Your Hospital & Overnight Visiting Hours
If you are a patient or caregiver preparing for heart surgery, I want to make sure you don’t have a false expectation regarding overnight visiting hours in the hospital.
While many caregivers want to sleepover in the hospital (see “Ali’s 12 Night Hospital Stay“), each hospital has its own rules about whether-or-not caregiver slumber parties are allowed.
In my case, I was blessed one night… Cursed the next… And then, blessed again.
On my first night in the intensive care unit, Robyn (my wife) negotiated with the Head Nurse to stay with me. Many years later, I still can’t believe what Robyn did that night.
Somehow, Robyn managed to take quick naps in an uncomfortable, wooden chair in the corner of my ICU room. Each time I awoke, Robyn was by my side – holding my hand, adjusting my pillow or helping me get more pain medications. For this, and so many other reasons, I know Robyn is my guardian angel.
The next day, I was transferred from the ICU to room number 550 at USC Medical Center. Guess what? Robyn was unexpectedly kicked-out of the room at 10pm. That night, the Head Nurse was incredibly strict. It was very tough to say “good-bye” to Robyn as I was really struggling with both sternum pain and night sweats.
However, after speaking with the other nurses the following day, we were granted an exception… Robyn could spend the next three nights with me.
Robyn (my wife) and Me – Shortly After Valve Surgery
The point of the story is that you might want to ask your medical team, in advance of your heart surgery, “Can my caregiver(s) stay overnight in the hospital with me?”
I hope so. 🙂
Keep on tickin!
Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.