Sunday, 5 August 2012

Preparing for Basingstoke MOAS II -7 days

Friday saw my last day at work for a while.The doctor has signed me off for three months initially to recover from my op. With a bit of luck I might get back sooner but we'll see.
 The last few days at work were pretty frantic trying to get as much done as possible. My colleagues gave me a great send off again and were very kind and gave me cards and gifts. We went to the pub at lunch time and had a few drinks and a bite to eat. I'm very lucky to have such good friends.
 Saying goodbye was not so difficult this time around. I guess I'm getting hardened to it and also second time around I know what to expect and that with time I will make it back and will get back to normal again.

 With the British weather being so bad this weekend I have taken the opportunity to make a start on my packing for my stay at Basingstoke. For any patients who are going for treatment at Basingstoke for the first time I have tried to make a short list of things below that I'm taking to make my stay that bit easier. Many items are common sense stuff but there may be a few things you may not of thought of-

 Toiletries- The usual things so I wont list them all but what I will say is that I didn't use these at all last time around in ICU. The nurses took care of most things (including bed baths!) as I was too weak initially and the logistics of getting out of bed with various attachments made things difficult. However once back on C2 you have to fend for yourself so this is where you need them. By this time you are generally more mobile and feeling better and wanting to freshen up properly. I did find the bathrooms difficult as there were no shelves and ended up balancing things on the edge of the sink,bins and anything else I could use! The toiletry bags with the hooks on that you can open and hang up are useful.
Dressing Gown & slippers- Again these are great for life back on C2 once you are more mobile.
Nightwear-  Initially you have to wear a hospital gown for easy access for the medical team but once the various drains start to come out then you can start to wear your own again. As its summertime and the ward is likely to be warmer I have gone for shorts and T-shirts this time around.
Cordless Electric shaver- This is one that I did learn from last time around (and mentioned in my last post). I usually wet shave and to be honest it was just too difficult whilst in hospital. Initially I had quite a bit of growth to shave off and ended up giving up after about 20 mins as I was too weak to sit on a chair in front of the sink and ended up going back to bed. Shaving around a central line is also tricky. An electric shaver means you need less kit and could simply sit in bed or on the bedside chair and do it if you wanted.
Mobile phone- There is no issue with using these on C2 but they cant be used in ICU.
Laptop/DVD player- At my last stay there was no WIFI available for patients to use on C2. I also struggled with a dongle as the mobile reception was not good on the ward (but was ok in the family accommodation). I think there may be WIFI at the Arc centre restaurant. I did however get a lot of use out of my portable DVD player. Again as I recovered I got more and more use out of this. I found books difficult to concentrate on for too long and this worked much better.
 MP3 Player- Again I got loads of use from this led in bed listening to nice relaxing tunes.
 Books and magazines- But take something that you can easily pick up for 10 mins and then put down again. As I said above I found them difficult to concentrate on even at the later stages of my stay.
Nibbles- I munched on Jaffa cakes which I found light and refreshing once I was able to eat back on C2 and loved Cadburys Giant Buttons!
Squash- A bottle of juice or squash also makes the jugs of water more exciting.

 Just a few things that are mostly common sense but others that may be not be so obvious if your a first timer...

 So this week we continue to prepare for our stay at Basingstoke and will hopefully get a couple of days out with the girls if the weather is kind. The clock is ticking now and time running out. I need to pack in as much as possible in these next few days......


  1. And a "belly pillow" to protect your abdomen on the car ride home : )

    Thinking of you! Nancy

  2. Great tip Nancy, I forgot that one! Anyone else add any words of wisdom?

  3. Wishing you all the best will be thinking of you and your family, your a brave man xx

  4. Hi Lauren,
    Sorry, just realised I didnt reply to your last comment on my last post. Firstly congrats on getting married! That's fantastic news after you have all been through so much.
    I am lucky that once again I have no symptoms whatsoever and if it wasnt for this damned back injury I'd be out running and keeping fit as normal.
    You are right in the comment that you made in the last post that every day is precious and that we should cherish them. Maybe having gone through everything that we have we appreciate it more than most. I hope that others who read the blog will pick up on this as you never know what lies around the corner.
    Thanks for the comments of support too. It means a great deal to us.
    With a bit of luck I'll be back blogging before long and filling everyone in with all the gory details from Basingstoke!

    Speak soon,