1. Music- Any kind of music is good. I personally love the songs from my motivational tunes blog post, but others prefer more relaxing music. If your are more of a hard rock person, just adjust the volume to a level that is comfortable to you.
2. Good movie- Let me make this very clear. No horror movies while on ketamine! I’ve been there and done that and ended up having a bad hallucination from it. Stick to the movies like Frozen that have awesome soundtracks, so even if you want to close your eyes, you can still listen to the music.
3. Someone to talk to- Okay, this is BIG for the inpatient ketamine infusions. I find that I get super bored after a while and it really helps to have someone to chat with. Like real outside human interaction. Doctors and nurses are great at first, but a friend is ideal. After 5 to 10 days, text messages and phone calls are hardly sufficient.
4. Something to be creative with- Drawing and coloring can be a little challenging, but having some modeling clay can be a fun, stress relieving distraction.
5. Water and Popsicles- I live off of water and popsicles during my infusions. They are the least nauseating things for me to consume. I generally don’t eat while having an infusion.
6. Chapstick- Hospitals are dry and lips get chapped very fast. Applying chapstick twice a day helps prevent the irritation.
7. Dry shampoo- Ladies, this is a big one! You probably won’t want to get up and stand in a shower. However, you probably still want to feel human and not disgusting. Dry shampoo is your best friend. If the hospital has inflatable hair tubs, that’s even better.
8. A comfortable hair style- Gentlemen, I don’t think you have to worry about this too much. Ladies, I have found that a braid or pig tails are the most comfortable hair style to keep your hair neat. There’s nothing wrong with the old fashioned leave the hair down either. Stay away from ponytails if you can. They aren't the most comfortable thing to lay on for hours.
9. Easy access to charging devices- There is nothing worse than not being able to reach your phone, iPod, or laptop charger. An extension cord can help make the cords reach your bed better.
10. Positive attitude- A MUST!
11. Make sure you can reach the call bell- For some reason, it always ends up in that one spot where you can’t get it.
12. Someone to stay with you and assist you to the restroom, get things for you etc.- You will probably be pretty unsteady on your feet, so having someone to help you around is a good idea and you don’t have to wait for the nurse which is always a plus. They have a million other things to do and patients to care for.
13. Light PT exercises to stay moving and prevent joints from stiffing up- Laying in bed all day is no fun, but some light in bed exercises can help alleviate stiffness
14. A soft blanket- Hospital blankets are itchy and smell funky. Bring your own blanket for an extra homey touch.
15. A good, supportive pillow- Hospital pillows are super uncomfortable and flat. Your pillow from home will be much more supportive. You may even want to consider a neck pillow for when you want to sit up.
16. Any other medical necessities you need to bring from home like braces, splints, TENS Units etc.
17. Deodorant. Just bring it. No questions asked.
18. Any other personal care products
19. Ask for the preventative anti-nausea and anti-psychotics before they get too bad!- When it gets bad, it can get very bad. Just ask for them. Don’t try and tough it out, because you’ll usually lose. (At least I have!)
20. Don't be afraid to bring a comfort object like a teddy bear. I am 18 years old and I still bring my stuffed dog that was a gift from a friend, with me to the hospital.
For the people that receive outpatient Ketamine infusions, most of these tips won't apply, but for those of us that do 5-10 day inpatient infusions, these tips can be a lifesaver. Take it from me, a 14 weeklong infusion veteran. I've made these mistakes. If you're like me and you only get an infusion when a miserable flare pops up, then it helps to keep a hospital bag with this stuff packed. It makes things a lot faster and less painful (physically and emotionally) when that time comes. With the help of these tips and a little bit of luck, you can make ketamine infusions go a little bit smoother.