9 Things for a Waiting Room Survival Kit

If you are like me you spend a lot of time in doctor's office waiting rooms. Why for the love of Pete can they not get comfy chairs? I mean my old neurologist's office had the worst chairs I've ever sat in, in my life. They were the decedents of medieval torture devices.

Save me a seat, I'll take the iron maiden in the corner.


Of course, it's ok because the doctor always runs on time. Oh wait, they don't.

So you are now stuck on a modern-day version of the rack and you are there for...the longest I've waited in a waiting room for a doctor's appointment was 6 hours. Add an hour drive both ways to that and it's an 8 hour day. Note that I never actually got to see the doctor, I finally had enough and walked out.

Talk about massive pain flare.

It took me 2 full months - 8 weeks - to recover from that visit. I actually didn't know if I was going to make my sister in law's wedding because of my pain levels.

That's when I knew...waiting room survival kit.

If you have chronic pain or illness you need one.

9 Things for a Waiting Room Survival Kit

1. Get a lightweight, small suitcase.

First, you do not want to carry anything. That will fatigue you beyond reason, so you want to get a bag that rolls. The heavier a bag is the harder it will be to get out of the car.

I initially got an 'under the seat' suitcase for travel purposes because I do not need to be lifting a suitcase into the bin. I really loved its handiness and lightweight, I started taking it with me to doctor's appointments.

2. Get a Honeycomb Gel Seat Cushion

#leohusband calls my cushion The Bear Pad. It sounds way cooler than 'my gel cushion' but that's what it is. I specifically recommend the honeycomb ones because they reduce the pressure on your points of pain. It makes sitting with Adhesive Arachnoiditis a little better and lets me stay seated longer.

I really need to sew a new cover for mine because we have definitely left it at friends houses and restaurants. That black cover just blends right into some chairs. Oops!

3. Old School Screw Top Ice Bags

Someone somewhere has access to ice. Maybe it's the Starbucks in the hospital lobby or an ice machine in the staff lounge, you can get ice and put it in your handy 'old fashioned' ice bags. Get it on your pain before it spirals out of control. Ice works best for my nerve pain but...

if heat is more your thing...

4. Heating pad

Seriously, take a heating pad. There are plugs in every doctor's office waiting room. Use them. I have a small travel sized one for my endometriosis. I have no problem plugging it in and sitting with it, of course, I'm kinda at the I don't give a damn flip what people think stage of my life.

There are also microwavable rice packs and I know every doctor's office has a microwave. Just ask!

5. Headphones

I don't know about you but when I'm in pain the last thing I want to hear is other people's phone conversations or screaming children. I just plug in my headphones and lose myself in an Audible book.

Music is great but a good story can take you away from the hurt and frustration. Also, nothing is better than having people staring at you for laughing out loud at what appears to be nothing.

Here are some of my favorites:

My earbud covers make my apple headphones super comfy, and with that new plug, your options are limited.

6. Coloring Book or Bullet Journal

While I'm listening to my book I like to either work in my bullet journal by setting up the next month or color in one of my adult coloring books. #breadwinnerbff and I always laugh about the 'adult coloring books' like they're illicit. Yeah, we're immature but it's still funny.

Keeping my hands busy and my brain busy is a key combination to surviving a long wait time for a doctor's office.

7. Yoga Towel

I've also been known to do yoga in doctor's waiting rooms or in the hallway. I have to do my yoga anyway so instead of doing it in the morning, I save my exercise time to keep moving instead of sitting for long periods of time at the doctor's office.

I get the best looks when I do this. I don't mean to brag but I make excellent people watching material.

It also doubles as a great blanket or if you need to lay down because of pain then you don't have to lay on that nasty floor.

8. Pain Management Supplies

I do feel that this goes without saying but have whatever pain management medicine or devices with you. For me, that's my IFC/TENS unit, Lidocaine Patches, pain rub, and breakthrough medicine.

Right now I'm super into Hemp Rub. It's amazing and totally takes away the pain for 6-8 hours. I've been putting it on my shoulders and knees.

9. Extension Cords

Sometimes that plug you need is across the exam room. Sometimes there's a jerk that won't give up their seat in the waiting room. Either way, having an extension cord to plug in your heating pad or TENS are a must.

Make packing your bag a priority the night before an appointment so you are not rushing around the day of. Put it by the back door so you don't forget it on your way out.
Hope this helps! I know until I put this together getting through a day of doctor's appointments was hell on earth with long recovery times afterward.