Get Up and Pee
We’ve all woken up early in the morning really needing to pee, but are so tired that we try to just lie there a little longer. We all know that the second we finally commit to getting out of bed we can rush to the bathroom. I bet you’ve never thought of that as a luxury. For millions of people who are in the hospital every day, it’s just that.
Imagine being in a hospital bed: you’re tethered to oxygen, an IV pole, and maybe even a chest tube. It wouldn’t be an easy feat to get up, let alone go to the bathroom. Often, the solutions available to you are to have a catheter, use a bedpan, or, god forbid, pee in your bed. They’re all so embarrassing. When I was in the hospital after an appendectomy and the nurse slid a bedpan under me and told me to “go ahead and pee,” I could’ve died. I was 17 and I really wanted to get up to use the regular bathroom. The nurse said that would be too much trouble with my IV and oxygen running. While using the bedpan, I couldn’t help but think that it was going to spill over onto the bed.
I joke about getting up to pee, but there are so many serious complications of bed rest. Immobility while one is hospitalized can lead to serious complications: urinary tract infections, bed sores, pneumonia, and blood clots, just to name a few. The benefits of mobility are numerous, including improved digestion, increased strength, increased independence, improved pulmonary function, and improved blood flow.
There is a better way! You have to insist on getting up and out of bed when you are in the hospital! It’s good for you to move your legs, and you certainly don’t want to pee in your bed now, do you?