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Once Again, I'm Asking For Everyone's Sage Advice!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
My friend's son is having surgery in Vancouver (on the mainland). She is a single mom and the surgery will be going on for 10 hours! I'm putting together a little bag for her of things she might need that long day.

I have NO IDEA what my friend eats. I know she likes popcorn and chocolate (only the candy; she won't eat chocolate cake for example). I know she forgets to drink water.

All I can think of is a bottle of water, some magazines, and a chocolate bar.

I would include some healthy snack bars, jerky, nuts and fruit for myself, but she is such a picky eater, I don't think she would eat them.

What would you need and want if you were stressing out the hospital for so many hours?

All suggestions are welcomed!
post #2 of 22
What about an actual novel to read? Do you know what she likes to read? Thats a long time!
post #3 of 22
If you have an ipod you could put together a playlist, download an audiobook, and maybe a game or two off itunes and lend that to her for the day.

If not a book might be a good idea, something easy and fun. Or a puzzle book, crosswords, sudoku, etc.
post #4 of 22
That is really sweet of you and thoughtful.
post #5 of 22
I remember my husband's nine hour neck surgery and honestly I couldn't eat. I had a book and I would get a drink from the soda machine.

What about a deck of cards. We played cards during my dad's bypass surgery. There were sixteen people in our party. Some paced the halls, others played cards and the rest slept.

Just being there is going to be a tremendous help.
post #6 of 22
It depends on how stressful the situation is for her (and how she responds to stress). For a lot of people (like me) reading in a stressful situation doesn't really work. Maybe you could send her some games (crossword puzzles, a deck of cards, small electronic game...) that would kill time without requiring much brain power.

You could also go with something comforting like a little teddy bear.

If she doesn't have a cell phone, you could give her a calling card.
post #7 of 22
Sage is best with poultry...

Lessee, my tote bag to survive a hospital visit includes, chocolate in some form, puzzle book, the daily newspaper and change for the vending machines.
post #8 of 22
Do you have a Ds? I took that to the hospital when my Dad needed a Triple Bypass. Does she like Puzzle Books?
post #9 of 22
Do you have a personal DVD player? If you do maybe some comedy's to keep her mind busy.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trouts mom View Post
What about an actual novel to read? Do you know what she likes to read? Thats a long time!
I don't know what she reads! It's funny the things I don't know about my friends. I will read anything but I know she would be a little put off by some things, maybe even romance novels. I'll ask her this afternoon, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteforest View Post
If you have an ipod you could put together a playlist, download an audiobook, and maybe a game or two off itunes and lend that to her for the day.

If not a book might be a good idea, something easy and fun. Or a puzzle book, crosswords, sudoku, etc.
She does like games on the computer at home; great idea!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cococat View Post
That is really sweet of you and thoughtful.
Aw. She's a good friend. We are polar opposites on stuff like music and clothes, but we raise our kids with the same values, and we respect others' differences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snosrap5 View Post
I remember my husband's nine hour neck surgery and honestly I couldn't eat. I had a book and I would get a drink from the soda machine.

What about a deck of cards. We played cards during my dad's bypass surgery. There were sixteen people in our party. Some paced the halls, others played cards and the rest slept.

Just being there is going to be a tremendous help.
Cards are a wonderful idea! Thank you, I'm sure she knows solitaire. I'm not going to be with her, though. We are taking care of her daughter for the 10 days they will be gone, including her daughter's 11th birthday. (We have special things planned to celebrate with her.) The trip to Vancouver takes about four hours from here to the hospital, using a car and the ferry, so there's no going back and forth for any of us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marie-p View Post
It depends on how stressful the situation is for her (and how she responds to stress). For a lot of people (like me) reading in a stressful situation doesn't really work. Maybe you could send her some games (crossword puzzles, a deck of cards, small electronic game...) that would kill time without requiring much brain power.

You could also go with something comforting like a little teddy bear.

If she doesn't have a cell phone, you could give her a calling card.
All great ideas! I had totally forgotten she likes games. She has a cell, but it requires some kind of paid card... will find out more, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gemlady View Post
Sage is best with poultry...

Lessee, my tote bag to survive a hospital visit includes, chocolate in some form, puzzle book, the daily newspaper and change for the vending machines.
A newspaper, yes, and change! I will add those to the bag. Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
Do you have a Ds? I took that to the hospital when my Dad needed a Triple Bypass. Does she like Puzzle Books?
I thought about loaning her a DS, but I know she would decline, in case it got lost or stolen. Puzzle books, for sure, I will get one for her.

Thank you!
post #11 of 22
Lip balm, tissues, a calling card, a book of crosswords/puzzles if she likes them... ?
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by psjauntie View Post
Do you have a personal DVD player? If you do maybe some comedy's to keep her mind busy.
That's a good idea, but I don't think she would borrow electronics... We don't have one anyway, but please keep the good ideas coming!
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaete View Post
Lip balm, tissues, a calling card, a book of crosswords/puzzles if she likes them... ?
Wonderful! Those are added to the list for the bag, thank you!
post #14 of 22
I think the best thing at the hospital (whether you're a visitor or a patient) is a book of cartoons. My all-time favorite is the complete Doonesbury -- reading that in sequence is like a really fun course in American history! The Far Side is brilliant... Opus, Calvin & Hobbes, of course the classic Peanuts... they really lift your spirits, and they don't demand too much of you, the way a novel sometimes can.

That said, I can recommend two that are out in hardback right now:

Stephen King's Duma Key is just excellent -- gorgeous language, first-person, vivid and passionate and unusually visual in the way it works on your imagination. I think it's his best since Bag of Bones.

Douglas Preston's Blasphemy is brilliant, like everything he writes (with and without his sometime partner, Lincoln Child). If your friend is religious, though, she might be offended by the questions it raises... PM me if you're interested!
post #15 of 22
When my mom was in the hospital these were a few things that were really helpful.

A pillow and blanket in case it is cold and the chairs are not that comfortable.

Music of some sort - mp3, cd player, ipod, etc.

Some sort of game - ds, mini game board, cards, etc (maybe UNO)

A book, magazine, or newspaper.

Some pictures of who she is worried about. This always helped me and to this day I still have 3 on my desk of my mom.

Snacks - just get a little of everything and if needed, get her a prepaid VISA card for $10 or $20 where she can go up to the cafeteria if she needs something.
post #16 of 22
i 2nd the idea of a cartoon book - i love all of mine!
you said she likes popcorn - what about a box of those snack sized microwavable bags? most hospitals have microwaves freely available in the vending area ['cause they sell microwave popcorn - at a highly inflated price!]
just in case - you might pick up a solitaire book. there are several versions that can be played w/o a table, but she might not be familiar w/them.
post #17 of 22
you know what i would do is,,

Call her and ask if you can get or bring her anything
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampWitch View Post
My friend's son is having surgery in Vancouver (on the mainland). She is a single mom and the surgery will be going on for 10 hours! I'm putting together a little bag for her of things she might need that long day.

I have NO IDEA what my friend eats. I know she likes popcorn and chocolate (only the candy; she won't eat chocolate cake for example). I know she forgets to drink water.

All I can think of is a bottle of water, some magazines, and a chocolate bar.

I would include some healthy snack bars, jerky, nuts and fruit for myself, but she is such a picky eater, I don't think she would eat them.

What would you need and want if you were stressing out the hospital for so many hours?

All suggestions are welcomed!
I think that's a good idea. Some of her favourite sweets, some trash mags, maybe a newspaper, maybe a couple of bottles as 10 hours is long. Maybe write out a short and sweet card for her to settle her nerves? If she is a picky eater, get one of those bags that have the mixed nuts/fruit, that way she can eat the ones she likes. And maybe a cushion or small throw (which from discount stores can be only around $5), i don't know what your weather is like, but she might like to be comfy during the wait.

I've never made a care package for waiting rooms lol
post #19 of 22
A prescription for valium?? (just kidding!)

I think everyone said my ideas. I was thinking a phone card, a travel pillow (those waiting room chairs are NOT comfortable to sleep in) and blanket. The idea of a prepaid VISA is great, because the price of hospital food is unreal.

I think the best thing you are giving her is peace of mind by taking care of her daughter.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
I think the best thing at the hospital (whether you're a visitor or a patient) is a book of cartoons. My all-time favorite is the complete Doonesbury -- reading that in sequence is like a really fun course in American history! The Far Side is brilliant... Opus, Calvin & Hobbes, of course the classic Peanuts... they really lift your spirits, and they don't demand too much of you, the way a novel sometimes can.

That said, I can recommend two that are out in hardback right now:

Stephen King's Duma Key is just excellent -- gorgeous language, first-person, vivid and passionate and unusually visual in the way it works on your imagination. I think it's his best since Bag of Bones.

Douglas Preston's Blasphemy is brilliant, like everything he writes (with and without his sometime partner, Lincoln Child). If your friend is religious, though, she might be offended by the questions it raises... PM me if you're interested!
I SO need to check out Stephen King's more recent works... I haven't read anything of his in too long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duchess15 View Post
When my mom was in the hospital these were a few things that were really helpful.

A pillow and blanket in case it is cold and the chairs are not that comfortable.
If she's able to nap a blanket and pillow will be very good to have.
post #21 of 22
I have to triple-support the offers of loaning a DS or portable DVD player (assuming you have it and assuming that you are ready to part with it, honestly saying 'I'd rather it get broken being used than not get used'). If you can't, don't. Only truly bad luck would make it impossible for her to return it, but she would feel AWFUL if it was the case, even though you'd understand.

This sounds like a terrible suggestion, but seriously? I'd go with one airport magazine per hour of surgary, plus 2. She'll mostly look at the pictures, but it will give her something to do with her hands even if she never reads them any other time. I'd go for a variety - Cosmo, Elle, National Geographic, Vogue (get EU and US if you can, the comparision itself is absorbing) - it's light, and even if she's dubious about buying for herself, I'll bet she'll be glad to have them while she's waiting.
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone!

I'm afraid I could never part with my electronics, I use them all the time and they are too personal. And putting Garth Brooks on my 100% Nick Cave iPod; that is unfathomable, lol!

But all of the suggestions are great!
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