Sunday, May 24, 2015

The ULTIMATE Hospital Packing List

 So I go to the hospital a lot. There is no surprise there. And I'm pretty good at packing for it. I really never want for anything while I'm at the hospital...besides to go home. So I commonly get asked for my packing list. So instead of just emailing it over and over again, I decided to make it into a blog complete with pictures and explanations. Enjoy and please share or feel free to add comments and suggestions if you would like.

o   Documents
o   ID
o   Insurance Card
o   Medical Binder—I highly recommend the ComingHome Medical Binder—I got one at a Mitochondrial Disease Symposium I attended. You can purchase the downloaded version of all the forms and put your own binder together for $10 from this website and make your life a whole lot easier during hospital stays.
  •   If you don’t have a medical binder make sure you have a detailed medication list, medication schedule, diagnosis list, list of all specialists, past procedures, any special dietary needs, nutrition plan, feeding schedule, a list of allergies, emergency plan, any protocols (anesthesia, surgery, etc.),  medical equipment you use, and anything else that applies to you.
The Coming Home Medical Binder

o   Oversized Travel Bag—Something big enough to pack all your belongings

Thirty One Retro Metro Weekender

o   What to Wear
o   Flip Flops/Slippers/Slipper Socks—Something you can wear when you are out of bed (walking around the room, mandatory hallway walking after surgery, going to the bathroom)

Slippers and Slipper Socks

o   A button down or full zipper comfy jacket-- you can put it on even though there are IVs attached to you and all that. Mine is a really thin cotton fleece Under Armour zipper down and it’s slightly large so all the lines fit in it and it’s still comfy and cuddly.

My Jacket that zips up so I can slide it on and off over IV's 

o   Fuzzy & Soft socks—I love having fuzzy soft socks on in the hospital while I’m in bed. Just makes me feel more comfortable and cozy. Make sure you have enough socks of some kind for at least every anticipated night of admission.
o   2 Long Sleeve Shirts, 1 Short Sleeve Shirt + 2 for each expected day you are to be admitted (i.e. being admitted 3 days pack 5 short sleeve shirts) this allows for extra admission days or accidents, just in case
o   3 pairs of shorts, 2 pairs of pants or capris (for 3+ nights; 2 pairs and 1 pair respectively for 1-2 nights)—I usually wear shorts most of the time because I use my heated blanket but sometimes I do like to wear pants and get a little chilly sometimes, plus it allows more options for if there are accidents. You don’t need shorts/pants for every day because they are usually neutral in colors and can be re-worn, the hospital is not exactly the place for a fashion statement…haha. Why do I bring my own clothes y’all may be thinking? Because I HATE hospital gowns! I only wear them for procedures and change back immediately.
o   2-3 pairs of underwear for each anticipated night of admission—this allows for accidents and extra days. You never want to be without clean underwear at the hospital because you never want to wear the elastic fake underwear they have at the hospital. Trust me.

All my clothes ready to go

o   Essentials
o   Dry shampoo, hair ties, brush, comb, bobby pins, etc.—for me the most annoying thing is not being able to wash and do my hair properly every day because of lines. Sometimes you will get lucky and you will have a nurse that will wash and braid your hair for you if you ask, those are the best!!! J
o   Chapstick—the hospital air is dry. Chapstick is a must; your lips will dry out fast especially during NPO periods.
o   Lotion—again the hospital air is dry. Lotion is a must to make sure your skin doesn’t dry out and feels comfortable during your stay.
o   Body wash/soap—so you can clean yourself up with products you’re used to, those hospital toiletries just don’t cut it.
o   Peppermint oil—relieves nausea and headaches, very helpful to help combat symptoms in between med administration times.
o   Toothbrush and toothpaste—obviously you will need to brush your teeth. Purchase a cheap toothbrush before you go in and use it there and toss before you go home so you don’t bring those hospital germs home in your toothbrush.
o   Baby wipes—great for cleaning up when you don’t feel like washing up or to clean up messes if you spill sticky things (like meds or a drink) or get something else on you. Baby wipes come in handy in a lot of ways in the hospital.
o   Hand Sanitizer—hospitals are germy places. Make sure you have this by your side at all times.
o   Tissues- The hospital will have some in your room, but the texture is awful. I MUCH prefer to bring my own, especially the ones with aloe in them because they feel so soft on my skin. They come in little travel packs so you don’t have to bring a whole box.
o   Deodorant—you still want to feel fresh and clean when you’re in the hospital
o   Glasses/Contacts/Contact Lens Solution—Make sure you have this type of stuff with you because you will have to take your contacts in and out for procedures.
All of the Essential Items ready to go in a Thirty One Handle It Cosmetic Bag
All of the Essential Items laid out for display
o   Medical Needs
o   Any medical devices or supplies that you need for your care that would not be necessarily supplied by the hospital—example: I bring with me some slip tip syringes for administering my medications because the hospital usually only has luer lock ones and those don’t connect with my feeding tube, a 60 cc syringe because the hospital ones are cheap for my flushes, a towel for putting over my lap for when I’m doing my meds, Vaseline for helping with my bumper of my tube if it slides up or down, tubie pads, the steroid cream for my eczema, pain relieving cream called Traumeel (similar to IcyHot or Biofreeze but homeopathic), tiger balm cream and patches, gauze for my tube site, splints and braces in case I have dislocations, and stuff like that.

All of my necessary medical items laid out for display
All of the Medical Items neatly packed up, ready to go in another Thirty One Handle It Cosmetic Bag

o   Comforts from Home
o   Pillow—I love to bring my own therapeutic pillow, those hospital pillows suck and they never give you enough and they aren’t supportive.
o   Ear Plugs—the hospital is a loud place; especially at night, right after you just had surgery, you’re in pain, and you just want to sleep off the anesthesia hangover and through the pain,
o   Blankets—I am a blanket snob. I always bring my heated blanket and another blanket to put on top of it so the heated blanket doesn’t get anything spilled on it since it’s harder to wash
o   Favorite stuffed animal comfort item—I love having something with me to cuddle with in the bed when I don’t feel good.
o   A book or two—if you like to read…
o   Nail Polish, Make- Up, Lip Gloss, etc.—if you are feeling up to it, you may want tto pamper yourself a little bit, it brings up the morale.

All of my comforts from home packed up in a Thirty One Essential Storage Tote
o   Nourishment
o   Beverages of your choice (water, soda, herbal teas, hot chocolate)—you can order stuff from the nurses and the cafeteria, but they don’t always have what you want, when you want it. I always bring my own stuff. I use the top drawer of the dresser every time as my ‘contraband’ drawer which includes my next item of…
o   Snacks of your choice—again you can get hospital stuff. But it’s at specific times and sometimes the food isn’t always that great. I love having a couple of snacks with me that I know I want and keep them in my ‘contraband’ drawer. I keep applesauce, hard candies, pudding, and things like that since I can only have soft foods (for pleasure, not supposed to eat at all but the hospital stresses me out), but you can bring whatever you want..
o   Mints/Gum/Hard Candy/Chocolate—makes your breath stay fresh for unexpected guests and helps you have something to chew or suck on that’s yummy, but safe and allowed in almost any admission. Also bring a little bowl. Put the candy in the bowl and leave it out on one of your tables so the nurses and other staff can grab some too, nothing is better than buttering up the people taking care of you. You get much better treatment.

Here is a look at the 'contraband' I'm bringing this time around.
o   Electronics
o   Phone and phone charger—obviously you don’t want to go the whole time without your phone. That would majorly stink. I strongly recommend purchasing a 10’ charger for your phone (can be found cheap on Amazon) as the plugs are often not near your bed and you won’t be able to reach your phone if it’s charging.
o   Tablet—can be used for watching Hulu and Netflix, playing games, and staying connected on social networks.
o   Laptop—if you have to do things with more productivity and more power, or if you are a blogger like me.
o   Power strip—make sure you have enough plugs for all the electronics you bring

You can see most of my electronics, personal items like wallet and keys and such, my medical binder, and my productivity stuff is in this bag that is coming with me. It's my work bag anyway. My office on the go. The Thirty One Fashion Editor.
o   Miscellaneous
o   Cash—for trips to the vending machine, coffee shop, etc. Cash comes in handy but make sure it’s in a safe place
o   Notebook and Pen—Useful to take notes of what all the doctors say and to know what is happening with your treatment plan. Also useful to keep track of your stay and journal to remember and update your friends and family since you may not be as lucid at all times from medication.
o   Thank you cards—I write thank you cards to every nurse I have while I’m admitted and give them to the charge nurse when I am discharged to pass out when I leave. I make sure to write their names down when they come on shift and remember at least one special thing they did for me. I’m sure they don’t get thanked very often and their job is HARD.
o   My own tumbler from home—I like to have my own cup because it fits more, it’s pretty, and you never know when those nurses are going to get you some more drink or whatever so having your own cup and beverages on hand is a great lifesaver!
o   An extra bag for dirty clothes—may I recommend a Thirty One Essential Storage Tote? (I actually use this to carry the comforts from home in on the way up, then use it as a laundry bag there, then repack it with the comforts from home on the way back since EVERYTHING gets washed upon returning home worn or not. If it was in a hospital it is dirty. 
o   Plastic Baggies—These come in handy for so many different things you would be so surprised.  

All my Miscellaneous Items

***If you can't tell I might be an Independent Sales Consultant with Thirty One Gifts. This is how I help pay my insane medical bills that help keep me alive (specifically for my TPN that is not covered by my insurance and is my sole source of nutrition). If you like what you see or you would like to look at some of our other products, please feel free to visit My Thirty One Site and do some ordering. I would so greatly appreciate it!!! Thank you so much!! 

I hope this blog gave you some useful information!

1 comment:

  1. Megan your list is incredible ! There are a lot of similarities in our hospital packing , but you've definitely given me some new, great things to think about! I love the candy dish idea :) I did that last year for Halloween but I never thought of doing it at another timem Thank you for this valuable blog post ! Using thirtyone bags haveade my trips so much easier and organized.
    Best wishes with your health !