Be like a Boy Scout
If, like me, hospital admissions are not an uncommon occurrence, then having a bag pre-packed is a good idea. At the very least, having a clear list means that essentials won’t be missed. My bag is half packed; things I only use in hospital are already in the bag (puzzle book and pen), but essentials I use every day are on a list in the bag (phone charger). This can save time and help if things become ‘panic-y’ Medications - hospitals always state these should be in original packaging with pharmacy label attached, but I’ve never had a problem taking my coloured weekly organisers. I also have a printed list of all my medications, specialists, surgeries, allergies and significant hospitalisations. Electronic devices and chargers - an extra power board could also prove useful as there is often only one powerpoint available for patient use, the others being used for medical equipment. Toiletries - I leave a travel size set of toiletries in my bag, and so only need to add my electric toothbrush at time of admission. Bed socks - an extra fluffy pair of bed socks brings a little bit of home to the hospital bed. If you can find a pair with rubber non-slip feet, all the better; you won’t have to wear the hospital set (Bonds, $25 from Farmers) Noise-cancelling headphones - I never really saw the advantage of the noise-cancelling feature until I borrowed my son’s pair during my last hospital stay. Due to lack of space, I was on the dementia ward (my husband thought this fitting). This was, as expected, noisier at times. Luckily, I had the subscription pass for the Rugby World Cup, but I didn’t want the volume too loud in case I disturbed any sleeping neighbours. The headphones not only helped with this but also blocked out other noises, far more effectively than regular headphones I have used in the past. Comfortable clothing - your own bed wear may be tricky in hospital, with IV lines, monitors, etc, so you may initially be better off with the sexy, open-backed hospital gown, but a t-shirt and pair of sweatpants make you feel a whole lot more human again once you graduate to sitting on the hospital lay-zee boy for a few hours. In fact, studies have shown that “Get up, Get dressed, Get moving” can contribute to increased wellbeing and recovery Pillows - I’m particularly fussy about my pillow but I also need to remember to take my positioning pillows to ensure a more comfortable rest. Eyeshades - during my last hospital stay, a friend gave me a pair of pink llama eyeshades - perfect to bring a smile but also to block out the ’not-so-dim-night-light’ setting apparent in every hospital ward ever. Puzzle book and pen - for those times you just want to give it a rest from your electronic devices (or they need charging LOL) Eating and drinking - I keep a set of adaptive cutlery, a silicone straw, and a sports drink bottle in my hospital bag. Nothing worse than losing the bit of independence I do have due to these items not being available. A box of muesli bars is a good idea too, to supplement the ‘nutritious’ hospital meals. Sling - I tend to take my own sling into hospital. The single patient use slings provided by the hospital are HUGE and I just feel more comfortable and confident using my own one.
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