When my daughter was hospitalized with mono last month, I had to be reminded of the importance of caring for myself first.  Keeping hydrated, making good food choices and getting enough rest and exercise seemed insignificant compared to my need to stay by Chelsea’s bedside.

Normally so organized, I just wasn’t thinking clearly enough to bring food as we headed to the hospital just before dinnertime.  While I had managed to grab a change of clothes and my phone charger, I didn’t think about the meal I would miss, only grabbing an apple on the way out the door (not nearly what my body would need to function for the next several hours of conversations with doctors and nurses).

The following morning my parents came to the rescue. My mother, seeing immediately what I needed, sent me out for some fresh air and a bite to eat.  She advised, “You have to do as the flight attendant instructs, ‘Put your oxygen mask on first.’”.  She was right.  After some fresh air and a bowl of hot soup I felt instantly rejuvenated.

For the next five days of our hospital stay, I learned to graciously accept the offers of food, company and fresh air from our visitors, and found a balance between taking care of my child and my self. We’re home now, and Chelsea’s almost fully recovered, but neither of us will ever forget the lessons learned and support given by my parents, my friends and my colleagues at Oldways that made our stay more comfortable and nourished.

Here are some of the great snacks and treats that kept me going:

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Granola bars
Yogurt
Almonds
Whole wheat crackers
Cheese
Instant oatmeal
Dark chocolate
Herbal teas
Hummus
Baby carrots, cucumber and celery sticks
Apples, bananas and grapes

—Karen

 


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