6 Essential Items I Pack in My Hospital Bag

Oh! It’s so hard to stay upbeat. It’s so hard being positive when your chronic illness really sucks! Day in and day out, some good days, some days not good at all.

Occasionally, I lose the plot. Then I get down and frustrated. It think it happens to everyone who lives with chronic illness. After my most recent visit to the hospital for an overnight stay, I thought I might just try to find some humor wherever I can!


Now hospital visits usually happen without any planning. We are living in a tiny home so I don’t have lots of storage space. So I don’t have a pre-packed hospital bag in readiness. But I am now going to prepare a list to make it a bit easier for my husband. My brain is usually in “high brain fog” state when I get admitted, so my communication skills sometimes go a bit awry.

My husband empties out my swimming bag and puts in what I need for the hospital. This last time, I found some interesting things still in my bag when I was packing up to come home: my goggles, my swimming cap, my nose clamp thing… Luckily, my pull buoy wasn’t still tucked in the bottom of the bag. But, I did find my supply of almonds that live in my bag to eat after a long swim.

Here are some of the things I have discovered are essentials to include. They needed to be added to the usual toiletries, PJs, slippers, dressing gown, iPad, phone, book, charger etc. I also need:

1. My fluorescent swimming ear plug putty. Hospitals are so noisy and the snoring of roommates can rapidly destroy your equanimity.

When I was placed into a mixed ward I would have found these useful for blocking out the gas noises from my male roommates, and the sound of the urine bottles being filled up in the middle of the night.

2. Flip-flops. The last two hospital stays have been interesting in the shared bathrooms. I want my waterproof flip-flops for protection.

3. Fruit, mandarins, some tiny tomatoes and some nuts. There’s often not food I can eat. So I am now going to take a packed lunch with an ice pack.

5. A pick-up extender arm. I can never reach the cabinet or all the things I need from my bed. I am not always in a “get-out-of-bed-able” state.

6. A sleep mask! Curtains don’t always close, lights in hallways are always on… The less I see at night, the better! I am going to make a new pair with a set of big cat eyes on the outer surface in glow-in-the-dark fabric!

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via DAJ.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Chronic Illness

6 Common Misconceptions About People With Chronic Illnesses

Author Toni Bernhard shares six common things people believe about having a chronic illness that aren’t true. if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_r1UUjjuO_F962XJnx_div').setup( {"playlist":"https:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/r1UUjjuO.json","ph":2} ); Read the full version of 6 Common Misconceptions About People With Chronic Illnesses. Read the full transcript: 6 Common Misconceptions About People With Chronic Illnesses Misconception #1: The way a person looks reflects how he [...]

5 Ways Schools Can Help Parents With Chronic Illness

Back-to-school time may bring a sigh of relief to many parents, but for those living with chronic illness, it can bring a host of challenges. At times, schools, teachers and other parents are unaware parents are even struggling and, when they do know, often have no idea how to help. I want to change that. [...]
woman wearing a coat and beanie outside on a snowy day

My Illness May Be Invisible, but a Picture of Me Can Tell a Thousand Words

Isn’t it bizarre how a picture can hide so much? How a simple picture can mislead people to believe someone is over-dramatizing their situation? If they are smiling, they must be OK, right? So many people of all walks of life are slipping past others’ radars because people don’t take an extra second to see if people really [...]
colorful illustration of sneakers, towels, an apple, weights and other fitness gear.

September's My Mighty Month Challenge Is Staying Active

For someone with not one athletic bone in their body, I’m extremely competitive. I love a good challenge, but I’m also a perfectionist. So every time I see a fitness challenge (a la “This 30-Day Challenge Will Give You the Buns of Your Dreams”), I have to take it. The problem is I never succeed. That’s partially because: [...]