How to Plan for Smoother Trips to the Emergency Room

I just used a piece of cardstock and a twist tie for my "throw-ins" list--easy peezy.

I just used a piece of cardstock and a twist tie for my “throw-ins” list–easy peezy.

I have been admitted to the hospital twice in the last 6 months. I really don’t plan to make a habit of it, but I want to be prepared just in case. The second time I was admitted, I was home with my Aunt. My DH (dear husband) was at work. I was really sick; all the signs were there. I knew I needed to go to the hospital. I called my DH from the bathroom—“Please. Come home. I’m sick. Yes. Hospital.” I was so sick that I couldn’t leave the bathroom for quite some time. I wasn’t sure if I could make it to the hospital. My Aunt was there for me. She was calm. She prepared to take me to the hospital. That was the plan anyway. She started gathering my things for the hospital. I was doubled over in pain instructing her as she packed my overnight bag. My DH zoomed home. We hadn’t left the house yet. I wanted him there with me. I wanted him with me at the hospital. He knows how to take care of me. He got home, checked on me, and then immediately started packing his overnight bag for the hospital as he called my doctor. I was bad. We both knew I was going to be admitted. Our “adventures” at the hospital are a whole other affair, but all three of us knew that we had wasted precious time packing our overnight bags.

Again, I don’t plan to go to the hospital again anytime soon, but all three of us have packed overnight bags. My DH and I are ready with bags for the hospital, and my Aunt has hers for staying at our home to care for our pooch when we are in the hospital. We have also committed to keeping our cars’ gas tanks filled with at least a quarter of a tank or more.

Below is a list of items that I think would be helpful to have pre-packed for those rushes to the ER.

  • Camisoles or tube tops
    I need a bit more coverage and warmth when wearing those very loose hospital gowns. I have found that cotton camisoles can easily slide over my legs and waist and up around my torso. This method keeps them out of the tangles of tubes connected to my IV. I also wore a heart monitor (a bunch of sticky pads and wires placed all over the front of my torso) and the camisole was fine.
  • Scarf, beanie, and gloves
    I had trouble regulating my temperature while I was sick. Plus, hospitals run cold in general. Someone said it was so that germs couldn’t grow. I used my beanie and gloves just about every day.
  • Two pairs of undies
    Fresh undies that belong to you just help you feel like a human being.
  • Hair ties, head band, bobby pins
    I just needed my hair off of my neck and out of my face. Plus, if I get nauseous, I need my hair pulled back just in case.
  • Sunscreen
    There are nothing but fluorescent lighting in hospitals. The sunscreen helped protect me from the daily UV exposure.
  • Medication and allergies list with doctor info 
    When you are sick, you aren’t always able to remember what you are taking and the dosage. Make it as easy as possible on yourself and on those caring for you. Keep an updated Meds List in your emergency bag.

The items below are usually provided by the hospital, but I prefer to have my own.

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Hand/Body lotion
  • Lip balm
  • One pair of warm socks

Throw Ins list 
These are the items that I use on a regular basis, and I really don’t want to buy another set. I keep the list attached to my bag (see photo).  My DH has his own set of throw ins.

  • Tweezers
  • Slippers
  • Sleep mask
  • Facial soap
  • Facial lotion
  • Kindle & charger
  • Cell phone charger
  • Blanket (Hospitals are cold. I can never get warm enough with the thin blankets they provide.)

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