A list of your normal medications, and a small supply of your non-prescription meds — A Tylenol in the average hospital are a whopping $15 per pill— having a small supply will keep your costs down.
Your cell phone — Keeping in touch with friends and family is crucially important, and while hospital rooms typically have a landline phone, it’s also typically huge and on a table or windowsill far out of reach. Remember to bring your power cord, and, if you don’t have one built into your phone (or never got around to figuring out how to use it), your address book.
A small notebook and a pen — You’ll think of questions to ask your doctor, or things you’d like your family to bring you — or someone will tell you something in a phone call, and you’ll want to take notes.
Comfortable clothing — Those hospital gowns, even the newer ones, are a sad story. Bring a robe for when they let you start walking the halls, and bring comfortable slippers (non-skid bottoms are a bonus — this is no time for a slip-and-fall).
A source of music, TV substitute, ear buds, a Kindle, or other e-reader — Days can drag on when you are in the hospital and getting bored is easy to do. Having plenty to keep you occupied, will help the time pass. If you have a roommate, there’s a good chance that you’ll have different ideas about what to watch on TV, or listen to on the radio. Having your own source of entertainment will go a long way. Even if you don’t have a roommate, hospitals are a noisy place, play sounds of ocean surf, or white noise on your source of music to help you doze off at night.
Comfortable pillow — Hospital pillows are typically very firm. They’re also wrapped in plastic — for your own good, of course, but the result is unpleasant. Bring a comfortable pillow from home. It will make your stay warm and cozy.
Essential toiletries, disinfecting gel, nail clippers & file — You’ll be given a packet of toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, soap), none of which will be your preferred brand. Bring your own toothbrush from home (there will be a plug for your buzzy toothbrush, if you have one), and your own soap, toothpaste, and shampoo. Bring your own hand lotion and moisturizer (you’ll find that hospital air is drying), and bring, at least one of those little bottles of disinfecting gel for your hands. Your hospital room will have a gel dispenser, but it’s usually located by the door.