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Forums / Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers) / Preparing my husband for inpatient treatment

Topic: Preparing my husband for inpatient treatment

10 posts, 0 answered
  1. Caringwife2021
    Caringwife2021  avatar
    6 posts
    11 January 2021

    HELP Preparing for Husband to go to Hospital !!
    First time poster not sure who to ask for this. Could bother his doctor or the hospital or even my dad who is a psychiatrist but I thought reaching out to people who have first hand experience in this as I doubt my dad usually takes note of what personal effects and how many pairs of socks his patients brought to hospital.

    My husband is going to hospital to sort out his medication and really get on top of his mental illness instead of limping along on horse tranquillisers and telehealth appointments every few weeks.He is very high function he works in management and does tri's. He is very very unwell with PTSD which developed into a major depressive episode and now also anxiety. he is going in for at least four weeks to Private Clinic in February.

    My question I want to do all I can to help him and make the stay as comfortable as possible so what do I pack for him ???

    SPORT
    Road bike and indoor training ( his doc is getting permission for from the hospital to set it up to continue his training)
    Yoga mat

    Clothing:
    3 sets of tracksuits, 3 short sleave PJS, 2 long sleeve PJS , 5 sets of running gear,3 sets of cycling gear, 5 pairs of pants, 7 tshirts, One set of going out stuff, Sneakers, Boots, Slippers ,Thongs/slids
    14 sets of sock and underwear
    I am labelling everything order cute iron on tags


    Toiletries
    , normal cologne ,beard wash, beard oil, hair wax, shampoo conditioner, body wash for sport, body wash and lotion ( lush sleepy for evenings) , face cleanser, moisturiser, facial scrub.
    Beard trimmer hair brush tooth brush tooth paste
    Room
    Own pillow, 4 picture frames, body pillow, soft toy models of his dogs
    Anything else that we can make it more homely ?


    Personal effects :
    Photo books of dogs, travel
    Books of 58 love notes I am having made
    Books of well wishes from 20 close friends I am compiling
    Activity books: colouring, dot to dot, maths text book for fun

    Am I missing anything or does anyone have any tips ??

    We live and work 250km away both with super supportive works and friends but i will only be able to visit 3 days a week. Also want to make it as comfortable as possible to give him every chance of success.

  2. Ggrand
    Community Champion
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    Ggrand avatar
    7692 posts
    11 January 2021 in reply to Caringwife2021

    Hello Caringwife2021..

    A very warm and caring welcome to the forums..

    We are so sorry that your husband is going into hospital..I hope so much that his stay will benefit him greatly....

    I had a hospital stay of 6 weeks and it did help me, with my mental health..

    The list you have shared with us here is very good..I can’t say if you’ve left anything out..I can see you have put your care and live into packing his bag...,

    If you have missed out on something you or your lovely husband discovers after his admittance, he could ring you so you could bring it on your next visit....

    What I did find very useful for me was small anxiety squishies...like stress balls and fidget spinners...That’s only me though as I also have high anxiety and it helped to calm me...

    I am wishing your husband the best care he can get as well as hoping so very much that his hospital stay is very productive for his mental health...

    Talk here anytime you feel up to it dear Caringwife...we are here for you anytime you need to reach out..

    My kindest and most caring thoughts..

    Grandy..

    1 person found this helpful
  3. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2845 posts
    12 January 2021 in reply to Caringwife2021

    Hi Caringwife2021,

    Welcome to the forums. You've certainly picked a good username here! Caring feels like an understatement with the effort and thought that you've put into in packing this bag. He sounds very lucky to have you.

    I do have a few thoughts, although I can't speak from experience -

    Please be mindful that some inpatient clinics/rooms are strict with what they allow in rooms for safety reasons. This can be things like laces in shoes, or a beard trimmer for example. Each clinic is different so it's worthwhile checking with them or making a list of what you've packed so they can take something out if need be.

    Other things I've thought that you can bring: a blanket (especially if it's cold/plus homely), snacks, so many pens (or pencils/crayons), a notebook/journal (even if he doesn't journal sometimes it can be handy to write things down).

    Potentially you can look at entertainment devices, such as a tablet, ipod, portable dvd player, kindle - uploading things to use (the internet may be terrible) and chargers as well. Also headphones. Specifically listing these because sometimes phones aren't allowed on wards, so these can be good substitutes.

    Finally, I really want to share and remind you that given that he's not well, he may not have the mental capacity to use what you've given him. I know that some people in hospitals do struggle to shower, so the idea of beard washes and shampoos can seem quite overwhelming, or people may wear the same clothes everyday. The reason that I'm sharing this is because potentially with your perfect packing, things may not get used and that's okay.

    I hope this helps, like Grandy said if you were to miss anything or if there's something he needs, you can bring it on your visit - a lot of nurses and assistances can organise things as well. Feel free to keep in touch and let us know how you are both going.

    rt

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Caringwife2021
    Caringwife2021  avatar
    6 posts
    13 January 2021
    Thank you so much both for your support.
    That is a good point I will email the hospital. I understand he may not be in a state to wear anything or use anything I have seen him like that before but I want him to at least have the option. Currently working on craft project to turn a robe into one that can be used without the below trying to decide if Velcro/buttons are the best option.
    One other things I am getting ready for him is a book with get well wishes from about 30 of his close friends & family that he has told that he is going to hospital as well as work mates ending up being a long letter from each of them with photos. He has been really open with telling people about his illness & the need for hospital one because he like to always tell the truth, there is no way he could keep up a lie about where he disappeared to for our weeks. In the progress of getting talking to our friends to get these messages the words of support & love have been almost overwhelming. Even offers from work colleges to drive the 6 hour round trip to visit. We are so lucky to have such an amazing support network. I worry the book may be overwhelming for him at first with so much love but I hope that it will be of some comfort to him and be something he can look back at and draw strength from.
    I am also seeing if I can order some spinners and fidget toys and stress balls to add to the pack as well. Do you have any that you recommend I was just going to order a few of amazon.
    Your support is very greatly apricated my husband has been sick for the last 5 years with good and bad years. though it reached a very low point a few months ago were I was scared I would lose him, but we seam to slowly in the way to recovery. I know sometimes I haven’t been the best support but I feel over the last few years I have really matured and am handling it better than I could have hopped. I have appointments with a physiologist for myself in march to help process some of the trauma that has been inflicted on me when he was at his worst though generally my mental health is the best position ever which I am very grateful for.
    One thing I do worry about is the balance between caring from him and taking over in order to allow him to get better and protecting him from things and pushing him to be better and do things by himself and get back to normal pull his own weight. I worry am doing to much of caring sometimes if that makes any sense. Do either of you have any advice on finding that balance ?
  5. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2845 posts
    14 January 2021 in reply to Caringwife2021

    Hi Caringwife2021,

    It's really good to hear back from you and I'm so glad it was helpful. Reading your post and thinking about that book in particular really moves me because I would have given anything to have something similar (or even now!). I'm grateful on his behalf for the work that you've been doing and your commitment to taking care of him. It sounds like both of you have some great support in place.

    It is really really common to experience what's called 'burnout' or 'compassion fatigue' and I'm not sure if that's something you can identify with? A big part of dealing with it and even preventing it is having some really solid boundaries and upping the self-care. Being able to notice that own point in you that's taking care of your husband even at the sacrifice of your own mental health. While you may be an incredible and caring wife, you are also a carer, and it's okay if sometimes that's exhausting or fearful.

    Could you give us some examples of what you mean when you talking about pushing him and getting back to normal?

    rt

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Caringwife2021
    Caringwife2021  avatar
    6 posts
    14 January 2021 in reply to romantic_thi3f
    Thanks for your heartfelt replies. I want to give back to this community that is helping me so much. I see others posts and maybe when I am through this and I can share a really good hospital prep list and packing list. Also set up a guide for other people who want to create one with info on how to ask people and even a little fund so i could pay for other people books to be printed.
    I am very lucky my mother inlaw who suffered her own mental health problems which lead to us supporting her is better now lived in a house we are now renoing. We moved in with us just as I was burning out struggling to maintain my job (13h a day), renos, housework , dogs & triathlon training plus being my husbands carer. She came in like an understanding angel taking a lot of the housework load and being able run errands for me so I could focus my energy on my husband. Until the end of last year his anger and depression had never been directed at me but when it was and he was trying to push everyone away it was the most awful thing I have every experienced so She is also there to Share a wine and laugh about how shit things are .She also has so much knowledge and experience having gone through it herself. She has also promised to stay during his hospital stay (4-6W due to rTMS treatment. She is glad she can help as we supported her and helped her for so long but I feel guilty using her but I know I will make it up to her!
    Examples doing all the: Housework ,Reno/ finances, Making excuses to get him out of things, Physical and mental care of him. Not talking about any of the hard things & creating a superficially perfect world for him.
    He is slowly getting better but I’m still doing everything and not reprimanding him for anything hurtful he does. 1st month it was damage control just getting him to the hospital stay but this month he has been improving &I worry I am not pushing him enough to do these & get back to normal. I am also really conscious that though I don’t mind being the career this isn’t the marriage practiced for the previous 8 years. We are team that shares the load equally I’m career women not a trad housewife( last 4 years I worked away a lot). He has said when he gets better and we move his mum out that we can get help ie:cleaner, gardener ect. He is also a wonderful caring man who still does acts of love when he can but I don’t want to end up doing everything forever and if I don’t push him to do things he may get comfortable and be permanent.
  7. 815
    815 avatar
    131 posts
    14 January 2021 in reply to Caringwife2021

    Hi Caringwife2021,

    I just wanted to post on here again to say thank you for your post on my thread. And also so that I can keep up to date with your situation.

    I think you are such a strong and amazing wife! Keep doing what you're doing!

  8. Ggrand
    Community Champion
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    Ggrand avatar
    7692 posts
    14 January 2021 in reply to Caringwife2021

    Hello Caringwife..

    You are doing an amazing job looking after and caring for your beautiful husband...I love the idea of the special book of love and support from your husbands friends...

    I think most fidget spinners are the same..I just use the ones the chemist sells...

    My stay in hospital was 6 weeks..and we had 2 group sessions each day..a morning meeting with the nurses..and sessions with the psychiatrists maybe 2 times a week....

    We had a dinner roster..where 2 patients had to cook dinner for everyone (12) under the supervision of a mental health Supporter and a mental Health Nurse...the other patients had to clean up the kitchen and wash the dishes and put them away...We had to look after our own room..changing our bed daily and vacuum when needed...I was taught to be able to care for myself again..I live alone and when in deep depression I can’t look after me...I am much better now...I’m thinking although I might be very wrong that if your husband is placed in a ward like I was..he will be taught to look after himself...We had morning and afternoon walks as well..and gratitude each night at dinner time...

    Your husband is saying “when he gets better”..That’s so good to hear..because he has a want to get better and a want with hope and belief...and a beautiful caring wife by his side...is a great start towards his journey back to wellness...

    My thoughts are with you both with care and very kind wishes...

    Grandy..

  9. geoff
    Life Member
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    geoff avatar
    13659 posts
    15 January 2021 in reply to Caringwife2021

    Hello Caringwife, you've had many wonderful replies from those above me and hope to join with them.

    As said each private hospital have their own rules, although not too dissimilar, as I was in a private clinic for 2 weeks and someone will look at what you've brought in and accept what they believe is suitable.

    Where I went no picture frames were allowed, especially with any glass and anything taken as being a possible threat to your husband also aren't permitted.

    What happened with me was that as we were 'locked away' from the outside world our mood changed, there were no phone calls, although you could ring out if needed, no immediate pressure that may have existed at home, three meals with a choice of what to eat are provided and a communal TV room, so life was very different, in other words when the family comes to visit, we are in a happier mood, making them believe our depression, anxiety and PTSD have vanished, as it appears to be the case, only until you get home and unless the hospital has helped you overcome these, then your mood returns, upsetting your family.

    I am truly sorry to mention this but that's what happened to me.

    Please let us know any time you're available because it concerns us.

    Geoff.

  10. Caringwife2021
    Caringwife2021  avatar
    6 posts
    18 January 2021

    Thank you Geoff, Grandy and 815 for you very lovely replies.

    Grandy; Thank kind of hospital stay where you can cook and help out I believe would be good for him as he is not good when he is ideal. Over the weekend and last few days i have spoken to friends who have been in hospital emailed his doctor and clinic.

    I email the clinic with my list of questions in regards to packing,

    Visitation currently no visitors hoping will go to 1 hour twice a day and no leave. Which for him wouldn't be good his mental health going in quite functioning socially and use to busy work days and lots of iteraction. The worry is him being in hospital isolated he may recede from people and normal life being cut off. I have to take him to a relationship counsellor every Friday so that at least gets him out and into normal life once a week. Also asking about diet and food as we worked out a strict super low sugar meal prepped healthy diet that work.

    Most worried about weekend as this is non-productive time as everyone is away but he is trapped in there. I am worried like Geoff said that by not being in society he may improve on things like his meds but loose that great routine we have worked so hard to maintain & which forms a huge amount of his treatment. His doctor wants me to join in the next appointment so i can discuses these things.

    Also at husbands request doing up a doc with the plan and on going treatment routine so he doesn't have to keep repeatingit.

    will include

    TMS treatment ongoing plan if it works ie not going into hospital 6 weeks a year destroying his bright future but either treatment outpatient at a local clinic or a four day stay over a weekend at clinic ( syd or melb) every 3-4 months.

    Psychologist; ensure he is treated either in hospital or externally near by multiple times a week to work through trauma with someone that he can continue treatment with via telehealth post stay.

    Sport; Sticking to coaches custom program which is customised to the equipment available and we are allowed to bring. Comes with feedback & accountability .Formalising this as part of his treatment plan as his doctor has said makes nearly the same difference to him as his meds.

    We have been having a few good weeks & even some good evenings which is huge he is being really lovely to me & talking more about getting better. Recently changed a med which helped.

    Saying this in the last 30 hours he has had a bad tummy which is stopping his meds and it is going south really quickly.

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