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Sponge Time

Being hospitalized and bedridden is not a fun experience. Nevertheless, we should always look at things with a different perspective.

I was worried when the doctor told me that I might have a miscarriage. Still, now that I am discharged, I would like the readers and myself to have a good memory of my hospitalization.

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1. “We will sponge you.”

I was shocked when two nursing students came to me at 7 a.m. and told me that they were going to sponge me.

I was hospitalized on the day before with vaginal bleeding and threatened miscarriage. All I worried about was the baby and I did not think much about how I was going to take a shower. My husband had brought my toothbrush and toothpaste but I was not thinking about cleaning myself at 7 a.m.

Sponge means freshen the patient on the bed. The two nursing students wiped my whole body, except my hair, with wet wipes and changed my hospital clothes. That’s how I started my second day at the hospital.

I was looking forward to the sponge time on the third day morning. It was the first time I was bedridden, For me, sponge means cleaning the dishes or the kitchen top. I am sure on the second day of hospitalization, I do not need any “sponging”. But it was a new experience for me and I enjoyed it. Thank you, nursing students. I hope you will be great nurses when you graduate.


2. “Have you cut your hair?”

On the third day morning after my sponge time, a nursing student asked whether I had had my hair cut. Again, I was shocked. I was bedridden even when I was sent to the ultrasound scanning room, how was I supposed to get a hair cut?

Later, I figure out that when the nursing student saw me on the first two days, I was worried and sad, my head was down near the shoulder and thus it looked as if I had shoulder-length hair. I had the ultrasound scanning done on the second day afternoon. The baby was OK and the bleeding had lessened. So, when she saw me on the third day morning, I have had my sponge time and cleared my worries, I must have looked more cheerful and have lifted up my head a little.


3. “It’s OK. My BP is always low.”

The nurses check every patient’s temperature and blood pressure (BP) every four hours. It should not be a problem as these two are the basic indicators to show that the patient is on the right track to recovery.

The problem arises when I have a low BP by nature. Other patients only need to take one BP reading while I need to take two or more. Every time, I inform the nurse that I have low BP and there is nothing to worry about. Nonetheless, all the nurses are responsible; they will take the BP reading for the second or third time, in different ways, to confirm that my BP reading is OK. Thus, during the three-day stay at the hospital, I have tried electronics BP machine and the manual BP method. Furthermore, I have tried, for the first time, to have my BP reading taken from my legs.

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Learning is not from books alone. The hospitalization has made me more knowledgeable on my condition and how the hospital operates. I even asked the patient beside me on the discharge procedure. “Enjoy” the experience, it may be once-in-a-lifetime experience.


  1. ChristineR says:

    I have given a few sponge baths in my time, having been a nursing aide. As you discovered, it is a boost to feel clean and have a fresh nightie. I’ve never had to use a BP measurement on legs! That would be so weird. Everytime I go to the doctor lately, she usually takes my blood pressure with the electonic and the then the old way. Except last time, when it wasn’t high at all. I’m so sorry to hear about your scare and hope everything goes well with you.Take care. 🙂

    • Wendy says:

      I do not know where the nurses learn to take the BP on legs, but the reading is slightly higher than the one taken on hands. My BP is extremely low, 40/80, that’s why the nurses keep taking the BP, just to confirm.

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