Last week I found myself heading to the hospital mid-afternoon, and although I was not completely surprised, I had not packed for the hospital at all. In fact I had brought business casual clothing, makeup and hair accessories in order to attend a conference in Indy, but fun fact, those things do not do you any good in the hospital.

This being said, I had to pack rather quickly for the my impromptu stay at Hotel Hospital and here are the things I’ve learned to pack that you will definitely need no matter how long you are staying!

First off your basic toiletries (plus a few extra):

  • Toothbrush: You will want to use your own…but you can use their toothpaste
  • Hair brush: trust me, you don’t want to use theirs
  • Face Cleansing Wipes: You are not gonna want to go through the hassle of unplugging your IV pole just to wash your face.
  • Contacts/Glasses/Solution/Holder: Being able to see is kind of important, but easily forgotten.
  • Mouthwash: This is only if you aren’t going to be able to eat (NPO), unused mouths taste really nasty
  • Hairband/Hair Ties/Bobby Pins:  How often do you really shower in the hospital, don’t answer that, you aren’t going to want to wear your hair down.

Now for the Clothing Items:

  • Underwear/Bras: Always bring more than you think you are going to need and change often (remember, showering does not happen often)
  • Short Sleeve T-shirt/Gym Shorts or Sweat Pants:  So personally I don’t like those lovely gowns they make you wear in the hospital, so I opt for my own clothing!  Just make sure it doesn’t have any metal on it and doesn’t interfere with your IV site, PICC or port.
  • Sock/Slippers:  Pretty much any time you are in the hospital they will encourage you to walk around to help get the blood moving.  This being said, I bring my own socks and slippers so I can strut the hallways in style.
  • Zip Up Sweater: So lets think this through, trying to pull a sweater over your head when you have an IV or PICC, is not going to work.  That being said, bring a zip up sweater so you can at least have one warm arm, or I suppose you could bring a snuggie, that might work too.

And most importantly…entertainment:

  • Chargers: DO NOT FORGET YOUR CHARGERS, you will be miserable come 2 am when you can’t sleep and want to bug all your friends with annoying hospital snapchats.
  • Electronics: Bring only what you are actually going to use, like phone and maybe computer.

BONUS: Things not to bring:

  • Do NOT bring work: chances are work in someway caused your trip to the hospital and you therefore shouldn’t be doing it in the hospital.  Plus, I’m always too drugged to focus any ways.
  • You can try to bring a book, but I can’t read when I feel sick, nor can I read when I’m drugged, so I’ve stopped trying.  But be my guest if you want to try, good luck!

Well that ended up being a lot longer than I anticipated, mostly because I felt the need to comment on everything I added to the list.  But that is probably why I am the blogger, because I have way too much to say.
Bottom line: Hospitals are no fun, and a surprise hospital visit can be a total hassle, especially if you aren’t used hospital visits (aka if you aren’t a pro-hospitaler like me).   So hopefully these tips will help you know what to pack and/or at least give you an idea of what to bring and what not to bring next time you head to the hospital!  Sadly enough, I really am a pro at packing for the hospital as I have gone there way way too many times in my not so normal life!


Sarah Brocker

Hi my name is Sarah Brocker and I have Crohn's Disease. I've got 8 scars and am missing two feet of intestines and my life isn't normal, but whose life is normal? I want to use my experiences to help you, even if it means sharing embarrassing experiences. I am also looking to break the stigmas associated with IBD in order to make living with IBD just a little bit easier. All I want to do is help, so please, let ME help YOU!

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