Some hints if you need to go to the hospital

Jesse Wright
3 min readFeb 2, 2021

If you happen to need hospitalization you can make the experience somewhat easier.

Photo by Adhy Savala on Unsplash

Having a go-bag of useful items will make it easy to grab and go. You may be unable to remember, write, or talk.

In the bag:

  • list of illnesses, previous hospital visits, and surgery
  • list of medicines
  • list of Doctors
  • insurance papers
  • copy of identity papers
  • emergency contacts, identify who has decision making power if you are unable to make your own decisions
  • work contacts
  • extra underwear, socks, slippers, towel
  • pen + small notebook (maybe on ventilator)
  • spare eye glasses (not contacts), reading glasses
  • long phone charging cord (10 ft)
  • ebook reader + charging cable if you don’t use the phone

Other Hints

Tell your doctor about all symptoms, including embarrassing ones. Don’t be modest.

Get a copy of your Will and Intent to Resuscitate in the hands of an emergency contact.

Also, you might get a fan at home pointed to where you will be recovering. Get a portable battery fan if you can. I find having a fan on my face makes me less miserable, and it might help you. They are cheap ($10-$30).

Might pull up some tunes and make a playlist on whatever device you use. Happy and upbeat. Strangely enough, when I am in those conditions depressing songs are what I crave. Reading and watching videos will probably not help for a while. It may be too hard or impossible to concentrate.

Pain Management

Having something to focus on helps with pain. We suffer more when we just dwell on it (one thing Buddha emphasized). Does not matter what subject you focus on.

This is a trick the bogus healers use — they get people to focus on them and get them excited, and magically the pain disappears. Only to come back the next day, usually worse.

Don’t reject pain pills, and take them whenever you need — pain slows healing. Tell the nurse or doctor about any pain. We guys have a tendency to grin and bear it — that is a bad idea.

I am wrong about admitting pain partly because I have a very high pain tolerance. The requirements about male behavior were very different when I grew up where ignoring pain was expected.

Exercise

I know they try to get you on your feet as soon as possible. Do as much exercise as possible. Maybe bring some hand weights or finger/hand exercisers. Every little bit of exercise helps.

Easy way to remember the medicine

A hint for you remembering the pills is to allocate them in advance. Get some shot glasses and fill them up the night before (or better yet, get wife or child to fill them). Get one shot glass for each time you need to take pills — and mark them. I have been a lot better on my medications once I figured out this trick. I am fuzzy and shaky some mornings, so this works out well.

Make sure you keep in contact with friends. Email, text, and video. Isolation will make this worse.

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Jesse Wright

Learning to be a writer. Ex-Grey beard programmer, now retired. Extensive wide ranging reader. Proud Democrat and Liberal and Atheist. Bipolar but Medicated.