12 Ways to Help Someone in the Hospital

Whether it’s a dear friend, a family member or someone’s child in the hospital it’s natural to want to help but people often don’t know what they can do. I have a lot of hospital experience – not only have I been a patient, I have had to take care of my son, who has a rare disease and has been in and out of the hospital, and my mother, who recently spent two weeks in the hospital.

While caring for my loved ones I got several calls from people wondering what they can do. Sometimes it’s hard to think of things on the spot and sometimes you just don’t want to ask. So I thought I’d put together a list of things to do for someone (and their family members) while in the hospital.

1. Don’t ask if there is anything you can do, just do it.

20140218_1232492. Snacks for the hospital room. This is helpful for family members who are taking care of the patient. A few of my co-workers put together a box of snacks for us while my mom was in the hospital. It was great.

 

3. Bring new pajamas. Most patients hate the hospital gowns and if they are allowed to wear regular pajamas they appreciate a new pair.

4. Drop off books, magazines and games that can be played with one other person in bed. Being in the hospital can be boring and the patient or family caregivers might want a distraction.

5. Visit but keep it short. Visitors are appreciated but the amount of visitors can often be overwhelming.  If you are the only visitor, assess the situation and maybe stay a little longer.

6. Drop off the patient and family members their favorite beverages. This saves them from having to run to vending machines and spending extra money.

7. The hospital provides meals for the patients but not the family member who stays with them. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital sells meal cards for family members for $5 each. Having these cards allows the caregiver to not have to leave their child in the room alone while they eat. Many hospitals sell gift certificates for the cafeterias. These are also helpful for family members staying with the patient.

8. Show up with a cup of coffee (or other favorite beverage for the family member) and insist on staying with the patient while the family member gets a break from the room.

9. Send balloons, cards and/or flowers to brighten the room.

10. Remember that the patient and immediate family members might be extremely stressed and worried about the patient’s condition. Even if you are upset or worried do not show it in front of the patient. Take a walk down the hall and pull yourself together. The patient doesn’t need to worry about their visitors too.

11. If a parent of young children is in the hospital or a child is in the hospital taking the parent away from the other children, see what you can do to help. Drop off dinner to the family members at home and offer rides to extracurricular activities and school.

12. In the words of my 12-year-old son: “Candy, bring candy, candy is always good.”

Do you have any suggestions to add?

 

 

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Team Super Joey in the Media

cyclones3My amazing son Joey has been in the media a lot lately so I want to have one spot where you can find links to his stories. This will be the spot. I will update this post as needed.

Joey’s goal is to raise awareness for Histio, and hopefully someday find a cure for his disease.

Histio Survivor Prepares for Fundraising Event, Community Press, July 12, 2013
Enjoying the Little Things and Making Memories, Looking4ward2tomorrow, Nov. 15, 2013

Fort Thomas Boy Fights Rare Disease With a Strong Voice – WCPO Digital, Feb., 2014

Teen is Survivor of Bone-Destroying Disease – Community Press, Feb. 25, 2014
Histio Awareness Video – Produced by Cathy Ross, Starring Joey Holt, Requested by Histio Association, 2014
Rare Disease Day Proclamation, Fort Thomas Matters, Feb., 18 2014
Team Super Joey Fights Histio, Rare Disease Day, Feb., 2014
Joey Advocates for Histio & Rare Disease Day, Fox 19 Morning News, Feb. 28, 2014
Joey is Five in a Million, Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Blog, Feb. 28, 2014
Follow Team Super Joey on Twitter @gina5620 #teamsuperjoey
Follow Team Super Joey on Facebook at Raising2tweens
Thanks to everyone who has shown their support!
cyclones2 cayton family cyclones rare disease hope waiting for trainTeam Super Joey
My Histio Family

joey super herosuper joeyHistio Warriors and siblingsmy histio hike 2

 

How Life is Like The Walking Dead

Beth is only 16 or 17 on The Walking Dead but she is wise beyond her years. Although she might be royally messed up emotionally and mentally at this point, she has quotes in the show that hit home whether you are in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, raising children, taking care of ailing parents or dealing with everyday work and life issues.

Beth-Greene1

In the first half of season 4 several members of the prison group become sick and are quarantined. Beth’s father Hershel goes into the quarantined area to help the ill. Beth’s sister Maggie asks her if she knows where their dad is. Beth, who is in charge of watching all the kids, says “We don’t get to be upset. We all have our jobs to do.” She makes statements along these same lines throughout the season.

Funny enough, this quote went through my mind a lot over the last two weeks. My mother has been very ill and in the hospital for nearly two weeks. I have an older brother, younger brother, two sister-in-laws, my dad, my kids and two nephews and two nieces. We are lucky to have a close-knit family.

I realized through the last two weeks that we do all have our jobs to do when a crisis arrives in the family. My job is to take care of things – organizer, fact gatherer, caregiver. I questioned the doctor and nurses often making sure my mom had the care she needed. I also assessed what needed to be done to prepare my mom’s house for her return. We realized that my parents’ dogs would have to find a new home before she came home from the hospital so I found a rescue to take the mastiffs.

My younger brother’s job in the family is to get things done. Once the dogs were removed, we had to remove all dog hair from the home. My younger brother immediately took the lead to pull carpeting out of the home, replace flooring and paint my parent’s bedroom.

My older brother’s job is to keep my dad calm and help with whatever needs to be done. Believe me, keeping my dad calm is a BIG job (love you daddy).

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5-year-old nephew cleaning my mom’s

My sister-in-laws, nieces, nephews, my children and Nick worked their butts off to help us get the house ready and supported us through the tough time. Support was their job.

And although I definitely got upset during my mother’s 12 day stay at the hospital, I never did in front of her. I knew I had to be strong for her and do my job. Beth is right, “We don’t get to be upset. We all have jobs to do.”

What is your role or job in your family?

King Arthur’s Camelot Ballet

This post is written by Highlands Middle School seventh grader Roxy Baker.

Note: There might be a few spoilers1314_Camelot_WebHeader

I had the opportunity to attend the world premiere of the Cincinnati Ballet’s performance of King Arthur’s Camelot. Unlike many ballets, I wasn’t leaning back in my chair simply appreciating the dance and the story it told. I was on the edge of my seat in anticipation! Being the medieval history buff that I am, the performance was personally touching to me, but disregarding that, the show that the dancers put on was extremely exciting and had me gasping, tearing up, and rooting the characters on with each scene.

The opening act was particularly well done. I would say that words do not describe the effects in this scene. I was in awe by the costumes, and especially impressed by the fantastic job done by the Ladies of the Lake, portrayed by Makenzie Dessens, Milena Garcia, and Katherine Sawicki. I found myself clenching my fists as young Arthur, Charlie Klesa, cautiously made his way to Excalibur. I was silently cheering him on as wounded soldiers kneeled before him as their king. Cervilio Miguel Amador played a wonderful King Arthur, and the companionship between him and Liang Fu as Merlin was heart-warming and endearing. The enthusiasm I felt as Arthur bounded across the stage, now a man, is indescribable. The dance was remarkable.

Janessa Touchet’s play Guinevere’s innocence in her opening scene was very evident, and love-at-first-sight was an obviously predominant component as Arthur and his future queen initially met in the forest. I’ve told many of my friends who hadn’t seen the ballet about one part of that dance in particular, where Guinevere kneels before Arthur, and he stands her up only to kneel before her. It was breathtaking. The same goes for their marriage. The dance was romantic and still youthful, for at this point the couple was still in their teenage years, and was beautifully accompanied by gorgeous, flowing costumes. When Patric Palkens stumbled in as Lancelot, I knew it would end horribly, but I couldn’t help but be on his side. I could tell exactly how much he wanted to become one of the Knights of the Round Table, and I was relieved when Arthur showed him mercy.

Of course, with characters you can’t help but love, there must be characters you can’t help but despise. Yes, I’m talking about Mordred. Danced by Rodrigo Almarales, Arthur’s evil step-brother stole the stage in his opening dance with darkness and mystery. I especially appreciated his costume. Beautifully designed – sinister with a tinge of elegance. After infiltrating the castle and becoming one of King Arthur’s knights, Mordred made his move, casting a spell on Guinevere and Lancelot that would, of course, ruin King Arthur and therefore the whole kingdom, which would be “saved” by Mordred. That sly dog. Anyway, the love scandal of The Queen and The Knight was heart wrenching. I knew I shouldn’t have been rooting for them, but their love was so unmistakable and strong, that I couldn’t help it.

The ending scene will really stick with me, I think. The anticipation was almost too much for my sympathetic little heart. Even after Mordred had exploited the affair of his brother’s wife and his friend, thus completing his job and removing the spell, Lancelot still rode in on his flawlessly manned steed to save his love from the unbelievably pictured fire for which Guinevere would be burned on account of adultery. The two made it out of the fight between brothers alive, but I can’t say the same for those brothers. After supposedly killing King Arthur and his knights, Mordred believes he had won the battle, only to be brought back down by Arthur, who’s will to protect his kingdom and avenge his friends, I assume, kept him alive. In the end, good conquers evil and Arthur defeated the evil Mordred.

All in all, a fantastic job. The choreography was outstanding, the music was perfect for the dances, and the costumes were like none I’ve ever seen. In one word, PHENOMENAL.

Sixth Grade Romance

My 12-year-old son Joey was asked out by a girl a few weeks ago. My 14-year-old daughter Andi was home sick that day. The girl, we’ll call her T, must have told her older sister of her plans because she texted Andi by noon telling her their younger siblings were dating. I knew by 12:30. Joey called me after school to check in. I asked if he had anything else to tell me. “HOW ON EARTH DO YOU ALREADY KNOW, ” he responded. I said “because moms know everything.”

hearts

Really, today’s technology is what allowed me to know so quickly. I even knew the details. She had her friend give him a note that said “will you go out with me?” He verbally told her yes.

I didn’t know how to feel or what to think of all this. A girlfriend at age 12?? I figure they will chat at school and maybe hang out together at the school dance.

But for the first time ever, Joey asked to go see a play… the middle school play because T was in it. He sent her a candy gram. I thought it was sweet but the mother hen in me was a little nervous.

swedish-fish-red-theater-box-500x500And then Valentine’s Day arrives… He knew he had to get her something but was smart enough to not go overboard. Well really he couldn’t because I would have never given him money or even allowed him to spend much of his own. He was actually quite clever. He made her a card that said Will You OfFISHally Be Mine? on the outside and Happy Valentine’s Day on the inside. A box of Sweedish Fish candy was attached. I might have to keep an eye on that Casanova.

How do you handle young romances?

Ringling Brothers Circus Cincinnati Ticket Giveaway

circus 2014Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®    Circus is coming to Cincinnati March 12-16 and we have four tickets for opening night to give to one awesome reader. Built To Amaze!, the 143rd edition of the Greatest Show On Earth is sure to surprise audiences with over the top feats of strength, agility and courage. As the momentum builds so does the anticipation, anything can happen when Ringling Bros. Presents Built To Amaze!

I took my children last year. We had so much fun watching the clowns, the motorcycles, the tight rope walkers and so much more. My son even found a food vendor where he was able to have a kids meal with a drink for only $4.75. We hope to find that again!

Circus 2013

From the blueprints to the band, the crates to the clowns, the hammer to the high wire, witness the spectacle as we measure out the perfect mix of marvel and majesty in an imagination equation where the impossible comes to life. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®Presents Built To Amaze! 

Tickets can be bought online or at the U.S. Bank Arena Box Office. They cost between $12 and $85. You can also buy a Family four-pack for $99, which includes four tickets, popcorn, marshmallow pops and lemonades. That’s quite the deal!

Family-four pack Giveaway

Raising2tweens has a four-pack of tickets for opening night (March 12) to give away to one lucky reader. You have up to four chances to win. Only one is required but the more you enter, the more chances you have to win.

1. Comment here saying why you want to win. (Required)

2. Follow the blog by clicking follow at the top and comment here that you did.

3. Like Raising2tweens on Facebook and comment here that you did.

4. Share this contest on Twitter (@gina5620 and #cincycircus) or Facebook and comment here that you did.

Enter to win by noon on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. Be sure to comment separately for each entry. The winner will be notified via email and announced on the Raising2tweens Facebook page.

Disclaimer: My family was given four tickets to the circus from Feld Entertainment.

Want more chances to win? Head over to my friend Krissy’s Blog, All In A Day’s Work or Amy’s blog In a Galaxy.