What to send someone who's recovering from surgery
August 3, 2009 12:50 PM   Subscribe

I have a friend (in Los Angeles) recovering from serious surgery. What can I send her instead of flowers that's actually useful?

A friend is recovering from surgery. She's due to go home from the hospital tomorrow. I'd like to send her (and her boyfriend) something that's actually useful in a situation like this, rather than flowers which I know for a fact she has plenty of. If I lived in the same city I'd bring over food, but from 1000-odd miles away I obviously can't do that. Any thoughts?
posted by dersins to Health & Fitness (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Credit for iTunes so she can download and watch movies while she convalesces?

Phone up and pay for a professional cook to prepare a meal for her at her home, or one of those ones that makes a week's supply of meals for you?
posted by furtive at 12:52 PM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

I love Edible Arrangements- they send arrangements out of fresh fruit cut to look like flowers. You do it online, the order is completed and delivered by a franchise near your friend. The fruit is delicious, and it's a pretty and surprising treat.
posted by amethysts at 12:54 PM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

When I was in a similar situation once I was airfreighted some Labortorio del Gelato on dry ice. It ruled.
posted by jeb at 12:58 PM on August 3, 2009

You can send a food basket from Harry & David -- they have choices other than fruit/nuts/chocolate, too. Or if you want to go local (and admittedly fancy/pricey), Joan's on Third does food baskets. There is also a place called Fancifull on Melrose that delievers food baskets, as well, with prices a little lower than Joan's.

Alternatively, you could order a big deli meal from someplace like Canter's or Jerry's.
posted by scody at 1:02 PM on August 3, 2009

Sorry, Harry & David link here.
posted by scody at 1:03 PM on August 3, 2009

(duh, I actually meant this link, since it actually shows options beyond the usual fruit/sweets/etc.)
posted by scody at 1:04 PM on August 3, 2009

I second Edible Arrangements! The fruit arrangements are delicious, healthy and such a treat.

Otherwise--hiring a maid service would be great.

Send her some books or trashy magazines.
posted by FergieBelle at 1:08 PM on August 3, 2009

I think sending some kind of prepared food would also be nice. Shopping and cooking and even having to think about what to make are not something I'd want to do just coming out of the hospital.

I don't have personal experience with them but Freshology appears to get rave reviews. I think they're more oriented toward calorie-conscious (but healthy, organic, gourmet) meals - but maybe that's something your friend would also enjoy if she's been eating crappy hospital food and having to lie around for awhile.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 1:09 PM on August 3, 2009

This might sound out of the blue but...a multitool. If she has trouble getting around, having a little scissors/ knife/whatever alwayse at hand can be a lifesaver.
posted by notsnot at 1:18 PM on August 3, 2009

Oh, man, second the Harry & David suggestion. I have a hard time imagining a situation when I would not appreciate some Harry & David pears/sweets/snacks/etc.
posted by Diagonalize at 1:18 PM on August 3, 2009

Maybe a very cool antique walking stick?
posted by mdonley at 1:28 PM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Is she going to be recovering in bed or otherwise demobilized? Perhaps a DVD? I'd recommend the Planet Earth BBC series. Even if she's a netflixer she might burn through her supply faster than usual.
posted by Wood at 1:32 PM on August 3, 2009

And if she isn't a netflixer, a Netflix membership?
posted by spinifex23 at 1:38 PM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

A photography or fishing vest so that she can have things on hand and carry them: the phone, tissues, pain killers, the remote, etc. Travelsmith has some that are not as "expeditionary" looking as many out there. Fill up the pockets with some fun edibles if she can have them, an iTunes card, reading material, and the like.
posted by jgirl at 1:49 PM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Almost any restaurant in Los Angeles will deliver, so it's easy to send food to her. My favorite is Real Food Daily, but her favorite restaurant would probably be a better idea than my favorite restaurant. Books, magazines, video games, and movies are all good things too.
posted by booknerd at 1:52 PM on August 3, 2009

I've had a few surgeries, and when I was recovering, I had a ton of time to kill without much desire to eat or walk around. Instead of food, I would suggest some soothing music or a thoughtful set of DVDs to watch. Recovery can be pretty miserable; anything to help pass the time away would be heaven.

And definitely send over a hand-written letter with photos of normal, happy life!
posted by gushn at 1:52 PM on August 3, 2009

One of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me was to arrange for a housecleaning service to come in when I was having a rough time. I highly, highly recommend it.
posted by Space Kitty at 1:54 PM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Food is kind of a tricky thing to send people depending on the surgery they have and what kind of meds they're taking.

What made my life easier post-surgery was things that helped me keep entertained and things that helped me be on the couch. My friend brought over some of our favorite classic/brainless 80's movies (ones that didn't require a lot of attention, were easy to doze off to etc.). She also lent me a lap desk so I could snack, write, use my laptop while sitting on the couch.

And honestly anything with a personal touch that was funny or thoughtful really made my recovery easier.
posted by Kimberly at 2:04 PM on August 3, 2009

If she can't move well or bend over, one of these reach grabber thingies. I got one several years ago, after having abdominal surgery, and we still use it to fish socks out from behind the dryer or get boxes and cans down from high shelves.
posted by Joleta at 2:49 PM on August 3, 2009

When I was recovering from surgery this summer, one of my friends sent me a book of crossword puzzles. That was the most useful thing I got - because generally recovery is insanely boring. Other thoughts are seasons of shows/movies on DVD. You can rent and burn yourself or buy. I am a particular fan of shows as they take up a lot of time, something which your friend is going to have in abundance for a while.
posted by sickinthehead at 2:54 PM on August 3, 2009

Most florists can and will send fruit or gourmet baskets. Call one directly and negotiate-if you give them a little lead time they will probably put anything you want into one. Google her town, find a florist's website, call them, you're golden.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:45 PM on August 3, 2009

How about a new big soft blanket?
posted by macinchik at 8:33 PM on August 3, 2009

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