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janbb's avatar

Can you give me any tips on picking up someone from the hospital?

Asked by janbb (43985 points ) 2 weeks ago

A friend is going in for outpatient surgery on Wednesday. Her daughter will drop her off and I said I could be there to take her home. I plan to get there early and be waiting with a book. She doesn’t know yet whether she will have general anesthesia or a local. Do you have any pointers on how I could make it more comfortable for her? And what to expect?

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31 Answers

janbb's avatar

Just thinking that maybe a blanket and pillow in the car would be good in case she has the shakes.

snowberry's avatar

@janbb Yes, a pillow would be nice. She also might do well to have the seat leaned back because she’ll probably fall asleep.

Someone will take her to the entrance in a wheelchair and you’ll drive up. Have the passenger seat pushed as far back as you can if she’s going to be uncomfortable bending. When you take her home, if she’s heavy, you’ll need someone beefy to help her out of the car and into the house. Before you leave, find out if she’ll need someone to stay with her until she’s more coherent, and you should plan on staying with her if she might be inclined to cook something before the anesthetic wears off.

janbb's avatar

@snowberry Great advice although there will be no-one beefy at home. I do plan to stay with her as long as she needs me.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Well I don’t usually try to pickup women at the hospital, but… :) The blanket is good. Make sure your car isn’t hard to get in and out of. And have a bucket in case she gets sick. And water or ice chips.

snowberry's avatar

If your friend is overweight and you are not a strong person, you are going to have a problem. You might want to think this through carefully.

janbb's avatar

No – she’s tall but very thin. I’m short but fairly strong so I think we’ll be ok. It would be good if we knew if it would be just a local….

Pachy's avatar

From experience of being on both a picker up-er and a picker up-ee, I suggest you be prepared for nauseousness. Drive slowly.

janbb's avatar

(can’t say I’m looking forward to this one.)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I wouldn’t look forward to it either, but she’s lucky to have you for a friend.

janbb's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe And I’m lucky to have her for a friend.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@janbb That sums up what is good in life and why we do things for friends.

canidmajor's avatar

Does she live alone? If so, check with her doctor, or the recovery nurses, to find out if they want someone to spend the night at her place. My last two out-patient procedures and my friend (who I helped out) required someone be with the patient overnight.

Kardamom's avatar

In addition to what everyone else said, if you can manage to borrow a Walker that might help you to get her into the house. I had to do that with my next door neighbor 3 months ago. Luckily we had one in our attic that my Dad used when he hurt his back several years ago. I also engaged 2 neighbors to be waiting for us at the house when we got back.

Also, have a bottle of water available and maybe a spare pair of sunglasses, just in case the light is too bright for her. Maybe bring a cheap, but new pair of non-slip slippers just in case she’s not wearing those or shoes already. And some tissues.

KNOWITALL's avatar

A Low car so she can slide in easily. Often you have to pick up meds before going home too.

janbb's avatar

@KNOWITALL Well, my car is my car but thanks.

JLeslie's avatar

She shouldn’t be nauseous if she doesn’t get general. Also, ask her if she is nauseous before you leave the hospital, they can give her drugs for it that usually work well. I have never had to leave the hospital while still nauseous, and have never had a friend I picked up throw up during the ride home.

She likely will still be groggy, so the drive home shouldn’t be that bad.

What surgery is it? Where are they cutting? Certain parts of the body are more painful post surgery than others. Go over bumps in the road slowly. The bumps will be painful. Drive slowly in general so you don’t have to make sudden moves with the car.

As far as the seat, if she is under 5’6” and your seats are low I recommend don’t put the seat all the way back. Even at my height of 5’6” When a seat is way back I “fall” back into the seat losing my center of gravity as I get into the seat. It is easier for me if the distance from where I actually sit is where the back of the seat naturally should be without a lot of shifting and turning. I hope that makes sense.

A pillow and thin blanket is good to have in case she wants it. She probably won’t.

janbb's avatar

@JLeslie Thanks for the suggestions. I don’t want to reveal the nature of the surgery.

JLeslie's avatar

Low seats are the worst after surgery or when you are banged up, especially if the surgery is in the abdomen. I’m assuming you don’t have a low sports car, so I am sure it won’t be extreme.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Low seats suck if you’re banged up. I destroyed my collarbone and my Jeep was much easier to get in and out than my s/o’s Subaru. That hurt every time.

janbb's avatar

Well, I have a Volvo wagon so that should be right in between.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

That should be good. But doesn’t it seem like I have way too much experience with this crap?

anniereborn's avatar

I had outpatient surgery a couple years ago with a general anesthetic. They wouldn’t let me go home until I could walk on my own. (with assistance was okay, but there was no need to be carried anywhere). I had an hour and a half drive home. The pillow and something to drink were the most helpful for me.

JLeslie's avatar

Volvo should be just fine. Have the front of the back of the seat lined up with where the door ends.

I hope that make sense.

gailcalled's avatar

Can you have the daughter make arrangements for the recovery nurse to call you on your cell phone re; time frame and kind of anesthesia. When I had my surgery, they took Alison’s cell number so she did not have to cool her heels in the visitor’s lounge. She went for a bike ride.

Keep her warm, have cold water, blanket and pillow and drive slowly to avoid bumps. You may have to stop to fill Rx for pain meds; often no one tells you that and just hands you the prescription. Usually, the hospital willl have a pharmacy but not always. Ours doesn’t.

janbb's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, it does.

JLeslie's avatar

Once she is in the seat you can move the entire seat back or the back of the seat down, whatever she wants.

JLeslie's avatar

Most post op outpatient patients are compliant, you shouldn’t have a problem. Their drugged up state contributes to them just going along with what you need them to do, even if they complain a little about soreness and discomfort. Remember to take her belongings with you if the nurse is holding anything. Hopefully, she didn’t leave anything with the nurse. You could touch base with the person dropping her off to know if there is anything you need to know.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Given what @Pachy said, sick bags….

It’s nice you’ll be there to help your friend.

rojo's avatar

She will probably still be pretty dopey so you don’t have to be too concerned. Just get her home safely (heck, you could probably throw her in the bed of a pickup and she would not know the difference tomorrow). She will probably sleep for most of the day but it would be great if someone was at home with her till she “sobers” up..

janbb's avatar

Yes, I am planning to hang out at her house if need be.

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

lol I laughed when I read this question only because I’m always the one being picked up from the hospital – injuries, asthma, alcohol – bahahaha. So I have absolutely nothing to contribute other than saying I am useless and it amused me.

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