After re-reading my last entry I realized there are so many other ways to feel useful when someone you care about is seriously ill, I also wanted to add a few things that could help if it's the Man of the house that is ill....so here are just a few more ideas!
If you work with someone that is ill....see if you can transfer one of your sick days to your co-worker..this woks too if that person is the main care giver for another person that is ill. There is a lot of down days when the patient needs someone to stay home with them or take them on one of their numerous doctor/treatment appointments.
If your a neighbor of someone ill you can help by raking leaves, shoveling snow, cutting grass, taking in the trash cans or taking them out, bring the newspaper closer to their front door in the morning or organize some of your other neighbors to put some funds together to hire a service that can help with the outdoor stuff for a season or a whole year.
Organize some neighbors to rotate cooking dinner for the family that is going through a health crisis...everyone takes turns making enough dinner food to feed their own family plus the other family.
Volunteer to run errands, if your going grocery shopping call and see if there is anything you can pick up for them, pick up or drop off things at the dry cleaner and such. If one of your kids is in a sports or other activity with one of their children, video tape the event and share that with them.
If you have rented any movies and after your finished watching it. ask if they would like to view it too and then you can return it to the video store, or you can ask them if there is a movie that they would like to see and rent it for them...remember there is a lot of time spent in ones bed during a serious illness or recovery from an operation. If you want to, send over a bag of microwave popcorn and other treats with the movie.
If its a good day for the person, invite them over for a football party..nothing beats a tail gate party in the comfort of a living room, keep the guest list small...chemo lowers ones ability to fight off colds and viruses....a major illness on top of their other illness can delay their treatment.
Send a goody bag over loaded with antibacterial items, a box of tissues, heavy duty moisturizing cream, lip balm, a lavender scented candle....best known for its calming ability, a back scratchier ( A MUST HAVE!LOL) be careful of sending anything over that has a really strong scent to it....strong odors become offensive when one is ill.
If they have small children organize play dates with your own kids and other neighbors, offer to drive their children to these play dates too.If they have kids of the furry kind lol! volunteer to make that late night dog walk, see if there are any vet appointments that you can take care of.
offer to Christmas or Holiday shop for them....last place they want to be is at the mall or toy store with all the germs that are around this time of year. If they have small children that still believe in Santa offer to hide the gifts at your house.
If they are a really close friend or family member, look through your old photos and make a copy of one that has you and that person in it, find a fabulous frame and send them a note telling them how much they mean to you.....this will bring back happier times and let them believe that those kind of days will happen once again, some time soon.
I have been very blessed as far as health insurance goes....we have hardly any out of pocket expenses...just 20 pills of the Zofran (an anti-nausea medication) is an $ 887.00 dollar expense and that only lasts you for one treatment per chemo, we only had to pay $10.00 co pay.....like I said I am blessed, my entire operation hospital cost was over $45,000.00 and that did not include any of the Doctors fees (still waiting for those bills lol)....Our insurance covered the whole amount.....others aren't as fortunate...see if there is a need to raise funds for that family..sometimes all it takes is a phone call to your local newspaper to generate a story of that family's plight and then the snowball "good will" effect takes over and the family can get some help with the financial costs that burden them too...especially if the person that is ill, is the main supporter of the family.
I made that call a few years ago for a Mother that was donating one of her kidneys to her very ill 5 year old son (she is the SIL of a very good friend of mine) that story help set up a fund to cover the expense of that lil boy's life long medicinal needs.
You might think that what your doing seems so small and insignificant, but trust me that small deed is huge in that person's life.
And remeber that person when you are counting your blessings and last but not least.....A prayer goes a long way and is the easiest to bestow.
Life is good and I am blessed!