So this might just be the wildest claim I’ve ever made on So About What I Said, but…
I miss my hospital days.
I know, that sounds crazy, but those were the formative years of my childhood, and I’ve been missing them even more than usual this summer. Maybe it has something to do with my recent medical adventure? Maybe it’s because we’ve been watching a ton of medical dramas lately (see: Private Practice and Hawthorne)?
Whatever the reason, if I were listing one of my odd strengths, it would be packing the perfect hospital bag. After more than 20 surgeries in just as many years, I know the drill. Some people have mastered the art of the Vacation Bag; I know what to bring so you’ll be more comfortable than in those little booties they give you. Here are my six must-haves to make your hospital stay feel more like home…
1. Your own pajamas (and slippers!): Never underestimate the power of comfort when you’re going through such a scary time. It seems like such a small, insignificant thing, but not having to wear that unflattering hospital gown is a surefire way to brighten your day.
2. Your favorite stuffed animal: This might seem a tad juvenile, but there’s something about bringing a piece of your childhood with you that makes hospital stays, especially long ones, more bearable. It makes the unfamiliar, well, familiar and reminds you of happier times.
3. Mini bath kit: hospital shower products are like hotel samples — they’re small and are nothing like your favorite scents. Although I hated them at the time, usually because I was in pain and recovering from surgery, my mom was right: a shower just makes you feel better. So pack your favorite shampoo, lotion, chapstick (a MUST to combat the overly dry hospital), even a bottle or two of nail polish. My pick for silky smooth lips: Maybelline Baby Lips in Pink Punch!
4. Books/magazines: I remember being around 10 and discovering Teen magazine for the first time. I was in the hospital recovering from a spinal fusion and went down to the gift shop on one of my many afternoon outings. I was hooked and spent the rest of my stay burning through a stack of magazines. We all need a distraction, something to take our mind off those four grey walls. What better way than to escape into a book or magazine?
5. Family photos: When you’re healing, it’s important to keep your loved ones close by. I wish I would have kept a camera by my bed and took a photo of every person who came to visit me. It would be a nice collection to look back on years later.
6. Your iPod (with an inspiring playlist!): What better motivation to get well than to queue up your favorite song. My current favorite? Rachel Platten’s Fight Song!
What hospital-bag essentials would you add to the list, friends? Have you had many surgeries? What is the #1 thing that made you feel better during your recovery? Any tips you’d like to share? I’d LOVE to hear! xoxo
[Top photo of me recovering in the hospital with Emma, my favorite Cabbage Patch doll]