Essential items required for your hospital stay checklist:
Plenty of snacks
A diary to bitch about how shit your day is going.
These are pretty much the most important things you will need. If you love a good
cup of tea you’ve come to the wrong place, unless you’ve stocked yourself up
with Barry’s teabags. You’d more than likely have more enjoyment drinking piss
water with a drop of milk.
Your life here pretty much revolves around food. Everything is organised for
after breakfast, after lunch, before dinner, “Ladies the tea trolley is out”. Time
doesn’t even exist here. You constantly feel like you’re being fed, even when
you’re not hungry, but you do it anyway because you just go through the
motions and that’s your day.
It’s funny to think that the only thing you have to do for yourself in here is
shower, get dressed and change your bed sheets once I week. I always dreaded
the Saturday, especially when all I wanted to do most weekends was fall back
into bed after a hefty sized breakfast because nine times out of ten, I didn’t sleep
the night before. Eventually it just became second nature. My record time for a
full bed change was 4 minutes and 46 seconds. Impressive right? Those hospital
bedsheets caused so much distress. What ever happened to fitted bed sheets?
Due to Covid, a lot of programmes and lectures went virtual, so through
Microsoft Teams we were able to do group sessions. I loved this. I found myself
being somewhat of a keyboard warrior behind the screen wreaking havoc and
leading our groups astray to the facilitator’s dismay. I thought everyone would
appreciate my insensitive jokes and exceptionally dark humour - I know I did.
I felt that behind the computer screen I could be the "Laura" that I wasn’t able to be
Obviously, to my advantage, this gave me an abundance of confidence to engage in these groups and learn a lot about myself and those around me.
YAP group also known as the Young Adult Programme, is hands down one of the best programmes this hospital has to offer for the younger generation.
It brings together 18-25 year olds to do a mixture of group sessions from CBT,
Ask the Doc, OT and Social Group to name but a few. Social group was
definitely my favourite. No matter how bad your day was going, you were
guaranteed to smile being in the YAP room. The enthusiasm to keep us
entertained and making sure we all engaged needs to be given credit, as I can
imagine it can be so hard to keep a positive attitude among a group of young
adults who all share the same dark humour as I do. We find it way too easy to put a negative twist on absolutely everything, including the music games.
It’s a talent I’d like to think.
I went through these phases of big bursts of energy where I couldn’t control all
this enthusiasm and I would find myself in the gym. I believed I was invincible.
5km on the treadmill? For sure not a bother! Sure will we have a weight session
afterwards? Too right we will! Will we be bed bound for the next 4 days unable
to move? Abso-fucking-lutely. And yet I never learned. I did it time after time
after time. Apparently it's called being manic. Ibuprofen became my best friend along with heat and ice packs. It was the thought that counts. Can’t say I never tried.
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you”