A little over 2 weeks ago my life did a 90 degree turn. My dad had a car wreck and that put him on the path to being in the ICU for 14 days(so far). This is not the first time I’ve see life turn on a dime. I knew it was happening as I watched the events unfold. Have you had those moments? I pray that you never spend hours in the hospital waiting room or have to pack a bag to keep you busy while you wait in an ER but if you do I hope that this list gives you some ideas on what to take.
Living through times like this NEVER gets easier. But I know from the other situations in my past that I can have a few anchors in the storm that help to get me through.
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11 Things Saving My Life in the ICU
Daily quiet time in the word
This is not a physical item that I bring but a thing I NEED (however having my iPad is key).
I went for a week being very short on sleep and not having time for my quiet time. I felt lost and VERY stressed. After things calmed down a little and I was able to breathe, I was able to resume my daily routine of reading my Bible. The comfort and peace was instantaneous. I felt so much more connected with God and his word. By doing this daily, I am more centered and it helps me to remember to lean on Him and not worry as much. He's got us all in his hands and has a plan where I feel only chaos.
Years ago I got an iPad mini to help keep score for one of my children's clubs. BEST investment ever. With my iPad I have so many options at my finger tips.
Having choices for books, games, movies etc. is a big deal when you are waiting for hours. If I grab nothing else on my way out the door then I make sure to stick my iPad(and charge cord) in my purse.
We are people of the digital age. We are constantly on our phones and they run down fast when there is lots of searching and texting occurring.
Yes a wall plug for phone is free but I have found that having a portable charger very handy when no plugin is available or when you are on the move a lot. It is great on long car rides too. Especially when there are multiple devices being used and only one charge outlet in the car. Ask me how I know.
I am blessed with both a brother and a sister. Thankfully we compliment each other and when one of us cannot stand the stress any more the others step up. My husband and kids have been totally amazing through everything. I'm so thankful that last weekend we got away for a day at my oldest son's home. Also I was really touched and comforted when my college girls came in to talk and cuddle on my bed for an hour after I'd experienced a very stress-filled day.
Cool hottie oil
Fact of life. Stress brings on changes in women. I was 42 when my mom had pancreatic cancer and I’ve had multiple health struggles since then. It has brought on menopause early for me at 46.
Lucky me I know.
I’m seeing shifts in my sleeping patterns and ability to concentrate. It is NOT fun at all but the worst is the hot flashes. I feel nauseous and antsy when I'm dealing with flashes. It also wakes me up and right now I NEED every second of sleep I can get.
The Aura Cacia Cool Hottie oil blend has been a life saver. I just put a few drops in 1/2 a tsp of coconut oil and rub it on my feet every night. The flashes still happen but not as frequently.
comfy pants and shirt from target
It is quite possible that I might have said "I'm done with these clothes" a several times in the past 14 days. Thankfully I have found my favorite comfy clothes. I LOVE these pj pants and shirts from Target.
The name says it all Total Comfort. Light but not cozy(see hot flash info above) and so soft. Just what I need in the hours where I zone out in front of Hulu before crashing in bed.
Friends who bring food
Once you have gone through super tough times you learn to ask for help earlier. That first week I thought we could manage to prep food and do our normal routines but as we ended the week I knew it was time to ask for help.
I’m so thankful for friends and family who were more than willing to provide us a meal.
It definitely saved me from breaking down at dinner time when just the thought of making a decision and then making a meal would've pushed me over the edge. Yesterday I actually made lunch and supper and you would have thought I gave my family a gift from heaven. It made me laugh but it was also a great ego boost at the end of day when I was really down.
Sleep and Rest
The conflict of needing sleep and having a brain that will not shut off is VERY real when you go through events with loved ones in the hospital. There is NO shame in naps or taking breaks from life to just rest. I try to find a way to make rest happen every day. Since it looks like this may be a marathon, for my dad's stay in ICU, instead of sprint my siblings and I have decided to take every other day to visit and check in at the hospital. It isn’t fun but it is keeping us from loosing our minds.
It is hard to eat and drink healthy in crisis situations but it is SO important. Junk food is readily available and is NOT what my stressed out, sleep deprived body needs.
This awesome "lemonade" packs a powerful healthy punch. Plus it is easy to prep ahead of time and then put it together in 2 minutes before I leave. I keep it in my Bubba insulated cup and it stays cold for 14 hours. Seriously. (that should probably thing #12 on this list)
I buy lemons, squeeze them and put the juice a mason jar for using with in the lemonade recipe later. I don't like the taste of bottled lemon juice. So this recipe when made with real lemon juice tastes just like summer in my cup.
Plus the extra dose of vitamin C from the Baobab powder is important right now as I usually get sick when I have a lot of stress. If I am sick I can't go in to see my dad. Never heard of Baobab powder? You can get it from Amazon or Walmart! FYI my favorite brand is the Trim Healthy Mama brand!
In my bag with the iPad, charger and oil I also throw in an apple or healthy granola bar. KIND bars are my favorite but I also like to have a Lily’s chocolate bar. It's the perfect treat as they are delicious AND sweetened with Stevia.
Having one of these tucked in my purse keeps me from indulging in a sugar laden bar from the vending machine when I'm having a chocolate crisis moment. I love catching these on sale at our local Natural Grocer but you can get many varieties of Lily chocolate bars on Amazon to if you don't mind paying a bit more.
I don’t sit still well as I wait. That bag that I mentioned? It is my crochet bag with a hook and a couple of skeins of my favorite cotton yarn.
If I have to wait, then I find it easy to work on a few rows of this free hot pad pattern. I’m planning to give them to friends for Christmas. I like to make and stash gifts all through the year to keep the crazy out of the holiday season.
This is a topic many people never think about and I'm glad that they don't need to do so. But if you want to keep this list for future reference then make sure you pin it for later.
Update: Dad is SLOWLY improving and I hope that we don't have very many days left waiting outside the ICU.
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