Monday, February 9, 2015

The Hospital Bag

A few years ago, my dad had to have heart surgery in a city a couple of hours from my home. We each spent a couple of nights and lots of daytime hours visiting with him, taking care of the minor needs we could accomplish for him. 

Fortunately, the hospital had a great cafeteria, but in a typical hospital, the cafeteria isn't open 24 hours.  Plus, there is not usually a store which stocks anything that might be useful for the filly members having to stay overnight without a motel room nearby. 

I've seen a few posts on Pinterest showing how to put together a "sunshine" bag or box for the patient, but not much for those family members. It's all well and good to plan to stay with the patient, but what about when you're unexpectedly at the hospital, because of an emergency situation, such as a heart attack or car accident?

I know that chances are I'll need to spend time at the hospital for as yet unknown reasons , so I've started preparing a bag that I can just grab and go when the need arises. 

I'm adding to it as I think of things, and as I find them in tiny trial sizes. It's great to have some lotion when your hands (or the patient's) are dry, but you don't want to lug a full sized bottle around in the meantime. I've also begun packing a nearly duplicate bag of comfort items to take to a friend who might be spending unplanned-for time at a hospital. 

My last ride-along to the emergency room was a little bit embarrassing for me. The preceding night, I had decided to overnight-condition my hair with jojoba oil   It wouldn't have been a problem to wash out the next day, but I got the call at 5 am, and I had to pop my contacts in and go immediately. There was no help for it. And I looked like an utter greaseball who never washed her hair (but I washed it everyday, after the deep conditioning treatment!) to all who saw me. 

No problem, if everyone in emergency had been strangers. Of course they weren't!  The guy coming in to take care of my dad was someone I hadn't seen since I was in high school -- over 20 years. And there I was looking horribly unpresentable.  Oily. Ew. Decidedly unclean. All for the goal of soft, shiny, healthy locks.

As a result, one of the items in my hospital bag is baby powder, aka emergency dry shampoo. 

Here's my list of what's in / going in my bag:
Baby powder - dry shampoo and the usual uses
Baby wipes
Hand sanitizer
Easy knitting / crochet project - to occupy my time and nervous hands
Puzzle book
Beach ball - pillow, foot rest, lumbar support, and MAYBE something to bridge the horrible fold gap in hospital fold-out bed/chair/torture devices.  In my travel blog I also figured out why you should take one traveling to Europe. :)
Change of underwear
Warm socks
T shirt
Maybe a hoodie, depends on space and weight. 
Small first aid - manicure set
Reader's Digest - to leave in the waiting room when finished
Ipad charger and cable - because it'll charge my iPhone too.
Small bottle of ibuprofen - even visitors get headaches, or neck aches from those horrible fold outs
Tums antacid
Contacts Solution and a case
Breath mints

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