Sunday, April 26, 2009

Helping Those Who Have Extended Hospital Stays

With our oldest son, we spend almost one full month in the NICU. So many people blessed us during the time that we were away from home. I want to pass on some of the blessings:

1. Visits - Those who took the time to drive the distance were such a blessing to us. We were only allowed 10 minutes - per hour with our son. This left a lot of time on our hands either sitting at the hospital or at our hotel. Many people took us out to eat. The visit that blessed us the most was from my aunts and uncle during Bubs' surgery. Having them there during those long hours helped keep our minds off the obvious. They hadn't even planned on coming down for the surgery. God's timing!

2. Gift cards to local restaurants, gas stations, or grocery stores. The hospital caf and motel continental breakfast gets old really fast!

3. Food - Before we left for the hospital, two friends brought by baskets of food. The nonperishable food was awesome. It was also a blessing to have fruit and "healthy" food. There were moments when we didn't have time to eat so a banana and snack bar was our meal.

4. Phone calls - We appreciated so much the phone calls. The amount of phone calls got overwhelming at times though. Knowing that our phones would be off while in the hospital, a dear friend of mine called during those times. She didn't want to talk but just wanted to leave a message. I appreciated this so much.

5. Cell phone minutes - Being away from home so long requires the use of the cell phone. Due to small cell phone plans, minutes can become few. Just something to keep in mind when calling.

6. Web page - A dear friend of ours started a webpage where we could leave updates and people could leave messages. What a blessing!!! We didn't have to repeat info 20 times and the messages we received were SUCH a blessing. It wasn't so much what the person said in the message but that they took the time to leave a message.

7. Care packages - We received a care package from a couple who had been in a similar situation with their son in the NICU. The package included the most random, awesome things - handheld computer games, food, lotion, batteries, etc. Some other things that would have been a blessing - blank thank you cards, stamps, laundry detergent, notepad, pen and pencils, folder to hold the huge amount of paperwork, toiletry items, books to read, puzzles or games.

8. Laundry - Our family came down to take care of our laundry! HUGE!! Doing laundry away from home requires you to sit there and wait and we didn't have a couple of hours of time in a block time frame.

9. Taking care of the home while away - Our neighbors took care of the house, yard, garden, mail, etc.

10. When we came home, our refrigerator was stocked full of easy food - sandwich stuff, fruit, vegetables, etc. What a blessing!

11. Bringing items to the hospital. When people knew that they were going to be in the area of the hospitakl, they called to see if we needed anything from our home. This was very helpful.

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