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Distinguished member
Oct 31, 2006
Lost a loved one
Since my father passed away (Dec. 23) I have tried to figure out what else of my family's experience might help another person. This is one thing I came up with. We all rushed to the hospital when my father had a breathing emergency with little thought to what we might want or need while there, especially to help the family connect with him. Several trips were made to my parent's house to get things, but some items were at my house too far away. If I had put things in a small bag or suitcase ready to grab on the way to the hospital this is what I would have wanted to have in it:
1. Selected photoghaphs of particular meaning (the Quaker meeting house where my parents were married and were members of for the next 50 years, their children's baby pictures, happy and memorable moments in our family history, pictures of Dad holding and playing with his grandchildren, Dad's parents and sisters who went before him).
2. Songbook or hymnal (you might want a Bible, Torah, or Koran or other writings of significance to you)
3. Alphabet chart with large letters (the hospital provided this on our third day after they saw one I had tried to print out on a small piece of paper)
4. Small items that connect to memories.
5. Aspirin or tylenol (for myself) to ease the headache developing after 3 nights with only a few hours sleep.
6. Personal care items such as toothbrush, comb, kotex, etc.
7. Waterbottle (as the cups at the hospital are tiny)
8. A change of underwear and a clean shirt
9. An address book with phone numbers of relatives and close friends

I grabbed some photo albums at my mom's house that had many good photos, but not all I would have chosen given the time to think. We remembered as many songs as we could, but the second verses often ended with hummming where we couldn't remember all the words. A friend ran to the store to get food and other things we needed (thankfully).
Hope this is helpful to someone, but in the future, not soon.
Thanks. Good idea. All too often we are scrambling to get everything in order at the last minute and things are missed. One thing I'd add is an updated list of the patient's meds and the dosages taken. Learned that one on my own. AL.
That's a critical addition to the list, Al. I would only add to the patients meds, the rest of the family's meds. One of the things we went back for was my mom's medications. My dad wasn't on any prescription medications at the time, though he was taking saw palmwtto, an herb for enlarged prostate and various vitamins. He had no problem health conditions other than the ALS, and had not yet been put on any medications to deal with the symptoms. I don't know if my husband remembered to bring his medications either. We should probably all have a list of medications ready to go in case of emergency, after all anything can happen to anybody.
This is really a great idea!
When I was in the army, we had something similar which we called bug out bags. (or BOBs) We had them on exercise, during UN tours or on active theatre.
It was just a small bag with the essentials so if something happened in our area we could just grab it and go.

Like the boy scouts, always be prepared!

great idea!

Thanks, I will definitly put something like this together. I would also include a good book just incase I found 5 or 10 min. to take out time for myself! God Bless Heather:)
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