Letter From Lois, September 2021

From neonatal intensive care (NICU), Labor and Delivery,  pediatric facilities, cancer oncologists’ offices and infusions centers, dialysis centers, adult daycare to assisted living, sometimes ending with  Memory Care and Hospice, From the Heart can play a role in comforting, not only patients and residents but in assisting care givers in their jobs.

The sweet little baby hats, sweater sets, and blankets fly out of door almost before they have a chance to be logged in!  Knit, crochet and sewn toys are just as popular with toddlers and even the older kids who may be dealing with injuries or are in a pediatric burn unit. Distractions are always a good thing!

For those going through cancer treatments, we can provide little compressions pillows, small bags to support drain tubes, knitted knockers (boobs), soft, soft chemo hats and sleep caps and even small pillows to attach to auto seatbelts to help prevent pressure on infusion ports.

For dialysis  patients we’ve learned that having to uncover their port bearing arm, most times implanted just above their elbow, is so chilling.  I’ve been in those treatment centers.  Their thermostats are turned to COLD!  I once heard that these temperatures are necessary to help in keeping viruses from spreading since they prefer warm atmospheres.  We are hearing that some patients bring along to infusion appointments a sleeve they have removed from an old sweatshirt.  We are learning to do it a little bit better.  We stitch tubes that will reach from the wrist to just about the elbow, add a regular cuff such as found on sweaters to the wrist end and a looser cuff at the upper end to help keep the sleeve in place!  No hand area is need on these. The patients seem to be thrilled to be in line to receive one of these.  Problem is…we need more of these long, soft, warm sleeves.  No longer are these facilities using our fingerless mitts.  Once we offered a single sleeve per patient we were immediately put on notice. MORE SLEEVES!!

Adult daycare and assisted living areas really appreciate our lap blankets and shawls.  Especially those “horseshoe” shaped, stay on shawls.  Being able to have their hands free for reading, puzzle working, remote control operating and, especially mealtime, makes a huge difference.

Memory Care attendants are in a whole different job than any most of us can imagine.  Having to be certain their “charges” are safe and happy as well as entertained has got to be not only tiring but mentally challenging…and don’t forget they always seem to be smiling…and to do that every day?  Not sure I could keep it up.

Our hospices seem to be using more and more of our snuggly, life size dolls.  These we wrap in sweet blanket and hat sets.  The hospice “moms” just seem more comfortable when cuddling a little baby.  These folks also appreciate a brightly colored blanket to help keep their spirits up.  Working with these patients would be very trying for me, I’m afraid.

My hat is off to not only all the facility employees and volunteers who keep going to work every day, in some cases facing unbelievable situations, but to you, our very important stitchers.  We are doing all we can to assist wherever we are needed.  Comfort is the name of our game.  Sometimes we may feel it’s almost impossible to keep up with the need.  But each day we continue to put one stitch next to another, creating and sending out hugs and comfort to all we can reach through all of our groups, in all our locations.  We’ll just do what we can!

Stay well, don’t forget to put down your stitching, walk around and, by all means…SMILE A LOT!