My thoughts on being bedbound

Four weeks ago I fell off my bike while being on holiday. Where normal people would be in pain for a few days and have some bruising, I am not normal and have been bedbound for the last four weeks. I have a pain disorder so my body responds differently to impacts like falling. So instead of enjoying my holiday I laid in bed and went home a couple of days early.

Because of the painkillers I was put on, I was very sleepy and drowsy for the first couple of weeks so I couldn’t really do anything. I couldn’t read because I couldn’t lift a book or focus on what I was reading, I couldn’t watch movies or tv shows because I kept falling asleep or I forgot what I had just seen. I could only lay flat on my back so I couldn’t use my planner or journal. So I just watched a lot of YouTube video playlists because it didn’t matter if I missed a few.

It is very easy to get depressed when you are stuck in bed and unable to do anything. But it has always been my motto that no one ever got any better from crying all day. Not saying that you are not allowed to cry or that everyone has to feel this way, but I always try and stay positive. And yes, I have cried, yelled and gotten very upset. But my main focus is staying positive and look at the small things. So I am going to share a few things I learned along the way.

  • Don’t be stubborn. I am a very stubborn person and have a hard time accepting help from others. But when you are stuck in a bed and unable to do anything you have to ask for help. So I have a friend who walks my dogs, makes me coffee sometimes, sits at my house if I am expecting a package and waits until it gets there and goes to buy me certain things I need. I have a friend who takes me to doctor’s appointments when my boyfriend can’t take me and have several friends and family members who cook us dinner so my boyfriend get’s a little time for himself while looking after me. Because it is important for the person who looks after you to have some free time as well. Otherwise that person will end up in bed as well!
  • bed table
    This was right after I got my bed table and was able to use my planner for the first time in a long time

    Try and get things that will make life easier. I rented a wheelchair and toilet seat raiser. I borrowed a walker from a friend and purchased a bed table so I could use my planner and journal again. This really made things easier and made my world a little bigger.

  • Make a list of things you want to do when you get out of bed. This list really motivates me in my recovery. It includes small things like “go on a walk with the dogs” and “cook a meal” but also big things like go on a day trip with my boyfriend (we had to cancel our summer holiday due to this but I hope we can go on a day trip eventually). The list gets longer every day and it will probably take me a really long time to accomplish it all but I love looking at it.
  • Appreciate the tiny steps forward! This is really important as your recovery might take a long time and seem slow. But if you really look at it, these tiny steps are so important. Last week I sat in my wheelchair for 30 minutes while my friend Kirsten pushed me and walked my dogs. It was my first time outside in a while and it was amazing. It really hurt and I was exhausted afterwards but I did it, and I could not have done that a week before. I have also started walking with my walker around the parking lot in front of my house. It is a 30-metre walk which seems short but to me, it is a marathon and I have to rest a couple of hours after doing it. But I am persevering and try to add laps every couple of days. These small steps will add up and help me get back to normal.
  • Treat yourself! It sucks being in bed so it doesn’t hurt to treat yourself a little bit. Buy yourself some nice new pyjamas or a nice shower gel. Try not to eat too many treats as you are not burning a lot of calories while you are stuck in bed. Offcourse you can eat some chocolate every now and then but portion control is important. You don’t want to gain too much weight during your bed rest.
  • Ask friends to come over. Please make sure you do limit these stays because they are exhausting and might cause extra pain but it is nice to have some social interaction. I try and limit visits to 30-60 minutes.
  • Look after yourself! Even though everything you do takes up a lot of energy and will hurt I feel like it is important to keep looking after yourself. Eat good foods, take daily showers, change your pyjamas and bedding often, brush your teeth and comb your hair. These things are normal things when you are healthy but it is easy to want to skip when in pain. You will need help doing these things and it will take up energy but it will also make you feel human. Which is important.
  • When you are in a relationship, this can really take a toll on your partner. My boyfriend works full time and has to look after me before and after work. He makes me lunch, prepares drinks for the entire day and feeds the dogs before work. He then leaves for work at seven in the morning and comes back at half past five. He then has to make me dinner, help me undress, shower and dress. He has to clean the house, walk the dogs, do groceries and help me with other things I need. Sometimes I feel like he only is my caretaker and not my boyfriend. Those are the times when I have to turn that around and do something to make us feel part of a relationship. I try and take away some of his duties, spend some quality time with him or surprise him with a small gift.

I am very motivated to get back to normal and be able to live my life again. By noting down my small steps it all seems much more manageable! I will conquer this!
If you are bedbound, stay strong and a big virtual hug for you, because actual hugs might hurt 😉

A little introduction

My very first blog post on my new journey as an English blogger. I have had Dutch blogs for about 15 years but I wanted to broaden my audience a little bit by going English. So, let me introduce myself first *does a little wave*.

My name is Emma and I am 29 years old. I live in Groningen which is a city in the Northern part of the Netherlands. I live with my boyfriend Jasper, two European shorthair cats Jack & Sparrow and two Galgo dogs Pelo & Nero. My dogs are both rescued dogs from Spain where they were used and abused for hunting. One of them was very traumatised when we adopted him but they are both very happy boys now.

I was diagnosed with a pain disorder 6 years ago and was admitted to a rehabilitation centre to learn how to incorporate the pain into daily life. Planning out my days was a huge part of the training and it has helped me better my life quality. I have always used planners to note down appointments and such but this showed me a different way of planning. When I found the planner community 3,5 years ago I found like I had found my tribe. Finally I found a way to better my life and make it look awesome. I have learned so many things from the community to make my life even better.

I also love organising, tidying and cleaning, which is kind of funny as I should have been awarded for the messiest bedroom as a teenager. I used to have stuff all over the floor and a few small clean spots on the floor so I could hop to my desk and bed. My mum was always telling me to go clean it and get rid of all the junk. Fast forward 15 years and I love to find new ways to organise my stuff. I have an obsession for baskets and bins and go organise cabinets for fun. I blame my boyfriend for this new hobby, he is the tidiest person I have ever met. He puts away every single thing he touches after using it and can not stand a messy environment. I am nowhere near as tidy but I have started to love a tidy house where each item has a set “home”. It makes tidying so much easier, and I don’t spend as much time looking for certain items and finding them in random spots.

Galgo Olly Blanket

Besides planning and organising, I love to crochet. I mostly make blankets and love gifting people baby blankets when they are expecting. I also love to bake and will be sharing some recipes on my blog every now and then. I don’t bake very often as I love making unhealthy things and I don’t want to eat them all by myself. So I only try to bake when we are expecting guests. I am known to make loads of cakes and pies for our birthdays. It is my goal to make at least 3 new recipes each birthday. Nowadays I even get asked by friends and family to bake stuff for their birthdays. I love walking my dogs and have met some amazing people while doing so. And to get back to my blog name; I love to journal about everyday life. I chose to name my blog “a girl and her journal” because I felt like it was general enough to blog about all the things I love. As I would also journal about all these things!

I hope you feel like you have gotten to know me a little bit better by reading this first blog post. Feel free to leave me any questions you might have. I am happy to answer them! Hope to see you again soon.