- Aging & Longevity
Living Longer: How-To Survive A Stay In The Hospital
Longer Lives Mean More Hospital Visits
Hopefully you won't have to go into the hospital and stay for any length of time but, with people living longer these days it is possible. If you do though, there are things you can do to be more comfortable while you're there. It probably seems odd to hear anything about comfort when it comes to being a patient in the hospital, because everyone knows what goes on in hospitals. Most of the time if you're in there, you're uncomfortable.
If you plan to go in the hospital as opposed to being rushed there in an ambulance, you can do one thing that will help you right away. That is, to quit smoking. Get some gum, or the patch... You don't want to be going through withdrawals while you're suffering. If you do have an unplanned visit, talk to your doctor about the smoking right away. Otherwise you'll really feel like you need a smoke due to the fact that you're under a great deal of stress. At many hospitals you can't even go downstairs near the entrance and smoke because even the outside areas are off limits now.
People land in the hospital for any number of reasons so levels of comfort are relative to the illness that brings them in. If someone is in having surgery you know they're thinking about getting rid of the pain they'll be having afterward. Medication is as you know the doctor's job, but once that's taken care of, it's on to actually surviving hour by hour. You're there and the bed's too hard, the pillow isn't right, and the blankets aren't yours. They wake you up constantly to check your blood pressure, take your temperature, and monitor any machines you may or may not be hooked up to in your room.
Well, you can't get a softer bed, but you can ask for several pillows to tuck around you.This makes you feel secure, and you're able to make little movements without to much pain. A pillow is also good for placing over your incision when you sneeze or cough. You just hold it down as tight as possible. You'll find yourself leaving it there so you're ready. If they won't give you a bunch of pillows get some from home. Another thing you can do is have the person that's bringing the pillows, bring some colorful sheets and a great blanket for you.
When it comes to getting in and out of bed there's usually a nurse there if you need one to help you, but you can help yourself too. What you do is, somehow get yourself on your side near the edge of the bed. Then you swing your legs slowly over the edge while pushing up with your right arm if your facing to your right. This way of getting up is better than sitting straight up and twisting to get out, especially if you've got an abdominal incision.
One thing they often forget to tell you is how much pain you'll be having in the restroom. Make sure you ask for stool softeners because if you don't you may be in for a bad situation. The natural way to take care of this potential problem is to eat lots of fruits, and vegetables for each meal just like you do at home.
While you're there your friends may want to bring you flowers. Instead tell them to bring balloons or inspirational posters for the wall. There's usually not much room to display the flowers considering the table is very small.
Even though nurses help you every step of the way as you're recovering, they aren't servants. It's best to say" please" and" thank you" when they help. Offer them the greatest respect, they deserve it.
When you do see the doctor in the hospital it's not for very long. So, it's a good idea to write down questions for her as they come up during the day. Then you'll be able to take care of everything all at once during the daily check-up.
Of all of the places to be, hospitals aren't up there on the list. If you end up in one, know that you can speak up during the whole experience, and if you're going to live a nice long life it's probably a good thing to learn.