The day after Christmas, a dear friend had a heart attack, and then bypass surgery two days later. We went to help bring him home on New Year’s Day, taking a gift basket for the recovering patient. I know from my experience with upper spine surgery just over 5 years ago, that after a week or so, boredom becomes a huge problem. With weeks of recuperation in the future, several things would come in handy. I began with a plastic basket that he can keep on the sofa next to him to corral the remotes for the TV and a few other small items.
I sewed a Seat Belt pad for him, twice the size of the ones I have made before for padding chemo ports. His surgical scar is huge, all the way down his chest, so this longer version will pad the seat belt for him when he goes to appointments. He already used it for his first post-op appointment and pronounced it very useful and comfortable.
Certainly, the recovering heart patient needs some healthy snacks and chicken soup. A bit of chocolate wrapped around dried blueberries isn’t bad either. I added some salt free seasoning for adding flavor to foods without sodium.
Lip balm and oatmeal lotion for comfort, keeping skin moist and not dry. A big box of tissues is always useful.
I found some gummy vitamins especially suited for healing skin. After my surgery, my neurosurgeon told me to use Vitamin E oil and massage on the incision to minimize the scarring. There is no scientific evidence to support this in recent studies, but it did wonderful for me so I included it.
Three novels and a word search puzzle book should provide a bit of diversion.
Then, I made him a Bored Box. I wrote out little notes, folded them over and put them in a metal box. Each one has something to do when he runs out of TV shows and cannot watch another movie. He will be able to use a computer, so a few of the ideas involve being online.
On the top of the box, I glued a little card with a stamped car and wrote Bored Box.
I know you want to know what is on the cards, so here they are –
Listen to an audiobook free – https://librivox.org/
Update your cell phone contact list
Plan a weekend getaway for 6 months from now, plan the itinerary, book the hotel
Call a friend you haven’t seen in a while.
Reorganize the folders on your computer, delete all the stuff you don’t need.
Back up your hard drive
Change the passwords on your shopping accounts.
Install a password manager on your computer and set it up.
Write an article for a vintage car magazine and submit it.
– (He is a vintage Triumph expert)
Organize your old photos into albums
Sharpen all the knives in your kitchen.
Let your friends know you are ready to have visitors
Clean out your magazines, make a notebook of projects to keep and discard the rest.
Take photos of things to get rid of, and list them on eBay
Work an online jigsaw puzzle at https://www.jigsawplanet.com/ or
Solve a brain teaser puzzle at https://www.mindgames.com/
Solve free crossword puzzles at https://www.arkadium.com/free-online-games/crosswords/
Solve a logic puzzle (or one of the other categories) at http://www.freepuzzles.com/
Of course, a get well card had to be a part of the basket. The pickup truck was perfect.
It is well known that heart surgery patients often have periods of depression after surgery, so I made the inside something inspirational.
I am happy to report his recovery is progressing as it should. It will still be several weeks before he is back to normal activity, but in the meantime, I hope this basket will bring him some comfort.
Do you have a favorite thing to take to a recovering friend?