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Laptops or netbooks at the hospital

SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
For those of you who took them to the hospital for your post-surgery stay....did you take the laptop with you the day of surgery and how did you keep it safe in your room? How about plugging it in when the battery ran low? I'm thinking of having my husband have it with him and either give it to me the day of surgery or the next if I'm too out of it.

Let me know how you made it work for you.

2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 


  • My sis bruoght mine 2nd day and just plugged it in with my cell charger next to it and if they took me walking, it went in drawer, then closed door and cell went w me everywhere. Laptop and cell went to xray. One of the xray techs said I had to leave it, I told them they would have to come back for me once family arrived because I WAS NOT leaving them. He let me bring them of course.
  • I guess I wasn't too worried -

    I had my family keep it with my clothes while I was in surgery. Then if I was out walking around the nurses station I just covered it up in the chair next to my bed.

    I had the plug plugged into the wall the whole time. I safety-pinned the cord to my bedsheets for easy retrieval and plugged it into the laptop as needed.

    The only kicker - it would get SO hot! I finally figured out that if I propped it up against the little foodtray/table then it could vent under the table and only the front edge was on me.

    I did feel like I had to hide it from the nurses - not because of theft, but because I was supposed to be sleeping. Yeah right, like I can sleep in a hospital! Way too much going on and way too noisy.
  • I thought about it, but felt it wasnt worth the hassles. Turns out, I wouldnt have used it. I was so out of it and especially sleepy. I dont think I would have used it enough, to make it worth the hastle.
  • I used mine a lot. Luckily I always had my husband or my parents in the hospital room with me, so I didn't have to worry about it being stolen. I'm so glad I had mine there though.
  • Once again, each person's experiences are so different. I was kept sufficiently medicated that I didn't do much of anything other than go with the PT when it was time and sleep or nap. I had my two surgeries at different hospitals but both had all single rooms, were quiet and reasonably calm. I brought nothing with me to the hospital for distraction or entertainment--I knew I wouldn't need it the first day and could ask my husband to bring whatever I wanted after that point, if I felt like doing anything. I did not even feel like watching TV -- I couldn't read for several weeks after surgery -- I didn't have the concentration and it was an effort to keep my eyes focused that long.

    For the second surgery, I was barely there long enough to do anything...so again, I took nothing. I even had my husband drop me off at the door and go on to work. I left my coat in the car and just took a tote bag and my insurance card...and the clothes I was wearing -- traveling light, so to speak!

  • My wife had her laptop when she was in the room with me during my surgery. I thought I'd enjoy using it, but I had IV's and the Pulse/Ox sensor taped to my fingers which made typing very difficult. The worst though was that I was SO medicated that I couldn't concentrate enough to figure out how to type. Even four days post-op, I was still on the PCA/pain pump and no way could I use either the computer or even figure out how to text, for that matter! That dilaudid must have thrown me for a loop!
  • Everyone has a different experience. I guess a lot will depend on how long you are going to be there. Myself, for both surgeries, I was too out of it to concentrate or focus on much of anything. The first time the laptop just sat there under some magazines until I sent it home with my husband. The second time it didn't even make the trip. I LOVE to read and I found I couldn't even focus much on my book. Now once I got home, that was another story. I couldn't live without it on the couch or in my bed. It's a life saver.
    God Bless and keep us posted!
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    I am guessing I won't be too interested in using it unless they keep me longer and I get out of my "fog". The last few times I had surgery all I had the energy and ability to do was watch TV. I too love to read but I know that won't be an option until I can sufficiently focus. I expect to be highly medicated.

    My husband will come see me about once a day. I'm not one for hospital visitors and don't want anyone (family or friends) just sitting in the room with me. If I'm in pain I tend to want to isolate myself more and that helps me get through it. So at the beginning I'll have him call me before he comes each day to see if I want him to bring the netbook with him.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • That sounds like a good plan.

    I too like to cocoon and isolate when I'm recovering. It's annoying to have hospital visitors.
  • I took mine to the hospital. Maybe I was just naive and/or lucky, but I left it, my cell, and my kindle laying around. Nothing ever happened, and I enjoyed using it, as I couldn't concentrate enough to read.
  • I'm with you, SpineAZ. I told people I was not accepting visitors. My son came and stayed in the room with me during the day just to be my advocate in case I needed something -- but he was studying and working on applications to grad school so he was very quiet and we didn't really talk much.

    I was prepared to really feel crappy and to be highly medicated and I didn't want to have to try to make small talk with visitors.

    You're having a lot of surgery. I doubt you'll be feeling up to doing much at the beginning...at least for a number of days.

    Hope you can have a relaxing holiday before your big event.

    xx Gwennie
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    It's good to know I'm not alone on the visitor thing. Some of my friends have looked at me funny but I just tell them I expect this to be quite painful and I'm just not up for visitors during that time. I do have friends who have been hospitalized for surgery and had their family spend 24/7 in the room with them. I'd go nuts.

    The only time I did want visitors is when I was hospitalized years ago for an infection. I was just there for IV antibiotics for a few days so I could read, socialize, etc. With surgery I just nicely ask them not to visit but assure them if I need or want them there I will call them.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • When I was in the hospital the first time for 4 days I never took mine but the second time was an emergency (11 days in total) I wish I had my laptop then.

    I at least had my tv most of the time both stays as I wasn't sleeping well even on drugs. The tv and my cell with internet were my pals the whole stay.

    So I would say leave the laptop at home and have someone bring it later if you decide you want it. I would have brought mine the second time but here in Canada it costs to use at hospital so I wasn't going to pay almost $40 for two days.

    Good luck,
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,841
    they can and there are not many security devices that will stop that.
    All the locks, and other gadgets are basicall designed to slow down a person from making the theft.
    What I have found to be more effective, is that when you go into the hospital:

    - Let all the Nursing Staff know that you have a computer.
    - Notify your Insurance carrier, that you are bringing a Laptop into the hospital.

    This will not stop or prevent someone from stealing your computer, but it will help tp make it harder

    To me, what is much more important is to back up your data files to CD or another computer. Also make sure that you have removed any stored passwords to sites. Besides the actual theft of a physical piece of hardware, what hackers are looking for are the 'keys' to your bank accounts,
    credit careds, etc.. So, removing those stored pieces of information basically makes any theft of your machine just a physical piece of hardware and not a theft of your identify.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • My experience must have been so different, I had a Pump but was no where near so drugged out that I couldn't use my laptop second day. Now I don't know how much sense my posts made. But my stay was far from sleeping and napping, PT, Nurses etc, had me up and about all the time. Walked me lots. Text msgd my head off, some of those were pretty funny too. But i enjoyed having my basic tech things with me.
  • PapaRon- Great tip! Can't beleive I didn't think of it that way.

    I think my hardware removal is going to be so short that I'm thinking I'll skip it this go round - we'll see.

    Oh and Ditto Trasee - I was almost hyped up - exhausted but unable to sleep in the hospital. All the nurses, all the noises, the conversations (you overhear some very interesting nurse station discussions, I tell ya!), all the pain - nope, no sleep for me in the hospital.
  • I was thinking of using the video conference to see my kids. I am only supposed to be there one night. My surgery is scheduled for 11:30 so I am sure I will be completely drugged up that night and there is no point to my husband going home to get the kids and bring them back. But it might be nice if they could see me. And if I am awake through the night I could text with them.

    I also hate all the visitors. Hospitals are for healing not socializing. When my mother-in-law was in for 5 months everyone in the family was expected to go everyday and stay for hours. I suggested taking turns to give her company and they thought I was crazy. I am sure her neighbors did not appreciate the 6 or people in her room at all times.

  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    If your kids are young you may not want them to see you, either by video or in person, if you feel drugged or in pain.

    Eons ago I had a roommate who was a single mom. We shared a house and she had two young kids. She was in the hospital 2 nights and was so adamant that I bring the kids who were 4 and 6. The 6 yr old understood why "mommy looks sick" but was a bit uneasy at the hospital look and environment (it's not nice as it can be on maternity floors where family is always around). The 4 year old was freaked out because his mom looked out of it and in a bit of pain and her hair was all messy.

    If you are only in for 1-2 nights they may handle it better if they see you coming home after you've cleared anesthesia out of your system, etc. However, texting is possible but be sure you are sufficiently awake (let them know if you are sleeping you may not respond). I think they'd understand if they knew you needed sleep time and if only in for one night you likely wouldn't be able to see them but maybe a phone call home if you can.

    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • I am always suprised when I read posts from folks who are still in the hospital or even the first few days at home and manage to log on. I was in such a fog post-op, I couldn't even hold a conversation let alone use a computer! I barely took anything more than tylenol before surgery since I was working (for some reason the school board frowns on teachers taking narcotics at school - surprise!) so the pain meds at the hospital really had me doped up. I had a pretty tough surgery that included a significant dural sac tear that kept me flat for 48 hours so I wasn't sociable at all.

    My parents drove 5 hours to see me in the hospital. I love them for it - it was as much for their peace of mind as much as for me - but I barely remember them being there. I do remember having quite a conversation with some woman standing next to my bed. My husband got a kick out of telling friends about this strange discussion I held with a figment of my drugs. He also would sit with me in the evenings but he might as well have sat at home alone!

    I am a firm believer in letting the sick/recovering alone and give them time to heal so I tactfully declined other offers of visitors especially at the hospital and even for a few weeks after surgery.

    I too believe in traveling light. Took the advice of my case nurse and wore clothes to the hospital that I put back on the day I left to go home. I took my laptop to the hospital but left it in the car. I never even entertained the idea of asking for it. I did have my cell phone out on my tray and naively didn't worry about it disappearing. I suppose if I had taken the laptop in, I would have been more concerned. Hopefully, you will feel up to giving us an update soon after surgery.
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