A woman sits in a fetal position in the cutout shape of a hospital building

CF Hospitalization: Creating Habits & Schedules

Last updated: December 2022

Living with cystic fibrosis (CF) can mean you are hospitalized a lot depending on your health. And if you aren’t hospitalized a lot, you probably have CF friends who are. Hospitalizations are stressful no matter the situation. You aren’t in your home, with your things, and your routine. For me, being hospitalized was overwhelming and stressful.

A lot of stress for me was attached to getting ready to go to the hospital, packing, and taking care of my mental health. There is not a perfect way to prepare for an admission. But I was able to create a system that helped me as I was being admitted every couple of months. In this series, I will be talking about pre-admission routines, packing tips, and mental health in the hospital.

Changing thought patterns

For the longest time, I viewed hospital admission as something horrible. To be honest, they scared me. Being hospitalized triggered a deep fear in me that I needed to process.

When I was hospitalized, I felt completely out of control. And feeling out of control can cause me to have anxiety and nightmares. Why did I feel out of control? I felt out of control because I knew that while I was in the hospital, I would be far away from my support system.

Having family live so far away from the hospital meant I wouldn’t always get to see them. Sometimes I would go for weeks without seeing them. The world didn’t stop because I was in the hospital. My family and support system had jobs, family, and responsibilities that they had to prioritize. And I know I am so privileged and fortunate to have family who cares about me. But sometimes the logistics of travel just don’t work out.

One way that helped me feel in control of my situation was changing my thought pattern. And part of changing my thought pattern mean creating habits that I practiced before I was admitted. Living almost three hours away meant that I was never hospitalized at the drop of a hat. I was unable to drive the long distance to the hospital by myself. So, we would have to coordinate with a family member to take me. And in the days leading up to my admission, I would practice my pre-admission habits.

Pre-admission habits

Getting ready to be hospitalized can bring on a lot of emotions. I remember feeling anxious, sad, relieved, overwhelmed, and hopeful with each admission. And feeling so poorly and sick just added to that. When I am sick, it can be hard to process the emotions I am experiencing. This is because I don’t have the mental energy because my mind is focused on the hospital.

During this time of trying to process my emotions, I would need to prepare for the hospital. And when I experience a lot of emotions it can be hard for me to prepare for something. Even if it has become routine!

Getting ready for the hospital looks different for everyone. For me it meant the creating habits and following a schedule that helped me feel in control. That included:

  • My Pre-Admission Routine
  • Packing Essentials
  • Packing Comforting Extras
  • Mental Health Preparation
  • Talking with My Support System

In this series, I will be breaking down each of the six aspects of my pre-admission habits to share with you. Your habits may look similar. Or you may have a totally different approach to being admitted. And that is okay!

Learning from others

Learning from fellow CF patients and friends has helped me so much over the years. And being able to share things that have helped me is something I love to do.

Getting ready for a hospital admission can be very overwhelming. Even if you know what to expect, it can feel like a lot. Each person approaches stress differently. And knowing what helps you is so important. As we go through this series together, I hope it gives you ideas on how to get ready for a hospital admission.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Cystic-Fibrosis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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