Monday, 6 March 2017

Tips For Days You Find Yourself Bed Bound

Me looking terrible during a flare up
So you're stuck in bed; pain, exhaustion, weakness etc have stuck you down. You are pre, post or currently in a flare up or are bed ridden for another reason such as surgery. You struggle to do anything and everything and to top it off you're bored. What could possibly help, can anything make it manageable?

I've written some of my top tips for coping with being bed bound from a day to a few weeks. No one likes just lying there staring at walls and thinking. These are personal things that have got me through many flare ups and 2 back surgery recovery times. I'm not saying it cures, stops or decreases the effects of being bed-ridden; these are merely ways of trying to cope and manage when it's happening. 

Make your bed look comfy. This may sound a bit silly but there's a difference between something looking and feeling comfy. A horrible looking bed may be super comfy, a lovely looking bed may be awful it's all about presentation. Make your bed looking inviting; so that when you look at it or when you're in it, you feel happier. Any little thing that can increase your mood while you're lying in bed for days on end is a bonus. Add blankets, cushions, lights, teddys, wall art etc. It's a completely personal choice for you!

As you can see it looks comfy and I have things to do. Also, i love elephants which are clear from this picture!

Have things to do. I cannot stress this one enough. Books, films, TV shows, magazines, puzzle books, colouring anything that keeps you happy and not bored. Lying there looking at the walls doesn't help your mood and makes the whole process so much worse. Just because you can't get up doesn't mean you can't use your brain or enjoy watching something. Laptops or tablets are great for everything. 

Keep snacks next to you. Feeling hungry makes our mood much worse and flare ups and healing can be exhausting so keeping up your strength by eating the right things is important. You don't want to be struggling to get up to eat or drink or not doing it at all because of the pain. It will only make you feel worse. Keep bottles of water, food cupboard snacks and even fruit near you to munch on if needed. 

Keep a flask/thermos of hot drink near. So some people (especially if you're British) like to have a hot drink (or 10) throughout the day for some it's even a source of happiness. Instead of missing out on hot drinks or trying to get up make it and struggle back with it; make a large amount or ask someone else to and keep it warm beside you. Even if 1 or 2 cups of something make you feel happier then its worth it. Flasks and Thermos' are not expensive to buy and can be found pretty much anywhere. 

Make sure you have chargers are in reach. You probably already know how much time you'll spend on anything electronic like laptops or phones when you're confind to a bed. It's your means of entertainment, socialisation and quite frankly its the only thing that stops me going coconuts with my own company. Make sure you have all chargers plugged in reach; that way you can use them in bed, charge them close to you and you don't have to move to do it. Just make sure its safe to use. 

Keep medicines close by. When you're in a flare up or recovering you need all the help you can. Some people take regular medication some take it on and off but either way keeping it close by means that even during a flare you can still access it when needed without having to rely on someone else or struggle to get up. This also means keeping items you use daily like skin care etc close by too.

I keep socks, medicines and daily use items in the draw closest to my bed for easy reach.
Ensure you have a way to control body temperature. So it may get cold or it may get hot and if you have problems controlling your body temperature like some with Fibromyalgia for instance, or you find it hard to move to adjust the reasons it's changed then it will become very uncomfortable, very quickly. Keep a fan by the bed and keep extra blankets close by. This way if you get hot you can cool down using the fan and if you get too cold the extra layers will help warm you up. 

Sleep when you feel you need to. Don't worry if you feel lazy, people moan or you worry you might miss things if your body is telling you you're tired, listen and have a nap. Sleep is the bodies way of repairing itself but it's also the best form of pain relief because when you're asleep you can't feel anything! It's exhausting being in pain a lot and certain chronic illnesses come with their own sleep and fatigue issues so if you have the chance catch up on extras zzzz's and let your body do its thing. 

Think of things you can do once you're up. Hope is a great way to keep going. Try to think of something you can enjoy once you're up. It doesn't have to be anything big like a huge shopping trip or days out it can simply be being able to cook a nice meal or have a bath. As long as it's something that makes you happy and is something to focus on then it's worth thinking about. 

As I said these are personal to me but they have the potential to help everyone. Being confined to a bed is awful; I know that first hand. People who have not had to do it can't really understand it at all and may even crack jokes about wishing they could stay in bed for a few days. Just remember they don't really understand what it's like; people usually make jokes to make something not so serious or when they can't think what to say! You are strong and you are surviving. 

Self-care is very important, even when bed bound. You can check out some tips on my blog post all about Self Care

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  1. This is a wonderful post! I have a lift set of drawers as a bedside table and keep it stocked with snacks and meds. I find having a pillow mist can help your bed feel a little fresher after a few hours, I use lavender because it's so relaxing.

    1. I've never heard of Pillow Mist i'll have to look it up. In the summer i have a spray water bottle to cool me down. I also have a lavender air freshener for the night to relax me! :)