What Does Your Bedside Table Reveal About You?


What do the items on your bedside table reveal about you? Mine clearly says that an arthritic lives here. I’ve learned that preparedness is a must when sick and there isn’t anyone readily available to help. Other than a lamp and alarm clock, my bedside table is littered with the following:

  • A phone – I spend a lot of time alone and sometimes I can’t get up from bed. Literally. There have been times I’ve had to call a family member to come and stay with me or take me to the Emergency Room. If I didn’t have a phone at bedside I wouldn’t be able to call for help. Calling a friend is sometimes a welcome distraction from what is going on physically.
  • Prescription Medications – I keep extra pain medication and muscle relaxers at bedside. There are no children in my home so I am able to do that. If you live with others, you can keep a small locked box at your bedside to store a few extra doses of medication for those times you can’t get up or getting up would mean increased pain.
  • Water – Every night before I go to bed I put a glass of water on my night stand or I open a bottle of water to break the seal then lightly put the cap back on and put by my bedside. It is important that I remember to open the bottle because I may not have the ability to open it when I need it during the night or the next morning due to stiff, painful joints in my hands/fingers.
  • Topical Medications – I have a prescription liquid topical that I can put on my tendons and joints that helps temporarily dull the pain. I also have a slew of non-prescription topicals that help to some degree. The ones that work best are within reach.
  • TV/DVD remote control – Sometimes watching mindless TV shows is a welcome distraction or the background noise of listening to the nightly news reel lulls me to sleep.
  • Kindle – I have difficulty holding thick books now so I love my Kindle. I can read while in bed which is another great distraction when I’m not feeling well.
  • Bible – Sometimes seeking out the Lord is the only thing that works for me to help me feel less alone when I feel rotten. I should try that first more often!
  • Snack – Crackers, an apple, or a protien bar – Sometimes the medicine we take can cause a queasy stomach. If I can’t get up and walk to the kitchen, having something like this at bedside is smart.
  • Dog Treats – my faithful companion, Gracie, lies in bed with me when I feel awful and such devotion deserves unlimited treats!

So, what does your bedside table say about you? Maybe there are a few things I’ve listed that will help you get through your bad days when you are confined to bed or spark some forethought of your own. I hope that some of the things I keep at bedside caused you to smile. Chronic illness can isolate even those of us who live in a household of people. Having what you need at bedside can help you feel like you are maintaining some degree of independence too!

In addition to having a prepared bedside table I also have the following in the bedroom:

  • Electric blanket on the bed – I prefer to keep an electric blanket on the bed most of the year vs a heating pad. I’ve seen burns on patients who fell asleep lying on a heating pad (even those with an auto-shut off). I only use a heating pad when I am sitting up, alert. Most of us take drugs that suppress our immune system. Because of the suppressed immune response infection is likely and the failure of skin grafts adhering is high.
  • Cane – I have a off-set cane near the bed so when I’m stiff and can’t trust my knees I can get to the restroom more steadily. I try to keep a clear path to the bathroom. Throw rugs are secured with a non-skid backing to prevent falls.

Being confined to bed for even a short time is no fun at all, but it is sometimes necessary when disease flares attack your mobility. Think about what you need during a flare that confines you to bed and put those items within your reach to prepare yourself for a flare situation.

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