Once we were in the ER, we were actually seen by the doctor immediately. But after they ran some tests, we had to wait for results. After being told she was being admitted, we waited some more for a bed to be ready upstairs for her.
A few weeks later, back at home, my grandmother once again called the ambulance and then me. I again grabbed my project and put on clothes (she really likes calling the ambulance at 6:30 in the morning). This time I also grabbed a water bottle and snacks. She'd had a heart attack. After a few repeats of this, I had what to grab down pat. I also learned the items that I needed to grab for Nana. If you didn't know, many times once the EMTs have put their patient into the ambulance, they start some basic care before driving to the hospital. In my experiences with Nana, this took 10-15 minutes. This also allows time for putting together your bag or gathering items for the patient.
This past December, my Mom called and said the ambulance was on its way to her house to pick up my Dad. Knowing she had a few minutes and there wasn't anything she needed to be doing for Dad, I encouraged her to put together some items for her at the hospital - a project, a book, snacks, etc. She hadn't thought about that; she'd was focused on my dad.
Since Mom found my thoughts helpful, I decided to share them as my Works for Me Wednesday tip this week.
Here are items to grab for yourself:
- project to do (knitting, crochet - something that is easy to grab and doesn't require space to spread out your stuff)
- book to read/crossword puzzles/sudoku
- water bottle
- cash (to purchase food in the cafeteria or vending machines)
- cell phone (check your charge- you may want to grab your charger too)
- or address book with phone numbers if you don't have a cell phone with the numbers saved
- calling card
- project (If I'm the patient, I generally bring a project; but this will depend on the condition of the patient)
- a book to read/crossword puzzles/sudoku/toys (especially important if patient is a child)
- family picture (if it looks like they'll be admitted, this can bring a little bit of home to their room)
- wallet with ID, insurance information
- a change of clothes, including underwear, socks and shoes (Nana always seemed to go to the hospital in her pajamas)
- toothbrush (when admitted, this will be provided by the hospital, but the patient may really wish for their own)
- If they are an 80/90 year old female, you better grab the basic makeup supplies (for Nana, this was always more important than anything else except clothes)
- keys (especially if you don't live with the patient, you don't want them to be released and have no way to get into their home).