How You Can Help Me During My Hospital Stay Next Week (If You Want To)

As discussed in my prior post, I’m going to be in the hospital for 2-10 days starting on Monday next week (Sept 16th). A bunch of you have asked if you can come visit and/or what you can pray for. And I’ve been horrendous about answering this question in any concrete manner because, frankly, I’ve been trying not to think about going into the hospital.

Mainly because I’m suddenly terrified. Not my usual terrified that is really just anticipation and leads to statements I’ve made in the past like: “I like tests and winning” or “my EEG is going to show how awesome my brain is.” This is more like “I need to go buy a teddy bear because I’m scared in a way that I don’t even remember from my childhood” afraid. Not awesome. 

So I was trying not to think about it and you were all getting frustrated with me for not answering your questions about how to help me. It’s like we’re one big, dysfunctional family. Cute.

But I finally got my head on a little straighter (is it ever really on straight?) and figured I have to take positive steps to get ready or it’s just going to be one massive disaster.

So I thought about what I would find the most helpful and came up with three things.

1. Pray for me. I always feel a little helpless when people ask for prayer. I want to do more. (Let’s not go into the psychology of what that means about my underutilization of prayer in my spiritual life…). Now that I’m on the other side of things, I have to say that thinking about people praying for me is really, really comforting.

But even more than general prayer, I’d really love it if you guys were praying verses for me. There’s something really powerful in reading back to the Lord the words he’s given us. I love it. This week during my quiet times, three verses specifically have given me a lot of comfort and I’d love it if you guys would pray/read those ones back to the Lord for me as your prayers for me as I prepare to go in / am in the hospital. Here are the verses:

2. Send me something. Yes, I realize that this sounds shallow. Let me explain. There’s something kind of awesome about getting a little gift. It tell you that the other person is thinking about you, but isn’t as exhausting (or potentially embarrassing if your head is wrapped in electrodes) as a full on visit. And if 30 of you visited me in 5 days, I might literally go into a coma. When someone sends you a letter or card, you get to sit there for a minute and feel loved and appreciated in a quiet, warm way that is different from a visit. So if you have a busy schedule or just prefer to send something, do that. I’d love it. You can even just drop these off at the Abbott front desk or with my parents or a friends you know is visiting me.

**See the end of this post for a list of ideas that got a little out of hand.**

3. Visit me! Okay, while the thought of 12 of you in my (presumably small) hospital room makes me want to hyperventilate (and probably breaks about 12 hospital policies), the idea of being alone for 10 days in a small white room is even worse. So I’m hoping to strike a good balance. As you probably know by now, I have to sleep a lot with the drugs I’m on (about 10-12 hours a day ideally). But I’m good for hanging out with 1-3 people at a time in chunks for up to 6 hours a day I think.

To facilitate this goal, I’ve made a Google spreadsheet (that’s right, I am an accountant). I’ve listed out the days and blocked off the times that I think I’ll want to be sleeping or just reading / praying / daydreaming about drinking coffee / etc. I’ve also blocked off the times that I know people are already coming to visit. If you want to visit in the other open times, you can just block them off. Or just use the open slots as a guide for when it’s a good idea to stop by if you’re just coming for a super quick visit. You can bring a couple people with you. Lets keep it to 3 people at a time.

Don’t feel like you have to fill up all the slots. This is just a guideline to help schedule things. Believe me, I don’t have to have people there all the time. Actually, if you filled up all the slots, this would be more than 6 hours (and probably too much). This is meant as a guide so you don’t all plan to come on the same day. I can always fill it with family or hanging out with the other kids on the ward.

And if you sign up for 4 pm, you don’t have to stay a whole hour. Up to you. You can just drop in to say high. Or you can bring two other people and a movie or Settlers of Catan. Or you can bring temporary tattoos for us to put on. But if you come and just sit and stare at me while being flustered, I will probably start throwing things at you. Fair warning. (I’ve definitely been guilty of that last one in the past… the staring awkwardly part… thankfully the person I was visiting didn’t throw anything at me.)

If you sign up that’ll also let me text / email you if I have to cancel because they want to test me or release me early.

Okay, here’s the link: KATE’S VISITOR ROSTER

And here are the instructions on where exactly I’ll be: Abbott Northwestern Hospital, 800 East 28th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55407-3799. You can call the front desk at: 612-863-4000. Click here for a link to the map of the campus. I believe I’ll be in Building H, Floor 8 (the Neuroscience Inpatient unit). The map has parking ramp info, etc.

**Completely Out of Control List of Things You Can Send Me**: For those of you whose minds blank immediately when you try to think of what to send someone / bring to someone in the hospital, here is my excessively long and often impractical list of ideas:

  • Letters (Preferably hand written. Possibly secretly delivered. Maybe unsigned. Definitely in English.)
  • Cards (But not lame cards. No flowers unless they are pictures of flower. Or you draw the flowers.)
  • Flowers (Don’t buy the funeralesque, expensive ones. See my previous post for my rant on flowers.)
  • Disney movies (I’m on a serious kick.)
  • Stuffed animals (Careful, I only like the super super soft kind… but the bigger the better. I had this huge, blue teddy bear when I was a kid and it was the best thing ever.)
  • A coloring book.
  • Chocolate (the darker the better… I think I’m allowed to have this while I’m in there but will update this list if I find out I’m not.
  • Good decaf cold press (I don’t think caffeine is going to be allowed… but placebos probably are)
  • Any kind of fruit dipped in chocolate and then refrigerated (other then melon, which is gross).
  • A poster you think I would have had on my walls in college (hint, not Star Wars… maybe that Navy one where he’s kissing the girl)
  • A Spotify playlist you (or a bunch of you) make for me (this can be delivered virtually, is free, and might be my favorite thing mentioned so far… and you could add to it during my stay… quadruple bonus)
  • Temporary tattoos (preferably of super heroes, lightning bolts, or those black ones that look like real tattoos)
  • Quote or Sudoku books (I’m addicted to both)
  • Unsalted/raw cashews (best snack food ever)
  • Hot chocolate and fresh mini marshmallows (not the dehydrated kind)
  • Magazines (National Geographic, Outside, Runner’s World… pretty much anything with awesome pictures that make me want to travel),
  • iTunes gift cards (have I mentioned my addiction to downloading episodes of Criminal Minds?)
  • Jewelry (I don’t think I can actually wear this in the hospital, when doesn’t a girl like to get this?)
  • A gameboy or DS with the original Mario Brothers game (to borrow obviously… and no other game will work… I only like the Mario Brothers one…. yes, I know that’s weird)
  • Inky uniball pens with thin or micro tips (in black blue, or purple… yes, I’m picky about pens)
  • A link to a video of you and/or others doing hilarious things (rapping, chasing Steve the chipmunk, singing a girly pop song… use your imagination)
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3 thoughts on “How You Can Help Me During My Hospital Stay Next Week (If You Want To)

  1. Pingback: Building Unity, Sherlock Holmes Style | Seized by Grace

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