8 days after surgery, 6th day at home – What I have Learned

George had surgery last Saturday morning,  that would be August 17th. They put 3 nails/ screws/whatever in the top of his femur. We came home from the hospital Monday night. He cannot put any weight on his left leg, the only medical equipment we were sold was a walker. The hospital was ‘nice’ enough to call an independent non-emergency medical transport company for me so we could get George home. I had to make the call to that company all the ‘case manager’ did was call and get a price. I have other bitches about the hospital but I will save that for another time.

Every day we face new challenges, every day I figure out how to MacGyver our environment and I have to say I am doing a bang-up job with that. Every day there is another delivery from Amazon and every day there  is a return to Amazon – BTW – items from medical supply companies carry a hefty return fee.

I don’t usually post my personal business on Facebook but I did have short notes as to what happened since my only social contacts are on FB – I have no friends or support system where I live and that is entirely my own problem and I am not complaining about that. All my far-flung friends sent ‘thoughts/good wishes/hugs et al – very nice, that’s all anyone COULD do but truthfully, totally useless.

From my own current experience should you ever have a friend close by (NOT someone like me, far, far away) here is what they will need and, trust me, want:

1. Don’t ask – Do.  “Call me if you need anything” you say. Well, no, they won’t. YOU call THEM. Text them first to see if they are available for a call and THEN CALL.  If you really want to help them in some way, just SHOW UP.

2. With one person incapacitated in a two-person only situation, the one thing I assure you  they need is food. Already prepared and ready to eat. By 5-6 at night I am so exhausted that the mere thought of trying to prepare dinner is beyond  contemplation. (Hell, by that time of the day I truly do not even know my own name.) So – bring your friend food – something they can pop into the microwave or heat up quickly in the oven. Hopefully you know your friends well enough to know what they like to eat. Bring them healthy snacks – if you know they like fruit bring some, make sure they have bread and milk or whatever it is that they use on a daily basis.  Bring them a treat if you know what their ‘poison’ is. Not a lot of it, just a tiny bit, but bring some.

3. No one can do someone else’s shopping for them, so call them, set up a time for you to go to their house and sit with the ill/injured person while the caretaker goes to the grocery store. The most perfect scenario here is if there are two of you – one to sit with the sick person and one to go to the store WITH the caretaker. OMG – that will be total heaven for them.  The best thing ever.

What NOT to say –

1. Call me if you need anything.

If your friend is far away and you cannot offer any real assistance, as much as you would like to (Bless your heart) then please do NOT:

1. Send thought and prayers – I know you mean well, your friend knows you mean well but in this situation, when your friend is at the end of their rope and choking their reaction to ‘thoughts and prayers’ is unprintable.

2. “Take care of yourself and get some rest” – Seriously? And how do you expect them to do that? That bit of advice will send them over the edge so far and so fast you cannot even imagine.

What can you do for your far away friend? Just stay in touch – Send them a quick email and tell them a quick story about YOUR day. Your friend wants some distractions, wants to get out of their own head. And most of all something to make them laugh. They most probably want and need a good cry but a good laugh will do them so much good.

So that’s my real life advice – 2 sets of advice for 2 different situations.

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