Things to do when you've gotta stay in bed/seated for long stretches

For some months I’ve been having some mobility problems and issues with my health. I’m getting treated, and it’s getting much better, but long story short I have some serious muscle wasting that’s happened over the last half a year and spending a good amount of time lying in bed is just reality right now as I build up my strength and hope for the best on the meds. Now that I actually feel pretty good and am not in pain, though, I’m sleeping much less, and starting to struggle
terribly with boredom. Don’t get me wrong, I get out to work and such, can do a bit of light shopping some days, but after a full workday or a small excursion out I generally need some liedown time (from an hour or two to the whole evening, depending on how strenuous the day was). On weekends I also spend a lot of time recuperating from the week, and alternating between getting some cooking and cleaning in and resting as needed.

Fortunately, I have an iPad and an iPhone, and those have helped a lot. I watch a lot of Netflix and other videos, I read a lot on the web, I play a few games, I read books, I text and chat on the phone. Caught up with a lot of media, and that’s great, but I’m just starting to lose interest in watching so much TV and surfing the web so much. I find my attention span going further and further down and getting more just plain antsy. I find myself compulsively rechecking sites like Reddit and the content not moving over fast enough.

Anyone who’s been through something like this have any suggestions for stuff they like to do? I can sit up in bed and all, I just need to elevate my feet a lot. I can also sit at the computer, or at a computer chair at a table, for awhile most nights, but too much typing is rough (struggling with some hand circulation issues that leave the tips of my fingers very sore) so my habit of PC gaming a lot has had to be cut down significantly. This probably rules out something like, say, knitting as well.

If nothing else, interesting books or sites or TV/movies (Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime) or iPad apps/games are all fine suggestions since I run through stuff so fast, but any other bright ideas on how to pass the time?

Prove that all positive even integers ≥ 4 can be written as the sum of two primes.

What sort of computer games do you like? I can think of some genres that require very little manual input. The Civilization series for instance, which can consume your life, requires a few mouse clicks every now and then.

Are you interested in traditional (non-graphic, book based) role playing at all?

Another thought: do you play Words with Friends?

Project Gutenberg: free books! They’re public domain classics…and the quality varies catastrophically, from some of the best stuff imaginable to some of the worst stuff imaginable. But, my God, what a wonderful trove, embracing much of the best in English literature…ever. A joy, a treasure, a lifetime!

At a much lower level of time-wasting, I am very fond of the “puzzle” solitaire games published by Everett Kaser Software. Time wasters. Time killers. Time mass-murderers! If you’ve got twenty minutes and nothing whatever better to do, these little joys will make those twenty minutes vanish faster than an eclair at a dieters’ convention. My favorite is “Watson’s Map.” I think I may actually have thrown away a year or more of my life on this!

(They aren’t really “addictive.” They’re just vaguely more fun than, say, alphabetizing your dinner-plates or updating your Christmas-Card list.)

Have you tried some kind of painting? as opposed to sketching which might tax your fingers too much. Seems like painting would be more fluid. Or something mostly using your palms like shaping some kind of dough?

I know zilch about computer games but Speak to me Maddie’s suggestion about the “Civilization series” sounds interesting.

I can only go so long before I feel the need to be productive, or challenged. Is there something you would like to learn or accomplish? Learn a new language? Program a website? Study art history? Having a focus, rather than just passing time, helps immensely with boredom.

World of Warcraft? You can play with mostly mouse clicks unless you want to chat with friends/guildmates.

When I get bored I do my land based physiotherapyexercises [not #6] , or seriously bored I do floor work stretches from my old dance days.

Oddly enough the answer to nonmovement based fatigue is movement. I can heartily recommend going to a pool, paying for the hour or whatever and instead of swimming laps, gently walk back and forth in your lane. The water supports you, ultra low impact, and just being vertical and moving is great for the muscle wasting and fatigue. The slight drag of the water on the limbs is enough resistance to give you a starting work out.

[my favorite hydro session is walking the width of the pool roughly 20 times in different manners, then about 15 minutes of various stretches in the water, then strapping on a float device and grabbing a pair of swim noodles and doing different treading water movements for about 30 minutes. Ultralow impact, no cardio at all since that is NOT the point of hydro, and gets all the different movements in that my orthopod wants my joints to go through. ]

What about crafting? Is there someone who can teach you to knit or crochet?

Take an online class?

Learn to tie knots, or do origami. You can learn both from books and both are kind of fun!

It would also be the perfect time to learn some sleight of hand, magicy type of move. Something that just takes practice, till you get it down. Like the pencil tricks geeks do. That sort of thing.

Get a scrapbook and create a book of awesome. Write down your favorite college stories, and your best times, with friends and family. The most awesome thing about each person in your life. All the things you’re grateful for, things you see in magazines and think are beautiful, and so on. Then it will always be at hand should your spirits start to sink!

Also a great time to sort old photos and assemble family histories, (make some calls, ask some pointed questions, get some great stories, write them down!)

And, of course, you can always count on us to amuse you! Good Luck!

Thank you all so much for your suggestions! Please keep any coming.

I think, upon some reflection on your ideas, what I’m looking for is something constructive to do. Learning a skill, a language, or taking on a hobby – something that I can come back to and feel like I’m accomplishing and learning something. I feel a bit isolated, and I can’t do a lot of the things that used to stimulate me that way (volunteering, geocaching, going to the gym, trying new restaurants, traveling), leaving me mostly doing passive things. While I like games and reading and watching TV, it’s hard to get excited about it. An ongoing project would be ideal.

To clarify, though, fussy things involving hand movements like knitting, origami and papercrafts are probably off the table for now due to the finger issues (Reynauld’s phenomenon leaves me with painful fingertips that injure easily, and sometimes sores). Painting is an interesting idea. I like to draw, but painting would probably be easier on me, so I’ll look into that. Other craft ideas would be welcome – making gifts for people would be cool, for example, but I can’t think of what. I like to cook a lot, so something that involved not too much kitchen time but more just putting stuff together at a table might be plausible.

As for learning languages, I’d love to pick up some Japanese. Anyone learn a language at home and have suggestions? There are some interesting iPad apps that aren’t too expensive (I have to be a little conservative with money due to the unknown amount of medical bills coming my way), but other ideas are welcome, too.

I love Civ games! I am a little burnt out on them for the moment as that is what I was doing a lot about 2 months ago. I do have Sins of a Solar Empire on deck on Steam for when I feel like it. I am open to most kinds of games; my true love is Team Fortress 2 (which I can play for short periods), I play a little Left 4 Dead 2 with the SDMB steam guys too, and I have about 50 indy Steam games waiting for me :). But new ideas that involve mostly a mouse would be awesome.

Oakminster, I’m a former heavy WoW addict so I won’t be getting back into that for now. :slight_smile: I don’t really want to get into an MMO as playing solo tends to be lame in the long term, and grouping can be hard as I can’t necessarily commit to the time. Might get back into it someday if this becomes a more chronic thing though, I did value the social interaction.

Arnold Winkelried: Words with Friends is great, just a little burned out on so many puzzle and word games at the moment. Any suggestions for other social games like that are great, I did enjoy Draw Something for quite a while as well.

Yes, I’m a former D&D player. I’ve tried playing online on forums but found it moved a little too slowly for my patience, though.

A great idea – I do have a stack of books, but something challenging would be interesting. Any suggestions for where to start?

Thank you. I definitely plan on getting in the pool soon. Right now, I’m a little hesitant because I am fairly unstable and I fear I may not be able to get out of the pool or may fall down on wet surfaces. Once I see the specialist I’m hoping to get some advice on exercise, and it is likely I will need physical therapy as well, and I hope to ask for aquatherapy which I think would help a lot. I’ll save the link for the next couple of weeks. I am doing some dumbbell exercises with my arms, and working on some practical exercises with my lower half (mostly getting in and out of chairs more, getting up and about more, walking short stretches) which is leaving me fatigued the day after but seemingly improving. I was thinking of doing some things with resistance bands as well, with doctor permission.

That’s an interesting idea… any ideas for free or low cost programs? I’d be interested in many different subjects, from practical (computing skills for example) to just enriching stuff in the arts and sciences.

elbows, sadly most of those things are a bit too hazardous for my sensitive pingies right now, but I’ll keep those in mind for the future. The finger issue I think might just need a medication tweak, as it has improved but not completely, so hopefully those are things I can maybe do in a few months as I heal up.

Glad you’re getting some good ideas, fluidruid!

I don’t mean to hijack, but I’m a little afraid of the Game Room. I think I’d like to try playing some games but don’t have the slightest idea where to start. Can anybody fill me in? I’m not that computer literate but will try to understand. :slight_smile:

In the way of really long series of books, there are always Proust and George R R Martin. If I had your kind of time I would return to A Dance To The Music Of Time by Anthony Powell.

You could listen to TED talks online.

Can you still make money by stuffing envelopes?

Weep for joy?

/Smeghead, father of two children under three years old

I’ve been learning Vietnamese, and began with Pimsleur, which I consider to be the gold standard for home learning. Strictly audio, no writing, and a real, solid pedagogical method. They have a Japanese course: $119, I think, for the first thirty lessons (MP3 files). And you’re lucky if you take up Japanese seriously, because Pimsleur has three levels – 90 lessons in total. Pimsleur Viet has only 30 lessons. The method is somewhat controversial, but I’ve tried other methods, and to me, Pimsleur is the best. Since I’m through the Pimsleur Viet course, I’m doing L-Lingo’s Viet course, which has more of a written component, but it’s amateur hour compared to Pimsleur. It’s essentially just a very large flashcard system – no pedagogical underpinnings at all. After L-Lingo, I may give 2Speak a shot, but I think I’ll just find a private teacher instead (can’t find a course in my area).

You might also take up singing, which I think can help greatly with keeping you breathing deeply. Maybe that’s a good idea, or maybe bad. I don’t really know your condition. You might have a voice teacher come in a once a week and work on singing.

Or take up harmonica, which, in the beginning, won’t stress your hands too much. If you get good at it, you use your hands a little more intensely and actively, but in the beginning, not so much.

Wow! Way, way, way too wide a field! I dunno your tastes.

But, taking a stab…

Aristophanes, “The Frogs.” Broad comedy, merging into theater criticism. Puts you in touch with a civilization 2,000 years ago. Not that much has changed!

Talbot Mundy: rip-roarin’ Kiplingesque adventure stories. Or, just go for Kipling: hard to beat “Kim.” “Captains Courageous” is fun, too: you’d think it’d be boring as hell…but it ain’t!

Robert W. Chambers: “The King in Yellow.” A fascinating combination of proto-Lovecraftian horror and fin-de-siecle arts. Or “The Hidden Children,” where he takes off from where James Fennimore Cooper left off, and gives us one hell of a wander through the forest primeval. About a million times better than Cooper, that’s for sure!

Dante’s Divine Comedy: when someone tells you to go to Hades, you can say, “Been there!”

“Our American Cousin,” the play by Tom Taylor. Read, at least, the play that Lincoln was watching when he was shot. It’s a charming little comedy of manners, made rambunctious by the inclusion of the Yankee boy who hasn’t any! (And yet who has more savoire-faire than everyone else in the play combined!)

Joy to you! To you, the joy of reading!

Make soap!

I would have suggested Skyrim, but the PC version requires W-A-S-D keyboard input for movement, in combination with mouse input for fighting. It’s a really great game, and I understand the control interface is considerably less clunky if you have PS3 or XBox…and it may be possible to play the PC version with a game controler.

The game is sorta like a non-mmo version of WoW, semi-similar to Baldur’s Gate or AD&D “gold box” games, except you have a single character and an optional follower/helper for some stuff.

Completely different genre, but you may want to look into Bridge. There are lots of ways to play online, either socially or competitively.