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I've been racking my brain lately and looking up different ideas about what I should pack  in my "go bag" and what I shouldn't. I am curious to know, for those of you who have or had one, what did you pack? Were there things you didn't need? Was there anything you wish you had packed? What was the thing you used the most? Thank you for your insight! :)

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  • My go to items were wet wipes for everything ... I had some for body, face, hands, and bathroom.  Also, dry shampoo and facial moisturizer.  I brought some leggings to wear but found I couldn't use them until around Day 5 because of my incision (I had liver transplant).  I binged on Netflix so I couldn't have gone without my iPad.  Good luck to you!  I'm 4 months post and doing well.  

  • Many great insights.

    Like some said - you will be provided most things you need as far as hygiene.  You do need to show these items to nurses when you are able to be a part of the living again - it can take a few days at least - to make sure they comply with your care.

    I did not have a chance as I was doing fine and then all of a sudden ER and never left.  Anything can be picked up as needed for the most part. Cords, pictures, loose clothes, underwear, deodorant and a ton more that others wrote.

    I found the most important aspect of my hospital stay was showing mutual respect to your care team and being a part of your own care.  Be a good patient unless there is a reason for you to have legit issues.  The sky is not falling over very small details and as you all gain repoir with staff you will find your needs even more fulfilled.  Request the nurses you like.  Talk to them, tell them you prefer their care if possible.  They will find their way to you.  I never complained exactly but when a charge nurse sits - you be honest and you ask for what you need.  A hospital stay is much nicer when you feel comfortable, which you stated your husband may not be with strangers.

    It is already in the room but share the white board with staff.  What was that question we had again? On the board.  Use the board to get a frame of reference for your/his day ahead and if those things were done.  2pm, where is his pain med or rehab or whatever.  Creating your own version of a daily schedule can assist in feeling connected.  This will be turned upside down by acute needs but framework helps.  Everyday is a work day - but for a great cause.  Goals and Milestones are nice to have as long as progress is the only measure.

  • Hello, as an A type personality, I obsessively prepared a hospital bag with an enormous amount of "just in case" stuff. MOST OF WHICH I NEVER USED, even though I was in hospital almost constantly over a 10 month period. I don't know what I thought I would be doing in there. Now I would pack these things (I still have a hospital bag...just in case.

    Mobile Phone, IPad, charger, ear phones, glasses, ear plugs - because hospitals are among the noisiest places I have ever been!  Maybe an eye mask if you can't sleep with too much light. 

    All in shampoo and conditioner, soap free body wash, moisturiser for face and body, lip balm, wet wipes. Toothbrush, tooth paste, toothpicks, eyebrow tweezers, nail file, scissors, pen, small pad

    Address book, one book to read ( I had rampant encephalopathy and could not concentrate enough to read and comprehend the information, so the book lasted 10 months.

    I did not pack my own nightwear because it gets dirty and it gets cut off you, if there's any problem. I wore hospital gowns. Same goes for undergarments, they will get ruined. If there is an emergency, they will just cut your bra off you, so get some very basic cotton undies and a couple of basic bras.  I also brought  a shawl, socks, a beanie (so cold in hospital) a couple of wind cheaters, a pair of closed slippers and a dressing gown. Pack clothes for when you are mobile and doing physio. A good pair of closed shoes- because open slippers can be risky if your not steady on your feet. I packed clothes to go home in. Remember a coat if it's winter. 

    I packed everything in zip lock bags  I also took my favourite tea bags and a hot chocolate mix, so I could have a decent hot drink at night. 

    I also put all my most important medical information into a folder, containing my Medicare and private health insurance details, my end of life directive and power of attorney documentation. I took $ 20 with me and left my wallet at home.  Don't take anything of value, don't bother with nail polish, it will have to come off if there is an unplanned trip to theatre. This sounds like a lot, but it's not. I can pack this bag in 10 minutes.  

    Most of all, no matter what you may or may not need, asks lots of questions, whether you think they are silly or not, walk around the ward, you'll get to say G'day to other people. This helped me to build a lovely support network. Being able to support others, made me get out of my own way when I was feeling sorry for myself and grieving my old life.

    I wish you all the very best. Josie

  • Hi Meagan,
       Here's a list my wife came up with prior to my liver transplant.  I hope it may be of help.

    If your surgery is going to be somewhat far from home, pack as if you are going on vacation. 
     
     
    The caregiver/family who takes you should be prepared: *(Invest in a rolling storage bag ahead of time)
     
    All current meds
    Glasses case or contacts supplies
    Camera to document the entire process, beginning to end
    Journal or notebook
    Blanket and pillow - overnight stay in a waiting room(?)
    Overnight bag with everything...toothbrush, ear plugs, eye mask, or whatever you need to sleep, etc.
    Change of clothes, hairbrush, etc. (I packed at least a week's worth of clothes in the trunk of the car)
    Reading or occupational materials, crafting, sewing, crossword puzzles, etc.
    Familiar music or comforting book
    Slippers
    Cash
    Snacks, mints
    Bottled water
    Thank you notes, pen, return address stickers, stamps, address book if needed
    Cell phone and CHARGER
    Laundry detergent
     
    The patient should pack:
     
    All current meds, med list.
    You will PROBABLY need your preferred laxative because of the pain med you will be on
    Glasses case or contacts supplies
    BIPAP machine, if applicable
    Family photo
    Lots of extra underclothes
    Extra t-shirts, extra pajama pants
        ***IF THE INCISION LEAKS through the bandages, you will need someone to do extra laundry for you.
    Robe (?)
    Socks
    Slippers or sandals or crocks
    Toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, brush
    Mints
    *Chapstick - a fresh unopened tube
    nail clippers
    shaving cream, razor OR electric razor, charger, aftershave
    hair dryer
    favorite shampoo or hair styling products, if needed
    Phone, charger, ipad, ipod, laptop, etc.
     
     
    For the hotel: (We were away from home for about 3 weeks!)
     
    Your favorite bath tissue
    Your favorite kleenex
    Box of baby wipes
    hand sanitizer
    Laundry bag
    Ziplock bags, different sizes
    Your own pillow
    Some favorite kitchen "things":  sharp knife, cutting board, etc.
     
    *I made my packing list and taped it to the inside of a kitchen cabinet.  Only a few months later, I was so glad I could just grab it and pack up!
     

  • Don’t think you will have time to read! You will need your time to rest. But if you’re inclined... Buy a large size box of zipper lock clear freezer bags from the Dollar Store. Use for your toiletries. Bring “two in one”shampoo. Your own hand soap placed in a container. Toothpaste, dental floss and toothbrush and use them! Unscented body lotion, unscented deodorant. Comb. These bags are great for putting things all in one place and easy to see in your bag or drawer. Bring a couple pair of cozy socks. A package of hand wipes, especially before meals! A baggy button up pair of Pajamas, to wear over your hospital gown. The pants are useful when you go to exercise. You will go every morning. Ask for your pain medication before going. A long house coat. You can use a Hospital gown house coat, when you go to exercise but my own Pajama pants fit better than hospital pants. For exercise down in the gym. Which you go to every morning. A good pair of slippers. You will need them for when you go to exercise. And also for walking up and down the hallway and when you go exercise daily in the gym.They want you up and moving . IMPORTANT to bring a LONGER cellphone cord. In a different color than white preferably.. Chapstick. I brought a iron man watch. So I could see the time at night ( when I couldn’t sleep) It’s also water proof. After surgery I was cold so my husband brought me a warmer blanket. After! surgery you don’t need that before. ( forgot to ask for a pillow too!) I also put a blanket on top of the mattress to lay on. Otherwise the plastic mattress made me sweat. A wonderful woman in the next bed, said to me, when I could not lift myself up and out of the bed kept telling me”you can do it, it becomes easier.” She was very encouraging and very right! Also bring a positive attitude!
  • besides pj's as I hate the gown lack of coverage, charger for your devices, something to read (I always bring my bible and something else to read as I gather strength from the word.) Toletries.

  • EXTRA long charging cord for iPad / iPhone if you plan on using such item.

  • If you are the recepient nothing

    Will be heavily drugged for week or so and won’t care Hospital provides toiletries , nice looking gowns

    After there few days family or friends can bring you items

    Best of luck with your second chance at life
  • Don't forget chargers something to read and bath room stuff

  • I wish I'd had some music, any kind of music. Bring whatever you have and the music you like.

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