When I first considered bone marrow transplant to treat my MS or HSCT, I went into planner mode.
For me it is easier to control what I can rather than focus on insurance approvals, timelines and any of the medical stuff that you really need to be in a calm state of mind to tackle. I began scouring the internet for what to bring to the hospital (that wasn’t preparing to have a baby… those posts and recaps are in abundance), best gifts for individuals going through chemotherapy as well as the softest and comfiest comfort items that would spark joy during a prolonged and intense treatment.
Below are a few purchases I’ve recently made as I prepare for the months ahead. Side note: my last major international trip was to a yoga retreat in Morocco. Researching what to pack for my trip to Africa was decidedly more fun. (sigh)
I’m planning for the must-haves as well as the nice-to-haves. Retail therapy benefits the chronically ill and seemingly healthy. I’m not ashamed.
Organization brings me peace
- This cord organizer is a must for ensuring I have all the power lines to all the electronics (phones, ear phones, my Oura ring and more) in one place and within reach.
- Thinking ahead to pumps, IVs, lines and limited access, I want to ensure I can reach things from my hospital bed but not clog all the outlets: this power strip with USB should do the trick!
- My private hospital room has a flat screen TV. I feel that purchasing a ROKU is money well spent so I can stream Netflix, HBO, Disney+ and more. I see Schitts Creek and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel in my future for the 781st time.
- I read a lot and I hope to be able to continue to do so throughout treatment. My Kindle is far more practical to travel with than my beloved hardcover books and I never leave home without it. For all my friends who drop things like I do (thanks MS!) search out a case with hand strap for easy reading and grip.
- I have sensitive ears to begin with and I’m told once I lose my hair my scalp will be ultra sensitive. So I have both Bose noise cancelling over-the-ear headphones and wireless earbuds.
Cozy and practical
- I’m allowed to bring blankets and pillows to the hospital. I will be bringing a handmade quilt my dear friend Jen in Australia made me years ago. (True friendship is paying for international shipping from Australia to Ohio on top of making someone a quilt). I will also be packing my favorite blanket for all the soft and pretty touches I can add to a sterile hospital room.
- The pandemic affirmed my hatred of pants with a fixed waistband. Luckily, I found these buttery soft leggings that I plan to live in for the next few months and good news they are opaque… I promise!
- I also want layers to go over the leggings for easy PICC line access and warmth. I found this long zip hoodie and this open loose cardigan.
- I want to be prepared with fun but soft hats for when I lose my hair and my noggin is sensitive and cold. I’m hoping these satin lined sleep caps do the trick.
- MS wreaks havoc on my circulation turning my feet into blocks of ice but as we know, balance and stability are issues too. So this loud-and-proud FALL RISK loves a good pair of grippy socks or my favorite slip on sneakers when I’m up to try walking around the hospital floor.
No more metal
- Steroids give you the oh-so-pleasant taste of metal in your mouth almost instantly. While I’ve never licked a flag pole, I imagine it offers a similar flavor profile. I always have Jolly Ranchers on hand for any medial appointment.
Comment below if you have a suggestion for a long-haul hospital stay!