Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Friday January 15 – “This is my Next Step”

This morning I stopped by the hospital on my way to work. You look a little tired and worried. You are nervous. Like a kid, on the first day at a new school. It’s OK to be a little nervous. This is a new stage for you. New people and you will be further from home. I’m nervous too.

Dr Feltmate and the stroke coordinator stopped by this morning. They wanted to see you off on your next adventure. Both of them recalled your first days at the Colchester Hospital. They are both amazed at the progress and are very hopeful for your future.

You could hardly talk, you couldn’t eat food except for thickened liquids. You couldn’t control you bladder or bowels. You had a urinary tract infection and you were still on blood pressure medication. You couldn’t even sit on the edge of the bed by yourself.

You have done well. You have hit your stride now.

You tried to get Dr. Feltmate and the stroke coordinator to estimate how long you’d be in rehab. They were both too clever to speculate. You want to be finished by Tara’s birthday on the 8th of March. That’s only 52 days. I doubt that you will be done that fast. I am emotionally prepared for three to four months. Quinn’s Birthday is May 8th. If you can be home by then I’d be thrilled.

You’ve been away from us for 138 days. I sense we are in the back half of your marathon. You have found a pace that is working for you and your moral is high. Two very important things for running the second half of the distance.

I kiss you good bye and promise to see you in about 12 hours in Halifax. “This is my next step.” You said.

The day at work was really busy. I had a very sick dog that I was really worried about in the hospital. The day went by too fast and my work was still not finished. I thought I was holding it together until it was obvious that I wasn’t going to get away from work in time to pick up the children, pack and drive to Halifax to see you.

I tried to find a phone number and after several failed attempts. No phone number listed in the web site, 411 was no help … they gave me the wrong number twice. I was just about ready to cry out in frustration when I found a phone number on a related web site. It worked but no answer! I called again and actually got a real human who held my hand and lead me to your nurse, Dave. You were eating in the dining room. He suggested I call back in 15 minutes. When I called, you answered on the first ring. “Roscoe’s Meat and Wicker”. It was music to my ears. As always, you knew just what to say and when to say it to make me calm.

I tell you about my day and how it got out of control ... a story you’ve heard a thousand times. I didn’t want to leave the sick dog alone tonight and yet I wanted to be with you. You patiently listen and said “Would you feel better if I said stay there tonight and come in the morning?” Again you always say the right things. So we decide that the children and I would stay home tonight and head off to see you in the morning.

You share with me your day. The ambulance ride was much better then the last rides that you’ve had. The October ride to Truro from Halifax was a shock for both of us and the rides at Christmas time were on the day my Dad died. Today, you had a good chat with the EMT about, of all things, midwifery.

The staff of the NSRC you’ve met are nice and the facility is impressive you said. You had two meetings with doctors who assessed your abilities. I suppose that they will work out a treatment plan for your stay there. Once they see how you progress through your first baby steps, they may make adjustments to the plan.

Eating in the dining room is already a step forward. When I called, you had just met with some fellow patients. There was a movie showing in a common room that you thought you’d attend. You sounded happy and calm and settled already. You sounded like you felt at home. Your calmness made me calm.

NSRC is your last stop before home.

As the animal hospital closes for the night, Joye brings the little dog that I am worried about to the house so I can watch him over night. After getting the children settled and the little dog tucked to bed for the night, I pack for our first visit to you in rehab.

I long to join you in this part of the marathon.

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