Top 5 INVISIBLE Things Patients Should Bring To The Hospital
The day before patients enter the hospital, they usually pack a travel bag.
Some patients mistakenly pack a big bag of stuff as if they were vacationing in Hawaii. The reality? You will only need a few, personal items during your time in the hospital.
In thinking about it… I believe the invisible, interpersonal things that patients bring to the hospital are incredibly important. That said, here are my top 5 invisible things that patients should pack in their minds:
- Courage – Yes. You will need a whole lot of courage throughout your hospital stay. Even though statistics suggest your surgical result will be good, that will not stop the fear, uncertainty and doubt that impacts most patients. Courage became one of my best friends in the ICU and in room 550 at USC Medical Center (my hospital).
- Trust – Patients should bring A LOT of trust with them to the hospital. Trust in the hospital. Trust in their support group. And, most importantly, trust in their surgeon. If you don’t have trust, DO NOT go to the hospital! Step back from this process and conduct more diligence on your diagnosis, your procedure and your surgeon.
- Healthy Thoughts – I’ll never forget what I said to Doug, my brother, the night before my aortic valve was replaced. As tears floated on my eyelids, I said through the phone, “Tomorrow will be a great day!” At that time, my valve was very diseased with both regurgitation and stenosis. Plus, my heart was already dilated. That said, I was very excited to start the healing process so I began thinking healthy thoughts. (To learn more about aortic valve replacement operations, click here.)
- Patience – Once surgery is complete, patients immediately enter the recovery process. For me, this was very dislocating. I had issues all around me – the tubes, the noises, the pain, the sweats, etc. Within the first 24 hours after surgery, I realized how critical the cliche, “Patience is a virtue” is for heart surgery patients. Patients need to be patient!
- Love – Bring A LOT of love to the hospital. As the heart is the international symbol of love, it really helped me to share my love for my wife, for my friends, for my family, for my medical team, and most importantly… for my stitched heart.
I hope this helps you better understand the invisible things that helped me and other patients in the hospital.
Keep on tickin!
Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.