Ways To Keep Yourself “Sane” During the Dog Days of Long Inpatient Stays……
Whether you believe in God, Ganesh, Allah, or all of the above, make sure you have these close to you. As mentioned prior, the simple mention of Chemo can be mind-numbing and a bit unsettling, and you need all the help you can get to keep your vibe high. My Spiritual necessities such as daily prayer books, healing crystals and even my daily Gratitude jar have gotten me through some of my darkest hours while in the hospital.
Many hospitals offer a new service called “Integrative Medicine,” if they offer it, USE IT. Make sure to ask your Nurse to put in the requests weekly, as their services include, yoga, meditation, massage, etc.
I want to dig into Meditation.
Not only has Meditation over the past 2 years changed my life Spiritually, but also Mentally. I was someone who suffered extreme anxiety, a real type A. Wound tight. I have since through Meditation and more specifically guided Meditation through the Calm app (available on itunes), been able to move past my anxiety and more towards what Meditation gurus call “awareness.” It is AMAZING. Getting close to “awareness” was a huge help throughout my time in the hospital. I spent 30 days during the first round of chemo, and occasionally I would find myself back in the hospital with infections due to my compromised immune system for 10-12 days.
These daily Meditations helped me stay in the present and also kept me positive that one day I would get better and go back to my life. (versus feeling helpless and as if I was not in control of anything. A common thread in my life when I suffered from anxiety)
Go download the Calm app today, I believe had I started meditating when one of my besties told me to 6 months prior to my diagnosis, I most likely would have never gotten sick.
Sometimes it is just good to put your feelings on paper. Especially when you are spending 75% of your time in a hospital bed with little to do but “netflix and sleep.”
In the beginning of my treatment it became abundantly clear my partner at the time would not be able to handle taking care of me and in fact was more of a problem than a solution. I needed less problems in my life and more solutions. I remember writing in my journal which helped me finally break away from my past co-dependent ways and release him. It was time for me to heal and move forward. I am thankful for the outlet, all the answers were “write” in front of me.
I have since continued my journal, not necessarily everyday, but when I am feeling like I need to work something out on paper, I do it. Also, it is good to remember how far I have come on this 2 year journey and the Journal is a positive reminder.
I have since been given a 99 days journal which is perfect for my upcoming stem cell transplant. I will be forced to be in semi-isolation for 100 days from the day of transplant. I cannot wait to write down everyday how I am feeling, what I am thinking about and look back to see how far I have come and what has manifested from it all. 🙂
Whether you are a true Yogi or a hybrid like me (I really prefer Barre to Yoga), you will want your Yoga mat with you at all times. It is a great place to stretch, meditate, and also forces you to get out of bed, which at times is the most difficult task to tackle. If you do not have one, order one. It will become your new best friend.
Somedays the TV is just too much while in the hospital. The commercials, and candidly sometimes my headaches were so mind-numbing the thought of watching Netflix seemed farfetched. Also, at times it can feel like Grand Central station with all the Nurses, Doctors and other medical professionals flying in and out of your room.
Some days, you just want quiet and a little soft music in the background to keep you calm. At other times, when I was alone, I wanted to turn-up my music and pretend I was back at Felix on Sunday, having a petite soiree and drinking a heavy pour of Rose!
Either way, whatever your reason may be, a Bluetooth speaker is essential for your extended hospital stays.