Nobody likes to visit or stay in a hospital. It’s almost impossible to go through longer stays with all the noise, the nature of your case, and the little sleep you can manage to get during your stay. If you’re sensitive to noise and sound, you would certainly be uncomfortable in the awfully bright and loud setting. If you are not staying in a private room, you would hope your roommate is discharged and you get some time alone. This is not a big problem if your roommate is good and you love spending time with them.
Here are my tips:
- Music will make your hospital stay pleasant. Whether it’s a tablet, a CD player or a phone with MP3 storage, music helps those who are sick. You should use earphones that come with volume control and don’t pick up outside noise. So, if no IV or hospital alarms are going off right next to you everything will be silent and peaceful.
- You should pack your chargers, preferably a portable recharger for your tablet, phone, and any other USB-based charging device. Make sure it has at least 2 USB ports to ensure continuous charging of two devices simultaneously. It’s great if this device fits your pocket and has batteries that charge up quickly through any wall charger.
- Pay the small fee for hospital phone and TV. You will feel much better when your family and friends call you during your stay. Phone and TV are great distractions and will keep you busy and take your mind off some of your pain. You will also feel relieved from cabin fever feeling for at least a few moments!
- Don’t forget ice packs and home pillows! Your room will have a patient fridge, so be sure to label them and put in a ziplock that is doubly labeled with your name. your gel and ice packs are much better than anything you get at your local hospital. It’s best to take pillows and even blanket for added comfort. Immediately wash them as soon as you’re discharged. Put it in your laundry or in the hamper along with all hospital worn clothes the very same day and wash it all without any delay. Don’t forget thousands go in and out of these doors every day.
- Keep a pair of tinted light sensitivity specific frames around at all times. You’re not sure when a IV med might trigger your migraine, or when an attack might just come on. Sometimes it can happen with all the noise and light in the entire hospital.
- Many hospitals now have sanitizer dispensers in their patient’s rooms. But it’s better to be on the safe side, so bring your own hand sanitizer and some body lotion with you. This will help your skin from drying out, whilst sitting on the same bed for days, or sometimes even weeks. You should also bring some baby swipes to keep clean in case you’re unable to shower on occasion.
- Bring along your migraine or chronic pain journal. Record all information you get at the hospital, including the nurse taking your vitals and record them with the time taken. Also record current pain levels, and the symptoms you experience at times. This will help your doctor in detailed diagnosis and the more accurate and detailed your migraine diary is the better it will be as an asset in your medical care.
- It’s important to stay hydrated, even if you’re hooked up to an IV. So drink, drink and drink up as much water as you can until you feel you’re urinating regularly! This step is healthy for you and will also keep you moving, especially good for neuropathy patients who need physical therapy and movement. This will also help prevent fluid build-up and swelling as well. Keep in mind, even if it hurts you should keep moving!
- Avoid bringing your wheelchair. Hospital is full of germs so it’s better to avoid it. Hospitals will have this equipment ready so if it’s possible for you to make it inside with a cane, please do it and avoid dirtying up your home medical accessories. This goes doubly for people with autoimmune disorders and chemotherapy.
- Keep two lists of medications: the first one should be from your home, and the second one is which you’re taking on your specific hospital visit. This will help you in deciding what to do and will also show your doctor you’re an intelligent, vigilant, and reliable patient who genuinely want to be helped as you are keeping as much information possible. It’s best to keep a digital and paper copy of this. I would recommend saving your list to your smart phone if that’s possible.
These are my top tips that will help you avoid a bad experience at the hospital. I have many more tips, but I certainly don’t want to overwhelm you with pages after pages of do’s and don’ts just yet! Use alcohol based solution to clean up your devices with the help of a sanitary towel. My best wishes to you for your next hospital stay. I hope it won’t last too long!