Well, after spending many hours in the ICU waiting room, the girls and I have come up with a suggested list of ICU Waiting Room Rules of Etiquette. Hopefully, you will never have the need for such a list, but if you do, here are a few things you should remember:
1. No children under 12.
Please leave your babies and toddlers at home. They are noisy and increase the stress level in a room that is full of stressed people. And children carry lots of germs. No one in ICU can risk being exposed to those germs.
2. No battery operated toys allowed.
Obviously, this is related to #1 above. I was tempted to grab a certain pink toy (from the father, no less!), stomp on it, and throw it down the hallway. If you must play with noisy toys, go to the main lobby of the hospital.
3. No clipping of fingernails in the waiting room.
I think this speaks for itself.
4. Do not use your cell phone on the "speaker phone" setting.
I mean, seriously? Do you think we want to hear your conversations??!!
5. Please throw your garbage away.
I shouldn't have to say this to adults, but apparently there is a need to be reminded.
6. If you can't eat without spilling crumbs on the floor, clean them up.
There is no one on call to clean up after you. Please be considerate of others who will sit in that seat after you.
7. If you have to listen to music, use head phones.
Not everyone shares your taste in music.
This list is not all-inclusive. I'm sure many of you could add to it. When in doubt, remember what your mother taught you: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."