Hospital Stay Handbook
Today’s book is one I honestly hope you will never need to consult. Though if you ever find yourself needing a book like this, I can unreservedly recommend Jari Holland Buck’s Hospital Stay Handbook. Subtitled "a guide to becoming a patient advocate for your loved ones", Buck begins by telling the story of her husband’s seven and a half month hospitalization for pancreatitis, a condition which struck quite suddenly and which the doctors were never able to determine the cause of.
The bulk of this book is devoted to fourteen different areas of concern and goes into a fairly high degree of detail. From legal ("health care proxy", "durable power of attorney", "living will") and financial (how to decipher a bill, when where and how to complain about duplicate or excess charges, sources for financial assistance) aspects to researching all you can about your hospitalized loved one’s condition to effectively communicating with and advocating for your ailing loved one Buck as penned a genuinely useful guide for anyone who finds themselves struggling to arrange and oversee a spouse or child’s health care while maintaining their own sanity and other aspects of life.
I found myself thinking that this book would have been particularly useful to me during the two occasions when my late partner, Joel, was hospitalized for an extended period and was mostly on life support and unable to communicate with me or the health care team. (Though to be fair I believe that I was a pretty good advocate for him, communicating regularly with his doctors and nurses and in the end helping him to make the decision to have the ventilator turned off and allowing nature to take its course.) While I hope you never actually need it, if you do Hospital Stay Handbook is Highly Recommended.