SERIES: TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR PATIENT EXPERIENCE: #4 Exercise to keep your muscles
I spent five days in hospital several years ago when my ulcerative colitis flared dramatically. When I was discharged, I was weak and dizzy and had to almost drag myself upstairs to my bedroom by pulling on the stairs handrail as I had so little strength in my legs. Admittedly, I had lost a lot of weight before being admitted as I my flare had been worsening for some time, but I still found the way my muscles vaporised after less than a week of full bedrest was shocking. I am not, after all, elderly! I was 39 at the time but INGA Wellbeing adapted patient clothing did not yet exist.
Eight months ago, aged 42, I was hospitalised again. And again my stay was five days as my ulcerative colitis had been irritated into a full flare by stress and exhaustion. This time I knew how quickly I could decline and how important exercise was to my wellbeing and recovery having read information distributed by the nurse-led campaigns #endPJparalysisand Ban Bedcentricity. And this time INGA Wellbeing adapted patient clothing did exist and I had a dress and a t-shirt top to wear!
The difference was extraordinary!
Despite three bags of fluids, anti-nausea medications and intravenous steroids, I was able to get myself undressed, showered and dressed again without calling for a nurse, being naked infront of a stranger or shivering in a towel while I waited for help dressing.
I knew that it was important that I make the effort to get out of bed and eat my meals at the little table in my hospital room and did not feel weird or cold doing so. I endured the prodding and poking of doctors without embarrassment as only my stomach was bared, not the rest of me.
And I even walked up and down my ward corridors pushing my IV stand. In an exhilarating dash for freedom, I wheeled my IV stand into the elevator, went down three floors and managed to get outside to get some fresh air, all in a back-opening dress!!
When I left hospital that time, I was very thin and very pale, but I had enough strength and balance to walk, drive and even sort out the Christmas decorations!
So what made the difference between these two patient experiences?
INGA Wellbeing patient clothing AND exercise!
I got up, got dressed and got moving, just as the physiotherapists and nursing teams involved in #endPJparalysis and Ban Bedcentricity would want me to! A model student! And as they predicted, doing so did indeed have a hugely positive impact on my emotional, mental and physical wellbeing as well as the speed of my recovery afterwards.
(It is advisable to check with your medical team what exercises you personally could or should do.)
I hope these exercise guides help you and those that you love! And of course, INGA Wellbeing patient clothing is available on our webshop www.ingawellbeing.com
Feel like a person, not just a patient!
All the best,
Exercises for bedridden patients:
Post-surgery leg exercises: https://sunnybrook.ca/content/?page=patcar-prep-legs
Treatment exercises: http://www.cancersupportivecare.com/exercises.html