Friday, November 9, 2012

Care Package

Today #NHBPM prompt is, "Create the perfect care package for your members or fellow patients."


 


Two things that were especially meaningful to me in the hospital (and since I've been home) are a prayer shawl and a couple of prayer quilts. I think, be it infertility, loss, chronic illness, or long-term recovery for a critical condition like my strokes, an item like this, to convey prayers, would be high on my list of priority things to include.  I also love the SOFT comfort of Pajama Prayers.



For infertility, I would like something that validates grief, like a specific piece of jewelry. Also a blank journal and a good book, like Hannah's Hope.

 For pregnancy or infant loss, also a piece of memorial jewelry, a keepsake item like sweet baby shoes, a bear, or a baby blanket, photos if time appropriate, and a book like Kathe Wunnenberg's Grieving the Child I Never Knew. Lots of great memorial gifts are found at Sufficient Grace.

For ME/CFS or other chronic illnesses, check for allergies and or sensitivities. A massage gift certificate might be great for one friend, while being intolerable for another who is sent into a tailspin with touch. A gift certificate for take out or house cleaning is usually quite welcome, as long as there is variety in the menu choices (to accommodate food restrictions) or the cleaning product used are low-scent and non-allergenic. Easily prepared foods or crock-pot meals (again, ask about any food issues) are handy for times your friend just isn't up to cooking, even cleaned and cut carrot stick or other veggies may be greatly appreciated. Paper plates and disposable utensils are good too. Magazines, light, funny novels, humorous movies, fruit or other snacks, card games, favorite music, the possibilities are many! While it is rather dated, a good book to give, if you are looking for something more serious, is Finding Strength in Weakness by Lynn Vanderzalm.

For stroke or critical/long-term conditions, a truly listening ear is the most important thing. Like I said a couple days ago, bright flowers (or maybe a bright picture - something with lots of color!) are often good too. Books on CD were a huge blessing when my eyesight was too poor to read. (Any title by Joni Earckson Tada is great.) Fast-reading, inspirational or devotional books, like Jesus Calling, have been great since I started reading again, but have such low attention span and memory. 

A small, lightweight, non-bulky, inspirational necklace was a great gift that I can wear to therapy to stay motivated without it getting in the way. Non-slip socks are a fun and practical gift. If you know specific needs of your friend, how can you creatively meet those needs? A friend who had to have a tracheotomy from her stroke requested pretty, new, non-allergenic, silk scarves to put over her scar. 

The gift of time, may be even more appreciated that a tangible item, be it offering to clean a bathroom, mop a floor, help sort something like photos and get them in an album, or helping decorate for the holidays, or some skill like a friend who came to my house to cut my hair or another who did manicures professionally and showed up with her foot spa to do a pedicure. 
Quilt I made for Kendra, tying it as part of my own therapy.
 Can you offer rides to doctor's offices and the grocery store? Can you offer child care? Find out my needs and ask God to give you creative ideas to meet them. Are you willing to hassel with my wheel chair or walker (and be seen with me in public) to take me on a shopping outing just for fun, knowing I will take an especially long time (and may need some help) in the fitting room?

P.S. Unless you know for a fact that it is not an issue, for any gift giving, please avoid nuts (common allergen), latex (like balloons), or anything scented (like candles). There's nothing worse than knowing someone gave you a gift from a huge heart and good intentions, but you can't be around it. Some kinds of cut flowers, while beautiful, really stink within a few days, so check with your florist! Still want to send balloons, try mylar ones - they last longer too. Our dollar store carries them for a much better price than anywhere else in town. (Remember, even if there are no concerns for your friend, if he/she shares a hospital room, there are the potential allergy issues of a roommate to consider as well.)

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Today I am thankful for my friends, who have surrounded me and cheered me on. When life gets inconvenient, you find out who your true friends are. I have been richly blessed in this department!
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First Published Book: Hannah's Hope : Seeking God's Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage, and Adoption Loss

Book-in-progress on drawing on the fruit of the Spirit in times of trial: Harvesting Hope from Heartache

Next book-in-progress: 6 strokes at age 39, Stroke of Grace

Future manuscript in the plans: Given Me a Thorn, the apostle Paul's story as applicable to living with chronic illnesS

1 comment:

The Queen of Brussels Sprouts said...

Your quilt was the perfect gift, except I didn't want to use it, I wanted to hang it up ;)