Is there such a thing? If you have been in hospital for more than a night, you will know that Yes – there totally is!
Planning for a hospital admission can be hugely stressful unless it’s for the birth of your first child. If you have a non-emergency admission your mind is usually preoccupied with medical what if’s, planning time off work, sorting out the household, and making child-care arrangements. You have so much to think about and the ultimate hospital bag usually isn’t one of your top priorities. But… if you get your bag right, you will have a more comfortable stay!
The anxiety that takes over many facets of your life in the lead up to a hospital admission can be paralysing. I feel you. I know the dread, the uncertainty, the anticipation and the ‘lets get this shiz sorted’ ruminating thoughts. You are now in mission mode and for some of you, the fight of your life. Your world is about to change. For the short, medium or ‘forever’ term.
The path to ‘wellness’ has deviations, detours and roadworks. My best advice is to focus on where you are going (the what) and completely let go of the how and timelines. Above all be kind to yourself and link in to supports. A great way to set yourself up for an easier hospital stay is to allocate some planning time and to gather yourself the ultimate hospital bag.
To compile this list I reached out for ideas from a number of amazing people who have been in hospital for lengthy periods of time, and often on multiple occasions. I hope you or someone that you love finds this list helpful. Get in touch if I’ve missed any of your favourites.
A disclaimer before I launch in- none of the recommendations in this blog piece are sponsored. I just know a great product when I use it, and I love supporting local businesses.
Some notes on planning your admission
If you have a couple of weeks notice prior to your hospital admission, consider tackling the below list. It will make your life so much easier when you come out of hospital.
- Sort-out any paper-work with your employee and Superannuation firm (Your partner may also have cover that includes an emergent payment for you, check it out).
- Go to the hairdressers
- Get any beauty work done (If you have queries or concerns, do ask your medical team).
- Organise a dental check-up and have your teeth cleaned
- Set up auto direct debits for bills so that you they’re all taken care of
- Organise extra child-care/playdates/sleep overs if you have younger children
- If you have a car that is due for a service- get it done
- Stock up on some frozen meals. We love Mumma Sugo’s!
- Take anything off your to-do list to make your life easier for the first few weeks of your recovery
The Ultimate Hospital Bag List!
- Loose, button up tops & longs
- Comphy undies
- Non-slip socks
- Good quality slippers with ankle support (only a nurse would emphasise this, ha!)
- Dressing gown
- Extra-long phone charging cable
- Ear phones
- Eye patch for sleeping (single or shared room- you will be woken up A LOT)
- Own water bottle
- Own pillow if you prefer
- Glasses if you usually wear contacts lenses
Personal Care – treat yourself !
- Tooth brush and toothpaste
- Dry shampoo in case you don’t have the energy to wash your hair, or you can’t because of your surgery
- Hair brush and hair ties
- Body wash, shampoo and conditioner minis. I absolutely love the Saya range! Busting out my pack of mini’s after my surgery was such a treat after long nights.
- Good body moisturiser. Again Saya – I love the Rich Body Cream.
- Facial spray mist. I totally love this stuff for a pep up! I think I became addicted.
- Lip balm
- Baby Wipes
- Heat pack
- Sanitary items if you are going to need them
- Bio oil if you’re allowed to use it (my surgeon encouraged it early).
- Magnesium spray- so amazing to help with sleep and relaxation. I totally love Downunder Magnesium for the quality!
Food & Drinks
Go for quality! Before you go into hospital your Specialist or the pre-admission staff will talk to you about your hospital diet if there is anything that you need to be aware of. The night before my bowel resection, the lovely ward nurses told me that I would have 5 days of clear fluid only after my surgery. I cried…. again! Many private hospitals have small bar fridges in the room, but check the hospital policy before you stock up on your favourite snacks.
- Fancy tea / coffee sachets
- Hot chocolate
- Throat lozenges (if you have an operation you may have a sore throat)
Relaxation and Activities
- Meditation App- Can’t go past Headspace!
- Audiobooks downloaded (I get mine from the council library)
- Kindle if you have one
- Music play lists- I use Spotify
- Essential Oils- Peppermint oil and Digest Zen were absolutely amazing for me. The Conscious Coven is my go to for essential oil advice.
- Journal and pens (one always runs out of ink!…. more on the power of journaling to come)
- A hardcopy book if you prefer to read on paper (I could only manage Audiobooks after my surgery, so it’s handy to have options). If you’re after a good read- I highly recommend ‘Any Ordinary Day’ by Leigh Sales. It totally changed my life!
Reminders from home
Don’t forget a beautiful picture of your family, little ones, fur babies, or friends. When days and nights are tough, it will remind you of the life you will return to.
I hope this list helps you, and I am sending you good luck and healing vibes from afar.
Take care and remember to be kind to yourself. Be your greatest cheerleader!
We hope that you enjoyed this article. Please drop us a comment below, we would love to hear from you.
X The Awakened Mumma, Author of ‘A Woman’s Guide to Navigating the Invisible Cancer Load‘