The Fine Art of Tender Loving Care #TLC



We are 9 days in since my husband’s shoulder surgery and things have gone as well as possible. The best news is that Scott isn’t feeling any real pain! There has been lots of down time–icing, dozing, reading, catching up on movies, a few one-handed projects–for him. Though I worked during the week, our schedule has slowed way down in the evenings and weekends, which has been a pleasant change.

This down time has me thinking about the fine art of tender loving care. I think I’m a decent nurse. To be honest, I’m more a decent soother/server than a real nurse type. I don’t do as well with wound care and bodily functions–no barf or butts for me. That’s why my sister, Heidi, became the nurse and I became the school psychologist. That said, I do like to offer up some tender loving care, especially to someone in recovery mode.

Preparing for surgery requires some pre-planning–picking up prescriptions before the surgery, packing some comfortable clothing that works over the surgery sight, socks or slippers to keep inactive feet warm, and even a plastic bag (for the drive home–in case the anesthetic has a negative impact on the stomach). Once home, it’s a comfy chair or bed already prepped with extra pillows and throws. I keep trays, straws, a water carafe on hand for ease.  Broth, soups, yogurts, smoothies and even ice cream (Scott’s fave) tend to go down easily on the post op tummy.


Speaking of TLC, this sweet package–a full blown dinner– was waiting on our doorstep when we arrived home from the surgery center. Our friends, Mike and Melanie, created the perfect comfort food dinner of chicken gumbo, cooked rice, a crusty loaf of french bread and a bottle of zinfandel. Of course we had food in the house, but this kind gesture was the perfect act of TLC following the stress of surgery and recovery.Though “chef” Mike made this delicious gumbo from scratch, I realize that even a hearty soup from the deli could work for this comfort food meal in a bag. We definitely plan to pay it forward!


Scott received a number of calls, cards, texts and loads of Facebook love. I am a firm believer it helps the recovery process to feel the TLC from friends and family. Our friends, David and Jill, sent one of David’s favorite books,The Boys in the Boat, to help ease the boredom for Scott. A few clicks on Amazon and they shared some special TLC. I love this idea!!


Food is usually a good way to give some TLC for someone in recovery mode. When we slow our life down a bit simple pleasures feel more enjoyable–like how this cheesy frittata slid so easily out of my new Calphalon pan. It was like magic! Here are some tips on making a perfect fritta from Bon Appetit. I made this one up on the fly and it still worked out well. Maybe I got lucky?


When someone is basically housebound for two weeks it’s good to think up some fun ideas. Last weekend, I took Scott on a “virtual” walk in Paris while doing some travel planning for July. Thanks to Google street views we were able to cruise all over Paris and some of our favorite neighborhoods. Genius!!


Friday was my day off, so I surprised “my patient” by suggesting breakfast out at our local Bellachino’s cafe and a walk in Bidwell Park. The park is glorious this time of year!


As it turned out, Scott loved every minute of our little excursion. #TLC


In the end, I guess giving a little TLC for recovery really is a walk in the park! I also think that giving or receiving TLC is truly a gift, and therein lies the fine art of TLC. Do you have any tips for giving TLC?



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Designer: Manic Trout – Austin, Texas
Heather Lindstrom

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You are amazing. Thank you for sharing your story. Loved reading it. Keep it up and so glad you hubby is recovery well.


Great to hear that your hubby is mending so well. You are a loving and nurturing wife. Glad to hear that you are taking some time to slow down as well, and make time for nurturing body and soul. Xx Karen


This is such a tender post and yet practical too. You are indeed a very nurturing and loving, beautiful soul. I am thankful that your sweet husband is healing well.


Heather, I’m so glad your hubby is on the mend.. I agree with Anita! TLC is so important. Enjoy your week! xxL


This is a wonderful post!
If only all of my patients were prepared for surgery and such wonderful caregivers as you are, Heather.
The first 24 after surgery is the most important on the road to recovery. You were prepared to the “Nth” degree!

I just purchased “The Boys In The Boat” for my father. He was eight years old when the UW team went to the Olympics. To this day watching the Husky Crew glide from Lake Washington to Lake Union through the Montlake cut is magic.

I wish Godspeed healing blessings to Scott and you, (“His” amazing healing assistant)!


I’m so glad his recovery is going well and the forced change of pace has been refreshing for you too. I think of you as a very caring and generous person who would be the perfect to give TLC! Lovely blog read. Enjoy the rainy days. xoxo


You know, LOVE is really all we need. When it’s manifested in all of the ways possible, it truly heals. Oh Heather, how wonderful that he’s healing! ENJOY!!!!!

Love to hear from you!