Asthma UK community forum

Time Passing Tips for Hosptial

I don't know why we have not done this before as so many of us end on on protracted admissions! I am on a marathon stint this time I am now trying all sorts of things to try and help pass the time. So if you have a new or different way to pass the time share it with everyone!

My latest is to get people to bring in those Christmas catalogues that are arriving in newspapers, through the post and from shops. I am then looking through them and getting ideas for presents, once I have the idea I then go and hunt on the web for the cheapest source. I have ordered presents that are £20 in the catalogues for £5 online! If you don't have the internet I guess you could simply note down who for/where from/price and do the rest when you are home convalescing. And I am feeling a surge of deep satisfaction as the Christmas list gets organised and filled :)



11 Replies

I've also been in along time, 7 weeks so far, apart from the usual reading, watching tv, surfing the net (great having my usb thing!), ive been ordering lots of dvds of there so cheap and keep you entertained for a few hours, plus I get rather excited when I get some post lol! I also knit, hard when you have the shakes, I have lots of paper, colouring books, felt tip and coulouring pens to draw and doodle with but still I get bored!


I tend to be a bit traditional in my time passing - books, puzzle books, basic (and i mean basic) x stitch, DVDs. My visitors know that they are likely to get trapped with a game of scrabble too! If i have any card craft projects that don't require much equipment then they often get brought in, letter writing (providing im not too shaky!!

I have spent this last week at home after my last admission doing pretty much what you are doing with all the catalogues and my to buy list is over half complete - it sure is satisfying!!!

Any idea when u are likely to escape?


I do like to break with the traditional entertainment and play the following but then i am mental and usually drugged out my skull.

The usual - How many ceiling tiles are there? How many floor tiles are there? Which nurse smokes and who sneaks off for the longest fag break? Circle the tv guide with things you have no intention of watching.

Ward bingo, make up cards with nurse, junior dr grades, porter, consultant cleaner, matron, pat dog etc and see who wins first you can only cross them off if they speak to you!!!

Find the piano if you are allowed to leave the ward. All hospitals have one somewhere. honestly they do why i have no idea but they do! Pianos previously located in Addenbrookes, RBH (has an electronic keyboard) North Manchester General, Liverpool University hospital, Poole whatever its called now, and William Harvy hospital!

There is of course always the wind up your fellow patients game with news articles etc but you have to be fairly warped to do that........

When i get truly bored i resort to painting watercolours of all the fake flowers around as getting the plastic pill pots to put paint in and kidney dishes for water is entertainment in itself.


St. Thomas' Hospital in London has a grand piano! Some random dude was singing opera to it today....

Just thought I'd let you add that one to your list Marmite!

Emz xx


I always make cards, I have a huge kit at home but have a tool box type thing that I have bits of everything in and my hubby brings it in for me if im in for a stint and sit quite happily day after day making my cards :-)



so far i have found audio books and listening to music, but then i new to asthma hospital admissions this my second ten day stint in less than a month and this time i going to be more than ten days.

huddersfield royal infirmary have a piano found it on first admission but not been allowed to it so far on 2nd one yet. must say fantastic resperatory ward nurses and consultants who r very very good of what i experienced so far!!!

am just finding stregth to get on forum daily, great support.

like sum of ur ideas but i 2 poorly 4 them at mo.



Depends on how sick I am. I have started to do those felt colouring pictures (meant for kids but who cares). We had a taKeawy club on my last long admission gave us something to look forward to at night. When unwell I see what pictures i can make out of the clouds or watch the planes take off and land. At night you can see right across the city can stare out of the window for ages at the lights. Other than that it's my dvd player or the famous patientline.


It depends really...

Surfing the net, working (not as much as I should...), reading everything that I can get my hands on, and then there are the less traditional past times...

There was one game that we used to play - called favouritism - you all press your buzzer at the same time and then see who they come and see first... that was fun for a while until the nurses were ready to smother us all...

Takeaways have always been a necessity - I'm having pizza tonight!! We'd also make bets on what the doctor's would be wearing, and then the hysterical moments that really aren't funny once your sats are over 90!

At the mo I'm making Christmas cards, and buying pressies on the net - it's great - I'll be done before November!

I need more ideas, I'm going mad....!


my friend bought me a wordsearch mug which is fab has marker pen n it just wipes clean after-always hav fun lookin 4 new words... Also got bought a suduko game which keeps me entertained wen im feelin less poorly. There are great compendulums of well known board games 2 which r great 4 playin by yourself if like me ur usually put in a side room or 4 more than 1 player wen u hav visitors etc... There is always the trashy magazines aswel never a dull mo wit them lol. Ive just managed 2 escape again which is great. Hope everyone who is stil in gets better n home soon gud luck n get better soon guys. Lotsa lv Xx


Fantastic and long overdue thread - if I see another sudoku book though ... there's only so much 'brain-training' I can take :D

This is what I got up to this time all of which were quite ingenious given that it was an emergency admission and I didn't have any time-passing things with me:

1. free entertainment in the form of the woman in the bed next to me - I know I shouldn't laugh, but she was quite clearly used to very exclusive private hospitals - I think Tommies is great but she wasn't impressed - making bets on how often she would call out ""I say, nurse could you ..."" in the next 1/2 hour and awarding a ranking system to her somewhat bizarre requests - there's a game in itself I'm sure, but she would definitely beat us all hands down I'm afraid

2. following the piano suggestion - coming up with the most bizarre ways in which the piano could be 'borrowed' and 'relocated' to the ward - given that Tommies does indeed have a grand piano and the lifts are 'interesting' you can come up with some interesting (although possibly bad for the piano) methods

3. male doc watch (adjust as required) - an adjusted form of man-watching - give them a score out of ten on a list of factors (extending the what will they wear idea) and rank them - just don't bust into giggles for no apparent reason because you don't want to have to explain this one!

4. we have a library trolley that comes round - I don't know if all hospitals do this?

5. similar to the Christmas pressie ideas - come up with a real/fantasy/both treat shopping list for yourself for when you escape, finding the cheapest versions of whatever is on the list (when else can you look into buying a desert island...)

Not sure what else ... not sure how I'm going to fit my life back into a normal day when I'm feeling better - I've got good at doing less and I'm sure there isn't the time in a day to do all I used to do.

Oh, and I love the buzzer game btw, but given the resident nasty nurse who clearly doesn't get asthma (all the others are brilliant btw) on the ward I've ended up on too many times, I think I know the outcome in advance...


Usually try to get a card school going, bridge, canasta, plus a few gambling games. Also a flutter on the horses via the net, makes the afternoon TV interesting


You may also like...