Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You, Skype!

This has been a very amazing week for me.  I've been in Minnesota assisting my sister who has been in the hospital for over six weeks now.  She had her colon removed, and her recovery had not been going well.  Actually, it had been going awful.  Last week she was transferred to the University of Minnesota hospital with a bad infection and she was very weak. I traveled in from Wisconsin to assist with her recovery.  (A big thank you to my employer for allowing me to take this time off.)

One of the things that has been particularly tough for my sister is that since her initial surgery, our mother was diagnosed with late stage cancer.  Mom has been going through chemo now for the past 5 weeks, and my sister has been stuck in the hospital unable to see my mom.  So on top of all of the worries of her own condition and recovery, she has had the additional stress of worrying about mom and not being able to see her.  My mom was in similar fits given that she couldn't travel to see my sister.

Before leaving Wisconsin, I was able to bring an old laptop over to my mom's house and hook it up with Skype and a Logitech web cam.  I dropped off my Verizon mifi as well so that she'd have internet connectivity.  I showed my mom how to move the cursor to answer a phone call.  She did great on our test, and we left everything running (with explicit instructions not to touch anything!).

Once in Minneapolis, we were able to use the wifi from my sister's hospital room to Skype with my Mom.  It worked fantastic!  They were both able to see and talk to each other without a blip.  After the call, you could see a complete change in my sister's demeanor. 

My sister has had an amazing recovery this week, and now there is the potential for her to actually go home next Monday.  It has been an amazing turn around--far better than I had even dreamed of when traveling up here.  It may be many months before she is fully recovered, and more surgery may be in her future, but this has been just fabulous. 

I'm not saying Skype was responsible for my sister's recovery.  The fantastic staff at the UofM Hospital deserve the credit for that.  But I do strongly believe that a positive mental attitude is important to anyone's recovery, and Skype definitely provided the means for that.

This was all using Skype's free service, and the least I can do is to provide a very public thank you for this service that positively impacted our family.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!