What to Do When You Are Stuck in Bed Due to Illness or Injury
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
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
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.
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.
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 .
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 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?
Questions & Answers
© 2018 Sherry Hewins