"A Comfortable Hospital Stay" may seem like an oxymoronic title: no one can truly be comfortable in a place where pans are used as toilets. But, for most of us, hospital stays are unavoidable. From the appendix that erupted to the birth of a child, chances are people will find themselves in the hospital at some point in their lives. While sometimes these stays are not planned, many instances involve knowing ahead of time, granting the patient with the ability to bring along a few items to make the hospital more hospitable.
Packing for a stay at the hospital is similar to packing for a stay in a hotel, only you do not need to bring your swimsuit. The toiletries you typically use – a toothbrush, eye contact cleaner, the retainer you wear when no one is looking – should all be packed. While you might be tempted to bring hair dryers and curling irons, you will not need them, nor will you need to tote in your entire makeup line. The hospital gowns, in themselves, are enough to keep everyone radiant and beautiful.
There's not a lot to do in a hospital. There's no live band to watch, no sports team to cheer on, and when the nurse asks if she can bring you anything, she will never come back with the beer you've requested. While some people might find this lack of activity boring, others find it as a welcomed rest from the hustle and bustle of every day life. Still, for those who want to escape the confines of the hospital walls, they can always use books as means to get away. Trading their IV for imagination, a hospital stay is one of the best ways to catch up on all the books you've never got around to reading.
Pack Comfortable Clothing
While there will be times during your hospital stay when you will be forced to don a hospital gown, for a lot of your stay you will be able to wear some of your own clothing. While you might be tempted to bring your Armani suit or Prada evening dress, just in an attempt to offset the fashion crimes committed by a hospital gown, leave those at home and instead only bring comfortable clothing. Sweat pants, flannel pajama bottoms and boxer shorts are great hospital clothes. In addition, bringing your own socks, slippers and bathrobe might make your outfits feel more comfortable in more ways than one.
Bring Insurance Information
Some people may think forgetting an insurance card will cause them to be placed in the hospital basement, tended by a nurse who has an uncanny resemblance to the Grim Reaper. But, in actuality, it will just cause a lot of delays, and a lot of extra work. Be sure to bring your insurance information, a photo ID, and any copays you owe. Take care of all of this right when you arrive, allowing the hospital to take care of you the rest of the time.
Bringing extra items that remind you of home may increase the comfort of your hospital stay. This does not mean a person should carry their plasma television into their room, yelling, "I CAN NOT LIVE WITHOUT IT," but bringing things such as pictures of loved ones, plants, and stuffed animals can provide a sense of solace, and a sense of home.
Hospitals are not fun. From the needles to the catheters, there's a whole lot of poking and prodding of all the wrong kind. Then, there are the hospital beds. They may be adjustable and have protective railings on the side, but they are not made with a whole lot of comfort in mind. The polar opposite of a Natural Latex mattress, they make for nights of tossing and turning. While the hospital staff will probably frown on you admitting yourself with a Natural Latex mattress tucked underneath your arm, sleeping on a hospital mattress can only make you appreciate the comfort of a latex mattress even more, giving you even more reason to get well and do it soon.