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Old 06-06-2008, 05:38 AM   #1  
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Default Need Help - What to do for mother of sick child

My neighbor's young daughter - age 5 - is in the hospital. It's been a very long and complicated stay. She went in about 2 weeks ago because of bacterial meningitis and she isn't responding to the antibiotics. She's still there with fevers around 105 and they can't find the cause. There next step is a consult with Infection disease doctors from other hospitals. However, indications are that it won't be resolved quickly. All of our friends and neighbors have brought the little girl gifts and continue to send little tokens. We're all totally broken up about everythign.

Today, we're trying to think of something to do for the mom, who has lived in the hospital the whole time. Anyone have any ideas on something quick that could help give her a pick-me-up?

We were thinking maybe a basket with magazines, power bars? Please help. We want to shop tonight so we can deliver it by tomorrow.

Thanks
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:47 AM   #2  
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Hmmm - I don't know what you want to do with an ongoing commitment - however if she is spending day and night at the hospital - are there things that need to get done around her house - or meals that need to be cooked (hospital food can get pretty yucky IMO - no offense to anyone) - do they have a hairdressers there? (I used to give my grandmother a visit from the hospital hairdresser when she had gone in for surgery) - I will keep thinking.
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:58 AM   #3  
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I think a card (that you are thinking of HER) would be nice. Do you know if she enjoys reading, puzzles, or word games (like crosswords, etc)? Maybe some of those for the hospital if she likes them or you know her style. Also possibly a long distance phone card (if she doesn't have a cell phone with long distance on it.) Is she able to leave the hospital and come home for showers/etc? If not, maybe a small personal care package with travel size toiletries and snacks?

A set of thank you cards would be appreciated I'm sure (so she can use those while at the hospital for things that people are doing).

Beyond that, I agree, the thing she probably needs most is a shoulder to cry on and actual help to get all the things done that she can't get done while at the hospital.

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Old 06-06-2008, 06:10 AM   #4  
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I think magazines and snacks are a great idea. And yes, helping with others that may be at home would relieve her mind. Also maybe someone offering to stay with the child in the hospital while she goes home for a shower or meal would help. You are great friends to want to help!
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Old 06-06-2008, 06:37 AM   #5  
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I think the hard part of coming up with something to do is that she already has a lot of support. Her mom and dad are staying with them, plus she has a part time nanny so I think things at home are taken care of. A neighborhood boy went and mowed their lawn which I thought was nice. They've asked that people don't bring meals because their schedules are so mixed up that they never know when they'll be home. I don't think she's a puzzle kind of girl but she's very into food so substitutes for hospital food might be good and I didn't even think of thank you cards...... you girls rock!

A friend is coming to brainstorm at lunch. Thanks for all the nice suggestions.... please keep them coming.
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Old 06-06-2008, 07:37 AM   #6  
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Just let her know that you are a phone cal away for an errand.I'm sure they aren't very concerned about the small things of daily life, but offer to pick up or drop off something they need done.
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Old 06-06-2008, 12:41 PM   #7  
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How about a journal to write in. Maybe she could use a book of inspirational sayings or verses. Something uplifting she can pick up and read from time to time. CD's that she likes if she has a way to listen to them. This might be good for her daughter as well!

Have you asked for SCS'ers to send cards? Would mom be open to that? I know those that I have sent cards to love them and enjoy knowing other are praying for them.

Good luck!
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Old 06-06-2008, 01:11 PM   #8  
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I spent three weeks earlier this year, with my son in the hospital. I was their day & night, except when I went home to shower....

I don't know if there is any one item that is needed, but that is not to say not to do anything...it is more to say that this is such a sweet thought, that whatever you do would be perfect.

Some of the items I was grateful to have with me - those Crystal Light packs to flavor a bottle of water. I would fill up my bottle with some of the water pitchers that they would bring to his room...then I could have tea or lemonade without having to leave the room.

Trashy magazines....Like Us Weekly, soap opera mags...things that I would never normally read, and don't really have to concentrate on...trashy novels...you know, where she always gets her man.

Lotion & Carmex! Man that hospital air is drying!!

A Hairbrush. I fell asleep in the chair a lot -- and woke up with "chair head"

A small handheld electronic tetris or poker game...the $9.99 kind -- again, just something to kill time...

snacks.
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Old 06-06-2008, 01:16 PM   #9  
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Can you take food and eat with her? Or take her food and not eat with her? When my son had heart surgery it seemed everyone came to see us at lunch or dinner time and we never got away to eat in a timely manner. Plus, we hated to leave his side and food was expensive to buy all the time. can you take turns taking her food and visiting? It's very strange how the world goes on and you feel like you live in quarantine at the hospital.
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Old 06-07-2008, 04:06 PM   #10  
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I agree on the food. I say some nice fresh fruit and veggies. She probably is sitting a lot, and it is so much harder to eat healthy away from home. And you always feel a little better when you know you ate something good for you. And bless you for thinking of her!
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Old 06-07-2008, 04:26 PM   #11  
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Just subscribing so I'll know if the mom would like cards for herself or her daughter. All the above suggestions sound great - I really don't have anything to add, but would be glad to send cards. Please keep us informed on the little girl's progress, and will keep her -and the family -in our prayers.
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Old 06-07-2008, 04:32 PM   #12  
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I know I'm coming in late--but what a sweet, thoughtful thing to do! I love all the ideas. I'd add a small bottle of tylenol or motrin--the hospital gift shops charge an arm and a leg for those. Power bars, granola bars, snack size packs of cookies, little chocolates.

{{{hugs}}} and prayers for the whole family--and all of you who love them. I hope that sweet little girl will start responding to treatment soon.

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Old 06-07-2008, 04:40 PM   #13  
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When I spent several weeks with my son at the hospital, the one thing I will always remember is that a friend came in and took me out of there for a half hour.
JD had stopped to sit with me for a long time one day. The next day she said to herself, "Garnet really needs to get out of there for a while." Then she realized that I would not 'get out of there' unless someone took me by the hand and led me. I cannot remember if we went shopping or just out for coffee. I only remember her kindness.
At our local hospital the food is great at mealtime. But late at night the snack machines only hold sugary and salty stuff. Your idea of power bars would be good. If the visitor area has a micro a few cans of soup on the go might be welcome.
I hate trashy magazines. A Chicken Soup for the Soul book would be my preference. Very short stories and a good excuse to cry... sometimes keeping a stiff upper lip is really tiring.
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