It all started I guess with all the weather changes… I got a sinus infection, started treating it with over the counter drugs… Then it developed into a strong bronchitis so my doctor prescribed antibiotics… All was fine until I started chronic vomiting…
Long story made short… I was admitted to the hospital for the first time ever!
During my 24 hours in St. Louis hospital, I ate 3 delicious meals and I learnt several things that I would like to share with you.
The first meal was my dinner at 5:00pm. I was so happy to receive that meal since after vomiting all day, I was starving!
The dinner was spaghetti with white sauce, boiled green beans without anything, and kafta meat. I also received an apple! This dinner was great for my stomach situation. Plus I am used to light meals with no salt, so it was perfect.
But three hours later, the birds in my stomach woke up!
Advice 1: you will need to order dinner since hospitals serve dinner early and the hospital cafeteria closes early. Plus you cannot order delivery, yet people you know can go out and get you food! So you can simply tell the delivery man to meet your friends or family in the parking lot! Problem solved!
In my case, my husband Fadi went out of the hospital and bought me the best cheese sandwich ever!
At around 7:30pm or 8:00pm, the security man visits all rooms and asks guest to please excuse themselves. If someone is planning to sleep in your room then they can stay. But usually there is no place for them to sleep. I was fortunate enough that the hospital’s first class room was under renovation so they offered me a regular room yet I was alone in it. This gave us an extra empty bed where my fadi slept!
Advice 2: don’t let anyone sleep with you in the hospital if there is no bed for them, they will already sacrifice even if they have their own bed, so sleeping on a chair will be torture. Plus you can call the nurses whenever you want!
Advice 3: you need to get an extension chord with you if you plan to keep your phone near, electricity plugs are usually far from your bed. Make sure to also have the right electric plug to the right socket.
Advice 4: get your own pillow since hospital pillows are so bad! If you can get your own bed too that would be perfect 🙂
Beware: nurses change shifts at 7:00am, so they wake you up at around 5:15am to take your blood pressure, temperature and other routine checks so they can log your info on their files.
This is the worst thing since it will take you all night to fall asleep, then they wake you up!
After you are up, you won’t be able to sleep again since nurses will start exchanging shifts and for some weird reason it never occurred to them that a hospital is where sick people who cannot hear noise sleep! You will be hearing them talk, laugh, bump stuff, … They are worst than construction workers talking together on a construction site!
Breakfast was served at 8:15am, which I thought was late given the fact that they woke me up at 5:15am!
I received for breakfast, Laban (yogurt), bulgari cheese, apricot jam, a picon piece and some cucumber. Along with bread and anis tea. Breakfast was good for me, but it was too early for me to eat, so I kept it in my room and each 10 minutes a different nurse came to ask me if I was done.
Advice 5: be nice to nurses, they can poison and kill you. Being nice to nurses also means tipping them. Enough said here!
Advice 6: don’t take it personal if the nurses aren’t affectionate with you. Are you affectionate with your papers, files or machinery that you work with?! They have seen a lot worse!
Advice 7: get some chocolate or biscuits to offer people who come visit you.
Advice 8: don’t be shy to excuse yourself and sleep, people will not keep you alone in the hospital, and you are there to rest.
Advice 9: if you have an insurance, coordinate with your insurance company so they get the right approvals on time then inform the hospital, this is usually needed if you need to do some tests, the hospital will tell you that they still didn’t get an approval just to keep you longer.
By the time I finished my breakfast at 10:00am, the nurse told me that lunch will be served soon at noon!
Lunch was the best meal I ate! It was varied and delicious. I received a lettuce salad with mustard sauce, white rice, shish barak ( yogurt and meat and garlic), kebbe meat, watermelon as fruits and an Arabic sweet meghle!
It was just so so delicious!
Advice 10: it’s okay to turn off your phone when you sleep, people will worry about you and will call at any given moment during the day, so shut that phone off when you plan to sleep. Also silence your room phone! People might stalk you there!
Checking out of the hospital took more time than the medicine took to reach my body!
Advice 11: after you are cleared to go, visit the accounting office every 15 minute so they remember to work on your papers. If by mistake they leave without checking you out, then you stay an extra night and you pay for it!
Advice 12: be sure to have them write your name on a tag especially if you are in the hospital for an operation! you do not want to be taken by mistake to a different operating room and have a wrong operation operated on you! Yup these thing happen!
Advice 13: plan an extra day of rest from hospital when you get home especially if you want to go in and out if the hospital then back to work.
Advice 14: keep the hospital as your last option and keep it for your last breath! It’s not a nice thing to do!
Couple more days and I finish my antibiotics so I can tell you cheers