View Full Version : Need Some experienced help!
05-15-2008, 09:32 AM
Owens surgery is less than 2 weeks away now...I have many family and friends asking me what they can do to help? Idon't have an answer, because I don't know what kind of help we'll need. Does anyone have any suggestions for before or after the surgery help? I hate to turn any one down...but I just feel overwhelmed and don't know what we'll need.
05-15-2008, 09:35 AM
And Im not sure why the post popped up in 2 spots...I didn't do that on purpose....:oops:oops
05-15-2008, 09:48 AM
When Fiona had her surgery, it was my hubby, myself and my sister in law at the hospital, she did all the running for us, she got us food and stuff like that so I didn't have to leave the waiting room. I had a lot of friends and family member ask the same thing...I basically just asked them from prayers. But I would bring an extra person to the hospital for sure.
05-15-2008, 10:09 AM
Yes, prayers are definetly a good thing. I agree with Janet. We had my Mom there with us also and it just helped as once you on the regular floor you won't want to leave your little one alone and everyone will need breaks once in awhile. Depending on your personal situation, you may need help with other siblings, pets at home etc.... We had a couple of people make us dinners which was awesome for when we got home from the hospital. I didn't have to worry about shopping or cooking for a couple of days. I can't really think of anything else that people can physically do.
05-15-2008, 10:09 AM
I would've felt bad asking for help, and I worried about what to say when people offered help. I found that my friends really wanted and almost "needed" to help. They really wanted to do something helpful while we were facing a tough time. I came up with a list of varying levels of involvement for them to choose from.
1. Dinner- Even though I had the physical ability to cook dinner, it was nice to be able to concentrate on Isaac and not have to think about "what's for dinner". Our church brought us meals for 2 weeks after Isaac's surgery and it was a HUGE help.
2. Childcare - I lined up several different people to watch our other children during preop and follow up appointments. (my parent's kept them during the surgery)
3. Cards - Even though Isaac can't read them now, I'm going to put them in a book for him to be able to see how much he was/is loved by everyone.
4. Button up shirts - I told people Isaac's size and that I was having a hard time finding short sleeve button up shirts (it was very true!). I wasn't sure how long it would be before he could tolerate a shirt pulled over his head. This was the one that my friends enjoyed doing for us the most...I guess women like to shop huh? lol. An added benefit is that Isaac recieved so many shirts that now all we need to buy for him this summer are shorts.
5. Pet care and House sitting. Our surgery was a few hours away so we had someone look after our house and pets while we were gone.
6. Prayers and a listening ear! It felt so good just to know that so many people were praying for our little Isaac.
7. Company. We were in isolation for 2 weeks before the surgery and felt very lonely, after the surgery we were dying to have someone over.
8. Balloons or stuffed animals. Melissa (MelSch) from here, came to the hospital and gave Isaac a little stuffed bunny. Isaac loves it! Even now he won't go to bed without it. I think it's because it was a comfort to him in the hospital when he was in so much pain, and now he associates it with comfort.
05-15-2008, 11:04 AM
My friends also wanted to help in some way. They grouped together and went to "Let's Dish', one of those make it here and freeze it for later places. I had 8 dinners here and ready to defrost when we got home, it was great, especially since I was leary of visitors and the germs they might have brought.
Childcare was also huge for us.
It was also great to have the overwhelming support at the hospital. Our parents, closest friends and minister were all there to support us and keep us occupied. Following the surgery we had a few people stop by in the evening to spell us so we could grab a bite to eat.
The only other this that I would suggest is having some way of communicating to your friends and family without having to field tons of phone calls. For me, as much as I loved all the thoughts and prayers, I couldn't handle repeating the details for everyone over and over. So we set up the caringbridge site to help us pass word. If you don't have access to something like that then perhaps you can assign a friend to be your communicator?
05-15-2008, 11:21 AM
I have the friends who seem like they need to help! I know! I have one taking care of the cat and fish for the week. My Aunt wants to mow the yard...which I won't complain....as far as meals I could see if someone want to be incharge...I just don't want to put too much...I know we could probly handle things with out...but I am so glad there's a list! I don't have any other children and the animals are taken care of...We're flying to NC from KS...my parents and his parents will be there...so we'll have some relief at the hospital...
I didn't even think abou tthe button down shirts...Owens would have been going topless!whoo!whoo!
Soory Im really scattered....I need to get thought organized before I should be resonding!haha!
This is a good question, I know you said you will have your parents and your in-laws at the hospital with you so that will be great as far as getting food and providing breaks for you and things.
Also, if you don't have a laptop, having someone be your messenger on here and on his caring bridge site for people back home that are praying and wanting to know his progress. Like others said, numerous phone calls get overwhelming repeating the same things over and over, but if you have a few different people calling a few more people and so on and so on, and copying and pasting a message on-line to different sites is much easier also.
Maybe you could post on your caring bridge site, (I am thinking of doing this too) of things you will probably need when you get home. Having some dinners provided would be wonderful. Also if you feel comfortable, some house cleaning/laundry things like that.
Other than that, I can't think of anything. Will let you know if I think of anything else.
05-15-2008, 11:27 AM
geez, i wish i had all the help you guys did!! We had a ton of people at the hospital for the first couple days,and after that, poof!
GREAT reminder about the button down shirts, well now bradley is wearing mostly summer shorts one-piece rompers, several of them button all the way down so I am planning to get some more of those. It was about 2 weeks after his first surgery till I felt all right with putting them over his head again.
Have you seen the "What to take to hospital" lists on here yet Casey? Those helped me a TON.
05-15-2008, 12:04 PM
Another thing to think about, especially with summer comng, is HATS. Our surgeons suggested that hats would be good, as that incision line will burn very easily. They recommend this for all the little ones...Isaac even moreso, though, since they shaved his head this time. We have friends and family looking for cute hats to send us. My cousin from New Mexico is going to send either a cowboy hat or a sombrero! I will have to take a pic and post it when we get that one. :)
Help with household chores would be wonderful if you have someone you feel comfortable with. Our house was fairly clean until the day before surgery, and then there is the last minute run through th house, throwing everything every which way, making sure you have absolutely everything you could possibly want or need...probably for the next month. (Trust me, we've done it twice in the last 4 months...you WILL take way too much.) Anyway, if there is someone that would even go through and toss everything into a couple laundry baskets or something so you don't feel quite as overwhelmed when you get home, that would be nice.
Oh, and during Isaac's first surgery (well, the stay after surgery), my aunt came to the hospital and took my laundry home and washed it. THAT was a huge help. You could allow someone to help there.
Do you have someone taking you to/picking you up from the airport?
05-15-2008, 12:31 PM
The previous posts said many of the same things that I would have. I echo the one about seeing if people can be around after the surgery. Since many of the kiddos have trouble sleeping in the month after the procedure, it is helpful to have someone babysit or bring meals or run errands at least during the day so that you can get some sleep.
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