Since February 15th I have been admitted to the hospital a total of 8 times. I am hoping I am past that point now, but I’ve only been out of the hospital 5 days so far. I have stopped getting my hopes up that I am “better” and I am just taking it as it comes. My last hospitalization I didn’t even have cell phone chargers with me so I clearly panicked and thankfully was able to hire a TaskRabbit to go get me some stuff from my apartment so I wouldn’t lose my mind while I was in the hospital.
When I was in the office this week a couple of my coworkers asked me why I don’t have a hospital go bag sitting next to my door. You know, like a pregnant lady has their hospital bag all packed and at the ready, why don’t I have one too? Given my recent track record, it’s not the worst idea ever. But here’s the thing, the reason I haven’t done this to date. I feel like having a bag at the ready is just setting myself up to end up back in the hospital. Is that crazy? I am trying to use the power of positivity (cheesy, right?) and hope that the worst is behind me and I won’t end up in the hospital again. I think the reality is that while I hope I will stay out of the hospital for the foreseeable future, I am still chronically ill, I’m now on blood thinners, getting multiple blood draws a week, and there is still a decent chance I might need to head to the ER again (again, I really hope not!!!).
So I might put together a hospital go bag. Essentials for this bag:
- chargers for both of my cell phones (work and personal)
- few pairs of underwear (ugh, so wish I had had that all of these hospitalizations!)
- comfy outfit for discharge (this last time i went in wearing skinny jeans and heels, that was not what I wanted to wear home after 4 nights in the hospital!)
- pj pants
- snacks (for those times when hospital food is at it’s worst and you need some kind of alternative or those times you are in the ER for 12 hours and there isn’t even hospital food)
- ipad/laptop/kindle (I would settle for any or all of these, although I don’t really think I need all of them)
- hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, dry shampoo, leave in conditioner, facewash wipes, etc. etc. etc. (these are luxuries in the hospital, no joke)
Am I missing anything??? Probably, although honestly if I had just half of those things with me my previous 8 hospitalizations would have been massively improved. Or I wouldn’t have been frantically begging friends/taskrabbits to go back to my apartment to get me stuff or to buy me new stuff and bring it to me. So while I don’t want to think that I will end up in the hospital again, I think it may be prudent to throw a bag together just in case.
So what about you, do you have a hospital go bag ready and waiting?
Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news. If you follow me on twitter then you already know I’m back in the hospital…AGAIN! That would be the bad news. When you are on oral blood thinners like Coumadin you have to get your INR checked every couple days to confirm that they are at therapeutic levels in the body. Therapeutic levels are between 2-3. Unfortunately my blood test from Thursday came back at 1.4. In addition, I started experiencing numbness and increased pain in my arm which the doctors think is related to the clot. As a result they put me back in the hospital for a few days so I can be on IV blood thinners while we wait for the orals to become therapeutic again.
Yesterday I ran straight from my office to the doctor’s office and then was sent to the ER to be evaluated and eventually admitted. I started to panic in the ER when I realized I didn’t have my cell phone chargers for either of my phones and while I had my laptop with me, I didn’t have that charger either. I ran through a list of my friends in my head to think who might be willing to come to the hospital to get my keys, go back to my place to get my chargers, and then bring it all back to me in the hospital. While I know many of my friends would be willing to do this for me, I really felt bad asking anyone to do that. Plus it was a Friday night and I figured most people probably had plans already. I didn’t really want to wait until Saturday to find someone to do this task for me.
Enter TaskRabbit! TaskRabbit is an awesome service available in most major cities. They employ hundreds of “rabbits” who will do just about any task you could imagine. The “rabbits” are all background checked and usually you can read a bunch of reviews on them. In my experience, most of them are underemployed people trying to pick up some extra cash by doing tasks through TaskRabbit. I’ve had authors, broadway hopefuls (aka: actors), and the quintessential starving artist.
The way it works is you post your task on the website with some info about what you want done and where. You put in a deadline as well. Then you enter the maximum amount you would be willing to pay to get your task done. You have the option to let the website auto-assign the task to the lowest bidder or you can review all the bids and choose your rabbit based on their credentials and bid. It’s really an awesome service.
So last night as I was panicking about my dying cell phones and laptops, I posted a task on the website explaining my situation. Within minutes of posting the task I had multiple bids from people wanting to help me out. I chose this guy Tom who had over 50 five-star reviews. I felt comfortable with giving him my keys and letting him go into my apartment to get my chargers. Some might call me crazy to let a stranger go into my apartment without anyone there, but Tom is background checked and I felt confident that there wouldn’t be a problem.
Tom was awesome and not only did he quickly run to my apartment to grab my chargers, but he was thoughtful enough to grab me a pair of yoga pants and then stopped and grabbed me a cupcake on his way back to the hospital. It was above and beyond and really cheered me up in a not great situation. I think Tom also knew I was a little uneasy about a stranger going into my apartment so he sent me text messages with his minute by minute play-by-play so I knew where he was at all times.
While I’m not happy to be back in the hospital, I know it’s where I need to be right now for my health. I am so happy TaskRabbit was able to save the day and this was by far the best $40 I have ever spent. To all you spoonies out there, I highly recommend checking out TaskRabbit if they have it in your area. You can get help with anything and it’s a service that I love to use, especially when I’m in a flare and need a little extra help.
FYI: I was not paid by TaskRabbit to provide this review. I just really love this service and wanted to pass on the good word! These are my own opinions!