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.
Kinda helps to put life in perspective, and encourages you to reflect on personal challenges and goals.
Sometimes in life, we need to focus on the little things that make us feel good, and I think when life gets complicated, we need to enjoy those things that might seem trivial to others, just to give ourselves a break.
Beside me in the ward was a young girl, a young mother of two children, who was recovering from some very serious injuries. She was coming to the end of her treatment and preparing to adjust to life back at home after a very long time in hospital and rehab.
Because of her injuries, she wasn’t able to visit her family at weekends like other patients, and this made the time in hospital feel even longer.
She had a lot to deal with, both emotionally and physically. And you know what? She was the most active and social of all the patients in the ward.
In the middle of her struggles and challenges, she found ways to have her fun. Though I’m not sure the staff saw it that way.
She enjoyed her music. Guru Josh at 1 a.m. to be exact. Every night.
She loved her fashion and gave us all her shopping lists for Penneys at the weekends.
When the sun came out, she was off out to the hospital garden – her Juicy Couture tracksuit bottoms cut up into shorts.
Physio could wait.
In the evenings, the ward could be mistaken for a salon – hair was straightened, or curled, and nails painted. Even the fake tan came out. And then off, on the sheets.
I guess what I’m trying to describe here is how she used the little things that she enjoyed to cheer her up, to help her feel more like herself and less like a patient.
And she’s not the only person I’ve seen do this either. My own personal style icon, my mother, has been given presents on many an occasion, for her efforts that cheered everyone else up too.
They say no matter how you feel, you should dress up, show up and never give up.
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And she certainly followed this motto. Like the tea adverts advise, we all need the little moments to bring us back to ourselves every now and then, and probably even more so in a hospital situation.
Of course, people have other priorities in such situations, and I’m not saying a bit of make up or new sports gear should take priority over medical treatments.
But as coping techniques go, sure it can’t do any harm.
What do you think? What little things would cheer you up in hospital?