5 things you can do for a friend in need.

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It’s been a full circle week. What looked like a normal week of kids, work and typical weekly balance challenges took a complete nose dive as of Sunday night. The universe is mysterious but like any hard life event, I learned a little about myself and a lot about my tribe. It was the catalyst for this post as I was so moved by the kind actions and notes people shared with me.

I’ll give you the cliff notes. Lola had begun to complain about her stomach on Friday night. We thought it was a fluke as she pounded down several pieces of pizza and was acting like her normal self. Turn the page to Saturday, more complaining but we chalked it up to not wanting to participate in her soccer game. Saturday night turns into increased abdominal pain but nothing to be alarmed about. Come Sunday, the abdominal pain she was feeling had escalated and was quite honestly crippling. My first thought was constipation hence I took the necessary procedures. Turns out I was very wrong…so much so that we were admitted to the ER around dinner time on Sunday and we are still at the children’s hospital near our home. <on that note, thank the lord for amazing medical teams because I was truly impressed with the way things were handled>

I will spare you all the details but I can tell you things are on the up and up and we are hoping to bring Lola home today. With that said, this little girl has had every test known to man. She’s been poked, she’s been prodded and despite it all, shown quite a bit of bravery. More than I ever expected.

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I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t reduced to heavy sobs on more than one occasion and while I was concerned to show weakness in front of a six year old who very much needed me to be brave, the truth is, I’m human and it’s through those tears that I think her and I braved the unknowns together in that small, ER hospital bed. Perhaps showing children your more vulnerable side allows them to trust you more. And sometimes, you’re just plain exhausted. I can tell you this, nothing prepares you to witness your children scared to be rolled into a CT scan or cry hysterically because their pain is unbearable. It is the most helpless, worst feeling you could ever have and I wouldn’t wish it on a single soul.

All of this being said, the outpouring of love, prayers, virtual hugs and positive vibes has us feeling incredibly grateful for their are families, and I witnessed this only yesterday, that have it far worse off than we do. It’s a real eye opener. The universe continues to humble me which made me think…how can I share the actions of others that profoundly comforted me this week in my moments of fear? Well, I am taking to social media and this very blog given that they seem like the perfect vehicle to spread good deeds. It also made me recognize the things I could have done for others in the past in their worst moments but didn’t recognize or know how I could help. I think we are often paralyzed by fear but small gestures can have a huge impact during difficult times.

Here are the 5 things you can do for someone when they are at their worst:

  1. Call them, text them, DM them…it doesn’t even matter if you are best friends or acquaintances. It costs nothing and positive energy is what they need. Simply letting someone know you are thinking and praying for them does wonders for their mental stability.

  2. Offer a solution. People offered to bring my husband and daughter at home meals or to organize play dates to keep them occupied. The smallest offerings were huge. Even offering to bring a toiletry kit to the hospital was huge. A dear friend sent a delivery service dinner to our hospital room on the second night. It was such an act of love that I silently cried as I ate while all the monitors beeped and blinked as Lola slept.

  3. Be somewhat aggressive. Most people will say “no thank you” because they don’t want to be a burden. Don’t listen. Continue to check in and offer support. Eventually they will give in.

  4. Share similar stories or resources. People were sending me their rolodex of specialists and contact information. Again, this costs nothing.

  5. Distract them. Even if they don’t want to be around people, drop off magazines, movies, books or even an iPad. There is a point when you’re in a hospital that it feels like Groundhog Day and you haven’t seen the light of day. People have a hard time breaking away from the situation. Sometimes a 15 minute distraction gives them a break from the emotional stress they are experiencing.

Of course, food and sleep make a world of a difference but sometimes those things are simply not possible. I found that the above eased my mind and helped me navigate through the gray. So, this is a GIANT thank you to my amazing clients, friends, acquaintances, long time readers whom I’ve never met, close friends and family and of course, the tremendous medical crew that took care of little Lola. We are okay.

Most important of all, never take health for granted. It is the most precious commodity in the world. Without it, nothing matters. Nothing. Thank you to all of you once more. Every note was read and I am still trying to respond. Cheers.