– When I was rushed off to A&E over 10 weeks ago… I would’ve run a mile if you’d told me I’d still be here all this time later.
Despite all of the time spent here, I’m not mad or angry at all. In fact, I’ve learnt a lot about myself, have a whole different outlook on life and even got a ton of stuff done that I’d otherwise never have the time to do!
Here are 10 things I’ve learnt from 10 weeks in hospital… some serious, some funny and one disgusting…
Hair grows VERY quickly…
Not being able to have your hair cut when you want, can lead to a lot of growth, very quickly! Both my hair and my beard has been left untouched since last year… which has lead to me looking a little like Shaggy from Scooby Doo. Less ‘Coupon Kid’ and more ‘Coupon shaggy looking man’!
Jordon + Clumsiness + Wires = Disaster
I’m a clumsy person at the best of times, constantly tripping myself up and walking into doors. Now try adding IV lines, blood pressure machines and heart rate monitors to that mix… Let’s just say I’ve got up close and personal with the floor on a few occasions. I could’ve finished myself off!
I always seem to forget that I am attached to something too… or forget that the thing I’m attached to is plugged into the wall. Several times, I have managed to either partly strangle myself and knock equipment over. It’s basically a laser obstacle course death trap to move anywhere if you’re a klutz like me and not careful! I have quite a few bumps and bruises… all caused my my own clumsiness.
My new found appreciation for a strange thing…
I recently had day leave to go home for 6 hours (for a bit of normality)… and the one thing I was super excited to see when I walked in the door? Not my TV… not even my cats… it was CARPET!
It’s not until you’ve been walking around on hard floors for months, that you realise what heaven it is to walk on a soft spongey cloud..!
I have a new pet IV stand
Since being admitted, I’ve acquired a new pet. We literally go everywhere together… through thick and thin. This pet isn’t an animal however… it’s an IV stand.
Due to my Crohn’s making my bowels very unstable, I have been receiving intravenous feeding through a PICC line inserted into a vein in my upper arm, to give me all of my nutrients each day without anything passing through my digestive system. At the start, the bag of feeding was being infused for 24 hours a day. One came off, another went on.
Slowly since I’ve been here, the amount of time the bag of feed is infusing has gone down, first to 20 hours, then 18 and now 14. Despite being unhooked from my IV pump while awake now… I still feel like I am lost without it. He’s stood by me all of this time! I worry that when I eventually do go home, I’m going to be missing a limb not having my IV stand with me!
Ok mum… you win… showering is OK
I’m a typical teenager. While at home, I saw the art of cleaning oneself more of a chore than a luxury, constantly being nagged by my mother to freshen up. Since being attached to my IV feeding for so many hours a day however, I couldn’t use the shower when I wanted to. For the first two weeks of 24 hour feeding, I didn’t shower at all… because I couldn’t (gross I know!).
Now that I’m unattached during the day, it is an actual godsend to be able to waltz into the shower and stand under some hot soapy water. It’s when you start sitting here in your own filth, not being ABLE to shower, that you realise how important it is.
Yes mum… you were right. Don’t gloat.
Nurses are people too…
When I first came in, if I saw a nurse walking towards me, it either meant pain, bad news or being pumped full of yet another drug – so I was deathly scared of seeing one! They are all incredibly lovely people… and I know that now. They are all just trying to help… one of them still kind of scares me though!
I’m not sure why I had such a phobia of hospitals, nurses and blood tests before I came in. Now, from experiencing such a low point in my health, I know that this is no place to fear, it’s a place to get the help you need. If I ever have any health concerns in the future, I’ll know not to put it off for fear of the unknown.
And now for the more serious ones… *Cue the inspirational music*
You shouldn’t sweat the small stuff
This will certainly be one of my new speaking topics when I’m back doing public speaking! You don’t realise how worked up you get over the smallest of things on a daily basis. The trend of “First World Problems” is so ridiculous… and it’s not until you see things from a bigger perspective you realise it.
– I used to get so angry at seeing the “your storage is full” message pop up on my iPhone on a daily basis… Doesn’t bother me anymore.
– My blood would boil whenever my friends would send 20 separate texts, in what could be one long message… Couldn’t care less now.
What used to grind my gears, I now realise is barely worth the time or effort stressing over. When you think about things in a bigger perspective, they have no impact on your life whatsoever, and you just work yourself up over something that shouldn’t matter.
It could always be worse…
– Has your train delayed you getting home on your commute from work yet again? You’ll still make it home. It could always be worse…
– Has that terrible internet speed just stopped yet another video right in the middle? You can always watch it another time. It could always be worse…
No matter how bad things seem in the heat of the moment, you don’t realise how small some of your problems are until you have bigger ones. No matter how bad of a day you are having… it could always be worse. I’ve learnt to focus more on the things important in my life, such as friends, family and health, rather than stressing over life’s minor set backs.
Being positive costs nothing
A lot of people ask me how I’m managing to stay so positive and keep a smile on my face… and if I’m honest, I don’t know the answer! What I do know is, I’d probably feel a lot worse and generally have a harder time if I wasn’t positive!
If you can turn every negative situation into a positive in some way – you get a lot more out of life!
– Snow keep you at home this weekend, meaning you can’t do what you wanted? Finish off that house errand you’ve had on your list, and feel the satisfaction of getting it done. Negative > Positive.
– Missed the bus this morning? At least now you can get some more exercise by walking! Negative > Positive.
You could sit around all day and be negative… but what good would that do you? You’ll likely only feel worse. Putting a positive spin on every situation will make you feel much better – and gives you a fresh outlook on life.
You don’t realise what you are capable of
No matter what awful situation you may be in… know for a fact that anything is possible. There may be serious obstacles in your way, but if you want something bad enough, you can achieve them.
Yes, I may be in an unfortunate situation, but I didn’t let it stop me from doing what I wanted to do. Since being in, I’ve achieved a lot.
– I’ve written and now am publishing a whole book from my bedside (Secrets to Saving: The Ultimate UK Couponing Guide).
– And I even started up this blog to help as many people put more money back in their pocket as I could.
It just goes to show that you shouldn’t let anything stop you. I didn’t know how long I would be here for either… think of all that wasted time if I didn’t pursue my passions and get things done. Obstacles that may seem a massive hurdle to overcome can be quickly tossed aside, just with the right attitude.
What a 10 weeks it has been. It’s been a journey of self discovery as well as getting me back to health. I am still awaiting a transfer to a specialist hospital in Cambridge to have surgery to remove my diseased bowel, but for now it is still the waiting game…
I hope my story has helped you in some way (or made you laugh!). What is the longest time you have spent in hospital? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below, on Twitter @Jordon_Cox or on Facebook.