How I Cope Spending Time As An Inpatient In Hospital

Jen Hospital Bathroom

Hello again SecuriCare blog readers! 

I hope you’re all doing well.

Since my last blog post all about why I regretted my last surgeries, things have changed again and I’ve now spent two months as an inpatient since October last year. I’ve not really improved much and will need further surgery in the near future. Until then, I will be in and out of hospital to help with my nutrition and hydration, and I’ve developed a lot of tips to cope while admitted so I don’t feel like I’m climbing the walls, desperate to leave! I thought it would be good to share these with you in case you’re ever in a similar situation. So, here are my top tips for spending time in hospital without being stressed out!

Talk about your feelings

It is very easy to spend your days keeping your emotions bottled up when in hospital, but doing so can impact your mental health, trust me I’ve been there and it’s easy to fall into a depressive cycle. That’s why I now discuss my feelings with not only my family, but also with the nurses and doctors taking care of me. It really does feel a thousand times better to share what’s going on in your head, and you might even get some advice or information that makes your stay easier.

Ask as many questions as you want

I used to feel like I couldn’t ask any questions outside of the doctor rounds in the hospital as I didn’t want to be a bother, but one day I asked one of my nurses what was going on in terms of treatment and the blood work results. This really eased my mind and helped me focus on a plan for the day, instead of waiting another 20 hours until my doctor came back the next morning.

Bring your own blanket and pillow

If you spend a longer time in hospital this is my key tip in feeling less like you’re in a new place that’s not homely, and now anytime I go into hospital overnight I always have these with me. It’s so good to have a piece of home with you for comfort!

Use a room spray

This one I only use when I have a single room… it greatly helps me as I find the hospital smell overwhelming. It really does make me feel more at home and I swear by the Bath and Body Works ones you can buy on eBay!

Have nice snacks

Being on a limited diet, I find it very difficult to eat the hospital food so I always ensure I have a selection of snacks that are safe to eat that my parents can bring me in hospital. The last thing anyone needs is to be hungry on top of not feeling well.

Pamper yourself

If you’re anything like me you will know how drying the hospital air can be. I now come prepared with a little face mask and use it on the nights when I am feeling down or just want to feel more like myself. The sheet masks are easy to apply and help stop your skin cracking and drying out!

Connect to Wi-Fi

Every hospital in the NHS now has patient friendly Wi-Fi that you can connect to. This is great because not only can you browse the internet, but if the signal is good, you can also pass time or play catch-up watching tv or movies on sites like Netflix or Prime.

Watch TV and download games

If you have a planned admission this is a great way to stay busy and entertained to take your mind off being in hospital. I always have a variety of each organised and if I need more, I ask my boyfriend to take it home and download some more for me to watch the next day

Ask for a sleeping pill at night

You might find it difficult to sleep at night when you’re in hospital, I do, but the nurses and doctors deal with this every day so they’re prepared with sleeping pills if needed! I’d also recommend a little eye mask to block out any of the lights from nearby machines! 

Connect to others like you on social media 

I find this really important as many of my friends online live with IBD or ostomies too, which means there is always someone there to talk to who really gets what you’re going through. It is so lovely to have a support system online and I’m so glad to have them, especially during the long hospital nights when you might not be able to sleep!

Although I hope these were useful to you, I hope you never need to use them! 

Jen x

If you enjoyed this blog, you might also like to check out An Ostomate’s Hospital Survival Guide – an infographic, created for SecuriCare by General Nurse and ileostomate, Finbarr Griffin. 

by Jen McGregor

Jen McGregor

About the author

I'm Jen, I've had Crohn's Disease for more than 10 years and have a permanent ileostomy. I love all things fashion, animals and travelling. I'm also a student, a vlogger, and I have a dream to bring my adaptable clothing line CrohnieClothing to the masses.

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