Good morning and happy Wednesday! Hope you are enjoying a great week and good news – it is half way to the weekend! I have a great new website to share with all you spoonies like me, called No More Grapes.
I don’t know about you, but getting admitted to hospital, especially when it comes so unexpectedly, is a really testing time. Aside from the fact I am obviously not well, I have two children to think about, a dog and a house that I run.
You then get millions of messages and phone calls with people wanting to see how you are, when they can visit and asking what is going on. While this is lovely, sending out the same texts about the same things a million times, when I feel grotty anyway, is not my idea of fun. Posting things like that in Facebook and on other social media platforms is just too public for some things. Because of my blog, I share a lot on these pages, but there is some things you keep just between you and your close circle isn’t there?
That’s where this website comes in. No More Grapes has been set up to help people dealing with terminal and chronic illnesses plan, share information and get support when it is needed. The sign up process is easy and completely free. A few simple bits of information (name, email address and set up a password) and you are in.
You can then start building your circle – adding those people who are the ones helping you and supporting you during your illness. The people who come with you to hospital appointments and who visit and hold the fort at home while you are an inpatient. You add people through their email addresses which is very simple to do. They then get an email with a link to click to accept the invite.
My favourite part has been the linked calendar part of this. I sometimes struggle with my memory so having them all marked down in one place (where my family can see the appointments too) means I won’t forget anything and we can easily arrange who is able to come with me to them. When I was in hospital last year and my Mum, Dad and Aunty all helped out with the boys for me, I was having to try and remember PE days, organise World Book Day outfits etc all from my hospital bed. Fielding messages from different people constantly was not easy. With this I am able to pop everything needed on the calendar and know everyone who is helping with the boys will be able to see it, so no mass texting and sending the wrong people the information someone else needs! Adding in appointments is super easy, with just a little form to fill in with the time and date etc and it is automatically added to the calendar and everyone in your circle knows about it.
It is also great for organising your visitors. I have had times when I have a million and one visitors and then won’t see anyone for two days. Due to many wards having a strict two visitor per bed policy this can often cause problems, but on here everyone can arrange when they are going to come and see you, so you are never having to turn people away or manage a rotating system with people waiting in the corridors. Equally, you aren’t sat by yourself for long stretches of time, as people can see when you don’t have anyone coming and will pop in to see you.
The last time I was in hospital was about a month ago and I had the usual nightmare of having to get the boys sorted again (didn’t help that the ex was being a pain about it), but aside from talking to them, I spent most of my time asleep or reading. I was in so much pain I just could not do much else. Having family members constantly ringing and messaging for updates is really lovely, but being able to put up one message in the morning to explain I was awaiting a scan, was on pain meds and was very sleepy, would have saved me from feeling bad about not responding to everyone, and them getting worried.
Another tab they have is the wish list. This is where you can scroll through a range of products and add them to the list of possible treats you would like. I have often been asked for what I would like people to bring and aside from the necessities, don’t want to expect gifts, but you get them anyway. This way you can get things that would be really useful to you and what you need, without the awkward conversation!
Other than that you can post text and photo updates about how you are getting on. Now nobody will miss out on my amazing hospital food photos! Will be making them all jealous won’t I?! Luckily, neither me and Ste are in hospital at the moment, but it is already proving handy to keep track of both our appointments. Ste is very forgetful and with the amount of appointments he has, it is good to have them on a calendar in front of us, all in one place. We can then arrange if we can go with each other, or need to have someone else go with us. We can manage them around the times we have the children and where we are staying (he is in Halifax and I am in Derby).
I highly recommend having a look and signing up to this if, like me, you often have unexpected and sometimes long periods of time in hospital. You can check out their website here. I love how simple and easy to use it is, and that it is there, ready whenever I will need it (hopefully not anytime too soon). And just in case you were wondering, there’s a rose gold Apple Macbook coming soon on my wish list if you know any rich people…!
This post was written in collaboration with No More Grapes. All views expressed are my own