Tuesday, March 29, 2011

SmartAss Protips: Bedrest

I wrote this on a disability discussion board, and thought it would be good to post on PatientC!

I wracked my brain to think of the things I do when I am stuck in bed, and here are a few things I remember. This tips may help you in a temporary bed rest situation, and if you think they will, feel free to use them. If you have tips of your own, please share them in the comments!

Planning - this helps me a lot, as it reminds me that bed rest will not last forever. I take my upcoming projects, write them out and plot each step. If the malady itself will screw with the project (say the project is knitting and my hands are messed up), then I include what recovery milestone I need to reach in order to complete each particular step. If I can, I may go ahead to work on the project up to the point where I cannot anymore, in anticipation of getting out of bed again.

Communicating - I try to get things out of my system. I talk with family, e-mail friends. Feel around, see who is able to get it enough to share with them and then do so. I say that with this caveat: people will surprise you. Some folks you thought would be there will flee and some that you maybe thought couldn't be bothered will come through in amazing ways. Writing works for me when I do not feel like another person is available, or I am trying to sort something out for myself first, or I am having a fit of pique.

Change things up - tell folks when you are up for company, if fresh faces help you at all. If I am up to making bathroom trips, I use that to my advantage and change the scenery. Sometimes I will make the morning trip and then retire on the couch. That night, when I make my last trip, I will end it in the bedroom.

Brain play - Got a book you always wanted to have time to read? Heard of a subject you always meant to research when you had the opportunity? Is there a neat but maybe useless-in-daily-life skill you wish you could develop? Video games are one of my favorites here (I less-than-three PopCap games!) and they usually take minimum to moderate mental acuity. I bought my first Xbox right before I had my tonsils removed. It was one of my best calls ever! Volunteering for phone work is a great idea! If you are a mind for it, this is a great time to work on skills like meditation, creative visualization, focus and concentration...

Ask for help - when people say "If you need anything..." let them know that you do. Even if you are not comfortable asking for something big, like babysitting, maybe you can ask for them to bring over a movie your kids have not seen, pop some microwave popcorn and turn watching TV with the kids for 90 minutes into an event! 

All my best for your speedy recovery. This sort of thing can be so much more taxing than a lot of lucky people will ever know.

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