Today I packed for my twenty-first stay in hospital since the beginning of 2016. I’ve perfected my packing-list and these are my highlights:
- Sleep mask and earplugs – restorative sleep shouldn’t be prevented by a snoring neighbour or the flashing and whirring of hospital wards.
- Charging cable and extension lead – the plugs in the hospital I go to are situated for hospital not patient convenience. I would never have thought of an extension lead, my partner did, but I rejoice every time my phone /tablet doesn’t fall off the bed / bedside table because the charging cable can’t quite manage the gap.
- Mug and teabags – tea just isn’t as soothing out of a paper cup. I love tea and crave comfort in hospital. Hot water is on tap as is water and filling up my own cup with a piping brew is one of the few highlights. It gives me a feeling of autonomy and independence within the strict hospital routines, as soon as I can get up, I’m off down the corridor mug in hand.
- Body lotion and hand cream – some cream or lotion helps me feel a bit pampered even when confined to bed. I give my hands and feet / legs a little massage and even the nurses don’t seem to mind me taking off the stockings once a day and massaging my feet and legs.
- Headphones – as well as the obvious use for headphones they are a useful visual signal to roomies that I’m not feeling very chatty. During the after-effects of Mitomycin I’m not especially chatty to my nearest and dearest and usually prefer to limit small talk.
- Veggies and nut butter – although vegan food is available there are issues with same day orders. Nut butter fortifies the blandest bread-based evening meal and any vegan worth their salt learns to add crunch and vitamins by bringing their own ‘emergency carrots and celery’ to most events.
What’s on your list?