Hospital Stay Packing List

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!

Electronics central

  • 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!


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One response to “Hospital Stay Packing List”

  1. You have a pretty solid list.
    If you can, bring snacks! My longest hospital stay was just 4 days, but the hospital food can get old quickly. It was nice to have something on hand.
    I would also suggest a good long robe. It came in handy when I had to wear a hospital gown, but it also worked well while wearing leggings. We learned with Savannah that it helps to have clothes with buttons or snaps, so any monitors or lines don’t have to be snaked through your shirt.

    Liked by 1 person

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