What do you bring to the hospital?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 1054
   Posted 2/25/2010 3:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Everyone,
I'm really not doing well and thinking hospitalization may be in my future cry  I've never had an extended hospital stay so I'm trying to plan ahead to make sure I'll be comfortable. I have a few questions for those who have been there.
Can you bring a laptop?
Can you bring your cellphone?
Do they let you wear your own PJs?
What else would you want to have? Chapstick, a book to read, DVDs, etc?
Thanks in advance, guys smile
28 Year old Female
Diagnosed with Crohn's Colitis March 2000
Recent possible diagnosis of IBS-D
Tried Meds: Asacol, Remicade, 6mp, Humira, Xifaxan, Apriso, Rowasa Enemas, VSL #3 DS.
Currently on: 25mg Prednisone (Tapering SLOWLY from 60), 125mg Imuran, Psyllium Seed Powder, Colocort Enemas, Prenatal Vitamin, Vitamin B 12 Complex, Vitamin D/Calcium, Align Probiotic, Vesicare (for urinary retention). 

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 222
   Posted 2/25/2010 3:51 AM (GMT -7)   
sorry to hear you are really feeling sick and thinking you might have a hospital stay ahead of you :(
If you are in hospital it is a good idea to take things that you can obviously do with a canula in, as this is most likely,they get so annoying some times depending on where they put!
I would take my phone and my laptop with me, but I know some hospitals are funny about you using them, you probably wont be able to use them in the ward, there maybe a day room for you to use them , but for communication wise I wouldn't be with out my phone as hospitals are so boring even if you are sick.
Take pj's or night wear that is easy to get on and off, the last thing you need is to struggle to put them on or off , depending on your stay would depend on the amount, when I was in for 10 days I had 4 night dresses and a pair of pyjamas and of course a dressing gown, and obviously under wear, I always go very cautious on the underwear and take a lot as some times you need to freshen up during the day.The only time you probably wont be able to wear your own garments is if you have to go for any tests like CT scans or anything like that, and of course if you end up in theatre, which I hope you don't!
Depending if you are in a private ward and have a tv would depend on dvd's and things like that.
I hope that answers some of your questions and good luck, hope you feel better quickly!
Michelle 40 years old
Diagnosed with CD 2004 (undiagnosed correctly +- 3 years, wrongly diagnosed with IBS)
Bowel resection 2005
medication: pentasa 500mg , Co-codomol 500mg/32mg codeine
loperamide 2mg (prn - take as many as 10-20 a day)
calcium tablets, multivitamin tablets, Omega 3
Ferrous sulphate(anaemia)
levothyroxine (thyroid)
questran light (3 sachets/day), 3 monthly B12 Injections

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 2/25/2010 6:23 AM (GMT -7)   
My hospital allows cell phones and laptops in your room:) I always bring my IPod and listen to low music at night...it helps to get a good night's sleep with all those noises!!

Depending on what you are having done, you may/may not be able to wear your own clothes, right away, especially if you have any catheters...but bring them because you will feel better when you can.

Slippers that you can 'slip on' are great so you can walk without needing too much help.

Some other items:

disinfecting wipes/sprays
hard candies
your favorite moisturizing lotion

You'll be okay...don't worry about the 'what if's' just focus on the facts and make your decisions as needed.
Crohn’s dx 1989
some terrible years before my
Proctocolectomy in 2008

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 6518
   Posted 2/25/2010 6:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Dont forget to bring your own meds too. Much cheeper than if they have to provide them. Hope you feel better soon. Keep us up to date on your laptop .....
If we would read the secret history of our enemies,we would find in each mans life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 193
   Posted 2/25/2010 7:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Definitely take your favorite pillow. I take one for my head and one for my legs. After surgery, it is Heaven the first time I can sleep on my side with a pillow next to me. I hope you don't need to go, but if you do, we will all be pulling for you.
Age 58, Crohn's since age 21
3 bowel resections, 1980,88,95
1 fistula repair, 2005
digestive enzymes

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 429
   Posted 2/25/2010 7:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Checklist: Laptop, cell phone, charger, lots of undies, face wash, moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner, brush, movies, books, pj's, pads (just in case), socks, slippers, pillow, and anything else you can think of to keep yourself comfy and occupied. I was in for 11 days in November and that's what I had with me in a nutshell :) I hope you have a speedy recovery! *hugs*
35 year old Female

Entocort EC 9mg per day and Remicade

Tried Remicade 2 yrs ago for about a year and a half and loved it, got off it due to costs, tried Humira and it just didn't work for me so now back on Remicade.

~Trying to avoid surgery as long as possible~

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 2/25/2010 8:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Only thing I would add is pillow cases, several so that you can change them. And possibly something other than white so the staff knows the pillows are yours and doesn't take your pillow cases when they change the linen. The hospital linen is a bit rougher than most home bed sheets so it is nice to have our own, plus it smells like home instead of like the hospital.

CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!

Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

ski bum
Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 451
   Posted 2/25/2010 8:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Also, ear plugs and one of those eye cover things.
50 y/o F. CD dx'd Aug 05. Initially on Pentasa, then Imuran 125 mg. Started Humira (very reluctantly) on 10/24/07. Ileocolectomy 4/08. Back on Pentasa as maintenance.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 265
   Posted 2/25/2010 9:05 AM (GMT -7)   
I woud add...
if you used to like computer games, install some "casual" games in your lap. Time flies...
Diagnosed in nov/94 - Started with Prednisone, followed by Pentasa, entocort, flagyl, Imuran, Cipro, etc.
Blockage - First Surgery 2001 (no ressection)
Severe bleedind - 2003 - Stopped by 60mg of Prednisone
Stricture leading to a ressection in Dec/2008 - Second Surgery
Now on Remicade + 100 mg Imuran + Iron (sort of remission, not sure at all)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 9448
   Posted 2/25/2010 12:55 PM (GMT -7)   
If you opt to take your own meds - and it is a cost-saver to do so - BE SURE TO DO A HEAD COUNT that they have given them all back to you when you are released!!!!! Do NOT leave w/o each and every one of them. And be forewarned, they will grab onto your meds from home like a shark on a fresh glob of meat. If you walk out w/o your meds from home you are gonna be SOL and in a world of hurt getting refills thru your insurance. The hospital pharamcy dumps them as soon as they get notice you are gone.
I got badly burned like this for a brand new tiny bottle of eye drops that had only been used ONE night before being admitted (was only in 4 days). They are a non-generic EXPENSIVE eye drop for glaucoma. NO WAY was my insurance gonna pay for a new bottle so soon! My doctor, my eye doctor and I went round for round w/my insurance about this. My eye doc was FINALLY able to scrounge some samples from the drug Rep who then overnighted them to us.
My computer says I need to upgrade my brain to be compatible with its new software.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 6518
   Posted 2/25/2010 3:22 PM (GMT -7)   
C2, I never let them get my meds. I keep them or my wife does and I take them as prescribed unless my doc say not to. I had a nurse tell me one time that they would hold them and give them to me as needed. I disagreed had a talk with my doc,,,she lost. In fact I never saw her again. Fine with me..
If we would read the secret history of our enemies,we would find in each mans life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 832
   Posted 2/25/2010 3:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I sometimes take a laptop but most of the times I am not in the mood to be on the computer.
So I bring a good book.

I have my own pj's though I do love the hospital pj's we have here in Iceland.
I bring good warm and soft slippers.
Some take ropes with them but I am not a big fan so I leave mine at home

Mints to freshen up if the doc wakes you up in the morning and needs to talk :P

Lots and lots of yellow poweraid.

My cell phone.
25 year old female
Diagnosed with :
Endometriosis march 2007
Anxiety disorder august 2007
CD/UC they dont know witch October 2008
Autoimmune Hepatitis in July 2009

Medication - Humira, Asacol, Cipralex and Cerazette.
Past medication Remicade, Imuran
My wonderful dogs :) ~ www.poodle.is ~

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 10020
   Posted 2/25/2010 4:34 PM (GMT -7)   
I'd bring:

- my little-played PSP with Final Fantasy: Crisis Core, plus some downloaded PS1 games
- a few books
- puzzle book, with sudoku, crosswords, etc.
- ear plugs; cannot sleep with noise
- toothpaste; need my own brand
- phone
- kettle for boiling water, if that's allowed; teabags; little cartons of milk

Don't have a laptop and wouldn't buy one for a hospital stay, unless it was a few months.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1768
   Posted 2/25/2010 4:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Toilet paper!!! The stuff they have there is like cardboard on your butt :(

The hospital I go to has WiFi so I take my laptop and DVD's that I can play on my laptop. Don't forget your power cord, or power cord for your phone.

Also, yes, bring chapstick and good lotion.

I have a toiletry bag that stays packed that I use for trips and hospital visits. It's much easier than having to pack when you're in pain or have people pick up stuff from home for you.

I always bring my own clothes, and slippers. If it's warm, I take flip flops.

The $5 crest spin brushes are nice to have also, because if you have an IV in your dominant arm, it can be tricky brushing your teeth.

Leave any jewelry, watches, etc at home so you don't have to worry about them!

That's everything I can think of!

32 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05, Bilateral pulmonary emboli 10/09
Currently on Humira, Omeprazole, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D, Coumadin

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 506
   Posted 2/25/2010 6:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Laptop, headphones, few changes of clothes. Looks like I pack lightly, according to everyone's lists.
Diagnosed with CD July 2007
Currently on Remicade, Imuran, probiotics, folic acid, multivitamin.
Resection December 2009

Amor fati - Nietzsche

Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 2/25/2010 7:20 PM (GMT -7)   
A pack of cards for playing patience. Books - lots of books, but try not to take more than one demanding book, and go for light fiction instead. A walkman and an iPod (I keep relaxation tapes on mine, to help with sleep). Some knitting, embroidery or similar, if you're into that. Writing pad, stamps and envelopes for writing letters and thank-you notes. Spare change for phone and money for buying tv, newspapers etc.

A notepad and pen for jotting down questions for doctors and nurses, and for leaving notes on where to find you if you have to be out of your room.

Undies, pads, toilet paper, and various creams for sore bottom. I find it helps to keep these in a little bag so I can carry them to and from the toilet without looking too conspicuous. I also like to take a piece of string or whatever that I can use to tie tp / toiletries bag to my i.v. pole so I don't have to carry too many things.

Hand lotion (hospital soap dries your skin). Moisturiser and chap stick. Cold sore cream, if you get cold sores. The usual toiletries - soap, face wash, deodorant, whatever.

Earplugs, and eye shade.

Chocolate and other treats for munchies. Mint / ginger tea bags for nausea. Maybe camomile tea bags, too, for insomnia.

I take a little ornament to decorate my bedside table so it looks homey.

If you're going to a Catholic hospital, make sure you take your birth control pills with you. Many Catholic hospitals will not prescribe these, and you don't want to have to get your period in hospital unnecessarily.

Best wishes,

Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Medications for Crohn's ~~ Diet and Nutritional Therapy for Crohn's ~~ Dealing with Abscesses and Fistulae ~~

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 845
   Posted 2/25/2010 11:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Before going in you may want to see which of the previously mentioned items the hospital provides. Most hospitals in the states want you to wear a gown or hospital pajamas so that they can tell who is a patient.(not that is ususally is not obvious) The hospitals that I usually use provide all the toiletries including razor and toothbrushes but you may want to bring your own if you do have preference on a particular brand. I have seen a couple mention about bringing your own medications and that would be amazing if it is allowed but you really need to check with your particular hospital and if they allow that. Many hospitals will not because of the fact that they want to make sure that they know everything and time that a patient takes. This is not only for your safety but also to avoid a potential lawsuit if your have a problem. If they are ok with it and you are able to bring your medications, that would be a huge money saver.
I would think that a laptop, earplugs, book, ipod, cellphone and charger, and slippers are all excellent suggestions. I also bring a ball cap because even though I am in bed I still want to feel like a guy and support my teams. Dumb but it makes me feel like I am somewhat normal.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 2/26/2010 4:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I wouldn't bother with PJ's or nightgowns of your own, because they might get dirty from stuff and you can't get them into the wash quick to prevent staining (I won't get more graphic that that). The dressing gown of your own is nice though, because if you go for a walk or have a visitor you don't feel so awful looking. Flip flops or something like Crocs are great because they are washable and you can wear them in the shower at the hospital. I feel like the floors might be a little yucky. I had some accidents during my preps for colonoscopies at the hospital and it takes a while for the cleaners to come. Sorry if that is not a pleasant thought!

I'd be a little careful about a laptop unless you know that you have a locker in your room that only you have the key for. If you are taken for any tests or procedures you will want to have it locked up. The hospital where I have been contracts out cleaning and food delivery, and the nurses told me that they had had some issues.

I kept missing meals, or being given meals that I couldn't eat. Sometimes you are taken for a test and the food is delivered when you are gone, or they deliver something like broccoli which is on your No-No list. I would have a few things that can tide you over, like cereal bars or your favorite snack that fills you up. I'd also have a couple of bottles of water, because when you are thirsty it may take a while to get a drink from the nurses. One time I was in for 3 days and never got a meal that I could eat!! Luckily there was a Tim Hortons on the ground floor which I got to sneak away to a couple of times!!

Magazines are also good. I find that I cannot read books when there is a lot of noise around me. There is a sort of buzzing sound in hospital (perhaps from all the machinery) that is distracting. Short articles and mindless celebrity gossip was the way to go for me!!

I really hope that you don't have to spend time in the hospital, or if you do that it is short and sweet. Take care.
45 years old. Diagnosed with moderate to severe Crohn's in April 2005. Hiatus hernia diagnosed in 2008. Had Crohn's under control until March last year when I had a major flare up and ended up in hospital. Diagnosis is now CD and IBS. Getting it under control again.
Currently taking: Salofalk 2000 mg, Nexium, Calcium and Vitamin D, Matamucil, Yogurt for probiotics, Salofalk suppositories as needed.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 3141
   Posted 2/26/2010 6:35 AM (GMT -7)   

WriterMum said a lot of what I was thinking.  I never bring a laptop as the hospital I would be in is so big and there is no security for laptops.  I also don't bring my cell phone for the first few days...I don't feel like talking right away usually and I also have had warnings about cells disappearing in the hospital.

Magazines for light reading, Soft Lips lip balm, my house shoes, I use their pjs but bring my own robe

I also bring a baseball cap....I am a woman and don't want to feel like guy hehehehe but I do want to hide that disaster hair I get in the hospital.  I also bring ponytail wraps and things to tie up my hair as it snarls horribly lying in bed for too many days

Dx'd '90 (emergency rupture), symptoms ignored long before that, '03 fistulas and bad flagyl reactions, B12 weekly, Pentasa [until I surrender to the bigger meds]
I'm riding on the escalator of life....

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10405
   Posted 2/26/2010 6:37 AM (GMT -7)   
I guess I pack lighter than most, but if I'm in the hospital I'm really sick. If I get well enough to use a laptop or go get my own food, I'm busy agitating to go home and don't have time for those activities! (I hate hospitals.)

One thing I do take is my own pillow. I've had some hospitals frown on it, and I do leave it in the closet area if I'm not alert (I don't want it to get thrown in the laundry hamper by mistake.) But I have trouble sleeping in my own bed, I find hospital beds frightfully uncomfortable and I want to at least have a pillow that's more than an inch thick.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1768
   Posted 2/28/2010 8:08 AM (GMT -7)   

Are you feeling any better? Just wondering if you did end up going to the hospital, and if they kept you there. Let us know...hopefully you're not there now, or if you are, you're on the road to recovery and going home soon!

32 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05, Bilateral pulmonary emboli 10/09
Currently on Humira, Omeprazole, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D, Coumadin

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 1054
   Posted 2/28/2010 10:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for asking, bar77. And thank you all for all your replies. I am still doing pretty poorly, but stopping my colocort enemas has at least reduced the amount of blood in my stool. My dr has upped my oral steroids and then I'm going to possibly have a colonoscopy or go into a study within the next few weeks. I'm having pain and diarrhea (maybe 10 times a day) still but I'm comforted by the fact that there's not as much blood. I am going to try my hardest not to be hospitalized, and he hasn't even brought it up as an option, but I jsut wanted to be safe jsut in case.

I don't even know why people are hospitalized for CD/UC usually--malnutrition? Dehydration? Pain? I just hope I don't have to go.
28 Year old Female
Diagnosed with Crohn's Colitis March 2000
Recent possible diagnosis of IBS-D
Tried Meds: Asacol, Remicade, 6mp, Humira, Xifaxan, Apriso, Rowasa Enemas, VSL #3 DS.
Currently on: 25mg Prednisone (Tapering SLOWLY from 60), 125mg Imuran, Psyllium Seed Powder, Colocort Enemas, Prenatal Vitamin, Vitamin B 12 Complex, Vitamin D/Calcium, Align Probiotic, Vesicare (for urinary retention). 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1768
   Posted 2/28/2010 3:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I've either been hospitalized for obstructions, or surgery, or a combination of both of those, so I don't know the typical reason a person with CD/UC would get hospitalized. I would guess malnutrition, dehydration, pain control, or a combination of those would be likely reasons.

I hope things continue to improve for you, and you're able to stay at home instead of the hospital!

32 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05, Bilateral pulmonary emboli 10/09
Currently on Humira, Omeprazole, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D, Coumadin

Aimee =)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 1020
   Posted 2/28/2010 3:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I was hospitalized twice due to major flares - they ran a bunch of tests and gave me IV steroids. I wasn't able to eat anything due to the pain so they were able to get me back to eating some.

This last time, I was hospitalized for surgery.

I always bring my laptop. For my first hospitalization, I never touched it. Second I did work from it almost daily. Last time, for surgery, I didn't open it until 5 days post-op. I also bring my cell phone, stacks of magazines, iTouch (which I never even pulled out of my bag), my own toiletries, etc. When I wasn't having surgery, I wore my own PJ pants. After surgery, I couldn't put on anything so I just wore the gown. I also brought my own pillow.

You really don't need that much. I packed an overnight bag with a few things and rarely touched them. My most important thing was my cell phone, as I could check email from it and contact friends/family. They had toiletries I could use, even lotion. I brought lip gloss and I did use that regularly. Friends brought lots of magazines for me. I never touched teh books I brought.

I honestly felt most up to just watching TV and sleeping for all 3 stays.

Hope you're better soon =)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 2/28/2010 3:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Never bring anything you can't afford to replace. My MP3 player disappeared during my last overnight stay. It was on my table when I fell asleep and gone when I woke up.

I always bring some essential oil to sniff when the hospital smells really start to get to me. Burt's Bees makes a really nice Lavender pillow mist that you can spray on your pillow and sheets.
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