Hospital stay - What do I need?

Apart from a solicitor to get me out again afterwards. What does a person take on one of these jolly little jaunts?

Nightie/Pj's, (I have realised that nakedness is frowned upon)
Wash kit, (so I don't end up stinky, well more then usual at any rate).
Cell phone, (so I can keep in contact with the insane (families, don't ya just love em))

What else am I going to need, to help the insanity along :biggrin:?

First of all you need an hospital !

They are closing them down for fun in my area and surrounding towns. We are getting more and more like a3rd World country every day. They are even dimming the streetlamps as well !
No I have a hospital, and a date and time, and even someone to look after me when I'm there.

Now just need some ideas to keep me insane

I've spent about 3 weeks in large inner city hospitals. Once for a heart condition (now cured), once for constant nose bleeds (stopped of their own accord) and once for smashing my ankle to pieces (very drunk-fell off a high wall)

First thing to do is ask for the 'ethnic menu'

Most food is cooked by immigranrt workers and English cuisine is a (quite fairly) joke to them. They think the english simply boil everything. Ask for a curry or rendang, and you will get some proper scran and more generous portions. My local hospital had curries bought in from a local curry house! I only found this out on the last day of my stay!

Invest in some snacks, like cuppa soups or mug shots. Biscuits and sweets if you like. Fruit will go off pretty quickly.

Take an I-pod or similar. Take a lap top too if there is wi-fi or you have a web dongle. However a lot of hospitals have patientline TV/Internet connections and screens for each patient's bed. You might want to take your own headphones with a 3.5mm jack as the supplied ones are pretty shit.

Take a big towel, dressing gown and slippers. You might want to take some ordinary clothes if you may be allowed to take a walk around the hospital. They don't want you sat in bed all day unless you are really ill.

And finally, don't worry about it. Just because the hospital may be full of staff whose first language isn't English, and it may seem rather chaotic at first, you will probably get clinical care that is excellent, if not the best in the western world.

The only gripe I have with the NHS is the food, and the fact that they think its a good idea to keep you utterly in the dark about your treatment until the moment they wheel you into theatre.
Fags, booze, "art" mags, needle and thread, material for more uniforms (can't have you being idle), phone number for Liberty
Speaking of food, will they have those little sealed tubs of honey? Won't someone think of SGT. Slingsby?
Permanent marker pen to mark, circle and arrow the area of operation. All other areas marked up as "do not cut here or remove these parts". Surgeons can't read but the nurses can and will guide them to the right spot.
Box of tissues for 'cleaning up' after your intimate bed baths...

(Side note: My judgement is clouded by watching Candy Stripers too many times. I still think all hospitals are manned entirely by sex-crazed teens)

Sleep mask, in case your bed bath is handled by a 20st, 60yr old nurse from Barbados.


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Depends on how long you're going to be in for. Boredom is the biggest thing, so some TV magazine so you'll know what's on when if you like TV.

If in for a while definitely something for your feet for wearing in the shower!

And a lock for the bedside locker.
However a lot of hospitals have patientline TV/Internet connections and screens for each patient's bed. You might want to take your own headphones with a 3.5mm jack as the supplied ones are pretty shit.
These often cost silly amounts, and if they have a phone built in do not use it as they cost a fortune. When Wife Mk.2 was in two years ago, if you recieved a call at the bed it would charge to receive as well as to make calls.
So take your mobile, staff tried being arsey with the wife pointing to signs prohibiting their use. Yet they all had them on them and would use them on the ward.
Portable TV
Felt pen, to draw on those who fall asleep
Condoms - may be a mixed ward
Not in yellow though, it's such a hard colour to wear.
A gimp suit to run about the ward at night the nurses willl love it and keep them occupied
Oh yes, that really makes our shift :-(

Decent coffee or tea bags, plus your own mug. NHS issue makes cofftea taste like nectar and the plastic cups are foul ('elf and safety - we can't have the patients burning themselves on hot cups). Baby wipes are useful too. Make sure you take a couple of face flannels of different colours - one for face, one for body - or the obligatory bedbath will turn into an all body exfoliation treatment carried out with scratchy paper towels. Plenty of magazines/ books (so night staff can pinch them to read in the quiet hours), about twice the number of PJs/nighties you think you ll need - nothing worse than wearing the same one for 24hrs until your rellies bring you in fresh.

Oh, and a sense of humour - you ll need it when the confused old biddy in the next bed asks you, for the 34th time in an hour "What are you doing in my house?" (Most effective at 3am).

Hope all goes well TPBD.


Book Reviewer
If it's the University Hospital of Wales, I'd make sure your last Will and Testiment is up to date, their HAI rate is off the Rikter scale, I went in for Day surgery came out five months later,with half my arm missing
You'll really need a big fat Chav in the next bed, it's obligatory. They have to have a mobile with a hideous ring-tone. They also have to shout to their inbred family via said device about every single gory detail about their condition.

You'll have to get pissed-off by the visits from the Chavs family at least twice a day. All five of them, with a collective IQ of 120, and BMI of 375. They will steal all the chairs, knock your bed constantly and are the last to leave, after being threatened by the Senior Staff Nurse with having Security remove them. She will definitely smell, but it'll be blish compard to the greasy chippy fragrance eminating from the Chav massive. Even though you'll either be, a) Reading; b) Asleep, she'll attempt to make dull conversation with you and won't take any excuse or hint for her to shut-the-fuck-up.

All the staff will be great, including the British one. The novelty of guessing what they're accurately asking/telling you will wear off by the third day. Don't despair, as it'll be replaced by the 'What are they actually employed to do' competition played with the others on the ward, as you observe the same few people who loiter, stroll around and converse with others but don't actually do any work.

Avoid the TV room at all costs. It'll be where all the manic depressives hang-out. Once you're in and caught, it'll be months before you can escape with your sanity intact, or worse, you'll become on the the manic depressives. It'll be like a scene from 'One flew over the Cuckoo's nest'

A few days in and you'll truly understand the saying 'Groundhog day'

Good Luck, nice knowing ya x x x

PS. Enjoy yourself in the knowledge that you're getting all your hard earned Tax back, in a perverse sort of way that is . . !


Book Reviewer
Tell me its Stafford Hospital? Their radio stations motto is 'The Voice of a Friend'. The families of around 1200 people who left in a bag may disagree.

Anyway, cash. Take lots. My old Mum went through a fortune what with their rip-off telephones and pay-per-view TV and having to bring in M&S sarnies because you wouldnt feed their slop to a dog. And take a phial of botulin for the mad old bat who shrieks at 4.00am.
Permanent marker pen to mark, circle and arrow the area of operation. All other areas marked up as "do not cut here or remove these parts". Surgeons can't read but the nurses can and will guide them to the right spot.
Not necessarily true. A nurse came to see me before I had an op on my right shoulder (all busted up, with a BFO cast on it).
She sits down to fill out the pre-op form. "So it's your left shoulder they're operating on" she said.
"No" says I. "It's my right shoulder" pointing to the BFO cast on my shoulder and arm.
Cue her staring at both my shoulders intently. "Oh yes, so it is" she finally says.
Thankfully a male nurse came in with a big black marker and drew arrows pointing to my right shoulder for the surgeon.

A portable DVD player or lap top and books to keep boredom at bay.
How could you be bored after that? Paranoid maybe, but not bored!

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