Being in a hospital bed is not amusing; I guess you might have come across that road safety message by a certain driving school that says “hospital ceilings are boring.” Yes, indeed they are boring but sometimes it is inevitable and what takes you there is way beyond your control. The good thing is, with collaborated efforts, one can achieve quicker recovery.
It’s our duty as healthcare providers to ensure that you will achieve normalcy ASAP. We will mobilize our various resources and efforts to ensure that your recovery has been fastened but as a patient, you have a role in actualizing all this. Let us get to explore how you can get to achieve quick recuperation.
- Being at the center stage of your care and not just acting like a spectator watching from a distance is paramount. This does not imply that you should take the role of the Doctor. Inquire politely from the caregivers on the disease process, planned interventions, your role as a patient and the expected outcome. It is your prerogative to know and consent on the same. This will assist in alleviating anxiety, too much dependency on the care givers and enhance cooperation.
- Establish good relationship with your care givers. Healthcare providers normally swear an oath to do good or at least do no harm. Being rude and uncongenial demoralizes the care provider reducing him/her to a mere robot programmed not to do harm hence lacking the very important human touch during service delivery. The principle of Isaac Newton on action and reaction apply in a hospital set up too. Positivity gives back positivity and so does negativity.
- Involve yourself in activities that will stabilize your emotions and bring you happiness. Our body produces different chemicals during different emotional states. Stress hormones like cortisone and catecholamine’s are released when our body is injured and play an important role in the initial defense of the body. However, failure to reduce stress levels and being continuously tensed increases these chemicals. Cortisone is immunosuppressive and immunity is vital for your recovery from diseases and injuries. Purpose to have enough rest, read interesting materials, invite friends who occupy your time with positivity, listen to some good music etc. All these will drive away stress and increase your feel good hormones which will boost your immune system hence quick recovery.
- Exercise is essential in eliminating complications of immobility like deep vein thrombosis, pneumonia and others which will surely lengthen your hospital stay and subsequent risk of contracting hospital acquired infections. Utilize physiotherapist services maximally if they are available. Perform active or passive exercises as tolerated by your body. Exercise also boost the release of the feel good hormones and inhibit the release of the immune suppressing chemicals like cortisone.
- Diet is equally crucial. I should have started with it but there is no way I can overemphasize this. In the hospital, due to changes in the body brought up by the disease process, eating is not one of the things that may excite you. However, it is important for you to note that diet is as important as the other treatment modalities. It is advisable to take a balanced diet that is high in protein to aid in healing and body repair unless it has been contraindicated by your Doctor. Liaising with your nutritionist for the best outcome is vital because different conditions require different dietary regime. If you are not able to take your portion at once, you can arrange for small but frequent meals to reach your daily body requirements.
- Your attitude towards drug therapy is another factor that needs to be considered. Different drugs will assist in alleviating dissimilar symptoms. If for example you fail to take pain medication, your body will be stressed and your immunity will be compromised afterwards. Failure to adhere to your antimicrobial regimen will lead to drug resistance; bacteria will multiply jeopardizing your recovery further. You will need more expensive medication for the same condition that could have been controlled by a cheaper treatment comparatively. This will have a financial implication and a subsequent increase of stress, further deteriorating your situation.
I will urge you to adopt positive energy and shorter stare at the boring hospital ceiling will be certain.
The author is a Registered Nurse