Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial weekend Feel Good Story

Happy Memorial Day weekend to everyone! I'm taking a slight detour from hospital gowns and scrub caps to share with everyone a Feel Good story to honor the reason for the holiday. It's just a quick little story while we all enjoy the beginning of summer and the start of BBQ season! So please take a moment to read why my family celebrates Memorial Day.

Grandpa Joe wasn't even old enough to join the Navy. But so many young men found a way to make it happen. At 17, having never seen the ocean, and without the ability to swim, Grandpa Joe joined the Navy. Within the year he was aboard the USS Mississinewa (AO-59) an oil tanker, making friends, planing pranks, and doing all of the fun things that young sailors did. Commisioned May 18, 1944 this new ship would be Grandpa's home for only a few short months before it, and many of it's crew, were sent to a watery grave at the bottom of the Ulithi Atoll.

Aboard the ship, Grandpa Joe was learning to be an electrician. Already a "jack of all trades" kind of guy, he quickly found that tinkering with things and making them work was his specialty. The mentoring he received here served him well through the rest of his life including giving him the background to enjoy his passion of restoring and touring antique cars.

But the USS Mississinewa wasn't going to be his home for long. On November 20, 1944 the ship was hit by a Kaiten (Japanese suicide torpedo.) Knocked out by the blasts more than once, Grandpa Joe was soon faced with a tough decision. Stay aboard the fiery ship which seemed to be exploding like firecrackers, or jump overboard despite his inability to swim. He chose the latter.

With a strong desire to survive, Joe was able to dog paddle and stay afloat long enough to get some needed air, but also sank enough times that he was able to avoid the flames that burned along the surface of the water from the oil that was now pouring from the belly of the ship. And somehow despite all the odds, Grandpa was able to keep afloat, grab a rope from the rescue planes, and was tugged to a nearby boat and safety.

Sixty three people lost their lives that day, including the Japanese human torpedo. One of grandpa's best friends Mitch didn't make it. And the events of this day make for a hard story for him to tell. He doesn't talk about it much. And when he does he is often overcome with the emotion of it all even after more than 60 years.

My favorite part of the story though is when Grandpa Joe told his young grandson Josh (my husband) about how he survived that day. At such a young age, Josh really didn't know or understand the whole story. All he knew was that grandpa's boat sank. So his innocent question of "How did you make it back to shore if you couldn't swim?" was met by an equally innocent answer of "Well, I just drank all the water in the ocean and we all walked out."

To learn more about the USS Mississinewa you can read Mike Mair's book titled "Oil, Fire, and Fate" and visit this site for a quick peek into the history of the ship and the life of the crew. Thanks Mike for all of the hard work you did in getting in touch with the survivors!

I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day tomorrow and enjoy a BBQ with your family and your friends. And if you have a chance to share this story or another one to remember the intent of this holiday, then I send you my thanks!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Who DID design this gown???

The more I immerse myself in all things Feel Good Gowns, the more my eyes are opened to the craziness that IS the standard hospital gown. Forget the want to look cute. Forget the desire to make people smile. Forget the "luxury" that is your own personal gown. Focus on the simple fact that the standard gown...well forgive me for being blunt, but it kinda sucks!

I came across this blog today where this poor girl was being subjected to the horror that is a stress test. The exercise involved, the general trip to the hospital to humiliate yourself in front of others, not to mention a total deprivation of caffeine. All of that alone is cause for some serious "I'm going to eat an entire box of brownies after this is over" thoughts to run through your head!

So Jenn (super cute and total sense of humor) mustered up the courage to refrain from caffeine and grabbed her sister to tag along with her and document this "stress test." But the horror of the day wasn't the exercise or the caffeine withdrawl. It turned out to be the hospital gown, or lack thereof! Granted the "Surprise you have to be topless for the test" declaration from the tech would have freaked me out as well, but how sad and completely discombobulated does this gorgeous girl look in this gown? Could there BE any garment more awkward to wear? (yes, I'm channeling Chandler here)

I have to say that she wears it well! We should all be so lucky and photogenic. However, if she wasn't holding it together how would it possibly stay on? But look at those stylish "cut outs" just under her collar bone, courtesy of the shoulder snaps. Love it!

Jenn, you must look great in anything if you can rock this gown so well. But next time you are going to be subjected to a stress tess can we suggest you pick up a Feel Good Gown instead? We'll even make it tie in the front in a way that actually works!

Head over to Jenn's blog for a smile and a little chuckle, and some more pictures of her working that gown! And how can we not mention that she appears to be a crafty girl as well! We love things handmade, obviously. So check out her Etsy store too :)


Friday, May 21, 2010

We can be "Rockin!"

There has been quite a bit of press recently surrounding Bret Michaels trips to the hospital after a brain hemorrhage and now with a hole in his heart!

During his interview with Oprah, he made a reference to keeping his style with his bandana and avoiding the hospital gown. "I said, 'If I'm going out, I want to go out rockin','" Michaels told Winfrey. "Some form of a bandana or cape, if I could go out right. Not in that hospital gown."

We couldn't agree more! You don't have to be a rock star to know that a standard hospital gown is just not cool. Even us normal patients want to be "rockin!" And here at Feel Good Gowns we want to help you BE that rock star at the hospital.

Check out some of our more "edgy" options like "Rebellious" skull and crossbones, our "On Fire!" flames, and our "Warrior" samauri inspired print! Bret could totally keep his rock star image in one of these, and so can you!

Of course we hope Bret isn't making a ton of trips to the hospital. But we know Feel Good Gowns would be the best place to get all set up with a total "Rockin" gown and matching skull cap!

Bret, we'll be waiting for your call!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Skin colored Hospital Gown???

Um...ya, we don't think that's a great idea at all.

You already feel exposed and vulnerable at the hospital in any gown. Can you imagine actually feeling completely naked?!? It's like that dream everyone has of standing in a room full of people without any of your clothes on!

While experts say this could help doctors detect changes in skin coloring indicating problems, we aren't sure it's a great solution. The benefit is clearly outweighed by the trauma a patient would experience. And talk about adding a reason for people to avoid going to the doctor. Research is great. Dont' get us wrong. We're glad that smart people are looking into ways to better serve patients. But this very much feels like results that haven't been thought through and could backfire. It's like a cartoon version of a mad scientist with his bubbly, scary tube of something putrid green which aims to destroy mankind!!!! (Ok, maybe a tad over the top, but you get the idea.)

At FEEL GOOD GOWNS, our aim is to help you feel happy, cool, rockin, pretty, peppy, inspired, confident, and any other GOOD feeling there is. We want to help brighten your hospital stay and spread a little cheer while making everyone smile. A nude hospital gown just isn't going to do the trick. Patient frame of mind has to be considered in these situations.

A patient who FEELS good is going to have a much better mental capacity to heal. They are going to want to fight, want to get well, and want to get back to life. Plus they are just going to know how super cool they are!

So don't let your hospital put you in what would pass for your birthday suit! Get a FEEL GOOD GOWN instead and show your fabulous sense of style!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Feel Good Donation

Last weekend I participated in the 5th Annual TAAF Anuerysm & AVM Awarness Walk in San Francisco. This was the second year that I was lucky enough to be involved and wanted to do something more than just walk and raise funds. I wanted to "Share the Love!"

Because the cause is so closely tied to hospital stays, donating a Feel Good Gown was an obvious way to help make a small difference. So I arrived on Saturday morning with a cheerful green envelope containing a gift certificate for one Feel Good Gown.

It was a great day, a beautiful walk, and an all around awesome thing to be part of. As the raffle was underway, I absolutely felt proud and excited when that green envelope was produced and our donation was announced. I didn't recognize the name of the winner (I don't know everyone of course!) but did notice the increased activity of a group that I know rather well. The Feel Good Gown gift certificate winner was one of the "Baby Nathan" gang.

Who is Baby Nathan you might ask? Well let me just tell you that he was a strong fighter who lost his courageous battle with an AVM just short of his first birthday. Although his life was short, he has been such an inspiration to so many. With wonderful parents, TJ & Jaimee, and an amazing support network of family and friends who adored him, Baby Nathan was a little boy who helped to spread a ton of love and to encourage others to fight the challenges they face.

After the walk I received a message from Jaimee to let me know that she planned on contacting Nathan's neurosurgeon to find a girl whom she could pass the gift certificate to. What a great thing to do! Although this beautiful mother lost her child, she still chooses to support the cause, to participate in the fight, and to spread the love in Nathan's honor.

So my Feel Good donation has in turn become an even MORE Feel Good story, with it being passed along to a complete stranger as a way to help brighten their hospital stay. How totally awesome is that?!?! I couldn't be more proud of our little business, of Jaimee, the spirit of giving, the hope for health, and for the kindness we all have within us.

And THIS is exactly why Feel Good Gowns exists.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Feel Good Sockies!

After much anticipation, we have found the PERFECT socks! We mentioned them on our Facebook page last month, and even gave you a quick preview last week.

We officially have Feel Good Sockies ready for sale! They couldn't be a better match had we designed them ourselves. But this clever idea is not ours in the least and we can't take any of the credit for how seriously cool they are.

We are so excited to offer you Affirmation Socks by Socks for Happy People. These socks are awesome for so many reasons we can't decide what to tell you first!

We are convinced Socks For Happy People must be mind readers! If we didn't know better, we would swear they had sent a spy across the pond to infiltrate our ranks and steal our happy thoughts! Ok, so maybe that's a tad over the top and they really ARE just happy people. Either way, we sure like them.

Their Affirmation Socks are made in five bright and happy colors with the message "Today I will Smile and Feel Gooood!" We can't think of a better mantra to have during your hospital stay. These words of encouragment will be a self fulfilling prophecy as you read them each time your happy and warm little toes peek out from under your blanket.

Made with organic cotton with a hand-linked seamless toe these socks are basically perfect. We did however need to modify them slightly to make them hospital approved. The matching "no-slip dots" on the bottom of each pair make your socks both hospital appropriate and unique to Feel Good Gowns. For all of you patient "supporters" and for the very cool hospital staff, we will gladly send you a pair sans dots. We know you want to be happy too!

And truly in the Feel Good spirit, Socks For Happy People also has a "Share the Love" type philosophy. For every pair of socks purchased, Socks for Happy People donates a pair to someone in need. We think this makes their products truly irresistable!

So head over to our website to order your pair (and support a donation) of Feel Good Sockies today!