A Guest Post from Undercover Superhero Blogger Ami Tricker
People appreciate and never forget that helping hand especially when times are tough.”Catherine Pulsifer
Well you may have noticed there have not been a lot of new posts on the Sick With Optimism blog lately. The past number of weeks have been a little trying and much time and energy has been spent on the healthcare front. The good news is it provided many ideas for future posts! In the mean time, my new friend and blogger, the Undercover Superhero, Ami Tricker has swooped in with a helping hand, guest post for this week! Ami is an up-and-coming blogger from the UK who advocates and blogs about disability and accessibility, as well as helping to raise awareness about her disability and those of others.
How To Stay Positive When In Hospital
I know, I know, you’re probably thinking “How??” or “Has she gone mad?” after reading the title. But believe me, it’s possible – but it does depend on the circumstances so in this post, I will focus on how to maintain positivity while in hospital because you’re in recovery from a surgery, staying as a in-patient because of rehabilitation, physiotherapy, or treatment.
Why have I decided to write this post?
Last year, I stayed in hospital and a specialist neurological rehabilitation centre for a total of 9 months. Originally, I was admitted to hospital as I was unwell the day before (being admitted) and by lunchtime I was asleep and did not wake up until 2 days later where I found myself lying in a hospital bed. A very long story short, I contracted Bilateral Pneumonia, was in a induced coma for 4 days to give my body a fighting chance of survival, spent 1 month in ICU to then find out I had lost all of my mobility to a very rare neurological condition, Transverse Myelitis.
After being discharged from ICU, I stayed in hospital for a further 8 weeks to receive physiotherapy whilst waiting to be transferred to a specialist neurological rehabilitation centre to receive intensive physiotherapy and occupational therapy. As a whole, to potentially regain some level of mobility and independence, and hopefully learn to walk again.
Even though the beginning was traumatic and life-changing, I had a positive experience and I would like to share my tips with you!
Even though the beginning was traumatic and life-changing, I had a positive experience and I would like to share my tips with you!”Ami Tricker
Have A Schedule
I noticed a massive difference from having no schedule during my time in hospital to having a schedule for every week during my stay at rehab. My time in hospital went incredibly slow in comparison to how quick time went during rehab! Albeit, it could have been one session the first day and then 3 different sessions the next day, having a schedule helped me mentally to get into a routine and set aside free time for other things I could do.
Blogging & Writing
I actually began blogging a month before I was discharged from rehab, but even though I had been blogging for a short while, writing about everything that happened to me helped me to accept it all. Typing on my tablet was the most easiest method for me as I was learning to physically write again so writing in a notebook or diary was not my strongest. It still is to this day, the best coping mechanism for me and a place I can express my feelings.
I was very fortunate, and grateful to have had visitors nearly everyday. Having friends and family visit you, when you need support the most, does uplift your mood. At times, the loneliness kicks in and it’s a horrible feeling. Depending on the circumstances, of why you are in hospital or a rehabilitation centre, speak to your doctor there and ask if you are able to go outside or to a nearby shop with a family member or a friend – it will do you the world of good!
If like me, you find out you’re going to be an in-patient for more then 1 month, then it’s worth getting to know the members of staff a bit better. You will have your favourites, believe me! Certain members of staff, both at the hospital and rehabilitation centre I was a in-patient at, made my stay a more positive one – honestly! I had so many laughs with them, they were there to wipe away my tears on my low days and when I was feeling homesick.
You can tell the ones who are genuine, not the ones who just do their job because it’s a job, but the ones who’s passion for their job is clearly apparent. I shed so many tears when I was transferred from hospital to rehab, and so did the nurses who I got on really well with. Rehab was a different story, I’d spent 6 months seeing these people nearly everyday, which made it even the more harder leaving them – I really didn’t want to leave!
Even though, now I’m home and don’t get to see them as often, I always pop in and have a good catch up and a laugh with them. They will always be a second family to me.
I’m not going to lie to you, if the hospital or rehabilitation centre has free Wi-Fi, use it! Having an internet connection allowed me to keep in contact with family and friends, keep volunteering with a charity online and even start my blog. Oh, and watching funny videos on YouTube of course!
Not long before I was admitted to hospital, I received a decent camera for Christmas as I wanted to be able to capture pictures that I may have missed (due to my central vision loss). I wasn’t able to use my camera in hospital but my occupational therapist at the rehabilitation centre helped me to find ways that enabled me to take photos.
All hospitals and rehabilitation centres have activities for you to try, whether it be board games, puzzles, books, music, they just want to make your stay as comfortable as possible. If you are able to still do the things you love doing, then continue with them. Appreciate what you can do.
Thank You Ami!
Thanks again to Ami Tricker who, like a true superhero, has swooped in at just the right time to save the day! I hope you appreciate this tips and refer back to them if you or a loved one should have to spend any length of time in the hospital (I wish I had tried some of these when I was in the hospital!) You can keep up with Ami on her blog Undercover Superhero or follow and interact with her on social media: Twitter @Ami_T1995 and/or FACEBOOK @Ami’s Blog
Post Script: Why don’t hospitals all provide free/better wifi? The Ontario hospitals I have been to that did provide, the wifi would support little more than email or static internet content. One hospital provided amazing robust wifi, but only to those that paid for it and the price was outrageously high (like TV rentals if you have ever tried that) and of course no free public wifi in that particular institution.