Lucas is facing another operation this week.
This time it is to remove the hardware that was put in during a pelvic osteotomy in November.
Not a massive operation but an operation none the less. Still the trauma of taking him down to the theatre, a general anaesthetic, going into the same wonder and recovering time. All for a six-year-old. It is tough but we are here to support him every step of the way (no pun intended).
Whilst there won’t be a cast when he comes round, I wanted to write a post about what to pack when you are going into hospital as it is a question I see being asked time and again.
For your little one I would pack:
- Their admission letter, red book and hospital notes. I have a file of everything we have been given since Lucas was diagnosed and take it to each appointment. Whether they are on your phone or in an address book, have phone numbers to hand, including your GP.
- Favourite teddy, pillow and blanket. This isn’t home but a few creature comforts make a real difference and create a feeling of normality and offer some solace for a little person.
- Books, comics and toys as they will get bored especially pre-op.
- Dummies and any other comforters – Lucas used to suck socks (clean one) so I would take a massive stock of these.
- Sterliser and / or sterlising tablets.
- Bottles, bottle warmer and formula.
- Snacks and if you want to, pack in a cool bag. Many wards to have parent kitchens so this is something you can ask at a pre-op assessment meeting or call them to ask.
- Tissues, baby wipes, small bottle of disinfestation, antibacterial wipes and gel – it is on hand on hospital wards but I like to take my own.
- Photos of family and friends are great as they can be a comfort for your child and you too.
- If your child is still wearing nappies, take a supply in their normal size but also take some in smaller and larger sizes too so you can find the right ones for the spica once it is set.
- A laptop or a tablet can be a lifesaver. As well as games your child can watch their favourite TV shows without you worrying about costs or broken TV sets on the ward. It also gives you something to do when they are in surgery and sleeping. Don’t forget to take a charger too!
- If your child is going into a spica, research car seats before you go and ensure you have this set up in your car. If you have any problems ask the team on your ward and they will be able to help.
- Depending on the age of your child, you may also want to take their buggy and ask the nursing team to help you get them comfortable in it once the cast is on.
- Packing clothes can be tricky, and emotional, but I would suggest taking regular t-shirts and tops, socks and leg warmers. For girls you can get some cute dresses as well as rompers that I believe are being sold at Next and have been popular with cast babies.
If you find you have too much stuff to keep by your child’s bedside, or in their room, keep it in the boot of your car and go back as and when you need it, better to have too much than not enough.
Packing for You
Remember to pack a bag for yourself and base it on a couple of nights away to be safe.
- Take a change of clothes and underwear, PJs, an extra blanket, pillow, slippers and socks, toiletries and hand sanitising gel. Hospitals tend to be warm, very warm, so go for layers.
- Books and magazines as well as your phone and charger with contacts programmed in. A meditation app can also be really helpful especially when they are in theatre.
- Rescue Remedy – this can be so helpful.
- Plenty of change for the car park, drinks, water, food, newspapers etc.
- You will have your own small locker for your personal belongings. Do not leave any valuables or money by your bed unattended and it is advisable to mark all items of personal property with your name
If you have any questions get in touch or join the Spica Warrior DDH Forum on Facebook.
If you would like details about going into hospital check out Monkey Wellbeing.
We know this is tough but you can do it and you will do it so well.