The Samurai Caregiver

Posts Tagged ‘hospital stays

The “Dammit” Moment.

This is just a short little post about leaving the hospital…

We (Mom and I) haven’t had to be an inpatient so far this year (knock on wood) but I’ve always wanted to share this little nugget.

When you have a hospital stay, depending on why you or the care receiver is there, you’ll usually wind up getting a lot of supplies in your room. Lots of times, when it comes time to be discharged, you’re anxious, ready to go…and just want to get the heck out of there. Even though the hospital will sometimes provide you with a big plastic bag to put your personal items in, usually it’s not big enough  to get everything in it that you brought in with you or have accumulated during your stay.  Since it’s a trait of most Caregivers to not want to trouble others, we’ll usually not ask for extra bags…and we’ll feel  that the extra supplies that are left in the room could be given to the next patient; someone less fortunate.

Get over it!

Ask, Ask . ASK!  Ask for the bags, as many as you can carry and take al that you can that’s allowed in your room with you!!!!


One of our biggest hurdles as Caregivers is not asking for what we want, asking for a little help. I think it’s in the soul contract or the DNA of Caregivers or somewhere in a hidden, unwritten but very real code book for Caregivers to not open up their mouths and ask for stuff sometimes. This issue ( the hospital stay and disposable items left behind in the room in particular) has really become a ‘nit’ for me. Ask for them. You or whoever is going to pay the bill have already PAID for them. In most cases, they cannot or won’t be returned to the hospital’s inventory. The employees are generally not allowed to take them home  – hospital policy, blah, blah,  blah – and they’re usually not allowed to take them (on an individual basis) to give the to someone less fortunate.

Such a pity, such a waste….

Plus, every time, everytime, every single  time, later, when we have returned to the sanctity and security of our homes, not once, not twice, but EVERY TIME we, Caregivers , have that “Dammit” moment.

What’s that you say?

It’s when you get home and you haven’t been able to go to the store yet because you came straight home from the hospital, trying to get yourself and/or the care receiver into the house,  the bed, trying to get back on track with the ADL schedule, the med schedule , the sleep schedule …. And then there’s that “ thing” that was back in the hospital room, that the nurses and the aides told you to take with you , but you politely told them ‘no’ – and now – You NEED it.

You need the gauze, the chucks, the pads, the big water cup, the ointment ,the bandages, the steri – strips, the incontinence care products, the wipes, the tubes, the inhalers, the  scissors, the this ,that and the other…you need them now – RIGHT NOW and you had them all , at the ready while you were in the hospital, but, now…

 “Dammit” ….  

…you’re cursing yourself and at yourself, because you can see them, all of these things, very clearly, back in the room you just left!!!

Alright, soooooo next time, don’t be shy, don’t be proud – scoop up and take the items you want. Count your blessings or gifts and walk / roll ‘proudly’ out of the hospital. Be happy that you’re getting out of there but don’t be stupid about it, ok?  If you need some way to justify all of this to yourself so that you won’t feel bad when you cross the threshold of the hospital exit, back out to the outside world, keep the little scenario I just described above in mind as well as this little saying:

“Better to have something and not need it, than to need something and not have it!”

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Sybil L. Ingram, MBA, Ph.D.

Dr. Sybil Ingram is a respected and experienced professional in the areas of healthcare information systems and regulatory compliance issues with significant knowledge on INFOSEC, NIST, FISA, FISMA, CFR 210,211 & 820 as well as Lifespan Respite Care Act regulations. With over twenty years of healthcare experience, she has been one of the nation's foremost speakers and active consultants for the HIPAA implementation challenges, addressing all major aspects of the Administrative Simplification Subtitle and affected entities/stakeholders. Dr. Ingram has served as a clinician, clinical researcher and instructor, emergency preparedness and readiness specialist as well as serving as an independent validation and verification compliance manager for multiple national providers of healthcare services. She has held key positions for healthcare industry leaders such as HBOC/McKesson, Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Labs, the Georgia Technology Authority and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). In addition, Dr. Ingram is nationally board certified by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, a former associate with the American College of Healthcare Executives, founder of Ingram And Associates, a certified INFOSEC professional by the Information Security And Audit Control Association and the US National Security Agency. As a volunteer, she is an active senior Georgia state representative for the National Family Caregivers Association and has an inventor's patent (pending) registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Organization. Dr. Ingram speaks nationally and internationally on topics that address information privacy and security as well as family care giving issues.

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