For those that have ever been diagnosed with disease or disability, I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of hospital sleepovers. For obvious reasons, being an inpatient is never very comfortable, and you always seem to forget something you need for your overnight stay(s).
Next time you’re expected to be an inpatient at the hospital, whether it’s for some sort of procedure or surgery, don’t be unprepared! You want to be as comfortable as you can, so here is a list of hospital essentials to improve the quality of your stay:
Wear comfy and easy clothing. If you’re getting surgery or any kind of procedure done, you’ll want to wear comfy clothes that you can easily slip out of when you arrive to the hospital.
Bring extra clothing. If you’re at the hospital for more than a day, you’ll be happy you brought an extra pair of clothes. Make sure you pack comfy/stretchy sweatpants and a loose fitting t-shirt or sweatshirt, your favorite pair of underwear (we all have our favorites), and a warm pair of socks. When you wake up from your procedure, often times your incision sites are sore. Wearing comfy, stretchy, and baggy clothes will help reduce agitation to these areas.
Bring extra blankets and pillows. I don’t know about you, but whenever I stay overnight at the hospital I’m always freezing! Also, hospital pillows are not fluffy whatsoever, so I highly recommend bringing one from home.
Bring your tablet, laptop or books. Obviously if you’re stuck inside a tiny room all day you’re going to get bored very fast. Play games, watch movies, chat with your friends from your tablet or laptop, or read your favorite book while you recover. If you’re really feeling optimistic, bring your homework!
A necessity: Your phone charger. Take it from me; I’m the queen of forgetting my charger at home. If you’re texting your friends from bed all day, you’re definitely going to want it.
Never forget your own toiletries. The hospital usually has generic sample-size shampoo and conditioner bottles. This will NOT do if you are a female with long hair. There’s nothing worse than getting a procedure done and then laying in bed for days without showering. If you plan on being at the hospital for multiple days, bring your own bathroom essentials to help your stay be more comfortable.
Most importantly, bring your patience and positive attitude. Surgery, or any kind of procedure for that matter, is obviously never fun and usually the last resort when all other options have failed. Understand that you may feel pretty crummy after you wake up from the procedure and that it takes time for you to heal and feel like yourself again. Keep your head up and know that the hospital staff are there to help you with anything.
If you bring anything for your hospital overnight stays not mentioned above, tweet them to me with the handle @lauren_wilmet; I’d love to hear them!
Bella Soul encourages college students from all over the nation to open up and share their medical stories. By doing so, these students gain support that they may never knew they had!
Bella Soul believes that those facing disease or disability while also being a student deserve some recognition and praise. That’s why every month the nonprofit organization features a student and their personalized story on its website, Facebook and Twitter.
Interested in becoming Bella Soul’s next featured story? It’s simple! All you have to do is write about your own story- share your journey from the time you were diagnosed with your ailment to where you are now.
Here are a few things you may find beneficial to incorporate:
How have you improved from the time you were diagnosed?
What have you learned from your disease?
Do you have any advice for other students battling disease or disability?
When I was first diagnosed with my disease, I never wanted to talk to anyone about it (and that’s all it seemed people wanted to talk about). Writing about my journey through kidney disease was my form of therapy. It also was an easy way for my friends and family that were concerned about me to understand (in detail) what I was going through. After being featured on Bella Soul’s website, I got an overwhelmingly large amount of support from people all over the nation. To me, although talking about my disease was not always the easiest, sharing my journey on the Internet was 100% worth it.
I hope it’s worth it for you, too.
Want to learn about my own journey? Check it out, here!
If you have any further questions, or would like for information about sharing your story with Bella Soul, feel free to tweet me: @lauren_wilmet.
Many of you may have been wondering, “What the heck is the significance behind the palm tree in Bella Soul’s logo?” Well, it comes from this beautiful quote:
“It is the nature of the strong heart, that like the palm tree it strives ever upwards when it is most burdened.” ~Philip Sidney
Some of you may be thinking it’s just some silly quote. But, I think that anyone who has ever had to face obstacles in their life can relate to it.
When I was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease, there were times it was impossible to keep an optimistic mindset. However, I would not be where I am today if I lived my life with a negative mentality. I kept my heart strong with my chin held high, even when I was going through the toughest of times. In that way, the palm tree symbolizes myself in the quote.
If you ever run into some bumps in the road just remember to be strong, be positive, and live in the moment. Stand tall like a palm tree, even when you are most burdened. If I can do it, you can do it, too!
This summer, Bella Soul is teaming up with the Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation to put on a race in Germantown Hills, Illinois. The 2.5-mile walk or full 5K run is to help raise money for cerebral palsy research, as well as to provide scholarships to college students living with physical disease or disability.
Bella Soul and the CPIRF hope that this race will not only raise money for those in need, but also raise awareness of these organizations that strive to improve individuals’ lives!
Registration for the race begins at 6:30 AM the day of the race. The registration packets include t-shirts and goodie bags! Those participating in the race are also welcome to join Bella Soul and CPIRF for breakfast after the run.
WHY: To raise awareness and money for developmental brain disorders and college students battling disease or disability.
$25 for those 17 years old and under
$30 for adults
No credit cards accepted race day
To register, visit Bella Soul’s website to sign up or download the pdf form here: Bella Soul 5K Race Registration Form. Please bring your completed registration form to the race and pay with cash or check, or email the form to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 30th.
So get out your running shoes and meet us bright and early on July 18th. We hope to see you there!
The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Bella Soul, is officially a registered student organization at the University of Wisconsin-Madison!
Bella Soul’s mission is to provide mental and financial support to college students battling disease or disability. I know before I found Bella Soul, I felt like I didn’t relate to anyone on campus. That’s why Bella Soul’s UW-Madison chapter was formed- to create a social environment for students battling physical ailments. However, the chapter welcomes and encourages all individuals from any background who have an interest in being involved!
As a student org, Bella Soul hopes to build a community for students with disease or disability so they know they’re not alone on campus. It’s a great way for students to get to know fellow Badgers that have been in their shoes. Being part of this organization could also be a learning opportunity for those never diagnosed with an ailment to recognize the struggles some students live with every day.
Bella Soul, UW-Madison Chapter will hold community service and fundraising events. The money raised be put toward the not-for-profit Bella Soul’s scholarship fund in order to reward students in need of financial support.
Meetings for this student organization begin fall semester of 2015. Check us out at the student org fair (September 8-9th) for more information, or head to Bella Soul’s page on the Wisconsin Involvement Network website.
For any further questions, tweet me with the handle “@lauren_wilmet.” I hope to hear from you or see you at the org fair!
The nonprofit organization Bella Soul’s mission is not only to support students battling disease or disability, but also to award these hardworking students with scholarships. These scholarships can be used as the individual pleases, but are given out to support the student and their families who are battling the expenses of college tuition and medical bills.
Bella Soul has officially opened up the application for its Bourget, Bieber and Wilmet scholarship. This scholarship is in remembrance of the families who have donated to Bella Soul and have helped the organization be able to provide financial aid to students in need!
So, if you’re a college student living with physical ailments or disease, this scholarship may be just for you!
Here are the scholarship requirements:
The applicant must be a college student living with a physical ailment, disease and/or disability.
The applicant must be enrolled as a full time student at an accredited university or college.
In the summer of 2014 I was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease. This affected my life significantly, especially because I was about to start my freshman year of college. As I explained in a previous blog post, I didn’t feel comfortable talking about my disease with anyone… I felt so alone. With time I confronted my sickness, and I shared my story with the nonprofit organization, Bella Soul. Writing was my way of opening up and explaining my journey with the people who didn’t understand what was going on in my life.
If you have ever been diagnosed with a disease or disability, I hope you eventually work up the courage to face it like I have. Opening up and sharing your personal story is not an easy task, but doing so is some of the best therapy I’ve ever received. If you don’t feel comfortable talking about your disease, know that you have other options:
Write about it.
Make a podcast.
Post a video.
Any of these options are great forms of communication. Do what works best for you and what you feel most comfortable doing!
Since I’ve gained comfort and accepted living with disease, I no longer feel alone and I can freely talk about my the status of my kidneys. I’ve gotten so comfortable talking about them that I sometimes bring them up at inappropriate times (we all have a little social awkwardness in us). But I’ve learned that you should never feel like you’re not allowed to talk about your disease or disability. Every time you speak about it, it serves as therapy. Sharing your experiences only makes you a stronger person!
If you write about your story, think about submitting it to Bella Soul’s website to share with the world. There are people out there just like you; you could inspire others to open up about their own stories.
Interested in the nonprofit organization, Bella Soul? Learn more, here.
You can tweet me @lauren_wilmet for more information, as always.