*Disclosure: This review contains affliate links but I received no payment for this blog post. All views expressed on this page are my own and honest!*
You guessed it! I ended up in hospital, I’m still here right now and I hate it! Hospitals aren’t often comfy places and when you’re sick there’s often little you can do to make yourself a little more at ease. When its an unexpected visit, having a ready packed hospital bag lessens the stress. Sometimes we have 10 minutes to pack, but others the paramedics have said we had to go NOW! So here is what I pack in my bag and why!
Depending what you’re in for, you should be able to wear your own PJs – make them comfy and lightweight! Hospitals tend to be on the warm side, and if you have a fever brushed cotton can be unbearable. A lightweight dressing gown is helpful for layering up or throwing on when on the way to tests. I am still searching for an adaptive hoodie for when I’m cannulated or need to have wires attached to me.
Having your own funky compression stockings can be handy. Hospital issue ones are ugly and uncomfortable, but often mandatory for patients with limited mobility. Grippy slippers are also a must for slippy hospital floors. Keeping hydrated is really important, especially when unwell. Adding some Lemon juice, squash or cordial might make drinking lots of water a little easier. I find that lemon juice also helps with my nausea. I’ve also property labels. If you have a wheelchair its easy for the staff to think its hospital property and not your own. If its clearly labeled as such there shouldn’t be confusion.
Packing Things to Keep You Busy
If you’re really ill you probably couldn’t care less about keeping yourself entertained. If you’re well enough to get bored but not to be sent home, you need something to stop you going stir crazy!
Luckily my local hospital offers free wifi. This doesn’t seem to be the case in all hospitals. I have spent extended stays in hospitals with no wifi or TV or radio. Boredom levels were through the roof! Mr ChronicStyleDisorder got me a pay-as-you-go sim for my Ipad, which made life much easier. Netflix was too much for my data allowance, but radio programs (I will put my hand up to listening to the Archers most Sundays) and podcasts are less data-hungry. The Headspace app also made it hospital easier to deal with. Just a few moments of relaxation makes the world of difference.
Magazines are ok, but once you’ve read them that’s it – 30 mins of entertainment for maybe up to £5? But puzzle books are better. They may seem old fashioned but they do pass the time in between tests and rest. I’d also recommend adult colouring books. They’re great for practicing mindfulness and relaxation. Millie Marotta‘s range of books are great for getting lost in!
Many hospitals now have Pay-to-view TV systems, which aren’t cheap to use but often worth it. I know hospitals suggest you leave all valuables at home, but you will need a bank card to put any money on the TV system. USB extension cables can also be very helpful. I’m currently unable to move around and the plug sockets aren’t very close to the bed. Power extension cables aren’t allowed due to health and safety. A USB extension cable is the next best thing that still fits in with hospital policies.
Packing things for comfort
Comfort is the key in hospitals. I (writing this at 3.38am) currently can’t sleep! There are alarms going off, people snoring in the next room, and the lights are still on in the corridor. After my last hospital visit with suspected meningitis (it wasn’t – unknown viral infection instead) I realised the importance of having a good eye mask and ear plugs. Ear plugs are a personal choice but I think the plastic ones are often better than the wax or foam ones. I often take my own pillow and blanket – partly because pillows can be like gold dust in hospitals and I appreciate a soft blanket on my skin when I’m not well. Heat packs can also be a wise choice. Hot water bottles can’t be used for health and safety reasons. Many doctors are fine with heat packs as an alternative. Just check first!
The Little luxuries!
One thing I do like to do when I’m in hospital if i’m feeling up to it is give myself a mini facial. Products like REN’s 1-minute facial are perfect for this situation, and all you need is some warm water and a flannel to wash it off. Follow it with some good moisturiser and you can at least have good looking skin if nothing else! A good hand cream is also a great extra. Giving yourself a hand massage can be very relaxing. Ask a loved one do it for you, it can be very comforting.
I’ve added a print out list, which I hope will help a lot!
What do you put in your hospital bag?