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!