How to Pack for a Trip to the Hospital (if you’re incontinent)…


Welcome back – this week we’re going to be tackling some really practical advice. If you’re like me, when you are planning a stay in the hospital, whether it is for inpatient surgery, or another reason, it is important to be prepared. A well-packed bag is essential for having a comfortable stay in the hospital. But the big question is – what does “well packed” mean exactly?


Never fear – here is my MUST-HAVE list. Feel free to change this around to suit your needs but this is what gets me through a hospital stay.

  1. Pajamas or night clothes for each day. You spend all day and night in your PJ’s and tend to sweat more in the hospital,(especially with those plastic coated mattresses,) so you can usually only wear PJ’s for one day. Also don’t go for skimpy items. I have seen patients in hospital PJ’s or other clothing made of nylon and they tend to make you perspire and become uncomfortable, when in bed for any length of time.
  2. Socks and slippers – hospitals are filled with recycled air and they only have one temperature – cold! So even if you’re not a “hot” person by nature – don’t forget the fuzzy socks. A new pair for every day.
  3. Baby wipes or wet wipes for cleaning up hands, face and bottoms and for overall “freshening up,” especially if you can’t shower as often as you like. These are an absolute lifesaver!
  4. 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner – this saves time washing your hair when you feel awful. Even better try using Dry (i.e. waterless) Shampoo – for freshening your hair when you are unable to wash it yourself. While it’s not as good as a real hair wash, if you are unable to get out of bed or wash your hair as much as you would like, then this can be a good alternative.
  5. Moisturizer – Some hospital atmospheres can be very drying on the skin, especially if it has air conditioning or you are having bed baths. So don’t skimp on lotion or moisturizer. I particularly like the spray on moisturizer from St Ives for those hard to reach spots!
  6. Incontinence Supplies – hospitals will have pads or diapers but they buy them in bulk from the cheapest supplier possible so they feel just slightly better than sand paper – not okay. And let’s be honest here – no one wants a Foley catheter if they can avoid it. So whether or not you use Men’s Liberty, bring your supplies with you – one for each day plus two just in case. You’ll be glad you did.
  7. And last but not least – bring a comfortable outfit to wear home. Something slightly nicer than your PJs but comfy. Your going back out into the world and for some reason they don’t seem to like you to wear your PJs 24/7.

Well that’s my list – did I forget anything? What can’t you live without? Let us know in the comments!


 

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