Survival Tips

As we came home from visiting some friends at Primary Children’s last week, we were talking about all the advice we gave them, and the many other things we could have told them…. Things we’ve learned over the past 19 years. Steve said Sarah and I should write a book. Maybe someday we will, but for now, we decided to just make a list! (It’s a work in progress, so check back often.)

  • Try to find one thing every day to be grateful for.
  • Go for a walk and get out of the room (parents and patient, if possible) at least for a little while every day.
  • If there’s something you don’t understand…ASK!
  • It’s OK to cry. (Even the daddy.)
  • It’s also OK to laugh.
  • The patio on the 3rd floor is a wonderful place to get some air and have a little lunch.
  • Room Service (for the patients) makes a pretty good milkshake, and you can order clear up til 8:30!
  • The playroom on the 3rd floor has lots of puzzles, games and activities… use them!
  • The parent room next to the playroom has free snacks for parents available at certain times of the day.
  • Let your family and friends help you… at the hospital and at home. They want to help you bear your burden. Don’t take away their blessings.
  • Mornings start early at the hospital. Nap as often as you need to.
  • Keep a notebook and pen handy to write down questions and notes as the doctors visit.
  • If you need a break from nurses or phone calls, just ask them to give you some time alone and to not disturb you. You can totally put a sign on your door!
  • LDS Sacrament Service on Sunday is a MUST. It’s amazing how spiritually uplifting 30 minutes can be when you include sweet music, the sacred emblems of the Sacrament, and people that are suffering through their struggles and looking to God for support. Wow!
  • Sarah’s very first cardiologist gave us some of the best advice when she was just a tiny 2 day-old baby: “This will either tear you apart, or make you stronger. Your baby needs a mommy and a daddy. You’ve got to be there for each other. Take turns crying. Be tender and patient with each other. Take turns talking, and especially take turns listening. “
  • Draw pictures and make posters to decorate your hospital room! It really makes it happier in there.
  • Make sure when you are having an especially hard time, go to the Meditation Room and cry/pray/talk as long and as much as you need to. It helps a lot!
  • Ask your nurse about any “Teen Game Nights.” It’s a really good distraction and a great way to make friends. Plus it gives Mom and Dad a break…
  • Bring a laptop and set up a Skype account. Skype-ing with family and friends is a good distraction and fun to see familiar faces.
  • Ask questions. Any question, any time. There is no such thing as a dumb question, and you’ll be a lot smarter for asking.

5 thoughts on “Survival Tips

  1. Well. This is the one page I didn’t read yet. LOVE IT.
    I totally agree. The milkshakes really are not bad at all 🙂
    Again, you’re awesome. Thanks so much for commenting on my blog 🙂

  2. I read an article about Sarah’s need for a heart transplant in the Idaho State Journal. I work for Intermountain Donor Services, which is the organ procurement organization that covers Utah and south eastern Idaho. I posted the story on the Yes Idaho facebook page. Sarah’s smile draws your attention to the article and instantly gets the reader hoping she gets the transplant soon. Good luck with everything.

  3. The Survival List sounds like good advice for more than just hospital stays.

    It was great to read the blog, up to date. Grandpa and Grandma (Edward and Carol) Brown shared what is going on, and sent me the link. Sarah has been in my prayers daily for a couple months now, ever since Carol told me about this. I was at the temple this afternoon, and Sarah’s name is there in Oakland now for the next two weeks. (I know the Browns from when my husband and I were in Russia, and it is a privilege to call them my friends.) I will try to keep up with what is new through this site. … Gwen Edmunds

  4. I’m glad that Sarah is doing well. I work for Intermountain Donor Services and we have a group of speakers who give presentations in health and driver education classes about organ donation. We will be having a training meeting for our speakers in August. If Sarah is still in the Salt Lake area, would she be interested in coming and talking about her transplant, etc.? We love to hear about personal experiences.

    1. If we have permission from the doctors, we can make sure I can be “safe” around all those people, and things can work out with our schedule, I would probably be interested. Send me an email with more info. Thanks!

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