Having a chronic illness means there are often many sick days.
These sick days could mean you’re throwing up, spending all day on the toilet, 10/10 pain, passing out, unable to stand up, etc.
It differs for all of us.
I suffer from a few chronic illnesses. I am always (seriously, 24/7) in pain, but some days are worse than others. There are many days I’m unable to get off of the couch/recliner, or out of bed. Some days I have to crawl to the bathroom because I am too sick to walk. Some days I can’t stand up because standing up means I faint. In order to get through those kind of days, I require three things; blankets, disney movies and stuffed animals.
I know it sounds like a list that belongs to a five year old, but it’s what really comforts me. I seem to have an obsession with soft/fluffy things. I have several blankets that I love, a really soft zebra one that I made, two Hannah Montana ones, a Tangled one and a Disney Princess one. They’re soft, comfortable, keep me warm and brighten up the room. I always take a few of them with me when I have to go to the hospital for surgery/ER visit/in-patient stay. The next thing I need is Disney movies.
I love Disney and watching the movies help to slightly distract me from pain, and of course give me a few smiles/laughs. A few of my favorites are: Tangled, Brave, Beauty & the Beast, Cinderella, Snow White, Bambi, Lilo & Stitch, Princess & the Frog and Despicable Me. These are also must-have things in the hospital.
The final thing that gets me through the day are stuffed animals. I don’t know what it is about little stuffed creatures, but they provide a sense of security to me. All of my pillow pets and stuffed animals have been bought for me by other people, and I treasure them more than you could imagine. I have a little piggy that I got before I was even born (I don’t take him to the hospital in fear of losing him). I also have a few build-a-bears that I hug on all the time. My favorite is my Disney Princess build-a-bear. That one is a must-have for any hospital visit, no matter what.
I also just recently got a zebra build-a-bear that my old boss sent me and it’s SO fluffy and soft. I have a few other favorites like my Minnie Mouse pillow pet, dog pillow pet, pig pillow pet, the pig my Dad bought me after my first brain surgery and my bee pillow pet my best friend bought me. If I’m sick, you’ll always see me hugging some kind of stuffed animal. Whenever I’m in the hospital, I also make sure I have a few with me. Sick days, hospital stays and surgeries certainly are no fun, but it makes it a little bit easier when you have something to comfort you. Make sure you find something that is comforting to you. It may be a favorite pillow of yours, picture of someone, comfortable PJ’s or fun slippers. Everybody has different “sick day” needs. Let me know what yours are!
About the Author
Ellen is a patient advocate and volunteer. Commonly known as “Effervescent Ellen” for her bubbly personality, Ellen was diagnosed a couple of years ago with a pseudotumor cerebri (now called Intercranial Hypertension) when she was 16. Only one in 100,000 people are diagnosed with this. IH is where your body produces too much spinal fluid and it “crushes” the brain instead of “cushioning” it, like it’s supposed to. It causes a lot of neurological problems including—most obviously a 24/7 headache.