Pay It Forward Fitness and Health: Extending Love and Support Across the Miles

Monday, December 22, 2014

Extending Love and Support Across the Miles

So what do you do when friends and family members experience health issues and you’re hundreds or even thousands of miles apart? That’s the dilemma we faced recently, and we know we’re not the exception. With friends and family scattered around the country and even around the world for many of us, it can be challenging to know how to best demonstrate our love and support in these situations. I’ll share our scenarios, and we’d love to receive your comments.
In early November, we received a text message from a family member who lives about 700 miles away, that he had just been admitted to the hospital with suspected pneumonia. We had heard that he had a stomach bug and a cold, but had no idea that his condition had progressed to this point. We kept in constant touch with him and his wife via text and Skype calls as the hospital tests were taken and reports received, until the diagnosis was finally confirmed and medications prescribed. During that time we knew he was stressed, feeling weak, and missing his family every hour he was in that hospital bed. We found dozens of inane knock-knock jokes and texted him a new one each hour just to distract him. I think it helped because he kept his sense of humor during his hospital stay and was able to leave the hospital before Thanksgiving. We’re happy to report that he is back to work and feeling fine now.

An even more serious situation arose last week with another close family member, who lives in California. In his case, we had heard that he also had a stomach bug about one week ago. The next thing we knew, late last week, he had been admitted to the hospital, was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, and was on his way home to recuperate. We quickly turned our attention to how he must be feeling, i.e., probably like a ton of bricks had just fallen on him. Along with other close family members, who rallied with lots of love and support, we called him with our love and support. We believe he felt the love and support from us and other family members, and he knows we trust he can handle this new health challenge.

How do you support far-flung friends and family members with health issues at their time of crisis?