Fun while housebound
March 19, 2008 5:59 PM   Subscribe

Please suggest fun thing for me to do while housebound and healing from fractures.

How can I keep from dying of boredom while spending the next month+ lying on the couch?

I have multiple pelvic & leg fractures and have to lie around for at least a month. I would love any suggestions for fun distractions. So far I have been reading magazines, web surfing, and playing sim city, all of which are fine but starting to get old.

Things I can't do: moving (I can hobble short distances on a walker, can't sit for more than about 30 minutes), thinking too hard (narcotics have fuzzed my brain).

Things I can do: reading, listening to music, using a computer (I have a laptop + internet connection).
posted by betterton to Health & Fitness (25 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
to me, watching TED talks is fun (although its passive, many are also thought-provoking and inspiring).
posted by hazel at 6:07 PM on March 19, 2008

Step 1: Get addicted to sudoku (the easy ones since your brain is fuzzy).
Step 2: By the time you stop, you'll almost be healed.

Really.. I can't put my book down! "Just one more!"
posted by at 6:10 PM on March 19, 2008

Oh God, I have been there and it just fucking sucks.

Anything with your hands is good. Now is a great time to learn to knit or needlepoint. Scrapbooking. Puzzles. Rubik's Cube. Scale models - those simple snap together balsa wood ones, if they work better for you right now.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:11 PM on March 19, 2008

Oh and NetFlix.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:12 PM on March 19, 2008

knitting, starting with the obligatory scarf and moving on to tall tall stockings for newly healed legs. Okay, maybe if you're a guy you'll want something manlier than stockings. But still, everyone should learn how to knit, at least once.
posted by whatzit at 6:18 PM on March 19, 2008

Netflix indeed. Itunes has a good selection of TV shows. Play scrabble against yourself or visitors. Try flexing your working muscles (while stationary, of course) to try to retain your strength.
You could learn a language off the computer.
You could learn how to knit or try another handicraft as it sounded like your arms were ok (with help and supplies from outside).
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 6:24 PM on March 19, 2008

I have been spending a lot of time on Geni lately.
posted by charlesv at 6:51 PM on March 19, 2008

Thanks for the suggestions. Knitting or something else that involves my hands sounds great, I hadn't thought of that. Puzzles also could be good.

hazel: I hadn't heard of TED, it looks great. Other favorite website suggestions are also welcome.
posted by betterton at 7:27 PM on March 19, 2008

Not sure of your age but us "older Folks" tend to have lots of photographs stuffed in different places. This is a great time to write the names on the back and organize them in photo boxes or albums.
posted by JujuB at 7:28 PM on March 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'd recommend some decent serial TV shows. The standard suggestion is The Wire which I think is worthwhile and interesting and I'm not a huge TV person. I'd also see about getting James Burke's Connections series. May be a little heady for someone on drugs but you can also watch them again later. Connections 2 is not as good, fwiw. I've also liked the Hercule Poirot mysteries with David Suchet and the first season [so far] of Arrested Development.

I'd also look into podcasts. There are the back issues of the MeFi podcast which are sometimes amusing, but I've often liked the more education-oriented ones where you learn something about something you never knew about. Esp if you're feeling fuzzy, listening to something and looking up related wikipedia or other online information can be neat. There are some good podcast recommendation threads here.

It's also a great time to go into your photo manager and tag all your old photos or organize and backtag your old blog posts and/or other online content.

Also if you're feeling remotely social, get a regular thing going on with one of your friends to do something socially. Maybe you just lie around and have tea while you both write letters or organize scrapbooks but having someone around with a decent set of legs can help you do small things and a regular meeting with someone you like can be something to look forward to and give you a reason to clean up/wake up/put on pants.

Call your local library and see if you can arrange either for temporary homebound delivery service or have a friend go pick stuff up for you. Getting whole back runs of magazines that you like but maybe haven't kept up on -- like the New Yorker from 1998 or something -- and you can pick away on them over time.

Plants. If you can get someone to help you, you can plant some seeds/grass/herbs/flowers in little planters near your couch area and watch them change slowly over time. Similarly if you're near a window and have birdfeeders you may be able to get a friend or helper to get a few feeders set up and watch the birds. When I've been feeling pretty not like doing much else, there's a lot of passive enjoyment in watching birds.

I hope you heal well and quickly.
posted by jessamyn at 7:37 PM on March 19, 2008

I was going to recommend calligraphy, but if you can't sit I guess you can't do that.

If you can, you might want to see if there is some sort of Japanese association in your neck of the woods (it's quite possible) and get someone to come to your house and teach you Japanese. It's often said that writing the language is the hardest part, but learning how to write Japanese characters is very meditative, and calligraphy is something that can be practiced for hours without boredom (it's kind of like walking or hiking or swimming in a way).

Maybe a month from now you'll be able to do it.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:37 PM on March 19, 2008

Borrow someone's Nintendo DS. I'm not a gamer by any means, but I got one as a gift for Christmas with Super Mario Brothers & Brain Age, and it pretty awesome for short bursts of entertainment. Plus Brain Age has Sudoku puzzles.
posted by chiababe at 8:07 PM on March 19, 2008

Classic computer gaming?

(Planescape: Torment, X-Com UFO Defense, Fallout, and Fallout 2 come to mind)

Chinups/chest-ups on a chinup bar and dips between two chairs to get your upper body in shape for when you're ready for crutches?
posted by porpoise at 8:07 PM on March 19, 2008

uh, metafilter?
posted by robinrs at 9:13 PM on March 19, 2008

On the serial TV front, Battlestar Galactica Season 3 is now out on DVD. If you haven't seen it, that's 57 hours (counting the pilot minisereis) of your live that could be well spent.
posted by stevis23 at 9:20 PM on March 19, 2008

  • Start some seedlings? I use this - it's like a mini greenhouse.

  • Make some marble magnets - these make GREAT gifts if you use pictures that are of interest to the recipient. (you can also glue the flat kind of thumbtack on back and have customized pushpins).

  • Start a fishbowl. You could get a betta and name it Bettatron.

    Caring for other things/people takes my mind off my own issues, sometimes.

  • Make an Inspiration Board and put it somewhere where you can see it.

  • Make some cordage.

  • Paint, draw, make some creations with Sculpey.

  • Write letters to the editorial section of your local newspaper.

  • posted by Ostara at 9:28 PM on March 19, 2008

    If you are at all interested in films (and have a TV you can watch while lying down) now is a great time to explore DVDs from your local library. For example, you could go back through the decades and watch black-and-white classics like Casablanca and Citizen Kane. Or watch the whole James Bond series, in order. Or musicals. Or the best films your favorite actor ever made. A great web resource is the IMDB. Check out your library's online catalog. And when your friend stops by the library and brings you your DVDs, make it a celebration, have a good time together.
    posted by exphysicist345 at 11:15 PM on March 19, 2008


    If you don't already have 50 pounds of the stuff under a bed somewhere, Lego have for a while now been selling great little "Pod" kits that have lots of possibilities, are small enough that a TV-dinner lap-table is more than big enough for them, and are dirt cheap.
    posted by dansdata at 3:52 AM on March 20, 2008

    Knitting or something else that involves my hands sounds great

    You aren't only limited to knitting. There are loads of crafts you might check out. Rughooking, crochet, embroidery, needlepoint, counted cross-stitch. You could make some Christmas or birthday presents for people. My advice would be that you get some kind of craft mail order catalogue and browse through it to see what takes your fancy. It depends on how much effort you're willing to put into it. Knitting can take awhile to learn, but there are other mediums that anyone can do from the get go.
    posted by orange swan at 6:46 AM on March 20, 2008

    Oh, I've been there. It sucks. it does get better, though!

    - Organize old photos, maybe have them brought from your relatives' houses?
    - Start a blog?
    - Re-read high school diary, post best/worst entries on the blog?
    - Organize tax receipts by expenditure and month (no thinking, just mindless sorting). Put in envelopes & label.
    - Learn a new language on CD? Or learn to speak English with an accent?
    - Take lots of naps?
    - Catch up on the archives of some entertaining blogs? I like as a starter, it leads on a nice goose chase around the internets. And mimi smartypants, and of course, metafilter and askmefi.
    - Play online poker, scrabble, or chess?
    - Brush up on your movie literacy by watching some of the 100 best movies of all time? (Don't skip "Rear Window"!)

    Feel better soon!
    And eat lots of fibre- you know what painkillers do!
    posted by pseudostrabismus at 8:13 AM on March 20, 2008

    Make Peep sculptures! It's the season. Send someone out to pick up supplies. I've been talking for years about making a Peep sculpture replicating the Chinese terra cotta warriors and have never got around to it. Succeed where I have failed.
    posted by elendil71 at 9:00 AM on March 20, 2008

    *I second the Sculpey-making. It's fun. And you don't have to cook it, or you can cook it later.
    *Fancast has limited episodes of a lot of TV shows, even vintage ones.
    *If you get bored of looking for things to do on the internet: do you have a feed reader? You can search around and add tons of sites to your reader--my subscriptios are growing exponentially. Google Reader also makes suggestions for you based on searches, news you read, etc.
    *Depends on your interests, but: ScienceDaily is interesting and not too technical. Tons of subcategories.
    *Listen to free lectures. A lot of big name universities are putting lectures online. Yale is one of them. I know UC-Berkeley does, too.
    *If you're able to, start writing stories about your life. (Again, not sure of your age...) There are some books to help you get ideas (All About Me) or you can do it freestyle.
    *If you like to hear other people's stories: StoryCorps is absolutely amazing.
    *Coverville is a fun podcast that plays...covers of songs. Interesting to find out about the originals and fun to hear re-makes.
    *NY Times podcasts
    *NPR podcasts
    *The Encyclopedia of Life is up and running now.
    posted by hulahulagirl at 2:06 PM on March 20, 2008

    Subversive cross stitch for a fun crafty project. I've made "Bite me" and "Go fuck yourself". They're quick and easy to do.
    posted by bendy at 8:06 PM on March 21, 2008

    Write a novel! A month is the length of NaNoWriMo.

    Read Neil Stephenson's Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, The System Of The World) -- not short, but surprisingly engaging. I'm sure you don't want to read all the time, but reading an extended series by any author, or reading as much as you can of one author, can occupy a lot of time and, if the stories are well done, draw you into a totally distracting world.
    posted by lhauser at 9:56 PM on March 22, 2008

    Dwarf Fortress will eat your life if you let it.
    posted by ODiV at 8:31 PM on March 26, 2008

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