Please help me think of ways to reduce the pain and tedium for my mom post surgery
November 1, 2012 12:48 PM   Subscribe

My mom just had her third surgery to repair hip tendons and its expected that she will not be able to go anywhere without 2 crutches for 6-8 weeks. Besides limiting mobility, it also means that she won't be able to cook for some time--her lifelong passion and joie de vivre, besides plants. If she were nearby i would go spend time with her, but she's across the Atlantic (France, I'm in the US). I'm trying to think of ways to cheer her up, make life easier, ease the tedium.

She reads a ton, but after a while she'll need a change of pace. There is apparently no netflix equivalent in France, so though she has an ipad, streaming movies doesn't seem possible.

The only ideas I've had so far are to write her letters, send her small gifts/photos just to break up the monotony. I expect that my sister will have my two nieces do the same.

For reference, she's had multiple hip and foot surgeries in the past 5-7 years and i think it's really taking a toll on her psychologically, for understandable reasons (she's not yet 60).

posted by SpicyMustard to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Can you pick out some podcasts that would appeal to her interests? Audiobooks? With the pain and exhaustion that will follow surgery, and the grumpiness of not being able to get around, it can be a wonderful escape to just close your eyes and listen to something. The content isn't even all that important -- just a pleasant voice can be soothing. Maybe you could record yourself reading some stories or poems she might like, or just narrate your daily activities. Your own voice is probably the best painkiller and antidepressant possible.
posted by Corvid at 1:01 PM on November 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Could she use a tall stool in the kitchen and still be able to cook? When I sprained my ankle, I remember doing a lot of stirring risotto and so on while perched on a stool. Took some creativity to find things where I could stay in one spot for awhile and then nudge the stool to the next workstation.
posted by ansate at 1:06 PM on November 1, 2012

Best answer: I agree with calling her on skype, so she can see you as well as hear you.

Maybe something to help her think about the future - when she is feeling better, like books and/or DVDs about gardening or cooking. She might get inspired to plan what she might do this summer in her garden - just looking at pictures of beautiful gardens can be uplifting, especially if the gardening book has a story attached (i.e. Vita Sackville West's book "The Woman's Land Army").

Same for cooking - magazines and books that mix food and travel.

Cara Black writes thrillers set in and around Paris that she might like: Murder in the Latin Quarter, Murder in the Marais...
posted by ofelia at 3:11 PM on November 1, 2012

Set up a dropbox account and share some of your movies with her?

Also, is she a puzzles/games person? Tons of options on the ap store for that.
posted by Diablevert at 3:20 PM on November 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: These are great ideas. The kitchen chair occurred to me just after I posted this.
posted by SpicyMustard at 8:39 PM on November 1, 2012

I would get her to teach me by Skype some of her favorite recipes, and let her watch me do them.(if the time difference allows)
I sometimes cook with my daughter who lives in Spain and then we set each other a place at the dining table and we eat together via Skype. I sometimes get a good friend of hers to drop by as a surprise.
(I use clear plastic cling film for when I'm moving the computer around around the keyboard and mouse pad)
posted by Wilder at 12:10 AM on November 5, 2012

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