This is a very exciting day because, as Anna and I are sitting here in the hospital, we are actually back to talking about our business and the future of Annie & Isabel... a very good sign because we have been pretty much in a stress mode all week. Anna, if you didn't know, has been in the hospital with a severe case of pneumonia since Sunday. It has been a scary week, especially because we work in the hospital and we know waaaaay too much. I have to admit that there were times when I was really frightened for her. My great-grandma Annie's scary pneumonia stories from the "old days" would rise up inside of me blocking out all the logical reassurances of today's hope in antibiotics. Anna had a rough couple of days after admission... with high fevers, chills, and difficulty breathing. She is definitely turning in the right direction finally! The one thing she keeps saying is, "This is so surreal being on the other side of things." It really has been... for me as well.. She will have to write up a blog post on that subject in the future... we have laughed and cried over so many things in those late hours in this hospital room!!! For one, the stinky CARPETED floors and the hair found stuck to the "clean" sheets have been an ongoing conversation.....really gross!
The patient and the nurse:)
We sold our first gown to someone entering hospice care this week. We got a report back that the woman on the receiving end had a big smile on her face when she was presented with her gown, now that she will spend her days in a hospital bed at home. Since we have had time to chat here, we have been reminiscing about our Grandma Isabel who also received hospice care at the end of her battle with pancreatic cancer in 1989. Our mother, who is also a nurse, had become a hospice volunteer a year prior to our grandmother's diagnosis, and we all believe that this unknowingly prepared us all for our upcoming loss. It was such a heart wrenching time for all of us. Grandma Isabel was really the first person that was close to us that we lost and it affected us all so greatly. The time we spent with our Grandma Isabel that year, came with some unexpected blessings as it was when we learned about nursing as a career and about the benefits of hospice care. Hospice care, now frequently called palliative care, is a service that helps alleviate symptoms of a terminal disease process. It doesn't have to be for the imminently dying patient. The goal is to make a patient's last days the best days that they can be and a hospice team is organized to help attain that goal. When we dreamed up Annie & Isabel, hospice patients were in our vision as part of our projected desired client base.
Our Mom & Anna in The Evelyn Gown
When we were designing our Annie & Isabel Gowns, we talked a lot about Grandma Isabel in her last days. My mom had to take all of her nightgowns and cut them up the back, making it easier for my mom to dress her and so grandma wouldn't have to lay on them or soil them. In the end, she was confined to the hospital bed in her home. It was October, a golden time of the year, and a time when the house was filled with visitors wanting to see her for the last time. She was a beautiful woman, as many of you know if you have read the story behind The Isabel Gown. We wish we could have had something like our lovely gowns for her in those last days.
Anna with three of her four boys visiting
Anna, as she lays here in the hospital bed next to me, in The Isabel Gown, also looks beautiful... Earlier in the week, she said it feels SO good to have a gown from home. This hospital experience was so unexpected and, as we sit here and try to find the blessings in this time, we count this bonding time that we have had together, something that can be so illusive in our busy lives. We did not expect to be one of our own best customers but that experience, has been a little blessing that we count in all this as it has validated our feelings on what a great product we have:)
Anna has worn The Isabel, The Evelyn, and The Anita and we have washed all of them many times and they wash beautifully. She has had so many fevers and sweats that every time one of us leaves... we bring back a nice clean washed gown. Even when she was really pale and weak earlier in the week, seeing her with our gown on helped her and us feel better.
Anna has had so much love and support from our family and friends and her iPhone has been her lifeline... she throws it in our handy dandy pocket.. and she's off.....now that she is strong enough to go for a walk down the hall! On her walks.. she does not need a robe, as we've got your backside covered! (see below)
We have set up a discount code for anyone that is buying a gown for a loved one entering hospice care or that is confined to a bed. The discount is 15% and the code is "hospice". Please pass it on to anyone that you think might benefit from having their own comfortable, beautiful, and functional gown.
Anna walking the halls in The Isabel Gown, named after our grandmother Isabel