One thing I have learned with having chronic illnesses/chronic pain is that every hospital stay is different. With most of mine they are never planned and they end up becoming a “let’s hurry up and pack stuff together” situation. Usually it is random stuff that gets thrown in a bag and you just hope and pray you have everything. So, as someone who has had many planned and unplanned hospital stays, I decided to make a list of things that I think are essentials for a hospital stay. Whether it be a long or short stay, these are things I always need with me.
Here we go. (In no particular order)
- My Medical Binder. This binder contains all of my medical history. It pretty much goes with me everywhere. Doctors always seem to get a little worried when they see the massive binder.
- My Computer. I always have to have my computer with me because I get super bored and if there is one thing that’ll keep me entertained, it is my computer.
- A Comfy Pair of Pajama Pants. I despise wearing hospital gowns. I always try to weasel my way out of wearing hospital gowns. Whether it be begging and pleading the nurse not to make me wear one or changing out of one when no one is in the room. I know they are mandatory for some situations, but if I can get out of wearing one I do. Pajama pants and t-shirts are my lifesaver.
- T-Shirts. Now I know some people out there don’t like the way T-Shirts feel, in my case, I love them. 90% of the time I live in t-shirts. I always make sure to have some with me. Luckily all my favorite t-shirts are in one drawer so I can just grab some in a hurry and know I’ll be happy with whatever I grab. I also wear these in the hospital because they go with my pajama pants due to my dislike of hospital gowns.
- My Cell Phone. Again, another thing that help keeps me from complete bordem. My cell phone is my life line, it’s how I stay communicated to my friends, my family and anyone who needs to get a hold of me while I am in the hospital. Plus, things like snapchat are pretty fun to do while you are stuck in a hospital bed.
- A Cozy Blanket. I love bringing my own blanket into the hospital. It not only reminds me of home, but it brings me more comfort in the hospital. Hospitals can be freezing, and having a thick enough blanket can help those cold nights. Having my own blanket also makes me feel less anxious, since I can get major anxiety while in the hospital.
- Phone Charger/Computer Charger. This should be obvious because if your electronics die then they will be useless to you. I always make sure to grab these before I go into the hospital, whether it’s planned or unplanned.
- Cozy Socks. These serve multiple purposes. For one they help keep your feet warm in the cold hospital. For me I don’t always feel comfortable having my bare feet on the hospital floor when I am walking laps around the floor. Depending on the hospital I am at, I am not always required to wear the socks they give me that have the grippy stuff on the bottom. My personal favorite socks are my avocado toast socks and my American flag socks.
- Headphones. I love music and another thing that keeps me busy and occupied is listening to music. Whether I am listening to something on my computer, iPod, or my phone, I love listening to music. Listening to music for me also helps to drown out all the sounds that go on in the middle of the night in hospitals. (things like nurses coming in, and IV’s beeping)
- Favorite Pillow. The pillows at the hospitals are always so uncomfortable. So I always bring my own from home. Sometimes it’s a couple other times it’s just one.
- Favorite Toiletries. For those hospital stays that you know will be long, I find it’s best to have your favorite toiletries. Hospitals usually have things for you to use, but those are usually generic and not always the best for your body. I find bringing a few of my favorite (shampoos, conditioners, body wash, lotion, tooth paste, tooth brush, etc.) I find your favorite toiletries can sometimes help those hard hospital stays.
- Lastly, Hair Ties. I myself have long hair and it can become super annoying if you constantly have your hair in your face. For me, tying it up is the best option and the most convenient option.
These are my essentials for when I am in the hospital. Everyone has their own preferences for when they are in the hospital. Let me know what your essentials are or if there are any fun/unique ones that you have!