Monday, May 30, 2011

Lotsa Helping Hands

I'm not really one to endorse anything in particular but being an LVAD caregiver and the fact that I'd like to thank Susie yet again for setting this up.... I've got to give props to LHH, Lotsa Helping Hands. 

Probably about day 2 into it all back in October, Susie pretty much took the bull by its horns and set up a "Riepl Family Community" via Lotsa Helping Hands for us. I remember her going through my iphone contact list but not really recalling what it was for. She was talking with my brother, Gina, Chad, Kevin's sister & his parents about their contacts & how to invite them into said community.  I realized about two days later what she had done was nothing short of amazing. For this I'm grateful.  

Let me explain what Lotsa Helping Hands is all about. It's a free, private, web-based communities for organizing friends, family, and colleagues during times of need. It easily coordinates activities and manages volunteers with a group calendar. If you are caring for someone in crisis, or going through one yourself, chances are you have heard the question "what can I do to help?" By using Lotsa Helping Hands, everyone knows what to do and when to do it. Energy is spent helping, not scheduling. 

Here is a link to Lotsa Helping Hands:

Like I said, Susie set this all up in the blink of an eye. At one point I remember her working a laptop, my iphone, and hers. She's a woman, she knows how to multitask. Enough said. Again, I'm grateful she did this for us. She assigned "coordinators" to specific people in our families so that when someone would request to be a part of the Riepl Family Community, a coordinator could confirm them. Once confirmed you'd basically have access to our inner circle of what was going on with Kevin as well as helping me & the boys out. 

The task calendar would have things on there like grocery shopping, airport pickups, airport drop offs, hospital drop offs, and bringing meals to us. Can I tell you that literally in the blink of an eye, we had friends volunteering to bring us meals for two months straight?  For once in my life I was speechless by the overwhelming love & support from our second family...our California family.  You all rock and you know it. To my "core group of friends" that continue to help us on a daily know who you are...I am grateful and we DO appreciate your help. 

LHH was also a good way for us to communicate to the masses. We could let friends, family, & colleagues know what was going on in one simple email. In the beginning I was not doing the updating because I had too much on my plate. Too much to worry about. Kevin and the boys were my only focus. As things progressed, Kevin woke up, and the boys got to finally visit Daddy at the hospital, he got discharged.....I was doing the updating. 

To this day I still do the updating. Honestly I haven't updated in over a month simply because there isn't anything to update about. I will tell you that once we get listed, once we get "the call" that a heart is available for Kevin, .....if you're not a member of the LHH Riepl Family Community...well, you might be left out then. I say this because LHH will be my way of communicating to everyone once again....because it will be easy....because I will be living at the hospital with Kevin & then back at home with the boys along with getting more in depth transplant education. Are you following me? Sure, I might post a thing or two on facebook but I won't go into detail......and I would hope that any member of our LHH community would keep the "details" to themselves.  I'm not being bitchy but just this time around I have to make sure everyone involved has my husbands best interest at heart, no pun intended.

To Susie and to anyone that volunteered on the LHH Riepl Family Community....You continue to overwhelm me with your love and support. It means the world to me, to Kevin, our boys, and our families. Your kindness will never be forgotten. We treasure your friendship. I am in debt to you forever and I love you all dearly. 

From the bottom of my beating heart, thank you......

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