Leaving the hospital after your spinal cord injury (SCI) is a monumental step in your recovery. As exciting as it may be to finally be able to leave the walls of the hospital, it can be scary to take on life outside of it. Before leaving, use these tips to help organize and prepare you to leave the hospital after your SCI.
Medication and Medical Supplies
Before you leave the hospital, take some time to make a list of the supplies you use throughout your day such as skin care, respiratory, and bowel and bladder supplies. Find a supplier and order these before you leave to help ensure you won’t be without them at home. Talk to your doctors about the medications you will be on after discharge and have them filled before you leave.
Talk to your doctor and other members of your care team about possible complications that could arise. Ask about the signs and symptoms of these complications and know what you and your caregiver need to watch for. Discuss what you should do if these warning signs arise and when it may be time to call your doctor or seek emergency treatment.
If you did not have a primary care doctor before your SCI, you will want to find one before leaving the hospital. Schedule follow-up appointments with your primary care doctor to help ensure that there are not any gaps in your care and your health stays on track.
Consider your transportation situation before your SCI and determine whether or not this will work for you now, or what can be done to make it work for you. You will not only need to think about how to get home from the hospital, but also how you will get to and from all of your rehab sessions and doctor appointments in the future.
In Case of Emergency
Spend some time creating an emergency card. List your medical conditions, current medications, any allergies, and your healthcare providers on the card. You will also want to list a few emergency contacts. Make a few copies of the card, and keep one with you at all times, in case an emergency should occur.
Source: shepherd.org, Accessed: 4/7/17