A hospital is never a fun place to be, especially if you’ve had surgery and are in a lot of pain. For many people, a hospital is only a place you go when something is wrong, but it’s often helpful to think of it as the place you go to make things right.
If you find yourself in an overcrowded hospital room following a surgery thinking to yourself, “I’ve got to get out of here”, you’re not alone. But since you aren’t going home anytime soon, you might as well make the most of it.
For most patients, the recovery time following surgery is very long and difficult. It can be hard to focus on things other than pain and discomfort.
But with a little planning and a good attitude, you can keep busy in the hospital until it’s time to go home and get back to life.
Pack for a While
Even if your doctor assures you that you’ll be home in a day or two, pack for a week. Pack enough clothes, undergarments, socks, warm sweaters, shoes, slippers, your jacket, hat if needed, and enough toiletries to get through the week.
If you’ve found yourself in the hospital unexpectedly without these things, send someone home to get them so you can be as comfortable as possible.
Don’t skimp on packing for the hospital. There’s nothing worse than needing something and not having it while being unable to get it.
Plan for Downtime
Here’s the thing about hospitals: on the surface, they are very busy places.
The nurses’ station is always bustling with people and phone calls and lots of noise, but in your room, especially if you were lucky enough to have your own room, it can get very boring. Don’t waste away the time sitting in bed wishing you were home.
This is a good time to work on that novel you’ve been thinking about – provided you are healthy enough to do so, of course. Take some of your favorite books and read them again. Grab your laptop and watch movies on Netflix.
Draw or send a thank you card, order some food if you can get it past the nurses’ desk, and call old friends to say hello.
Hang Out in the Community Room
Most hospitals have a community room or family room where visiting family members can gather when they need a break from long-term stays.
There is usually some bread, or crackers and some light snacks such as peanut butter or cheese. Tea, coffee, milk, and sweeteners are all usually available as well.
If you find yourself becoming bored with sitting alone in your room, go visit other patients and make their day brighter, or visit the community room and take up a conversation that way.
Video Chat with Family and Friends
If you have your laptop, you can spend some time calling or video chatting with people you’ve lost touch with. There are probably some people you’ve lost touch with over the years and now is as good a time as any to reconnect.
Schedule times with loved ones who live away to call so that you don’t miss them or they don’t miss you while you are being Mr. Sociable on the hospital floor.
While it’s never any fun to be in the hospital, it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun in the hospital. There’s no rule that says you need to be sad or depressed about being in such a place, and if you are like most people, you are leaving in better shape than when you arrived.
So try to look on the bright side of things and give yourself permission to do the things you want to do with the time you have while staying in the hospital.
The truth is that we don’t know what tomorrow will bring so we need to make the most of every moment, even if the moment is accompanied by pain and discomfort of surgery.
You’ll be out of there in no time if you keep yourself busy and don’t focus on the time so much as what you are doing with the time.
About The Author:
Evan Kaden: Easily entertained by the simpler things in life, Evan likes to spend most of his free time enjoying the outdoors with his Golden Retriever, Skeeter. As a freelance writer, he’s thankful for the many opportunities he’s been given to express his passion for writing.