My 5 Most Important Go-To Bag Items
As a COPD patient, it is always important to have your "go-to bag" ready to go at a moment's notice. I have had a bag ready to go since the first time I was in the hospital and was scrambling for my things. Sometimes we might have to go to the hospital and will not have the opportunity for others to visit us. This makes it more important to get the bag and its contents right the first time.
The 5 most important things
Make sure you have moisturizers for skin, lips, and nose. This is important because the hospital is so dry and being on 02 makes you even drier. Include some Q-tips for your nose as well. I often get nosebleeds when I am in the hospital if I don't keep my nose properly lubricated.
Dry shampoo can make a huge impact on how you feel, as it is likely you will not be showering anytime soon.
Be sure to bring phones and tablets and all of the cords and charging stations needed to keep your equipment going. It is important that you have communication with family, especially now that they cannot visit. We are all familiar now with Zoom meetings and it's a great way to stay in touch. Many of us also have access to books on our phones and pictures of our families to keep us busy during the long hours of convalescence.
Proper oxygen equipment
If you use a BiPap or any other non-invasive ventilator make sure that you empty all the water out before packing it up. Also, bring your mask and all the hoses that are attached. I was surprised once and caught short when the hospital didn't have the proper cannulas.
Current list of medications
Bring a current list of all your medications. I take a picture of mine and keep them on my phone but having them written down is a good idea too. That way I don't have to share my phone with anyone and exchange germs.
Should I bring pajamas?
Having pajamas is not vitally important. Most of my stays in hospital have been in hospital gowns because of the ease of tubes and wires, and I am normally escorted out of the hospital before I get much of a chance to walk the halls or do any exercise. However, if you have a tried and true pair, include them just in case. Always have slippers so your feet are not touching the bare floor. I like to also include a sweater because sometimes it gets cold at night.
Take a look around
If you look around you now, you may find a few other things that should go with you too. I am looking right now at my back scratcher, my journal and pen, and my fan. I can do without these things but depending on why I am leaving and how long I will be gone, would I really want to go without them?
Do you have a COPD exacerbation tool kit?