Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How To Help Surgery Edition

Throughout this whole surgery we have been utterly blessed with really great family and friends. People have come out of the woodwork to give us a hand. They've blessed us in some really creative ways as well. So I thought I'd share some of the practical ways that people have helped us and give you all some ideas for when you need to help someone.

1. Bringing meals. While this isn't all that new or novel, it has been very helpful. We have TOTALLY appreciated all the meals we have received. One thing I have learned from this is to send meals in disposable containers. While it isn't earth friendly, it is husband friendly. Husbands (at least mine) don't always know what containers belong to us and what belongs to the nice lady who sent the casserole. And then they forget to return them. Which isn't a good thing. Once I am well I totally plan to stock up on aluminum pans and plastic dishes.

2. Childcare. Because of the sternal precautions and the strong drugs, I couldn't really be alone with the kids. Some wonderful women have taken my kids, fed them, played with them, even made cookies with them and returned them happy and tired. If you can offer this to a friend recovering from surgery it is HUGE!!!

3. Care packages. These were SO nice. Magazines, a movie, chocolate, lip balm, toys for the boys, all things that were readily used and I wouldn't have bought them otherwise. The boys each got a colour changer lightening McQueen car. They have spent hours playing with them, and it made them feel rather involved as they got something from mommy's basket. As well, the giver of one basket included a box of Dilly bars because they heard that Way Cooler liked Dairy Queen. It was a BIG HIT with my busy caregiver.

4. Library Slave. A lady from my bible study group works at the library. She has volunteered to pick out and drop off a selection of books every week or two and take in the ones we are done with. THIS IS HUGE. The boys and I are HUGE fans of the library, their dad, not so much. Plus he has a lot on his plate. I had just assumed that our library days were done for three months or so. To have this lady do this for us is a wonderful treat. PLUS, it is like she has gotten into the mind of my boys. They adore the selection of books she's brought us thus far.

5. Hospital Parking Pass. We were given one for the week of my stay. SUPER DUPER GIFT. It made Way Cooler's life so much easier and it saved us the hassle of having to go get one ourselves. If you can afford it, this is a GREAT gift.

6. Sports guests. Because having a soccer ball kicked into my chest would be a VERY, VERY bad thing, I have to skip the boy's games. Plus, Way Cooler signed up to coach Sprout's team long before we knew about the surgery so now Spud had no one to be at his games. Enter a wonderful Uncle and some dedicated grandparents who ensure that Spud has someone cheering for him Every.Single.Game. It's awesome. Maybe you could go to a game or two and cheer on a little one whose parents are not able to.

7. One last thing. PLEASE do not make us sick. I have never been a germaphobe, but this experience has made me VERY leery about being sick. Sneezing hurts. A LOT. I am doing my level best to avoid illness. So please do not bring your sick kids to visit or come see us when you are ill. Getting sick only makes me sore, a cancer patient could get even sicker. We'd love to see you, but not when you are sick.

What about you? How have you helped someone or been helped?


Tez said...

I adore your brain and your spirit. I so appreciate this! I'm facing surgery (x 3) and people keep asking if I'll need them, this list is awesome. Never having had surgery before, I'm at a loss, both as to how to help others and how to ask for help. Thanks so much for putting your experience and thoughts out there.
Can you talk on the phone?

Knittinchick said...

I want a library princess to take care of my books for me!

Good list. I do love the disposable containers thing... when I take things to people's places, I don't want to worry about getting it back... especially my beloved tupperware!

Nicole said...

This is great. You know, the sports thing is huge for kids. It's hard to see little ones without someone to cheer for them! I'm glad you have such a great support network!