Having to spend a couple of days in the hospital is never going to be a pleasant experience. Unfortunately, we can’t help the fact that you have to sleep in an unfamiliar bed and an unfamiliar room.

Nor can we help the fact that you won’t be feeling great. Whether you’re sick, injured or recovering from a procedure of some sort, you’re not spending time in hospital because you’re in tip-top shape

Unless of course, you’re having a baby, then you’ll probably have some relatively fond memories of your stay in hospital. But you’re still going to be exhausted and recovering and you’re still going to be stuck there for a little while.

But what we can do, or at least what we can help you do is to go in prepared so that you don’t have to deal with any additional problems while you’re in there. You should have nothing to worry about except your own recovery.

The best way to do this is to make yourself a list of things that you’re going to need to do to make your stay in there easier and to make sure that there’s nothing else that’s going to be clouding your thoughts.

Of course, if your stay in hospital is an emergency, you won’t get a chance to do this stuff but you can get someone else to do it all for you as soon as possible. Here’s the important stuff for your list:

Pack a Bag

The assumption that most people make is that the hospital is going to provide them with everything they need so they shouldn’t worry about bringing anything from home. This isn’t necessarily the case.

Of course, you won’t be left up the creek without a paddle while you’re in there but it’s better for you to provide the essentials yourself. The hospital will have limited supplies and you’ll feel more comfortable with your own stuff anyway.

So what should you pack? Well, you should bring your own pyjamas for sure. Otherwise, you’ll probably have to sleep in a hospital gown which isn’t exactly the most comfortable thing in the world. 

And also bring along some clothes for you to wear home when you get discharged. You should also bring your own hair and body products. Shampoo, shower gel, shaving cream. Any skincare products you like to use. 

Bring along a good electric shaver too and also make sure that you can charge your phone, tablet or any other electronics that you have with you. And you’ll need something to entertain you.

Books, magazines, handheld game consoles, whatever you enjoy doing that’s easily transportable. Because you will get bored when the only options you have are to either sleep or stare at the wall.

Call Your Insurance Company

Extremely important. No matter what you’re in the hospital for, you have to let whoever your health insurance provider is in on all of the details that they need. Ideally, of course, you would get this done well in advance of your stay but sometimes that’s not possible.

Whatever kind of a plan you’re on, your aim should be to minimize your own spending as much as you can so the more informed the insurance is the better and if you’re in there for an emergency, have someone else call.

This isn’t exactly a reassuring thing, to be honest. You can’t really guarantee yourself much coverage especially in the United States. If you’re applying, you should take a look at some medicare supplements because you could get some extra help from that.

The best course of action is to communicate with the hospital too. Talk to your doctors and specialists and find out what the fees of your stay are going to be so that you can then pass said information on to the insurance provider.

Be Briefed on Your Recovery

While under normal circumstances I would never encourage you wishing your life away, but I think while you’re in hospital you should think ahead. Because eventually it’s going to pass and you will be free. 

But before that happens, and even after it happens actually, you are going to have to go through a recovery period. You’ll more than likely be feeling weak and tired, even just because of the fact that you haven’t been moving around so much.

Every recovery is going to be different and you might not be affected in the same way that other people are but you should have a discussion with your doctors and nurses about what you can probably expect.

They’ve done these hundreds of times and they’ve probably seen it all so they can adequately prepare you for your recovery. Also, consider the possibility that your recovery won’t just be a physical one.

Being in a hospital can cause some mental strain. Especially if you’ve gone through a procedure of some kind. Some people’s moods are dramatically affected by these things. But once again, you can be assured that the doctors have seen it.

So it’s important that you communicate with them about your recovery and that you get the help that you need. And with recovery in mind:

Have Your Home Ready for When You’re Back

Depending on the severity of the reasons behind why you were in hospital in the first place, your condition when you get home will be varied from person to person. You might be able to continue life as normal, or you might be immobilized for a while.

Either way, you want to make sure that you don’t come home to a place that’s uninhabitable or that will inhibit your recovery. If you can’t prepare it yourself before you go in, have someone else do it for you.

Ideally, you should be coming home to a clean house, as well as one that’s well stocked with food. And anything else that’s going to aid in your recovery you should have prepared before you arrive home too. 

Extra comfort if necessary, meaning more blankets and cushions. Easily accessible entertainment if you’re stuck in bed or on your couch. And also, have a ton of water and make sure you can get at it wherever you are. No matter what, it’s always beneficial to stay hydrated. 

I’ll stress again that a hospital stay is not going to be easy. There just isn’t really a way around that, but you can make it much easier on yourself if you do some thinking and some planning in advance.