Being on bed rest or otherwise not feeling up to par during the recovery phase after surgery is no fun for anyone. Whether the surgery was elective or done under a situation of disease or duress, recovery always involves changing one's routine for a while. Imagine how nice it would be for your friend, family member or colleague to receive a nice package of goodies from someone who cares. Not only does the gesture express warmth - it also can just be a lot of fun to get an unexpected gift.
A good care package is all about what goes inside of it. Even though you will score points for just the thought itself, you will make him or her smile even more big and brightly if you put together a winning package.
If you are looking for what to include in a care package after surgery, here are some tips that can help:
1. Let your inner child help you choose:
Think about the situation your friend or family member is in: they are hanging around the hospital room or bedroom in their robe and PJs. They are wearing slippers. There's lots of down time. Sounds kind of like a kid on summer vacation, right? While surgery post-op is obviously no vacation, it is definitely a change from "business as usual" for this person. So, throw your logical pre-conceptions out the window and just let your inner child guide your choices for what to include. It's okay to be a little bit whimsical in your selections.
2. Choose items that will fill their time:
After surgery, one thing a person does have a lot of is time on their hands. The hours can pass awfully slowly when you are used to being active and busy but now are confined to a hospital bed. Choose items like games and puzzles that keep them busy. If you have the money, those little hand-held video games (usually costing $10-$15 or less) can be a great way to pass the time. Sudoku and crossword puzzles are also a kick for people who like games.
3. Pick an unusual or specialty magazine:
Right now, life is not business as usual for this person. So, why not get him or her a magazine that they may not have read in a long time. Did they like Mad Magazine as a kid 10 or 20 years ago? Maybe that would be fun. Or, get them one on knitting or extreme sports or computers or art. Surprise him or her!
4. Bring something that reminds them of friends and family:
Being all cooped up all day can be a little bit lonely. Why not bring your friend a photo album with pics from home, the office, or a recent trip? In today's world of online photo sharing, the art of making a good physical photo album has been lost for many of us. If you don't have lots of time to spend making an album, just buy a plastic one at the drugstore and insert 10 or 20 fun photos. The goal is to remind the surgery patient you know of people who care.
5. Include some fun foods:
Include a can, box or bag of their favorite snack food. Remember: don't go overboard with giving food, since they may be under strict doctor's orders to stick to a certain diet. If that's the case, just tell them that the food is for when they get better soon.
A few more gift ideas:
a. an ice pack
b. a box of Thank You notes that they can use to thank people who have brought them gifts or visited
c. a silly piece of jewelry or novelty item
d. a pre-paid calling card so they can call an old friend
e. a prayer book or book of meditations
f. a CD or DVD
When putting together your care package, put on your "creativity" hat and get going. It can be a lot of fun to put together, and it will mean the world to your friend, family member or colleague during their time of need.