Ever notice how on sitcoms, or romcoms, whenever a woman goes into labor everyone is always freaking out, like all of a sudden they forgot how to human? The couple is usually halfway out the door when the woman starts screaming “the bag, the bag! Then the guy frantically goes back and just pulls out a pre-packed suitcase like they were prepared for this. HA! Prepared. Those of us with chronic illness know that no matter how much we try, we can never be fully prepared for what to expect.
A lot of fear is associated with lack of control, so I figured I’d take a lesson from these quality shows and try and plan for the things that I can control. IE: my hospital ready bag.
I’m not sure if there is an actual name for it, I went with “ready bag” because I watch way too much Criminal Minds, but least it makes sense and I sound like a badass so win-win.
Deciding on my “Ready Bag”
As some of you may know from my other blog posts, my first surgery was a complete surprise. I rushed in for emergency surgery and then stuck in the hospital for a week. I had NOTHING with me. when you’ve just undergone major surgery and then are laid up for 7 days with a crazy woman behind the curtain net to you, you are going to wish you had some of your own things to make life a little more comfortable.
After about my 3rd of 4th surgery, nothing seemed to be getting better; only worse. I was walking around in constant fear that I would end up back in the hospital and underprepared.
So, I took control of one of the few things I could. I created my hospital ready bag with all of the essentials and a few comfort items. I through in some important paperwork (you never know) and some comfort items.
Let me tell you, after this last ileostomy procedure, the bag was a game-changer. Truly grateful I had my things and it made the whole experience much less stressful.
17 Hospital Ready Bag Essentials
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- Comfy sweat pants – I suggest a minimum of 3 pairs
-You never know, there could be an accident, you could be sweaty from a fever or just wanted to stay as fresh as possible. Always good to have fresh comfy pants to help you relax
- Pack of Hanes T-shirts – the baggier the better. You don’t want anything sticking to you and the nurses will need access to cover you with wirers and sticky things. These will also be more comfortable is you are swollen for any reason
- The necessary undergarments – I would definitely go loose here. keep your self as comfortable as possible. LADIES: I Highly recommend a front closure bra, if a bra is something you think you will want.
- Toiletries – this bag has just about everything you could need. Hospitals are super dry so remember lip balm and don’t forget to put the lotion in the basket ??
- All the Chargers – the longer the better. Check these out
- Bendable Neck Pillow- Hospital pillows are very flat and often hard to come to buy. Finding this pillow was a lifesaver after my surgery I was able to mold it to whatever position I needed and really helped to get into a comfortable position.
- Blanket – Hospitals are often FREEZING. even though some of the newer hospitals allow you to control the room temperature, it’s still very cold, especially when you’re not feeling well. Like the pillows, asking for an extra blanket is a bit of a hit or miss for me so I started making sure I bring my own travel blanket just in case.
- Slippers – Having a good pair of no sip slippers is important especially if you’re going to be up and walking a lot. they provide extra support and help prevent falls.
- Robe – Great for extra warmth and a more modest look when you’re up walking around
- Sweatshirt – when I’m super cold and the robe isn’t cutting it. It’s a must-have indeed. I’m not even going to suggest one because I know everyone has a favorite sweatshirt. Or you can pick one out at our store.
- Face and Body wipe – some hospitals are weird when it comes to showering. you’ll want to make sure you stay as fresh and lean as possible. Check out my post on DYI face wipes for some tips
- Blue Tooth Headphones – if nothing else, don’t forget your blue tooth heads phones. Roommates can tremendously affect your recovery and you will want to be in as much peace as possible. Not only are these great but for under $20, they’re a friggin steal.
- An uplifting book – you will have plenty of downtimes and if you’re feeling up to it, I would recommend some positive light reading. I Choose DANCING WITH ELEPHANTS my first time around. A great read for the chronically ill. Jarem Sawatsky has a superb outlook on life in spite of the hand he and his family have been dealt with. Of course, choose whatever is more suitable for you, but if you have the time I would definitely check it out.
- Journal and accessories – hospital time can be a great time to reflect. Bring a journal with you to capture all of those brilliant moments and to take notes of what your doctors are saying. I recommend this one for now. its has everything you need to hold you over until The Lemon Blog’s Journal Planner hits our store?
- Eye Mask and Earplugs – not only does this tie into the roommate thing, but if you’ve ever stayed in a hospital before, you know that there is no sleep and constant interruptions. Ain’t no sleep for the Chronic.
- Any daily medications you take that they cannot provide in the hospital IE. birth control. I would call ahead to make sure you have a plan. I love this medicine bag. It’s even TSA lock approved.
- Glasses! – I usually forget but if you wear contacts you are definitely going to want your glasses with you.
SOOOO pretty sure I hit it all but I’d love to know if I left something out or if you have your own things I should add to the list.
Leave me a comment with your hospital essentials!
With love and happiness,