Spending a few hours in the hospital today has reminded me of some life lessons that I've learned during extended hospital stays. Most light hearted. As Ian and I often say, if we don't laugh, it'll kill us.
Nothing commands attention better than a nice pair of heels. A little trick taught to me by my Aunt Cheryl - doctors and nurses treat you much differently if you don't look like you forgot to get dressed when you got up. Not to mention the sound of the heels down the hallway - you may even be mistaken as the doctor. However, this is most applicable to women and if you're simply escorting a patient. If you're the patient, just stay in your pajamas.
Don't go to the gift store. You're either going to buy something expensive and stupid because you're so sad, disoriented and sleep deprived or you're going to get really annoyed that the hospital would even think that you wanted to go jewelry shopping at a time like this.
Travel with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Ask lots of questions. Be annoying, even. Not all hospitals are created equally. And if your gut tells you it's a bad place, it probably is.
Maybe consider not talking to anyone in the waiting room. You may hear have to feign paying attention when you're just trying to figure out when you can sleep next. Not because you're mean, but because you literally can't think anymore. One good trick is to just put your head back and close your eyes immediately after sitting down.
Expect to get lost in the maze of wings, units, wards, floors. If nothing else, follow the smells of the cafeteria, grab coffee and regroup.
If staying in a family house, be prepared to cry. Everyone is there because something is wrong. And a lot of times they aren't going to get better. That might even be you. If not now, maybe someday.
If you're tired from pushing a loved on in a wheelchair, just go to a hospital and make yourself look exhausted. Someone will offer to push the chair for you. Maybe even give them a fake office you're visiting, just to get a break.
If you follow suggestion number one and also push a loved one in a wheelchair, make sure your trip does not involve significant hills. Or you will look really awkward. And then be careful of the elevators. The slots as you step out are the perfect size for a heel to slip down into.