I’ve just spent a week in hospital, unexpectedly.
Now I am no stranger to prolonged spells in a hospital bed. But this time, this was different. New city, new hospital, new problems.
I am still processing all the new information so bear with me, this isn’t going to be all about what has gone on but more about what its like to spend time in hospital when youre chronically and invisibly ill.
Being in hospital has extremes of highs and lows. Yes, even highs!
The spectrum of emotion is vast, varied and can hit you without warning or want. Learning to support yourself during these times, when you have a chronic illness and hospital stays can become quite high in reoccurance as well as in length, is something you develop over time.
Here are some of the emotions of what I recently went through:
- Waking up feeling groggy and unsure of where you are. Feeling alone and isolated.
- The joy being alone because you need some me time. Bit dramatic to get some quiet alone time.
- The fear of what might be coming, of what you might be asked to do in order to get answers. Some doubts.
- The lovely feeling when medical professionals validate your own thoughts and feelings about your symptoms and disease.
- The common goal.
- The fights you have to have, the words you need to find to say to have well worded and constructive conversations whilst under the influence of strong drugs.
What can be included to improve how you feel?
- Good friends. Who can laugh and cry with you.
- Visitors. When you feel okay to have them.
- Being honest. No point of saying “I’m okay” when you’re not and need help.
- Don’t be too proud to ask for help!
- Write. Or talk. Or draw. Help yourself with your own feelings.
- Distractions. Bring books, music, films, whatever you need. What you think is a day or two could turn out to be longer – always overprepare. You’ll regret it if you don’t.
- Try and feel comfortable. Hospital takes away some of your dignity; do what you need to feel like you.