Heading to hospital can be daunting for anyone and trying to figure out what to take is just one more thing for your muddled mind to have to think about.
I’ve had a few surgeries…7 in 2 years and a couple more to come so I think I’ve just about perfected packing for a hospital stay.
I remember preparing for my first surgery (a mastectomy) and I’d head to the supermarket to stock up on what I thought I needed and would arrive home with a random assortment of useless stuff. My mind was muddled and swirling with so many thoughts that I found it hard to focus, that’s why I’m giving you my top 20 tips for a comfortable hospital stay.
- Lip balm– I’ve tried LOTS and Carmex is my favourite. Lips get dry from anaesthetic, fasting, medication and air conditioning so slather on some soothing lip balm regularly.
- Hand cream– again its the air conditioning and medications that play havoc with your skin so keep a tube of your favourite hand cream nearby.
- Dry shampoo– if you are staying more than a few nights then dry shampoo is essential to helping a girl feel better. For most of my surgeries I couldn’t shower let alone lift my arms to wash my hair but a quick spray of dry shampoo on my roots went a long way to making me look and feel better.
- Hand wipes– perfect for a quick wipe over to freshen up. Hand sanitizer never goes astray either.
- Socks– feet can get very cold after surgery and the air conditioning in a hospital is often quite cold on the tootsies.
- Slip on shoes-no one wants to walk bare foot in a hospital and slippers can often be warm so a pair of slip on canvas sneakers are easy to get into and have good grip to help prevent falls.
- A sleep mask– soooo essential! Hospitals are bright and lights stay on through the night so a sleep mask will help you to shut out light and hopefully get a good nights sleep.
- Ear buds/Headphones– ear buds are essential when watching television or listening to music…and blocking out noisy neighbours.
- Your own water bottle– I don’t like drinking from a cup with a straw especially when I’m on pain medication…yeah I’ve spilt a cup or two on myself so prefer taking my own water bottle that’s easier to manage. Sometimes I take my own aluminium water because hospital water can taste a bit stale.
- Rosewater face mist– perfect for hydrating rose mist spray will make a girl feel fresher
- Phone charger– after a few surgeries we invested in a portable charger perfect for charging bedside when I had limited movement. Remember to load your phone or IPAD with music, meditation guides and movies.
- A scarf– perfect for keeping the cold off your neck/chest/head but also for popping over gaping gowns for privacy. A scarf is also nice to wear when moving around the hospital on walks as it can cover tubes and drains or just add a pop of colour to help you feel brighter.
- A bag for dirty clothes– having a separate bag that you can put your washing into makes life easier for when family visit, they can then take it home to be cleaned.
- Comfy knickers– comfy knickers are essential. Leave your fancy stuff at home and purchase some good basic cottontail type pairs. They will give you good coverage and if they get soiled you can throw them out.
- Loose clothing– wearing loose Jersey clothing is the way to go in hospital. Tees with plenty of room in the neck and arms in case you have drains or IV’s and roll down soft jersey pants will be easy to manoeuvre in.
- Money– not much, just enough for magazines and a good cup of coffee. Remember your credit card details too for booking a TV if you are a public patient.
- Mints– breath can get a bit stale with medications so it’s always nice to freshen up with a mint.
- Front opening pyjamas-often you can end up in a hospital gown sometimes for days because it’s easier for nurses to gain access. When you graduate to pyjamas front opening are easier, they aren’t always easy to find especially in bigger sizes and at times I’ve resorted to a chambray shirt with soft pants…it’s ok to improvise.
- Your own pillow– I can’t stand the crinkly noise of hospital pillows so take my own, in fact I take a U shaped pillow to help support me and I also take a pretty throw rug
- Chocolate– NUFF SAID 🙂
I hope this list helps you if you ever need to go to hospital, or maybe you can use it for reference if a friend or family member is having a hospital stay.
Is there anything you would add?
Please comment below as your suggestion just may help someone else.
Til next time,