Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Packing essentials

magazine, book fan and sleep essentials in hospital

OK, so many blogs and articles at the moment are advising us how to pack for the summer holidays - but what about packing for other situations, like a trip into hospital or rehabilitation? 

Quite different to a holiday essentials list of course, but just as important I think. 

Here are my top 10 items to pack, based on my experiences. Hope you find them useful!

  • Ear plugs – wax or foam, depending on how light a sleeper you are – wax are better for blocking out the usual hospital related disruptions.
  • Eye mask – again, for light sleepers, this can help block out lights from other cubicles, or lights switched on during the night.
  • Lavender oil/spray – a few drops on the pillow or night clothes can help aid relaxation.
lavendar aromatherapy oil

  • Moisturiser – heating and dry air in hospitals can really dry out the skin – bring a good moisturiser to apply at least twice a day. I brought new Boots Botanics this time, review to follow.
Botanics hydrating day cream SPF 15

  • Ipod – relaxing music or meditation apps can help to block out noise, calm your mind, lift the mood, or help induce sleep. I particularly like Relax Lite, available for both Apple and Android . Equally, upbeat music can help with motivation before or during physiotherapy sessions.
  • Reading material – a good book can be helpful at night time especially if you’ve no TV available, and magazines can help pass the time on a quiet afternoon or visitor-free evening.

  • Netflix – if you have a tablet or laptop, try signing up for a free month with Netflix if you haven’t already – plenty of choice there to pass some time, and you can cancel afterwards if you choose to.  Of course, I did this a year ago, and I'm still signed up. Just can't help myself.
  • Hand-held/travel fan – hospitals can be like a sauna regardless of the weather or season.  Avoid the open/close window debates and have your own little fan at hand when needed, especially at night time.  Don’t forget spare batteries. 
  • Chargers – probably one of the most important on the list, chargers. Don’t forget all your electronic devices will run low pretty fast in there, so make sure you have a charger for each or at least one that suits them all.
  • Goodies – hospital food is a bit hit-and-miss at the best of times. If you have the facility, bring some of your own favourites to store in a fridge, or some snacks for your bedside locker - (learn from my mistake and remember fruit and chocolate won’t survive too long in that heat). Plenty of water too is obviously important, especially if you’re doing physiotherapy every day. 

Obviously this is a short list, compared to the size of the bag I ended up with.  I could list more but we'd be here all day.

Are there any other particular items you'd recommend? 

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Diary of a blogger in Rehab

Day 1.
Oh God, here we are again.  Why do I do this to myself?
Wearing half my wardrobe, mistake number one, like an oven in here. #sauna #layers

Day 2.
Actually slept last night. Thats odd. Shhh don't jinx it. Physio enjoyed my matching runners and orthotics #newshoes #needbeautysleep

Day 3.
Got a bit of sunshine between therapies. Even in short sleeves. Purple ones to be exact. #summer #t-shirts #nature

sun shining through tree

Day 4.
Ouch. Physio kicking in now. Not literally. They're still admiring my runners #Dunnes #muscles #nopainnogain

Day 5.
On Fridays we wear pink. Pink ladies on the ward today. Prompted some staff "singing". #prettyinpink

Day 6.
No physio today. Sleep, sleep and chocolate on the to-do list. #break #restday

hot chocolate mug

Day 7.
See above! Probably gaining weight by the second. Oh well. #anotherrestday

Day 8.
Back to purple again. Hit the wall today. Almost literally. Orthotics problems. Time for a chocolate and magazine break. #fashion #chocolate

glamour magazine and tea cup

Day 9.
WiFi down today. Quite bored. If it wasn't for good friends, magazines and nail polish... Early nights becoming a habit. #company #pampering

inspirational quote on friendship
Image credit: Positive Outlooks blog on Facebook
Day 10.
Phew. Some like-minded company has arrived. Where've you been? Back to more pink today, lifts the mood a bit. Interesting day in OT. Rummaging in buckets of rice. #capsulewardrobe #OT 

Day 11.
Almost there, seeing some progress now. Even warming to the yellow-y orthotics. A bit. Nothing yellow in wardrobe though. #matching #results

Day 12.
New machine today. Like a cross trainer but scarier. Wore long sleeves, bad move. #overdressed

Day 13.
Assessing progress made today, not too bad. Changed runners up a bit. Oh the excitement. #confusedphysios

Day 14.
And we're done. Tough sayin goodbye, not a bad bunch really. Few new numbers. Back to normal sized wardrobe soon, no more sportsgear outside the gym. #gymwear #homewardbound

Day 1(back home).
Routine out the window already. Back in jeans. Lost the run of myself in supermarket. Oh the freedom.
Appreciating independence.  Did few exercises, I swear. #homesweethome #grateful

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Changing places.

student materials and coffee mug

So, the good news I’d been waiting for has arrived.  Another year of student life awaits me in September.  I must be the only student who looks forward to start of term.

Lots to look forward to though, with new experiences in the fashion industry to enjoy.  Lots of deadlines too, but we survived them the first time round. We'll be grand.

It’s funny, if you told me a year ago, I’d have taken myself out of my comfortable long term desk job to head back to college, no way would I have believed you.  Not to mention doing it twice.

Quite the challenge, as it happens, but do-able all the same.  How many of us sit in work dreaming of a different (or better?) life, but most of us don’t believe we could actually make it happen.

I’m still not sure I can make it happen to be honest, but I’m gonna try it anyway.

What have I got to lose, apart from a few months’ salary?

They say a change is as good as a rest.  My Nana used to say that anyway, and she was right about pretty much everything.

Hard as it is to carry on the routine 9-5 job in groundhog day fashion, stepping away from it can be even harder.  

office desk and computer

Not least by losing the steady income, but the friends and colleagues you’ve seen every day for years. The same routine, same expectations. Good or bad as they may be.

Leaving all that familiarity behind for a while can be scary but exciting at the same time. Moving into a totally different world with new people, new routines and new expectations.

As the world’s worst over-thinker, I ask myself the doubting questions at least twice a day.  Will I be able for this? Am I doing the right thing? Will I live up to their expectations and my own? 

Worth reminding myself of the exam results from last year, guess I can’t be doing too badly.

There’s only one way to answer these questions though, and it isn’t by mulling over them at 2 am on a Sunday night.

Guess I need to re-evaluate my own expectations sometimes.  I’ve never been one for risk-taking, but with a bit of planning behind it, I’m about to take my second in a year.

I’ve no idea what this next academic year will hold, (and I might be better off not knowing for now).  I’m sure there will be some stress, a few challenges and some last minute panicky moments, but we’ll get through them.  It’s worth these moments for something you love to do. And it’s taken me long enough to figure out what I love to do.

I may be back sitting at a desk again this time next year, but even so, I’d have the satisfaction of knowing I can survive out of the little office bubble. 


No more office clothes for me for the next nine months.  Time to switch around the wardrobe again soon, pack away the admin assistant and take the student back out. Maybe even a bit of shopping, before I go back to living off pot noodles and toast.  

toaster and instant noodles


Tuesday, 7 July 2015

It's the little things

As I approach my next round of physio and rehabilitation treatment, I’ve been thinking back on the early days and the profound effect it has had on my life.

In most cases, being in hospital is seen as a negative thing, but the rehab experience can be quite the opposite at times.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware of the struggles and obstacles people are facing during their treatment, but I’ve always been surprised by the sense of mutual support among the patients during my time there.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Skincare - routine or rut?

Well, I’ve been doing a bit of a bedroom clearout this last while, and as always found myself recovering things I’d forgotten I had, didn’t like, used once, or never used at all. 

Not least of all, the contents of a cosmetics drawer.  I use the word “drawer” loosely really, as said drawer has developed an overflow “corner of room”.

Safe to say, I have a problem throwing things out. 

© Styleability. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates made by pipdig