5 suggestions for when you have a friend or family member in the hospital

Post On Thursday, July 14, 2016 By Natalie Butterworth

5 suggestions for when you have a friend or family member in the hospital

5 suggestions for when you have a friend or family member in the hospital

This is meant to be helpful for those who do have someone in the hospital. I spent 30 days in the hospital prior to my daughter being born. I learned a lot from my experience and want to share it with others to be helpful for those who do have to go through a tough time. It's impossible to know what someone will need or want until you experience it yourself.

1. If you have a friend or family member in the hospital, especially if it's for an extended stay, visit with her. Those hospital days are long and painful. It really hurts to be separated from your home, pets, and friends/family. When you come, ask if she needs anything! If she says she's not sure, some suggestions include movies, books, art projects, snacks, toiletries, crosswords, etc. I had a super wonderful visitor who bought a bunch of small trinkets and snacks and wrapped them in wrapping paper. She told me to only open one a day so I would have something to look forward to. I thought this was just the sweetest idea!

2. If you can't visit, check in with her through text, phone calls, or even a handwritten letter or e-mail. Every little distraction helps! The hospital is a lonely place, especially during the day. Every kind word is remembered and appreciated.

3. If you tell someone you are going to visit her in the hospital, follow up and visit! There's nothing more disappointing than spending weeks in a hospital, looking forward to a visitor who says he/she's coming, and then he/she is a no show.

4. If you feel like you want to do something to help, see what can be done to help out the Homefront. When I was in the hospital, I worried so much about my husband and that he was taken care of. Even though he's fully capable of taking care of himself, he was busy worry about me, so I worried about him! Making meals, checking in, even offering to do laundry. Every little bit helps.

5. After the patient comes home from the hospital, check in with her and her family. If she's still recovering, offer to bring meals or help out. It's likely that their lives are still somewhat in chaos. Just because the hospital has released her, doesn't mean she's 100% healed physically or mentally. Now is the time she really needs extra support.

I am so incredibly thankful for the friends and family who were there for us when I was in the hospital. Sitting here now, 4 months removed from it, I can't help but think of those who visited, called, helped out, etc. I don't know what I would have done without that support. Those 30 days in the hospital, and 15 days of NICU were the darkest and hardest days of my entire life. There's nothing like sickness, birth, or a death to see the true nature of friendship.

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