Having spent several years with various family members in and out of hospitals, getting stuck in a hospital elevator soon became the norm rather than the exception. Not being found of enclosed spaces we came up with a list of things to do when you are stuck in an elevator. These can be done alone or with everyone else on the elevator. The bonus is doing any of these things is distracting to those of us who are claustrophobic.
After pressing the little contact button on the panel and listening for the disembodied voice asking if you need help (and assuring it you do, you are stuck in the elevator please send help) start a chorus in the round. Ask others to join in and make a merry tune to keep your minds off of the situation. Try different octaves and sing til you run out of songs. This is great if you have young children. They love to sing and will hopefully stop asking how long you will be stuck there.
Remember to keep a sense of humor and don’t panic. Staying calm will ease the tension for anyone else that is on the elevator and if you are prone to anxiety it will help you to remember that you will eventually be released from your captivity.
If anyone has food, pool it and eat it, but I must warn you, do not drink any liquids if it is avoidable. There is nothing worse than being stuck in an elevator with a full bladder.
Read all of the ads on the walls (if you are so blessed that the elevator you are in has ads) and make up funny stories to go with the pictures.
Continue pressing the contact button and asking for help. It may annoy them but you are going to get out sooner. Remember, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”.
Create your own band and bang on walls and such creating music. Someone is bound to hear and report it and you will have a great way to vent that stress. Just pick a tune and go with it. Have everyone join in. Some might sing, others may even dance. Have fun with it.
If you are blessed enough to have a good book with you and you happen to be alone, read your book. What a great time to get caught up on your personal reading that you never seem to have time to do. Being at the hospital so much we always kept a book with us.
Pray. This is also a good time to draw closer to your creator. Start with praying to get out of the elevator soon and then thank him for your blessings and add in all the prayer requests you can think of.
If you are alone and all is quiet you could take advantage of the situation and take a long needed nap. Sooner or the elevator is going to start moving and you will be released from your captivity.
Vow to take the stairs for awhile after this and convince yourself it is great exercise, even it is to the 15th floor.
You might even stop by the information desk from here on out and ask if the elevators are working today before you get in. If they give you a weird look explain that last time you were stuck in one for however long and that you really do not want to repeat the experience any time soon.