Friday, 26 February 2010

Sick Bed

The Sick Bed by H. Lessing

How do you feel when you're confined to bed by illness or incapacity?  Do you thank goodness for the rest or does guilt eat into you, thinking of all those chores that you "should" be doing?  Do you ever get feelings of powerlessness or frustration?

How do you pass the hours from your sick bed?  Sleeping, reading, watching TV, speaking on the phone, masturbating, eating?  Do you get lonely?

Have you ever been incapitated for any length of time?  If so, how did such an experience differ from that of a shorter illness?


  1. Being ill is not fun, even worse when its Christmas.But the Christmas before last I was hit by the flu - which is far worse than any cold ever.
    We were at inlaws so thankfully husband and children were looked after. I managed to make it down for present opening and then went and slept from lunch all the way through to boxing day evening!

  2. This is something that really hits me on a pretty regular basis. I have bipolar, and also arthritis in some joints, both of which can leave me confined to my bed from time to time. I also develop chest infections pretty much every time I catch a cold, which again really knocks me out and leaves me stuck in bed for about a week. Sometimes (with the biploar in particular) the brain fog is just too much for me to even feel guilt at not doing anything, I just have to sleep, take medication and wait it out- when things are bad i'm not able to read even which is something that gets me down a lot. Other times when i'm knocked out with a chest infection I get incredibly frustrated that I can't do things, I try and document my ideas and use it as thinking time, but I end up getting wound up about my inaction, and fearful of all the catching up i'm going to have to do afterwards. I wish I was more able to see it as a bit of a gift from my body- enforced relaxation and rest time, but instead I tend to see it as a personal failing! When I was seriously unwell with the madness I was in bed for months and ended up pretty much having to start everything all over again- in a way it was great to have to do that as I was able to let go some of the ways of doing stuff that had been with me for years and create new ways of working.

  3. In my younger years, prekids, I had a wreck and was confined to a bed w/painful treatments for a long time. It felt as if life was passing me by. That may have been an extension of my personality because as a kid I hated to go to bed afraid that I would miss some part of life. When I got out of the hospital life indeed had passed me by and I struggled with the psychological aspects of being always a 1/2 step behind. It took a while to 'feel' a part.

    I had H1N1 this fall. I remember wanting to get up and participate in parenting, my job, my home, but I was so ill I literally could not stay vertical for more than a few minutes. On top of my severe illness I tortured myself emotionally with those desires. I forced myself back to work too fast and relapsed, leaving me to wonder why I had done it.

  4. Being ill at a time that should be for celebrating can be no fun BNM, especially when you've got kids. Good on the family for doing it all for you though

    Camilla - it seems as though you have managed to gain some positivity from your illness. The frustration, though, must be immense. And yes, sleep is the thing!! And ideas. I know you have some great ones, I've seen the proof.

    Olivia - I do imagine that not wanting to missing out is a strong emotion. And there's a lesson there for all of us as far as the recent brush (for want of a better word) with H1N1 goes.

    I would very much like to talk to you more about this Cam and Oli. Will be in touch soon, if that's ok. Thank you so much for your openness - and here's to good health xx

  5. I am so glad you posted a link to this. Just a brief comment - I started a poem about the Swirls in My Head which is a bit like your mind being a fog.

    I have been ill now since last July and have just been diagnosed with depression. Because of my IBS I have had a reduced immune system and seem to be ill all the time. I had a cancer scare before Christmas because my cervix was bleeding.
    Being ill is just such a pain in the bum! In my case it is the shits!

  6. haltw - That sounds like hell and I know that your illness is grist to your writing mill - I've read your poem Irritable Bowel and think it's genius! Maybe you could post Swirls in My Head here when it's done?

    Health and Happiness x