Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Mental Health Support » How do you stay sane in hospital?

05-01-2015, 08:54 AM   #1
How do you stay sane in hospital?

I don't mean to sound petty and annoying, though I am going absolutely insane being stuck in the hospital again. It's only been a very short time but I'm 21 years old, have university work and assessments due, plus I've been stockpiled into a room with a bunch of old people (who are rude), there's only one communal toilet in the ward and the doors out are extremely loud and right next to my bed.
They've stopped giving me actual effective pain medications like morphine because they don't want to give me too much of it so I'm taking paracetamol, which I can do at home!!!

When I asked about a test that was meant to happen today, they said it was transferred to Monday and when I asked if I could leave because I'm not spending all weekend sitting around, they offered me sleeping pills or Valium.

I don't want to be here, I have missed out on so much of my life already and am sick of just watching the days tick by. It's a joke. I feel like literally screaming and kicking something.

How do you all stay sane in hospital? Normally I'm okay but the reoccurring admissions and annoying extra patients are doing my head in!!!
05-01-2015, 12:31 PM   #2
nogutsnoglory's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New York

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Lots of sleep, tv, Internet and books. Yummy food helps I'd you are allowed to eat.
05-01-2015, 02:22 PM   #3
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Coloring books, internet, TV and sleeping...break it up with visitors too.
Diagnosis: Confused officially diagnosed in 2010

Bloodwork is indeterminate IBD, biopsies are crohns positive, symptoms and visually it's UC

Current meds-
Prednisone, humira, 6mp, and lialda
awaiting surgical consult

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eosinophilic esophagitis 5/2015
05-01-2015, 06:26 PM   #4
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Lara l was in hospital recently and it was driving me insane. One of the nurses noticed this and told me l could get day leave on the weekend...l think they called it jail break. I had to be back by a certain time for my antibiotics. It was enough to break up my hospital stay. I see your in Sydney which isn't too far from me, so it's it's worth asking about.. speak to your DR instead of the nurses, they're the ones that have to give the approval.
Daughter dx CD March2012...
(aged 14)

Currently on:
40mg Humira
125mg Imuran

Dx Premature Ovarian Failure 2014

05-02-2015, 09:58 AM   #5
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It's a good sign you feel this way. Whenever I'm in hospital and not being driven mad by boredom/disgusted by other patients/annoyed with doctors, my mum gets upset because she knows that's when I'm either too sick to know/care what's going on, or too afraid to be anywhere where nurses and doctors aren't around to help me.

But you're an adult - you're free to leave if you see no need for you to stay.

And I'd accept the offer for sleep meds. Sleeping in hospital can be difficult, and good sleep will make you feel better. And valium is something many people would welcome! (Thought obviously it's not a good idea to take it for the wrong reasons.)

Can you do your uni work while in hospital?

Last edited by UnXmas; 05-02-2015 at 10:35 AM.
05-05-2015, 06:53 AM   #6
Thanks for your replies! I managed to get out (I requested to sign out against doctors orders but as was mentioned, I was well enough to move around and be frustrated/awake). Those are great suggestions for next time!
At the time I wasn't able to do any Uni work because I didn't have any of my books, no wifi to download lectures or tutorial work etc, so now I'm behind and a bit stressed out but I'll survive. I might buy an anatomy Colouring in book for next time (I study nursing).

How are you all feeling? Wishing you all the very best.
05-05-2015, 12:04 PM   #7
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: London, UK
Glad you're out! I just got out from a mere three day stay but I was so desperate to leave! I avoid wards at (almost) all costs but I would suggest soft foam earplugs and an eyemask to help a little with sleeping and decent headphones - I've been know to listen to soothing music all night to get to sleep and not be bothered by what's going on around me.

Good luck with catching up with uni work. I know it's stressful but just take it calmly one thing at a time
05-05-2015, 04:29 PM   #8
Join Date: May 2015
Hi, in the U.S., you have your own hospital room which is a good thing. I remember the days of sharing a room with one person and hated it. I am demanding and ask for what I want/need. And I try to have someone with me at all times if I'm really sick. Nursing care is not what it used to be. Other than that, just succumb to hospital time. Nothing moves fast so read a book, sleep, try not to be too annoyed or you will go crazy.
05-05-2015, 10:28 PM   #9
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Lara did you apply to disability support for University? If not do it now.
Mother of Sarah dx aged 16, Jan 2012
DX - CD 1/12, asthma
Small bowel to small bowel fistula

Meds: ), azathioprine 200mg, Mesalazine 1.2g x 2, seretide 250 x 2 (asthma), ventolin (as needed)

Currently no supplements.

Has previously taken Multi B, Caltrate, B12 & Iron

Prednisolone (from 30 mg 01/02/2012 to 17/06/2012, 30mg 24/10/12-28/12/12, 50mg 24/1/13-27/4/13)
05-07-2015, 06:36 PM   #10
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Honestly, it was tough. I just kept thinking about how short the stay was relative to my time in the hospital. Oh, and I watched a lot of Game of Thrones
05-08-2015, 04:16 AM   #11
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Ugh, I spent a whole bunch of my life sitting in hospitals. Its hard to stay sane, but I think you have to shift your thinking a bit to adjust.

If you can move around in hospital relatively unhindered (although I usually have IV stands trailing after me), then I can recommend exploring your prison - it sounds juvenile but divide the place up floor by floor and allocate yourself a timeslot for each floor (depending on size). Take stairs instead of elevators and stroll around. Then you can have a couple of timeslots each day where you divide and explore - exercise and something to do.

And get dressed! If you loll around in pjs all day, you will be bored after a while. Nothing fancy, tracksuit pants and tshirt - again depending on which devices you are connected to.

If there are gardens in the grounds of the hospital, see if you can find a nice spot to read in - a Kindle is great in hospital as it lightweight - just have it stocked up with books!

There are usually coffee shops around, providing a bit of a normality buzz. You can allow yourself a treat every other day there, depending on what you are allowed of course. Mentally it helps to just sit in an environment where other ppl still have "normal" lives, you can soak it up.

Build a flexible routine for yourself - bear in mind, you'll have to let the head nurse know if you are off-ward somewhere but if you structure yourself a bit, you'll be able to tell them when to expect you back. Normally, they are easy going once they feel you'll not make a break for the outside world at first chance. They should be able to estimate when your presence is required for tests/doctors rounds etc.

I don't know if any of it helps, these are just the techniques I have used my whole life when I am in hospital.

If at all possible try to negotiate your way out of hospital stays - thats what I've been doing. Sometimes its not possible. However, I recently negotiated with my GI and told him I would sit in the clinic from 0730 until 5pm each day, but after that I go home to my own bed. He thought I was kidding, but quickly realised I wasn't apt to give way. He relented in the end - I have severe immune problems so minimising my exposure to other sick ppl's germs always has to be considered.
05-08-2015, 05:42 AM   #12
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kikig - you just described so many of the things I do in hospital! Once you get past the really sick, stuck in bed part.

If you can't explore on foot, you can get a visitor or nurse or another patient to push you in a wheelchair.

I always get dressed (when I'm well enough), and I don't lie in bed in the day; I sit in a chair once I'm able to. It divides up day from night and helps me sleep better at night. I've also done endless coffee shops and garden visits.

If you want to get off the ward but don't want to miss the doctors doing their round, give your mobile number to a nurse or another patient. Then you can go somewhere else, as long as it's less than a five or ten minute walk away (e.g. to the hospital shop, gardens, coffee shop) and get them to text you when the doctors turn up. Usually your doctors will be seeing other patients on your ward, so if that's the case your doctors won't be stood around waiting for you, and you can walk back while they're seeing other patients.

If you are dressed and sat in a coffee shop or cafe, you can pretend you're not really in hospital.
05-08-2015, 01:10 PM   #13
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Usually in US it's two to a room, unless you're in this special cheaper thing I don't remember the name of, with just curtains, but the nursing care is pretty good. When my husband had a serious problem I asked, well really, said I would leave ama if necessary, the dr. was very accommodating. Sometimes they've kept me just to make sure I would take my meds. Like I am so stupid I wouldn't.

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