Lifestyle expert and radio host Moll Anderson opens up about a personal family health crisis she endured. Five years ago, Moll’s stepson, Chase, suffered a stroke when a blood clot from his leg traveled up through his heart and into his brain. When doctors were unable to dissolve the clot using medication, Chase underwent surgery to remove it.
While the surgery was a success, it was just the beginning of Chase’s recovery. Moll and her family spent weeks in the hospital, doing whatever they could to support Chase and be there for him in his time of need. She says it was a very stressful and devastating time for her family.
From this harrowing experience, Moll learned several tips and solutions to make a hospital stay easier for family members and friends who are supporting a loved one admitted for medical care.
Here are Moll's top six hospital survival tips:
1. Bring sweats. Hospital intensive care units tend to be very cold. Plus, you'll be sleeping in waiting room chairs, so bring sweats (or other warm clothing) so you'll be as comfortable as possible.
2. Use a shower cap to protect your purse. Hospital floors are home to all sorts of bacteria and germs. Keep your personal items safe from the spread of disease by wrapping them in a shower cap before placing them on the floor. Alternatively, a purse hook may be used to keep your purse off the floor entirely.
3. Wear shoe covers. As stated above, hospital floors are covered in germs. Keep your shoes protected with disposable shoe covers, which can be removed before stepping into your hotel room or home.
4. Bring your own medicine. "A hospital cannot give you medicine unless you are a registered patient," ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says. So, bring your own supplies in case of a headache or similar discomfort.
5. Brew tea to keep you regular. Between the stress of the situation and the food options available, constipation may occur while you await news of your loved one's condition. Tea can help keep things moving.
6. Use lip balm and/or salve liberally. Air in hospitals can be very dry. Bring lip balm and/or salve to keep your lips moisturized and avoid chapping.
"The greatest gift you can give to someone who has somebody hurting in a hospital is to go relieve them for a few minutes, and take them this kind of care gift instead of just flowers," Moll says, adding, "This is the time when you need to be practical and thoughtful."