What to Do When You Are Stuck in Bed Due to Illness or Injury

Updated on June 3, 2018
Sherry Hewins profile image

I am ordinarily an active person. I have spent the past two months in bed with a temporary medical condition. It's a challenge for me.

John and Yoko were in bed by choice
John and Yoko were in bed by choice | Source

It Sucks to be Stuck in Bed

Having to stay in bed due to illness or injury is not fun, there's no getting around that, but the good news is there's never been a better time for it. The Internet and modern technology provide plenty of ways to communicate and participate even from our beds.

I first discovered my love of online writing a few years ago when I was laid up with a broken foot. Now I find myself with another temporary disability. I use a wheelchair to get to the bathroom. Otherwise, I am confined to my bed.

Listen to Your Body and Your Doctor

Your health comes first, so the most important thing is not to do more than you should. When you are severely injured or very ill, boredom is not that much of a problem, but as you begin to recover and feel better, you start to get restless. During this time it is important not to jump into activity too quickly.

TV and Videos

The easiest and most obvious solution to boredom is TV and video streaming. During my recent illness, Netflix and Hulu have been my best friends. Since watching is such a passive thing, it's great for when you are not feeling very ambitious and you have to keep physical activity to a minimum, yet it gives you a distraction to occupy your mind.

Here are some of my favorites that I have binge watched in the past few weeks.

  • The Handmaid's Tale
  • Fear the Walking Dead
  • Travelers
  • iZombie
  • Limitless
  • Madmen
  • Victoria

As you gain strength though, you will begin to want something less passive to do.

When You Are Bedbound Technology is Your Friend

The Internet gives you a window on the world.

  • Social media like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Snapchat can help you keep up with what your friends are doing while you are out of commission
  • Online shopping - You can have practically anything delivered right to your door.
  • Video games - I'm not much of a gamer, but I've been playing a lot of Tetris, Solitaire and Lumosity brain training. I love using my tablet for this
  • YouTube - Great for finding tutorials on just about anything
  • Pandora, Spotify and Internet radio for music

I have plenty of company in my bed
I have plenty of company in my bed | Source

Paid Online Work

If you are confined to your bed, it follows that you are probably not able to work. Therefore, many people in that situation look into earning money online. I know I did. If you go that route, be wary, there are many scams on the Internet. I created a separate email account just for my online enterprises, and I'm glad I did. That account still gets flooded with spam.

Online Surveys

The first thing I tried was online surveys. That was a complete waste of time for me. I put in quite a bit of effort and never earned a cent. I know others have been more successful with it.

Mechanical Turk

Then I tried Amazon Mechanical Turk. If you do not know what that is it, Mechanical Turk uses something called “crowdsourcing.” It pays online workers to do tasks that computers or machines can’t do. The tasks offered are called “HITs.” It stands for Human Intelligence Tasks. Most HITs pay only a few cents each, but some pay a few dollars. Those will be more difficult.

Some jobs involve identifying images, making judgments, categorizing objects or giving opinions. There are even some surveys to fill out there.

Once your tasks are completed, you submit them for approval to be paid for them. They can be rejected if you did not follow instructions or if the work falls below a certain level of accuracy.

Some HITs require that you pass a test of some kind to qualify to work on them. Sometimes all you have to do is request the qualification to get it. Some require that you have completed a certain number of HITs or that a certain percentage of them were accepted.

I found that I was most attracted to the tasks that required writing. I would search for writing HITs that paid at least $1.00 each. Often they would want you to rewrite a paragraph, or write something using certain keywords. Sometimes they wanted a description or a review.

I worked it up to where I could make about $4 an hour. Way below minimum wage, but I could do it from my bed. I made a couple of hundred dollars there. I just kept it in my Amazon account and used it when I wanted to buy something from Amazon, which I do pretty often. You can have it transferred to your bank if you want to.

Blogging and HubPages

Those writing tasks I did on MT seemed to free up something in me that had been dormant for a long time. I started a blog, but I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't keep it up. Then, I discovered HubPages.

At HubPages all I had to do was write articles. HubPages takes care of all the technical stuff, but you do need an Adsense account to get paid there. The good thing is, since you earn from people viewing your articles, they continue to earn as long as people keep reading them. I have been writing at HP for six years now; it has been through a lot of changes, and I've seen my traffic and income rise and fall.

If you are thinking of trying out HubPages, be aware that it is not a way to make quick money. It takes a lot of time, effort and patience. In the long haul, my income from it has gradually risen. It has become something I can depend on receiving a payout from every month even if I don't write anything new. I hope it will continue to build and grow.

I get a lot of satisfaction from my online writing, quite apart from the income I get from it, and it's great that I can still do it when I am stuck in bed.

Etsy and EBay

Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are good options if you have something to sell. Thanks to sites like these you can sell your crafts or your extra stuff right from your bed.

Get a Laptop Stand

When you are spending a lot of time on your laptop while in bed, a table or stand is almost a necessity. It is especially so if you are not able to sit up. Even if you can sit up, you may be at an awkward angle that can cause pain in your back or neck. That's the last thing you need when your health is already compromised .

I was lucky enough to be able to borrow this little stand from a friend. The great thing about it is that it adjusts to just about any angle you need. It makes typing in bed so much easier.

A tray like this makes using a laptop in bed so much easier.
A tray like this makes using a laptop in bed so much easier. | Source

Low Tech Entertainment

Here are a few ideas for when you have had enough of screen time.

  • Read a book
  • Write a letter
  • Call a friend, or better yet have them visit
  • Draw, paint or color a picture - Adult coloring books can be fun if you don't like to draw
  • Sew, embroider, knit or crochet - I am a quilter, so I have been doing some hand quilting
  • String some beads
  • Open a window or sit outside if you can
  • Fold some laundry, plan some meals, make a shopping list or do some other small task. It's nice to feel useful

I did the hand quilting on this quilt while on bedrest.
I did the hand quilting on this quilt while on bedrest. | Source

I Learned Something From Staying in Bed

Spending an extended time in bed is certainly an eye-opening experience that I have come to appreciate. I have high hopes for a full recovery, but I can't help thinking what it would be like if I had a permanent disability. I hope that I would still be able to create a fulfilling life for myself. I have nothing but empathy and respect for those who are in that situation.

Whether you are bed-bound temporarily or long-term, I hope I have given you some ideas to think about. I am sending healing energy your way.

How Frida Khalo Outshined Her Pain

Frida Khalo is an inspiration to me. She was a famous Mexican artist who suffered a severe injury that caused her to spend a lot of time in bed, but she still lived a rewarding and fascinating life.

Are You a Good Patient?

Have you ever been stuck in bed? How did you handle it?

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Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Sherry Hewins

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      • Sherry Hewins profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherry Hewins 

        2 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

        Dianna, The tray comes in handy for drawing, painting and writing too.

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 

        2 months ago

        I would enjoy the low key, non-tech suggestions you list. The lap top tray is a great idea for any time you are in bed, especially for preventing any kinks in your neck and arms.

      • Sherry Hewins profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherry Hewins 

        2 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

        Thanks Bill. It's not fun, but a good life lesson.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        2 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Well I hope you feel better soon, Sherry! I've never been stuck in bed...yet....but I'm sure it's coming. Love the picture of John and Ono!

      • Sherry Hewins profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherry Hewins 

        2 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

        Thanks for your insight Pat Mills. I know some people have success with surveys. I think my health is finally improving.

      • profile image

        Pat Mills 

        2 months ago from East Chicago, Indiana

        To add to the other comments, I hope you get well soon. When I take online surveys, I realize most of them will not pan out for me. Most of my surveys, though, are linked to other incentive-based websites, like Harris, Ipsos I-Say, and MyPoints. I use those points toward PayPal, gift cards, or donations.

      • Sherry Hewins profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherry Hewins 

        2 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

        Thanks FlourishAnyway. I don't know how I'd get by without my furry friends or my laptop stand. Best wishes for your good health.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 months ago from USA

        Glad you have company while you are recuperating. Pets make all the difference. I like that computer stand. May need one myself, as I’ve just hopefully finished up from a spell of bad health.

      • Sherry Hewins profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherry Hewins 

        2 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

        Thanks Peggy, it takes a lot of patience to be a patient.

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        2 months ago from Houston, Texas

        Sorry to hear that you are laid up in bed again. It sounds like you definitely make the most of it with your time. Hope you recover soon. Loved the photo of your buddies that share your bed.

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