Joey Hoffman's experience with her daughter transported her into a world where healing happens through love, trust and human connection. In the process she found a version of herself that she had not yet known.
Joey's advice to anyone going through a similar ordeal: "Take care of yourself."
"I would go into Daisy's room every morning and every night and I would meditate. I really believed that helped save me and kept me from going crazy, and I ate very, very well. In fact, I have a friend Brigitte Crist [and] her daughter Audrey had the same transplant as Daisy, and she also had a post-transplant complication, life threatening as well. She actually wrote a book that's incredible, and it's called Just So You Know. It's all about how to navigate the system and how to take care of yourself. I mean, down to 'put some cinnamon in your coffee because it helps with inflammation.' It covers the smallest details and the greatest details because it really helps you. It's exactly what I wish I had when I went through it. I feel like I was reinventing the wheel. I had no blueprint. So this book would have been so incredibly helpful if I had it then.
Keep in mind, you're going to break down, of course, and you're going to have moments and days and weeks, whatever it's going to be, when you're going to feel like you're losing your mind. Just have a system in place where you can take care of yourself. Because you know what? You're hoping that it's a sprint, but it might be a marathon.”
Joey Hoffman is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, today.com, Time Out New York and New York Magazine, who nominated her co-cover story about the city's best caterers for a National Magazine Award.
Her recent book, Council Bluffs, Iowa: History & Stories of the Jewish Midwest, chronicles the lives and memories of onetime residents of a Lower East Side-like town including 300 immigrant families, small business owners and devout temple-goers now whittled down to five original community members.
A love letter to their ancestors, Joey’s book prompted her to launch Mama Paula Press, which helps individuals, families, communities and organizations document their stories. Joey lives in Omaha with her daughter Daisy and two kleptomaniac rescue dogs, Sadie and Nala. You can find her on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter at @joeyhoffman or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Just so you know... By Brigitte D. Crist
For: Parents (and any Caregivers) of Children with Serious Medical Needs,
From: A Mom Who Has Been in the Trenches