5 Things to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

When we hear the term "hospital bag," we think of a sweet decorative bag full of onesies and maternity clothes. What if we thought about that term to describe those with chronic illness and the benefits of being prepared for dreaded unexpected hospital stays? Of course, we don't want to live in constant fear we are going to end up in the hospital at any moment, but as we know, we must expect the unexpected when dealing with chronic illness. I personally had to learn this lesson the hard way.

My holiday hospital surprise

It was Christmas Eve 2019. I was experiencing pain in my legs for several weeks that I thought was a Lupus flare due to the cold weather and that all I needed was some rest. Before I know it, I am calling 911 at 11:30 PM to go to the hospital because the pain is so severe I cannot stand on my own.

The ambulance arrives, and without thinking, I load up and go with them. Now I am sitting in a hospital room on Christmas morning with nothing but the clothes on my back. I had recently moved to a new city with no family around, and I didn't know what to do — not even having a phone charger to make phone calls to friends in the area.

This incident got me thinking. How do I make sure I am prepared in a situation like this, so I don't end up going without what I need and that Dr's have accurate information? Being prepared is never a bad thing, so here are some things to consider packing in your hospital bag.

What to pack in your hospital bag

1. A list of your medications

Include dosage and allergies to medications in case they give you something that makes you incoherent.

2. Phone Charger

Preferably a portable one that you don't have to find an outlet. You can make proper notifications and have any of your medical information that you keep in your phone available.

3. Clothes

I don't know about you, but I appreciate a little something under my not-so-concealing hospital gown, so whether that is some shorts or even underwear, being prepared to make yourself more comfortable is always nice.

4. Something to entertain yourself

We all know hospital time does not operate at normal times. I suggest a novel, puzzle book, or journal that can stay in your bag at all times to help decrease stress and keep you occupied during downtime.

5. Hygiene products

Although most hospitals will provide hygiene products, sometimes it is nice to have the smell and comfort of home. Packing a few things like Toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrush, deodorant, body wash, lotion etc. can help put you at ease.

Find what works best for you

Obviously, there can always be more or fewer items in your bag. Whatever is most convenient and makes sense for you and your life. Hopefully, this can help create an outline or some good ideas on what will work best for you and make your unexpected stay a lot more bearable.

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