Packing List and update July 13, 2020

Ok…today started off rather challenging in the caffeine sense. We were up at 6:00 a.m. again because we had to meet the surgeon at the hospital at 7:30, and I wanted to make sure I got there in plenty of time (he had a surgery at 8:00). I discovered an espresso machine in my hotel room. I turned it on…waited…put the pod in…and received water back. I had two pods. I investigated thoroughly, youtubed it a bit, put the second one in …and water again. Why! Why! Why! That combined with the immediate decomposition of my deodorant had me a bit concerned about the day ahead.

Is this half empty or half-full?

However, everything went fine. We met with Ben’s surgeon. He is hoping he can open him up (his words – not mine…but it does sound kind of like a present if you avoid thinking about it too much) and hopefully straighten the rod, check out a few screws – maybe readjust the screws on top – and check to see if the bottom screw has pulled out a bit. It sounds totally easy…if you were a piece of lumber. So, we’ll see. It is what it is.

We filled out a bunch of forms at Shriners (where everybody knows your name!) and then raced over to MCH to get Covid tested. Interestingly, we did this in the parkade…yeah…I know…it kind of makes sense…doesn’t it. The nurse came over and told Ben the procedure would be “quite uncomfortable”. I told him they were going to try to tickle his brain with a giant Q-tip and to tell me when his brain felt it… (it’s all in the marketing!) He said it didn’t hurt a bit. After that we sat outside for a while until our pre-op clinic (it’s super nice here instead of the constant rain we are experiencing back home!).

Some weird haz-mat hallway in the middle of the hospital – possibly for aliens?!?

The security at the hospitals is intense. Every entrance of the hospital is manned by security guards who ask where you are going and make you sanitize your hands as you come and go. When we walked in to get our Covid testing, we ended up sanitizing our hands five times on the way there…once in the door…once by the elevators…once by the parkade…and once by the other parkade door…then once in the Covid place…how crazy is that! I would rather that though than the opposite. They checked our temperature at Shriners but not at MCH. We did pre-op and were at the hospital with various appointments until about 3:00. It was an exhausting day. Late in the day we were told our surgery was postponed until Wednesday. To be honest with you, I am a bit relieved. We have literally been racing around. It will be nice to just have a quiet day before the chaos again. We are now self-isolating until our surgery as per our instructions. Uber eats for tomorrow! Tomorrow night – surgery prep!

I thought I would post my packing list here because I am getting pretty good at knowing what I need/like at the hospital. I am finding this hospital stay a bit trickier because I have no idea how long we will be here. Anyways, I just grabbed my standard list and went with it. It’s a good one if you don’t know where to start. Feel free to add your own must haves in the comments!

  • Packing List:
  • Laptop/phone, etc
  • Chargers (make sure you have enough)
  • Soap and shampoo for me (Ben’s stuff is usually taken care of)
  • Magnets (if at Shriners, one of their walls is completely magnetic, so I often take magnets with me to hang things
  • I have to Fold n’ Files – they are just little boxes that hold trinkets and such – I find it helps me keep a bit organized with the little things that clutter the room (books, cards, etc.) They fold down to nothing in my suitcase.
  • Sleeping pills or melatonin – I’ve talked about this before, but I always get a sleeping pill prescription for me when I have a hospital stay. I can usually fall asleep ok, but if I get woke up in the middle of the night – I can never fall back asleep. It’s important for parents/caregivers to sleep well.
  • Blanket for me – usually parents are only given sheets – it can get cold at night. I now always have a blanket for me (even though it is a huge space robber in the suitcase)
  • Tylenol and any other mom medications – this is especially important right now when parents aren’t able to leave their rooms easily.
  • HDMI cable to connect laptop to tv (this is good for longer hospital stays or even short ones). This allows me to pull up my Netflix/Disney Plus/Youtube on the computer for Ben to watch whatever shows he wants. I love having this one. TV at the hospitals is ok…MCH actually has better TV than Shriners
  • Downloaded movies or TV shows
  • Extra bag (I always pack an extra duffle bag inside my suitcase. If you’ve ever had a child at the hospital – you know they get spoiled.
  • Calendar/Agenda/Notebook – I always want to have something to write on and mark dates. I document pretty much everything. I want to know if he has had a particular reaction to a medicine or if I have follow up activities. I also write down any questions I have for the doctor, so I won’t forget.
  • Books, books, books! I love to read and I love to read to Ben.
  • Furbo – this was my Boxing Day purchase this year, and we love it. It is a device that connects to a device at home and allows us to see our dog and feed him treats. It is a huge distraction and not only do we love see our fur-buddy, the nurses love it to. We throw him treats remotely and watch him gobble them up and come back to the camera for me. Great moral booster! (no – I don’t get paid for my blog – promise!)
  • Clothes for Ben – I brought four days worth this time, but I usually bring about a week and a half’s worth. I always bring at least two button up shirts to allow for easy put-ons.
  • My own clothes – about 8 days worth
  • My own laundry soap (if I have access to a washer/dryer, which I don’t during Covid. MCH does not have laundry machines for parents. Shriners does, but parents are not able to leave the rooms now, so I’m not sure what the laundry situation looks like.
  • A human-sized towel (instead of wiping yourself down with hand towels after your shower. (Thanks Shaylene)
  • Toiletries
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