol That worked better than the morphine!

    2 - clothing and toiletries- Baggy t-shirts for over a brace. If you want to wear a vest under then a close fit is better.
    Jogging bottoms are best for geting dressed. Loose pants etc.
    Dry shampoo if they are going to be on their backs a while. They can have their hair washed but my son didn't want that until he was up and about.... but then he is a boy.
    Some nice baby bath for washing.

    For me I'd say take a few luxuries if you can. Like a nice body cream as the water there is very hard and my skin got so dry.

    Nice fluffy towels. They provide you with some but they are not nice.

    A pillow! - I loved my extra pillow.

    Perhaps a nice throw or blanket as you get one sheet and a waffle blanket (though you can pinch more from the ward) as my room was either quite cold or hot. If I had the radiator on I had to watch my hands as the campbed head was up against it....ouch!

    Labels and a good pen! - For labelling your food in the parents kitchen.


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

    Books. I took a couple but had to keep going to the shop in outaptients for more. My paperbacks stacked over 18inches high when I came home, and I read them all!

    Plenty of change for the machines, ie food, washer & dryer etc.

    I also took some Bold 2in1 liquitabs for laundry.

    I took a lovely lavendar pillow/room mist to make my little cell feel a bit more like home.

    4 - getting home and getting back to normal
    A grabber - the OT's recommend you buy one, and we did, but he never used it, just bent at the knees.

  11. #11
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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

  12. #12
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    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

  13. #13
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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.

  14. #14
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    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.

  15. #15
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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

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