Advice needed--hospital stay care package

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by Peaches, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Thank you guys for all of the input. I brought the basket of goodies down to her today and it went over well. In particular, the fruit was VERY appreciated, as was the notebook, and she's excited about the nail polish. She was less excited about the chocolates, but that may be because they are currently swimming in chocolates and truffles of all kinds that people brought yesterday. Heh.

    I also stopped at Whole Foods on the way down and picked up lunch (chicken tikka naan sammiches), dessert (strawberry shortcake) and coffee (by request). There was much rejoicing...particularly at the strawberry shortcake and coffee. Heh.

    ETA: They were very surprised and thrilled with stuff, and asked a couple of times "how I knew just what to bring." Heh...I didn't let on that I had lots of help. :)
     
  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I'm glad it went well.

    Now. Here's the challenge. Help her when she gets home. A basket full of your canned and easily reheatable dinner things might be just the thing. The hard part, in my foggy memory of my days as a new parent, is after you get home and after people forget you need help. (People have the memory span of gnats, when it comes to helping new Moms and Dads.)


    Dinner is really hard. Food is always welcome.
     
  3. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Heh...ten steps ahead of you. Friend K and I are working out a schedule amongst friends and family of who can help when and with what. Unfortunately, Mom and Dad live an hour away from me (and the hospital is two hours away), so being there Mon-Thurs is impossible for me. But I imagine I'll probably take Friday as my day to visit and help.

    Today I asked Mom to start thinking of things we can do to help. Food is easy. But...grocery shopping, errand running, litter box cleaning, laundry doing. We can sort out the obvious things, but I'm gently prodding her to start thinking about the not-so-obvious things. (Any input peeps?) Some things are complicated by the fact that they'll be spending as much time as possible at the hospital for the next couple of months.

    I'm making a list of foodles that I can make and bring down for them, as is K. Canned stuff, bread, casseroles that can easily be reheated (gotta figure out a way to portion one of those suckers nicely, because they're not going to want to reheat more than a portion or two at a time), soup. Desserts. The wheels are turning...all input greatly appreciated.
     
  4. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    The 16 oz (or 32 oz) plastic takeout containers you get from Chinese restaurants--the kind they give you your soup in.
     
  5. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I'm partial to the Rubbermaid Take-Alongs. (I think the brand is Rubbermaid, but there are other brands and store brands.) They come in a bunch of sizes, the square and rectangular ones stack nicely, the round ones have screw-on tops, and you can freeze in them. (I've never microwaved in them, though, so I can't speak to that.) And they're cheap. 4 - 5 containers for about 3 bucks, so if you never get them back, no harm done. But, if you do get them back, you can use them to freeze lentils later. :rolleyes: ;)
     
  6. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    The take alongs microwave fine for normal reheating. :)
     
  7. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    When the baby comes home, any help that let's her catch up on her *sleep* is generally heaven-sent.

    If you go there with someone else who can watch the baby while you get dinner ready, throw in a load of laundry and work your magic on the kitchen sink while she takes a lengthy nap would probably be well-received.
     
  8. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Question--should I generally wait and let them take the lead in telling me what they need/want...or just get things done? I mean, I have no problem going to their house and just doing what seems needing to be done (hell, if they leave me a key somewhere I can go in and take care of their house while they're at the hospital), but I don't want to step on toes. Although...it's pretty hard to step on D's toes with some things.
     
  9. singndance

    singndance Well-Known Member

    I had a friend in a similar situation, and she and her husband were very reluctant to ask let alone tell me what they needed or wanted. They didn't want to impose, but they had no family to lean on. We ended up just doing things for them without being asked.

    About the food, since I come from a large Italian family, we are used to making large pots of meatballs and sauce, and then freezing them in small portions in those Rubbermaid containers. Then, all you have to do is take out a small container, heat it up, boil some water for pasta, and you have a good, easy, fast meal. My friend told me later this was a life saver for her and her hubby.
     
  10. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    I think this depends a lot on the individuals and on your relationship with them. It does seem that "tell me what I can do to help" often places an additional burden on those needing help to come up with and present specific requests, which means that they often don't get that help. So it seems like it's best if you come up with specific ideas to help, and the choice is between presenting a suggestion for their approval ("How about I do X now") or just doing it without explicitly asking/suggesting. And that choice depends on them and your relationship with them. If you're not sure, I don't see a problem in asking: "Would you rather I ask you about my ideas first, or should I just do stuff?" I could also see a difference between bringing stuff (food, whatever), which I would think you could just show up with, and doing stuff in their house, which might be better with confirmation.
     
  11. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    +1...
     
  12. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    +1. If someone says "tell me what I can do" or "call me if you need anything at all", that offer rarely if ever gets cashed in. A more specific offer, including what, when and where, is more likely to be accepted.
     
  13. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Perhaps asking more targeted questions, rather than a blanket "what can I do?" As in:

    I'm available Friday. Would you prefer I drive you to the hospital and stay with you, or would it be more helpful if I went to your place and did house things?

    Are there house things you would prefer I not do/are particularly important? Or, would you like me to/not: do laundry/change sheets/clean litterboxes/clean fridge/go grocery shopping/clean kitchen/cook meals/vacuum/clean bathroom/pet cats/etc.?

    ETA: Why does this remind me a bit of babysitting: "You have a choice. You can either play out here with us, read a book or color, or have a timeout in your room." Or, "You may choose cereal, eggs, or fruit for breakfast. What would you like?" LOL.
     
  14. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    perfect! (imho)
     
  15. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Friend K and I have decided that we are The Ladies Who Organize. We're not good at all with the quishy emotional side of things (although it's not like we'd turn our backs), but we can DAMN WELL take care of the practical/logistical sides of things. It ain't sexy or splashy, but we're the ones to make sure that the trash gets put out, there are no science experiments in the fridge, the litter box isn't reeking, and the mail isn't overflowing the box. Shrug. Everyone's gotta have a talent, I suppose.
     
  16. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    I guess it's all about perspective. That sounds pretty sexy to me. Or maybe more accurately, just freakin' awesome. :raisebro:
     
  17. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Depending on how the ongoing weather shapes up, I know one we did for friends that really helped them was to snowblow their driveway/sidewalk. Husband really appreciated not having to shovel the rare times he was at the house and not in hospital with wife. Dad supplied snowblower, I supplied the truck to move it. Might be worth seeing if anyone in group of friends can do that (if applicable for their place)
     
  18. singndance

    singndance Well-Known Member


    Yes, I think this approach will work really well. Sounds like you and your friends have things well in hand....planning and executing are great skills that work in any situation. She's very lucky to have you guys!
     
  19. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    i agree. i'd like one-a those. :tongue:
     
  20. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    +1 I often joke that I need a wife. Not just any wife, though. I need one of those old-fashioned, pearl-wearing, clothes starched and ironed, dinner on the table at 6:00 PM wives.

    Just. Kidding!


    Any update on the baby, P? Is PJ still sleeping under the lamps? Has she lost and/or gained weight? If you don't know, that's okay, too. I know that baby-stuff is not your thing. I'm just curious. :cool:

    *Sending Mommy D a virtual hug*
     

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