At first getting admitted is new and exciting but that novelty wears off really quickly so here are my suggestions to get through the days.
- Get to know your neighbours: My first time in the hospital I shared a curtain with various people and loved learning what they were in for (is that morbid?). I got to know one of my curtain-mates a little bit and it helped pass the time as we compared medical notes and watched the Leafs. I even gave him a roll of toilet paper since the hospital 1-ply doesn’t cut it for colitis patients
- Colour: I bought an adult colouring book and actually found that not only does it pass the time but it’s very therapeutic and calming.
- Netflix: If you have a tablet or iPad, bring it and subscribe to the hospital’s wi-fi. There are tons of things on Netflix I’m sure you’ve been meaning to watch but never got around to. Now’s the perfect time. I’m a fan of documentaries (or The Mindy Project).
- Schedule visitors: I’m lucky enough to have friends and family who were anxious to visit. But I didn’t particularly like them dropping in because you never know when the doctor will be there, when you’re having blood drawn or when other visitors are already there. That’s why I asked people to let me know a head of time so I could arrange a good schedule. Visitors really help pass the hours, especially while you look forward to the next one
- Explore: You are not (usually) confined to just your bed. In fact, my doctors encouraged me to get up and walk around in order to stimulate blood flow in my legs. There’s a lot going on in the hospital and it’s a good opportunity to find other places to chill out. On the 6th floor of Southlake there’s a great rooftop patio to sit outside on.
- Plan: I used my time in the hospital to day-dream about what I’m going to do when I got out. This is where I did most of my planning for Sara’s engagement party, bachelorette and my trip to New York. I also scheduled concerts, baseball games and Canada Day celebrations which all gave me something to look forward to. WARNING: Don’t make too many plans that cannot be rescheduled in case you wind sick again
- Research: This sounds really nerdy but I also used a lot of my time to educate myself even more about the disease. I asked my nurses and doctors questions about anything I didn’t understand and then also turned to Google to further my knowledge. For example when Remicade was first mentioned, I spent a lot of time researching and reading about what exactly it does, how it works and what the side effects were. It eases the uncertainty a lot.
- Take naps! How often do you get the opportunity to curl up in the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday and just snooze? Take advantage my friends
- Read: To be honest I didn’t do a lot of reading because having a sore tummy makes it a little nauseating to focus on small text, but if you can stomach it then definitely zero in on a good read. (Future blog post coming re: my top recommendations)
- Write: “Write clear and hard about what hurts.” – Ernst Hemingway.