I have to confess that I am not looking forward to this week. I have my MRI scan on Wednesday at the hospital and with each scan there is obviously the worry that the Cancer has returned but this scan for me is the BIG one. It will tell me if the recent surgery that I have had has worked to reduce these damn pesky tumours that have taken up residence on my lovely liver.
As I have spent A LOT of time as an inpatient in hospital over the past 18 months as well as attending numerous outpatient appointments I thought that I would put a little post together with my top tips on surviving your hospital appointments.
♥ Remember all Your Documentation
I always bring my appointment letters with me even if it is a hospital I am familiar with. You want to make sure you know how to get to the correct ward or clinic as well as being there on time. I know before each MRI I have I always have to fill out a medical questionnaire to take with me so check if you have to do anything similar. It can also be a good idea to bring a list of medications with you in case you are asked about them.
♥ Plan Your Travel in Advance
If you are driving to the hospital then it can be useful to check out if there is parking and if you need to pay for it. Always have some change ready just in case. If public transport is your mode of travel then check out bus times and routes and if there are any planned diversions. There is nothing worse than already stressing about your appointment or admission and then adding extra stress when your travel plans don’t go to plan!
♥ Keep Yourself Busy
I know this might seem a daft comment but being in hospital involves a lot of waiting around. My scan is always in 2 parts with an hours wait in between each part. Its boring and there is nothing worse than watching that clock move soooo slowly! I always take a book with me to help pass the time but when I was an inpatient recovering from surgery I just didn’t feel like reading books but I loved just being able to pick up a magazine and read a few pages and then put it down again. I also loved just lying back and listening to music on my iPod drowning out the hospital noise – especially at night! I can 100% guarantee that you will NOT get a decent nights sleep in hospital!
♥ Try to Keep Positive if Things Don’t Go to Plan
Being in hospital whether planned or unplanned can be such a stressful time never mind when thing’s don’t to completely to plan. Sometimes it may be a little thing like having to stay an extra night so the medical team can keep an eye on you or it might be having to return for extra tests and scans. Unfortunately there are occasions where patients are unhappy with some of the care and treatment that they receive. It can be helpful in these situations to talk your concerns over with companies like Slater & Gordon who are specialists in medical compensation.
♥ Bring Provisons
Regular readers of the blog will know that I follow a gluten free diet and I try to limit the amount of fodmaps that I eat so being in hospital means that sometimes my dietery needs are not always easily accommodated. I always make sure I have something in my bag that I know wont upset my stomach which would be the ultimate disaster. Hospital food varies so much from hospital to hospital but if it is not working for you then ask family and friends to bring you some goodies when they come for visiting!
I hope that you find these tips useful and I would love to know if you have any other useful tips to share ♥