When you go in to hospital for a check up or because you’re not feeling too well, you don’t usually go with the expectation that perhaps, that same day (or within the next few) you’ll be admitted for emergency surgery.
You may be surrounded by friends and family who can bring you everything you might need at the time, but I’ve decided, from experience, that it’s almost definitely better to have a small amount of preparation done in advance, just in case. Below are the few things I think are worth taking even if you’re not expecting to have surgery anytime soon.
- Phone & charger
This one might seem obvious to those who keep their phones on them at all times, but not everyone takes a charger with them, and one of the worst things when you’re on your own in a hospital is worrying about your phone dying & not being able to access the internet/or anyone you know. Save the stress and kept a charger with you, just in case.
This one isn’t a necessity, but will certainly make the time go quicker if you’re waiting for a surgery, or if you find the ward you’re on isn’t as quiet as you might have hoped. Particularly with emergency wards, patients are being wheeled in and out at all hours, so having a distraction is great, and will stop you over thinking anything that may be coming your way.
- Change of clothes & undies
Again – and obvious one, but worth thinking about especially if the surgery means you’ll be bed bound or out of action for a few days. Depending on the surgery, it’s likely you’ll want comfortable, soft clothes, and I found the baggier the better! Unless you want to live in the hospital gown they offer you (trust me, you don’t. Accidentally flashing someone is way, way too easy).
Pack comfortable underwear and at least a couple of changes to save any last minute panic. Sports bras or bras without underwire are a good idea, as you can feel a little more put together whilst remaining comfortable. Just bring a couple of changes of underwear that you know you’ll be comfortable in. Don’t worry about what they look like!
If you’re in hospital for a night before the surgery, I’m sure it would make it a lot more settling to be in your own clothes – rather than a hospital gown or the clothes you’d arrived in the day before. Again, comfort is key – and a vest and shorts won’t take up much space in a bag if you want to keep this kit nearby.
Finally. Babywipes can be one of the best things to take with you if you end up going in for emergency surgery. Particularly after the surgery more often than not a patient can be bed bound for a couple of days at least, and whilst strip washes do the trick – you can freshen up in-between with some wipes, which can make the all the difference if you’re not feeling too good or confident after a surgery.