August 17, 2011

{Unexpected} Hospital Necessities

Like I mentioned in my last post (or was it two posts ago?), our test run at the hospital allowed Alex and I to make a big list of things that would make life in the hospital easier.  I was shocked by some things so I thought I would share.  Some of these are very specific to a long hospital stay with a young child (that will have no immune system) but, maybe this list will help someone.

Swiffer Wet Jet

Kate is a messy eater.  At home it isn't a big deal because Sadie and Ollie gladly eat anything she throws on the floor.  Unfortunately, we don't have vacuums dogs at the hospital.  The cleaning service scrubs her room daily (to limit any germs that may have found there way in) but, they don't come by every time Kate eats.  I spent more hours than I care to admit on my hands and knees scraping food off of Kate's floor. 
Also, she needs a place to play as I feel bad containing her to the hospital crib or my bed in the room.  So, I love that I can use the antibacterial swiffer juice (what is it called?  I know juice isn't the right term.  Oh well.) and clean the floor quickly before setting her down to play.
3M Hooks

There are so many things I needed to hang - towels in the bathroom, a bib that needs to dry, a dry erase board to keep track of everything Kate drinks (input/ output is very important for chemo patients and we have to track every ounce of liquid that go in her mouth), etc.  There was one hook in Kate's room.  Obviously that wasn't going to cut it!
I picked up several packs of hooks this week so I can stick them in various places (and not ruin the walls) and hang things!
Outlet Plugs

I guess I just assumed that a Children's hospital wouldn't have exposed outlets?  Yeah, that assumption was wrong.  And Kate could win a gold medal if there was an Olympic event titled "Who can find an exposed outlet and stick their finger in it in .002 seconds."  Hey, at least I know where every outlet in the room is now!

Again, Kate is a messy eater.  I would bet 25% of the food I put on her tray ends up smeared into her bib.  Not just in the little catcher thing.  Literally smeared into her bib.  How she does it I will never know.
Add in the fact that hospital sinks have those little grate things over them and you end up with a sink full of soggy food that you have to scoop out.  Gross.  Oh, and nothing to hang a wet, clean bib from so it can dry.  I officially gave up on real bibs and will be using disposable bibs for Kate's stay.
More expensive? Yes.  Worth it?  You bet!
Hand & Face Wipes

Ok, I guess these aren't really a necessity.  I could just use diaper wipes.  But, I hate the way hospitals smell.  So sterile and institutional and unbaby like.  These wipes smell amazing and having a baby that smells like a baby (and not a hospital) warms my heart.
I didn't realize how much a simple smell would help me out.  Kate has to use antibacterial soap/ shampoo provided by the hospital so she doesn't smell like my baby.  These wipes give her that precious smell that I love so much.  Just a little whiff of home.
Bottle Drying Rack

I didn't think I was going to need a drying rack.  I didn't want Kate's bottles exposed and was planning on washing them, drying them by hand, and placing them back in the plastic tub for bottles/ sippies.  The only problem is that I was never able to completely dry them by hand and whenever I would put them away there would still be a bit of moisture in side.
Moisture = mold/ mildew and mold/ mildew = bacteria/ bad things.  I've come to the conclusion that I really need to let her bottles air dry a bit before trapping them up in the bottle box.
I'm sure as we are at the hospital for a longer period of time, I will have even more things I find helpful.  But, after 4 days, these are my top "must have" items that will be with us when Kate is readmitted.
Speaking of readmission!  Our dates were changed yet again.  But, this time they were moved up.  Kate will now be admitted Sunday (8/21) and will start chemo Monday (8/22).  I know it's just two days but, I feel like this is the first bit of positive news we've had in a while and it has lifted my spirits after being totally crushed about our setbacks.


Megan and David said...

First - I am so glad you got moved up.

Second - sounds like the test run turned out to be very helpful!

You are such an amazing momma caring for your baby.

Stacy said...

Would something like Playtex drop-ins be useful for bottles, so you don't have to worry about the cleaning as much and have a clean bag to use each time? Then it would just be a matter of nipples/tops being cleaned.

Candy said...

Why do you keep saying that she's a messy eater. One year olds are naturally messy since their hand eye coordination is still developing and they learn by touching their food. GL to you and Kate.

Katie said...

Kate is quite the trooper, I can surely tell already. Thinking of you and your family and sending super happy vibes your way!

Ali said...

I'm glad your readmission date was moved up.
I need to grab the swiffer for day to day home use, since we don't have live in vacuums. :-)

John & Michelle said...

Praying 4 u in Athens, AL!

Samantha said...

You are one prepared mama! It's good to hear Kate has an earlier readmission date. Best of luck.

Sam said...

Great tips! Perhaps my son (born 8/8/10) can challenge Kate in the Olympic electric socket event. I'm always amazed how quickly he can find something dangerous.

I so enjoy your blog and will be thinking of you and your family in the coming days/weeks/months. Warm wishes from Wisconsin...

Jaxxy said...

Having spent a lot of time scrubbing food off the floor myself (my daughter is also a messy eater), I recommend these: I don't know if you've seen them before, but they just go on the floor under the high chair, and then you can toss them. Saves a lot of clean up time!

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