When I’m in hospital, I value any pleasant sensory experience I can find. This includes easy ways to get fresh and clean. I believe I have somewhat perfected the art of the hospital wash-bag… Three stages arise:
Stage 1. I can’t get out of bed – bed-bound washing for me!
Stage 2. The first shower after being ill: SO GOOD, everyone knows that. Unless nauseated with drugs, get celebratory smells (e.g. strawberry). If you need help washing, it doesn’t require anyone’s effort to use a good smelling shampoo. If you’re bathing solo, treats which require little effort but ‘soak in’ are good… so you can legitimately bask under the warm / cold / hot water (I usually try all three) for as long as possible.
Stage 3. I’m nearly out of here! You can obtain replacements if needed. Miniatures inspire optimistic visions of a speedy departure.
Like the Tour de France, gameplay and ‘advance effort management’ gives each stage a better dynamic. And my final thought, hospital bathrooms often have an endless supply of towels… make the most of it. What else have you got to do?
1. The Body Shop Tea Tree Facial Wipes £5
These are actually worth £5, yes they are. They are my number one hospital item: they’re so fresh you feel instantly brighter; the antiseptic quality prevents spots and redness; they cool your skin in the stuffy inferno of the ward at night and they’re super easy to use. I hate half hearted sweet chemical face-wipes in hospital: a false dawn when you really don’t want one. These are little rockets of facial joy. I’ve tried other brands of tea tree wipe, but this is the best. I gleefully used sixteen in a row after my last operation, building a tea tree mountain on my wheely table in a frenzy of surgical success and opiate enthusiasm… my boyfriend had to stop me as my skin gradually wore away to a pink glowing sliver of cells. I had such a good time for those minutes. What more evidence is needed? These are fantastic.
2. The Body Shop Strawberry Shower Gel 60mls £2
This stuff is lush. It smells of what you dream a strawberry smells like just after you’ve had a couple of glasses of Pimms and fallen asleep with your nose resting in a bowl of pavlova. The size is ideal. The colour is vibrant. Yum, I want this every day; not only those special days when I’m showering in a beige wet room clinging onto support bars being helped along with the sponge by a kindly nurse.
3. The Body Shop Coconut Milk body lotion spray £3
The spray’s handy when you can’t stretch as far as your knees which are rapidly scaling over in the sub-sahran hospital air. It’s tropical and conjures the sense that you’re heading down to the beach in Jamaica rather than the adjustable bed in obs and gynae. Soak this up, so you can enjoy bathing.
4. The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Hand Cleansing Gel £2
You need this. It smells gorgeous anyway, but it also does great things. Forgetting MRSA and C. diff for a minute, however sanitised a hospital is, if you can’t get out of bed to wash your own hands you only need to keep functioning to create a need for hand cleanser. What will you do after you eat a bag of cheese and onion crisps of scratch your armpit or worse your foot or worse… adjust your rather lovely selection of post-op bed paraphernalia? Perhaps you never do such repulsive things. But even if you just eat a smoked salmon sandwich, this hand gel will make you feel both human and happy.
For good measure. It makes things better.