September 17, 2010 7:28 AM   Subscribe

What can I do/send/recommend for my long-distance, recent post-amputation friend to combat boredom?

I know this sounds... dramatic. One of my close friends was in a bad accident and, unfortunately, lost her leg. After being in the hospital for over a month, she's out and re-learning how to do basically everything.

She had to give up her apartment in Mid-Size Southern City and to move back with her parents in Southern 'Burbs to heal, get her new leg, and take her PT/OT. She obviously has many other issues to overcome in the next coming months and years, but she's identified one that I might (?) be able to help with: Boredom in the suburbs.

Details: She's 27, vivacious, a bartender, super social, and loves biking and the outdoors. All things she won't be able to do for a while.

I live in NYC. Any ideas on what I can do to help her keep her boredom at bay, from far away? Other than gifting her Netflix or DVDs?

Any other ideas in ways to be supportive from afar also appreciated.
posted by functionequalsform to Human Relations (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Listening to podcasts is a great way to pass the time. You could search through iTunes for some that might appeal to her. I recommend The Tobolowsky Files for just about anyone.

Also, maybe a giftcard to Amazon or another bookstore? She can get to work on all those books she never had time to read before...

Depending on her mobility, she might also want to try some cooking and baking at home. Perhaps hook her up with some cookbooks or a grocery delivery service so she doesn't have to send her parents out for ingredients?
posted by tetralix at 7:34 AM on September 17, 2010

Best answer: Can you get her a netflix account and a roku? You should organize a few people into a movie club, and that way she's not just watching tv, but having conversations about them with friends.
posted by pickypicky at 7:35 AM on September 17, 2010

Best answer: Can you afford to fly down and spend a weekend with her?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:37 AM on September 17, 2010

Response by poster: Already been down for visits. :)

And actually, baking and cooking is part of her Occupational Therapy, so maybe I can find her some cookbooks that could make that time more fun.

Love the "movie club" idea.

Other than that, I'm stumped. Anything insane/creative?
posted by functionequalsform at 7:56 AM on September 17, 2010

Response by poster: Other than that, I'm stumped.

posted by functionequalsform at 7:57 AM on September 17, 2010 [32 favorites]

Best answer: Indoor gardening supplies, craft supplies. Does she have a camera? Does she know how to blog? A camera that's suitable for really learning the principles of photography might be nice.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:04 AM on September 17, 2010

Best answer: I adore the Ouch! podcast and if she has the right sense of humor (i.e. she would've laughed at your "stumped" slip-up) she might, too. If you can point her towards it without it coming across as "Hey you're disabled now and I hear this is something you people like," that is.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:05 AM on September 17, 2010

Best answer: How about a DVD-based magic course?

It's one of those things that is perfect for someone who has a lot of time to practice sequences and hand moves but not necessarily much mobility. Great for super social people.

Also, if you're a bartender, being a good magician is a fantastic way to keep punters happy and keep the tips rolling in.

If you send her a card trick course, for example, she's need a few decks of cards but she'd basically have weeks of months of practice.

Or - this is a fantastic course. But she would need a bunch of props too.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:06 AM on September 17, 2010

Best answer: Be sensitive, of course, but the faster she can start making terrible jokes like that, the better :) (Too bad she won't have a wooden leg to pound nails in and horrify small children!)

Knitting is my default choice, but it's completely awesome (if I do say so myself). There's no end to the kinds of things she can do. Even better: there's a vibrant community of knitters online, specifically on Ravelry, who love talking about all sorts of crazy things that are UNrelated to knitting. I'd set her up with one of the Stitch n Bitch books; when I wanted to learn how to knit, it covered all of my bases but showed me how to do some things that were much cooler and more modern than I would have thought. (Now there are many more resources for that sort of thing, and I do nothing but antiquey lace, but still!)

I hope she kicks ass and takes names.
posted by Madamina at 8:26 AM on September 17, 2010

Best answer: I would love to knit but many have tried to teach me and failed. Instead I embroider but I stay away from sweet little flowers and daintythings (not my style). Instead I do things like this or this. no affiliation, just happy customer
posted by pointystick at 8:57 AM on September 17, 2010

Best answer: How much money are you able to spend, and are there other friends who might pitch in? An e-reader or an iPad might be a good investment, even if she's generally not much of a reader.

You might want to get some friends together to make a video for her - it might be more rewarding than having everyone sign a card.

If you can take a solitary hobby and make it more social, that would also be help. The movie club idea has already been mentioned. You could exchange pictures, or build something together.

Scrapbooking could be fun. You might also point her towards Shutterfly or Snapfish if she has a lot of pictures; she might enjoy putting together photo books or other things.
posted by jennyesq at 9:05 AM on September 17, 2010

Response by poster: Awesome. You guys have put "F=F's Amputee Slip-up" well on its way to sidebar-land.



But really— awesome suggestions. Yes, she's starting to creep into "dark humor/wit" more often these days, so she probably would appreciate my being "stumped" for ideas. And I'll totally send her that Ouch! podcast.

Puzzle = good. If the photo is something awesomely weird.

Knitting = good. She is crafty, but I don't think she knits. Yet! Maybe I can give her assignments, like, "Make me a sock monkey, beeyotch."

Money's not a huge option, but let's keep it under $100 per gift.

Thanks, you guys!
posted by functionequalsform at 10:01 AM on September 17, 2010

Best answer: Beads. Beadweaving. Intricate, easy (yet time-consuming), awesome results, and a huge "wow" factor from friends/acquaintances who don't bead. Can be as cheap or expensive as she wants to make it.
posted by batikrose at 1:10 PM on September 17, 2010

Best answer: Subversive cross stitch. You'll have to Google it... I have no link-fu. Hilarious, mostly NSFW cross stitch patterns. Easy for newbies, too!
posted by ShadePlant at 4:40 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If her parents would let her, and if she's amenable to the idea, a pet (like a dog!) would be wonderful. Psychologically, having a pet would give her something else to focus on besides herself (and everyone around her is probably focusing on HER and getting her to focus on HER, which can be really exhausting.

I've always thought my dogs were way more entertaining than TV. There are small breeds that would be easy to care for and not need to be taken on walks (they get enough exercise on their own), and if she has a yard, they can just be let out and then let back in for all bathroom business. Toy Fox Terriers are especially loyal, smart, tiny, and adorable (in my opinion). An easy to train breed like a TFT would also give her a sense of accomplishment when she sees them do what she asks!
posted by whimsicalnymph at 7:58 AM on September 18, 2010

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