Next time your sibling has to sit by one of the Dialysis machines, then consider one of these ideas to lighten the mood.
- Talk to them. Find out who they are and how they are holding up. Unless you’re going through it, too, you can only imagine the dent Dialysis is having on their courage and confidence.
- Bring a book for them. Download one on their Kindle or find a print copy. Bring them a book with the sentiment ‘I thought you’d like to read this.’ A good one to choose is To The Transplant Games by C. McIntosh. Yes, it’s in the theme of transplant with a happy side and celebrates life.
- Read a book to them. I know, they’re probably old enough to read by themselves, but, isn’t it relaxing when you can close your eyes and have someone read to you for a while?
- Download some music. Chances are you know your sister’s favourite group. Grab her cellphone or MP3 player – you can loan yours if she doesn’t have one. Pack some ear buds and tell your sibling that you chose ten minutes of music specifically with her in mind. Oh, and there’s one rule – she has to sing out loud while she’s listening to them!
- Give them a cross-word or Sudoku book. If your brother doesn’t want to write the answers, that’s okay you can do that part instead.
- Check out your favourite websites. Keep an eye on www.carolinemcintosh.com for interesting articles. Head over to other ones your sibling likes. Obviously, be aware some of the Dialysis centres may not allow the use of gadgets. Don’t assume they do, check with your sibling first.
- Write down their post-transplant goals. Yep! You write them down. Why you? Because your brother can’t write much with a tired arm. Don’t judge what they come up with. Don’t comment. Just write.
- Remind them about the upcoming Transplant Games. Even if they won’t be participating they can cheer on their friends.
- Go home and make a meal for them – be mindful of what your sibling’s allowed to eat with the treatment.
- Smile. Yes! That’s it. Just smile. When you smile you make people around you smile and bring a whole lot of happy emotions. If you can’t find a reason, start with the fact that your sister or brother is still a great person underneath the tubes and medical procedures. Smile and enjoy the fact that you have the time to spend with them and getting to know who they really are.
The great thing about these is they can be done anywhere, if you’re discouraged from going into the treatment room with them, do it before they enter, make sure your sibling is happy, encouraged and keen to come out and see you again. They’ll appreciate your support.