How to be a friend to a friend who's sick
Letty Cottin Pogrebin 2013 Bvtn 610 POG
NYC journalist (1939), Founding editor MS magazine. Breast tumor diagnosed 2009/09 at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK), lumpectomy, radiation 2010/01. Much time in waiting room for interviews.
Ch1 I Can't Believe You Said That!
- Examples of stupid reactions
- No metaphors about fighting, never start a sentence with Oh My God
- Ask "what" not "how" you are feeling, or "it's good to see you today"
- Ask "are you up to talking?" or "you want company?"
- Be there, listen and help, active listening (brief confirmations)
- If recovering, brief touch on condition, then on to other things
- The End of Your Life Book Club (two read books together)
- "I'm so sorry this happened to you." "Tell me how I can help." "I'm here if you want to talk." "Just give me my marching orders." "I'm bringing dinner." "I can babysit."
- Celebrate good news, act normal, verify don't assume, get facts, help them feel useful + Circle of intimacy - people who respond with love
Ch2 How to Give Good Visits
- call ahead and ask first, ask before entering, let them sleep
- don't stare, take cues from patient, less than 20 minutes, 5 if in pain or sleepy
- visit long enough to show you care, but not as long as you think.
- rehearse visit in mind, don't count on spontaneity
- watch show, read book together, jigsaw puzzle, games
some don't want visitors, ask whether and not when
- visit caregivers. do chores.
- be there to listen, without flinching
help with accomodations, http://www.portable-wheelchair-ramps.com
Ch3 The Perfect Present
- encouraging presents like tennis balls, elegant cane. Marijuana, real food (lettuce?), flannel sleepware, good novels (ebooks for young, not self help books)
Ch4 Two Degrees of Separation, One Degree of Need
- friend of friend is sick, help them too
- babysit, personal secretary, webpage, shopping
Ch5 Sickness and Shame
- Nora Ephron, hid cancer to preserve normality
Ch6 Your Money or your Health
- Retired couple ist savings to Bernard Madhoff (2008/12/11), led to health problems
Ch7 Dealing with Dementia - Relating to People Who Have IT and People Taking Care of People Who Have It
- Depressing chapter - support caregivers
Ch8 Coming through for a Friend at the End of the Road
- open door to last conversation
go to loved one's funerals
- recall positive attribute of friend's loved one
- condolence notes
- help preserve keepsakes until mourner can value them
- silent sympathy beats fake words
Ch9 As Bad as It Gets
- Dying children
- remember the child, treasure pictures, speak well of them; may reopen wounds, but better than forgetting
- don't conflate living children with lost ones
- contributions on birth days and death anniversaries
Ch10 The Best of Friends - Case Histories to Learn from and Live By
- p240 Postrel's kidney for Sally Satel
Turning Heads, bald beautiful women with cancer, http://turningheadsproject.org
- Alix Kates Shulman's Alzheimer's Support Group described in New York Times
- youtube: the Laryngospasms