Live It Up Bedridden: Hospital Style
Tips To Liven Up Your Hospital Stay
You are stuck in the hospital, unable to leave your bed, and feeling depressed that life is passing you by. I know the feeling because I have been there to many times. So I stopped thinking of life passing me by and started seeing the good times before me. Hospital stays are like a vacation from life complete with room service and people tending to your every need. So listen up and spice up your stay!
1. Order your favorite foods and enjoy them! I love bacon but my family is too healthy to keep any in our home. So every hospital stay I relish my bacon at EVERY meal. I once explained to the food service lady (the one you order from over the phone) my passion for their bacon and she started giving me double portions. Don't be afraid to order what you love! It's your stay so eat what you want.
2. A reason to buy some new underwear! Let me tell you a little truth for those of you who live in fear of being seen half-naked by the hospital staff. They have seen EVERYTHING and unless you have four boobs or are lime green they really do not care about how you look naked. After my second hospital stay, I stopped caring about privacy because in a hospital it really does not exist. However, I still want to have some attractive comfortable underwear on me. So a hospital stay is the perfect excuse for something new from Victoria's secret. If people are seeing only one clothing item on you, then wear something making you feel confident and keeping you warm.
3. Listen in for the comedy around you! My last hospital stay kept me laughing more than any comedy club. The reason was the old couple across the hall from me. The old man was half-deaf so his wife would repeat everything exactly three times increasing in volume each time. My favorite conversation went like this:
Lady: I'm glad you aren't getting out tonight. It's too hard to move you through the garage when it's dark out.
Man: What? What'd you say?
Lady: *Slightly louder* I'm glad you aren't getting out tonight. It's too hard to move you through the garage when it's dark out.
Man: *Silence*…What did you say?
Lady: I'M GLAD YOU AREN'T GETTING OUT TONIGHT. IT'S TOO HARD TO MOVE YOU THROUGH THE GARAGE WHEN IT'S DARK OUT!
Man: O. Why didn't you say so before?
Lady: *mumbling* You deaf old man.
4. Shower. Showering in the hospital is key to feeling good while there. Let's face it; if you smell gross and feel gross you will be miserable. When I take a hospital shower, I sit in one of those handicap seats and just relax under the hot water. No one is asking when I will be out and someone stays in the room in case I am in danger of an accident. After a nice long shower (complete with conditioning my hair and some shower gel) I get back into bed all clean and relax for a nice long nap.
5. Get to know your nurses and CNAs. Every time I go to the hospital, the people I most interact with are the nurses. They have a great sense of humor (most of them) and have a zest for life amidst everything they see. I ask them about why they chose to be a nurse and learn about their families. I love hearing their stories of the weirdest things they have seen in all the different departments they have worked in. These people will be with you every step of your stay so treat them like you would a good friend.
6. Take advantage of being catered to. This does not mean being a drama queen demanding your every need be met instantly. I always say please and thank you because if someone is doing something for you then appreciate it. So if you get offered something fresh to drink? Take advantage of it, I love cold apple juice. Every time they ask if I want a new one, it's like YES PLEASE. If I am cold, I ask for a blanket and they always ask if I want a heated one. YES PLEASE, nothing is better than a warmed blanket personally tucked around you. This is a five star treatment where anything making you uncomfortable is remedied for you.
7. Be open to the painkillers. I am not telling you to become a druggie and ruin your life. What I am saying is if you are in pain then ask for help. Half the time I wind up in the hospital is because I let my problem grow to the point where the pain becomes unbearable. So when I am in the hospital, I let them take care of my pain. No one should be in pain in the hospital. Tell someone so they can help you find a solution and you can enjoy your stay.
8. Bring beauty products from home to make you feel good. I hate the two-in-one shampoo conditioner nonsense at hospitals and the weird all-purpose cream. So I have someone bring me some good shampoo and conditioner as well as my Clinique products. I feel so alive when I do not smell like a hospital but like myself. Feeling like yourself is another key to enjoying your stay. You are not some nameless bundle of misery lying in a hospital bed but yourself just spending time eating all your favorite foods and having the best naps of your life.
9. Warm up your feet! I am miserable if my feet are cold but all the hospital socks are huge on my tiny feet. The nurses are always putting them back on and they are just plain weird looking. Have someone bring you some super-warm extra fluffy slipper socks. They can be purchased just about anywhere and combined with a heated blanket they are the essence of drowsy comfort. I have soft moccasins lined in sheep's wool and they are heavenly for keeping my feet warm.
10. Take a walk or ride. You may not believe me but every hospital has its own form of scenery. My last stay I required a walker to get out but other times I have needed a wheelchair. Getting out of my room was important because I needed to see life around me. The scenery I saw were the rooms which are windows into the lives of those around me, the nurses who smile as they get coffee, the doctors who always appear to be in hurry, and how people react to me. At the moment this is your mini world so explore it!
11. Watch TV. I'm sure you think I am slightly insane for such a boring suggestion. Well that is where you are wrong. I love the Fresh Prince of Belair but never see it on cable anymore. One night I turned on the TV and found a marathon of the show. If I had been at home, I would never have seen it. So I ordered my bacon with gluten-free toast, got a fresh apple juice, heated blanket, and settled down to watch some of my favorite episodes. I forgot to mention the beauty of hospital television. Your remote is attached to your bed so you never need to search through the couch cushions or yell for help when you cannot find it. This same remote is complete with lighting control so you can choose from a more romantic low lighting to a fully illuminated room all from the comfort of your bed.
12. You can lounge in comfort. What do I mean by comfort? I mean no twenty minute make-up routine in the morning complete with hair blow-drying and styling. You do not have to worry if your outfit matches and if the weather requires a coat or not. Don't feel like brushing your hair? This is your vacation time and you can do what you want. Relax knowing when you wake up you won't have to go through the usual wake up and look presentable routine.
13. Breakfast in bed. How often do you get a breakfast of your favorite foods in bed? I only get the experience while in the hospital. I order and soon someone appears with my breakfast perfectly laid out before me. All I have to do is press the button to raise my bed and begin my meal. If I want more of anything, I merely pick up the phone and call room service.
Optional Suggestion: Nix the Debbie-Downers. Never ever surround yourself with depressing guests in your hospital room. I tell people I'm in the hospital but I do not generally invite non-family to visit me. Why? I get freaked out when people look at me with pity and act like I may drop dead at any moment. I'm not dead! I just happen to be staying in a different residence than my own surrounded by heated blankets and delicious bacon. Ask people to visit if they will see you and not your condition.
The Picture Explanation: This picture is me on my vacation two weeks prior to my hospital vacation. Notice how I'm smiling and trying not to laugh. This is a vacation smile regardless of a vacation to Israel or the hospital.
Don't Let Your Feet Get Cold
There is something particularly horrible about laying under a warm blanket with ice-cold feet. I hate it so one day a family member got me some moccasins. I couldn't find my exact pair but these are very similar-looking. The lining in the inside keeps my feet toasty warm and the bottoms are soft enough to use in bed but I also can walk in them. If you get a nice pair, please do not take them outside. I guarantee you will not want to put them back in a hospital bed with you anytime soon.
You Can't Watch TV Forever - ...Now's the Time to Catch Up On Your Reading!
In the hospital, there were vegged-
Personal Review on My Hospital Moisturizer - Give your skin some refreshment!
This is one of the best moisturizers out there. The gel sinks directly into your skin meaning you do not feel as though the product is sitting on your face. When you put it on, it is like cool water on your face. I feel so much better knowing my skin is hydrated and protected from getting to dry during my stay.
Spotlight on Medical Dictionary - Decipher Your Doctor's Medical Lingo
Tachycardia? Neuropathy? Regular English Please!
I was required to purchase this for a course on medical terminology. This dictionary is amazing. You will find just about everything (and more) defined for you. Along with word definitions, there are often pictures and diagrams. Use this dictionary so you can understand what your doctor is trying to tell you. For example: tachycardia. Sounds confusing? Actually it is not. This is just a fancy word to describe a fast heartbeat.
Do you see your hospital experiences in a positive light?