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Present advice and vibes needed

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
A week ago yesterday my aunt had her him completly removed. She had contracted an infection about...well it seems like about 5 years ago and it never went away. She had two open sores that never closed or stopped draining. She was very lucky in that the infection stayed localized to her hip and they decided after 5 years to finally remove the hip.

She is doing fine now and is in a nursing home for the next 6 months while they monitor her progress. After that she will be sent home but from the preliminary reports there not going to be putting in an artifical hip, for fear of the infection returning. So vibes are needed that she recover quickly and that she doesn't become pain med dependent because I don't know how she will live with out pain...that just sounds extreamly painful to me. I also don't understand how she is ever going to walk again but doctors said its possible, she will just be stiff leged.

Anyway I was wrapping my christmas list when I decided to get her husband and her each a seperate gift. Usually i just get couples one thing and they share it but with everything thats going on I felt it was better to give them seperate gifts. The only thing is what I got her...I don't think she will eat. She is under 90 pounds now and i got her petite fours which are like bite size cakes...and I really don't see her eating them, but its all i had when I made the last minute decision to split the gifts. Her husband is getting a Beef Log and I know he will like that, hes a big guy like me. Any idea's for some quick easy gifts for someone in her situation that she might actually use? I was thinking flowers also but...I don't know that seems a little unorigonal.

I am going to see her next week and I also want to be able to prepare my self for what I'm going to see so if any of you have any clue what that might be can you let me know so I can prepare.
post #2 of 15
What about something that will help her pick things up? Or is it a sensitive thing?

http://www.asseenontvguys.com/index....PROD&ProdID=56

I saw that and thought about getting it for my grandmother.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the gift idea I will look into that. The problem is its short notice so getting it shipped is going to be a problem.

I just got off the phone with my dad and he said that she was doing very poorly as of yesterday. She was still in the hospital and needed a blood transfusion and is doing very very poorly psychologically. I think the magnitude of what just happened has dawned on her and she doesn't like how she feels and what it means. They are wanting to move her out of the hospital today and into the nursing home/rehab center but both my dad and I feel thats a big mistake because she will not be able to get the complete help she obvisouly still needs. I am no doctor but my dad is and he is really against it, but not being part of the core family(its his sister but they live in different states) he has no say in what they do. And I think my Uncle is in such shock that he's just going to do what ever the hospital wants...you have to love the American Medical Association.

So forget the gift idea's because I probably won't be seeing her next week(she doesn't want any guests at this time) I just want vibes that she will get better. The fact she needed a blood transfusion really scares me...I mean that can't be good and it could idicate that the infection might still be lingering.
post #4 of 15
As someone who works with people confined to an institution, I can suggest the following:

Some nice body wash and body lotion
A nice pair of slippers
A night gown
A house coat
A framed picture of her family and or pets
post #5 of 15
When my Grandmother was in the hospital with a broken hip, we bought her nightgowns that snapped in the back. It was easier for her to put her arms through them and then have a staff or family member snap her up. The nursing home ordered them for her, so you might need to order through them. If you do, maybe you can use a credit card and do it over the phone. That way, shipping wouldn't even be an issue.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by emrldsky View Post
What about something that will help her pick things up? Or is it a sensitive thing?

http://www.asseenontvguys.com/index....PROD&ProdID=56

I saw that and thought about getting it for my grandmother.
That's a good idea, but if she is in the nursing home and probably doing physical therapy (standard after that kind of surgery), they probably already supplied her with one. You could call and ask though. You should be able to pick one up at any medical supply shop.

When mom was in the nursing home for rehab a friend of her's put together a small gift basket with body and hand lotions, a nail file, brush and hand held mirror, baby wipes and put in a few crossword puzzle books and she loved it! Believe me, there is a LOT of down time in the hospital/nursing home so something to help her pass the time and keep her mind active would probably be good. And I don't know ANY woman that would turn down something to pamper herself with.
post #7 of 15
maybe a nice lotion? Bath & Body Works has some nice ones, not too expensive - almost everyone likes their Warm Vanilla Sugar scent...
post #8 of 15
February 1st 2007 Neil's youngest sister (54 at the time) had a stroke during a routine heart catherization. It was pretty severe and she had other complication early one in her recovery. She has been in three nursing homes and will remain as she cannot care for herself. She is wheelchair bound as the stroke affected the left side of her body. She cannot see very well at all out of left eye, no use of left hands/arm and due to insurance/medicaid problems has not received consistent rehab-none for several month now so she has very poor core strength and doesn't even wheel herself around though she could a bit in the past. She can feed herself though but needs help bathing and bathroom help. She was a bit overweight and has lost over 60-70 pounds and is now quite thin. Her voice is weak but there are still flashes of her old self but they seem to be disappearing. She was on lot of meds but is down to four however.

Why am I telling you this. It was and is a big change for everyone in our extended family. The old SIL is gone not to return.

Your aunt while her health is guarded still retains her mind. She will adapt. She is still trying to accept her new life with the hip missing. Even though she doesn't want company a long rehab will is a long rehab and I bet she will like visitors. Something to satisfy her sweet tooth or any other special treat would be nice but the company of relatives would be more special. Be sure to hug her when you see her too-she will like that-the human touch is so important.
post #9 of 15
Do you have some pictures of you with her in various periods in her life? Can you put them in an album for her? If there not many, is there one of you with her when you were a baby and one at your HS grad party or recent like that?

What kind of books does your aunt like? If a specific type like histories, mysteries, romances, sci-fi, etc. you should be able to get lots of them at used book stores cheap. Buy lots. Buy even some really cheap ones that may be awful because they may be really funny. Used books are nice because they can just be given to the staff or others in the hospital/care center.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GailC View Post
February 1st 2007 Neil's youngest sister (54 at the time) had a stroke during a routine heart catherization. It was pretty severe and she had other complication early one in her recovery. She has been in three nursing homes and will remain as she cannot care for herself. She is wheelchair bound as the stroke affected the left side of her body. She cannot see very well at all out of left eye, no use of left hands/arm and due to insurance/medicaid problems has not received consistent rehab-none for several month now so she has very poor core strength and doesn't even wheel herself around though she could a bit in the past. She can feed herself though but needs help bathing and bathroom help. She was a bit overweight and has lost over 60-70 pounds and is now quite thin. Her voice is weak but there are still flashes of her old self but they seem to be disappearing. She was on lot of meds but is down to four however.

Why am I telling you this. It was and is a big change for everyone in our extended family. The old SIL is gone not to return.

Your aunt while her health is guarded still retains her mind. She will adapt. She is still trying to accept her new life with the hip missing. Even though she doesn't want company a long rehab will is a long rehab and I bet she will like visitors. Something to satisfy her sweet tooth or any other special treat would be nice but the company of relatives would be more special. Be sure to hug her when you see her too-she will like that-the human touch is so important.
Thanks for shairing and I'm sorry to hear about that.

You don't know this woman...she had many psychological problems before this happened(depression and agoriphobia) and she just has a perminant negative outlook on life. If I were her I would to...she's lead a hard life after she turned 20 and it just never gets any easier and she just can't catch a break it seems. I think I am going to stick with the candy because if she doesn't eat them I know my uncle will...he's a human garbage disposal, he eats anything.

I doubt I will be allowed to see her any time soon because me and her haven't been that close for the last decade. There was no reason for our falling out and its not like we can't be more than civil when were around eachother she just shut her self off from the extended family. And I am pretty sure she won't want to see us any time soon, though seeing how its been about 2-4 years since I last saw her maybe now she might...I don't know.

I know if she does let us in I am not going to like what I see. The aunt I remember, though never fully full of life, was still vibrant and able to move about. The last time I saw her though she was bed ridden and fighting the infection that cost her her hip, and she also had the flu at the time. But I got her laughing and smiling which from what I hear was quite a chore for some other people. I'm just not ready to see her hooked up to mashines and stuck in bed. And I am pretty sure none of my family would let me hug her because of the weight difference(about 300 pounds), and I would be afraid of hurting her.
post #11 of 15
First of all I am terribly sorry to hear what happed to your aunt and I'm sending lots of good vibes her way!

I have terrible hip problems and have been in the hospital quite a bit for sugeries and I know that you feel that flowers are unoriginal but they were the BEST thing my mom gave me whenI was in the hospital and studies have shown that flowers help recovery!!

Also I would suggest slippers since the socks they supply aren't that comfortable OR a bathrobe. I know that after hip surgery I had to use a walker first and then crutches and I always forget to put my nightgown into my overnight bag and when the therapists put me on crutches I always wished I had my own bathrobe since the hospital gowns open in the back and they had to put a second one on me backwards...even then I think I mooned a few people walking down the hallway!!
so a bathrobe that she can throw on when she is walking around would be a great idea!!

A blood transfusion doesn't necessarly mean a return of the infection. You mentioned she had hip surgery I know that you can lose a lot of blood during those surgeries. I had a blood transfusion after one of my surgeries.

I'm really sorry to hear about this and I hope she gets better soon
post #12 of 15
I am so sorry to hear about your aunt. My sister just had hip replacement surgery and the pain alone from the surgery can put in you into a deep depression.

I know you said no more thoughts on the gift, but I agree with Gail in that she will love visitors. Maybe not right now because she's not up to it physically or psychologically, but a little later. If you do want to pick something up for her, ask your dad if she likes to read or do some type of puzzles (crossword, etc). Distracting her mind sounds like it is necessary.

And btw - my sister has 4 of the pickup tongs.
post #13 of 15
I've had 2 major hip surgeries myself. For me, the whole period leading up to the surgeries were very depressing - pain just really, really wears you down. I would suggest books, a subscription to the newspaper or a magazine, or maybe some movies. Also, if she likes doing crafts, that might be nice.

One thing about feeling awful and depressed is that something that usually makes you feel better is doing something for someone else. If she could crochet hats for the newborns, or quilts for the homeless...something like that? Crafts are good because it's really hard to concentrate for an extended period of time after a surgery, and you can pretty much just lay those aside and pick them up again. I hope your aunt feels better. Believe me, I've been close to being there!
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by algebrapro18 View Post
I doubt I will be allowed to see her any time soon because me and her haven't been that close for the last decade. There was no reason for our falling out and its not like we can't be more than civil when were around eachother she just shut her self off from the extended family. And I am pretty sure she won't want to see us any time soon, though seeing how its been about 2-4 years since I last saw her maybe now she might...I don't know.

I know if she does let us in I am not going to like what I see. The aunt I remember, though never fully full of life, was still vibrant and able to move about. The last time I saw her though she was bed ridden and fighting the infection that cost her her hip, and she also had the flu at the time. But I got her laughing and smiling which from what I hear was quite a chore for some other people. I'm just not ready to see her hooked up to mashines and stuck in bed. And I am pretty sure none of my family would let me hug her because of the weight difference(about 300 pounds), and I would be afraid of hurting her.
Honey, I'm going to be honest and tell you it's not going to be easy to see her like this. She's had a major surgery and is still recovering from it so she's going to look worn out and probably will be medicated. But, that doesn't mean she won't see you. It's about her now and what you can do to make her feel better. All families drift apart at times for one reason or another, but that doesn't change that they are family and need each other at a time like this. I know when mom and grandma were in the nursing home visitors were only restricted if the patient was in quarantine. I hope you get a chance to see her, even if only for a few minutes.

And, you don't have to give her a bear hug for pete's sakes! Even a kiss on the cheek, or holding her hand for a minute would be enough and let her know you care. I think it is so sweet of you to want to give her a separate present. The candy would probably work for now, but keep other ideas in mind and maybe send her something as a complete surprise in a few weeks. She deserves to be spoiled a little.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the support guys.

When I was younger I remember her loving to do word searches and doing a few with her so I might get her a book of those along with the candy. It sounds like were not even going to try to see her when we go see the rest of the family this year which really bums me out but plans can change at any minute in this family...lol.

I would go see her my self but she lives about 3-4 hours away and I'm not exactly sure how to get there. that and I'm not sure she would see me if I drove all that way. I just want to see her to know that I will be praying for her and I am here to support her.
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