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Volunteer Advocate
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Tips for Long Hospital Stays

No one enjoys an extended hospital stay. But hopefully you can make your home away from home a bit more tolerable with these tips from fellow CFers:

  • “Bring as much as your home with you. For me, this includes my Xbox one and computer monitor. You can always create short term goals that are easy to accomplish such as reading a book, finishing homework, or studying for exams. Lastly, tell your friends, a visit always cheers me up.” – Nicholas Evans
  • “Settle in-bring a pillow or blanket from home, to make your stay a little cozier… I like to be comfortable, but not too comfortable (it’s always good to have extra desire to get out)!
  • “Advocate for yourself- this is important in every way. Our teams care for so many people, sometimes new information gets overlooked, or the team thinks you have information that you may not. Also advocate regarding infection control, food needs, and medication times, anything else that impacts your safety and wellness. Ask questions! This is how we educate ourselves, and keep up to date with the latest in policy, treatment etc.Sleep lots and allow yourself to be cared for. Sleep is so important in allowing the body to heal. We’re there, because we need the care, so allow yourself to receive.Remember to feel grateful. While it sucks to admitted, I feel so grateful to have access to an awesome team of healthcare providers, meds, a bed etc – without having to worry about paying for it!” – Erin Sullivan
  • “Bring what you love from home. Bringing my own comfy sheets, pillow and blanket are essential for me when I’m in hospital. I also bring in a lot of my own food, since hospital food does not help with the constant nausea I always experience while in hospital. Other necessities for me are: ear plugs, an eye mask, slip on shoes that can be wiped down and sanitized when you get home, your favourite cozies, good quality moisturizer (since it’s so dry in the hospital), and lastly, my laptop and phone since staying connected to the outside world is crucial.” – Kim Wood
  • “I have had my share of lengthy hospital stays, they aren’t easy of course but there are ways to get through it. It’s helpful to bring things from home; your own pillow and blanket, computer, books and most importantly headphones just in case you get a roommate that just won’t leave you alone (I know you know the ones I’m talking about!) Lastly, don’t cut yourself off from the outside world. Talk to you family and friends, try and have visitors when you’re up to it. Going through long admissions are tough but having people there to support you makes it a little bit more bearable.” – Meaghan Macrury
  • “Long hospital stays are the worst! I always make sure I bring loads of things to keep myself occupied, knitting, computer, and colouring books, connect the dots, I have all the books for those kinds of activities. If you’re like me and hospital stays mean you’re not staying in the city you live in, I find museums to visit during my day passes, or malls to explore. Sometimes even just a small, slow walk outside can help to pass the time. And of course bring on the visitors!” – Mackenzie Norris
  • “I like to have visitors when I’m in the hospital for a long stay, so I often will post something on Facebook – nothing too dark or ominous, but an invitation to spend some time with me if people have some free time! More often than not, people that I don’t even expect will get in touch and stop by for a visit. Being open with people about what you want and need really helps – if I tell a friend that I’m sick of watching Netflix and feeling bored, they’ll often bring something by for me to do, like some adult colouring, or a card game. Sharing food is always great too!” – Terra Stephenson
  • “Patience.” – Rob Burtch

Have insights you would also like to share? To be quoted in our blog please contact Terra at tgillespie@cysticfibrosis.ca

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