This morning I did a special job for you. You have been watching the calendar closely. You remembered that Nellie, a hospital maintenance worker at the Colchester hospital, is retiring this month. She retires after 29 years of service. Nellie is one of the first people who you met after really waking up. You worked hard at remembering her name. Once you had her name you won’t let go of it. Her name is like a trophy. “If I can remember Nellie then I can do more.”
You had promised Nellie that you would buy her a Tim Hortons large black coffee. So on my way to work I stopped by hospital and hand delivered a gift card to Nellie along with a card. Nellie was delighted that you remembered her and said as she hugged me “Give Chris a big Nellie hug for me.”
I had thought that going back to the hospital would be a tough job. Walking past the room you were in brought back memories of your stay there. But the anxiety of the visit evaporated away quickly as I met people that worked with you during your stay there. They all wanted to know how you were doing and pleased to hear that you were walking. I felt that I was with old friends while on the fourth floor.
I know where you will walk to the first chance you can … to the hospital to visit your friends.
The home care coordinator called me at work. She wanted to get an idea of what degree of home care you will need. She wanted to know if you could be left alone. I don’t know. As things stand now, I don’t see how you can be home by yourself when you can’t transfer to a toilet without help. I know that this is going to get better with time but I suspect that you will need to use the toilet occasionally before that time!
The coordinator talked about the number of hours that they might be able to do based on availability and the associated costs. I told her that we don’t need someone to Chris-Sit you and do meals and light house keeping. I would rather pay someone to help you with your recovery plan. Any extra money we have I want to put towards your recovery not your maintenance. She mentioned that physio have a home exercise program that a home care worker can do with you.
It sounds like the coordinator and I are on the same page. She understands that I want to make the best use of the services offered to us. I ask about a self managed care program. She thinks that this might be a good program for us and is going to check into things a bit more.
I’ll be glad when we can get a plan on paper.
Tonight’s call started with the children. Tara giggled and teased you and I could tell that you were teasing her. She asked you some math questions. She want ed to test your multiplication skills. You were right on with the 11 and 12 times table.
As you talk to Quinn he looses another tooth. He is pleased because he has been working on this tooth for a while. He tells you about a project he is doing at school about Korea. He is excited about it and wants you to see the finished project when you get home. Quinn is also excited about the first weekend in March. He has a gymnastic meet in Halifax on the Saturday and I told him today that we would all be able to go to it.
The first weekend of March is also the weekend before Tara’s birthday. Tara agreed that she would put off having a party until you come home. She wants a summer party anyway. She feels a little ripped off that her birthday is at the ‘crappy weather’ time of year. She wants to have an outside party with all sorts of warm weather things. I suggested to her that she could have her birthday party in early June. She is OK with this idea. Now we have to think what would she like for a present.
Ten is a special age. The first double-digit birthday. With double digits and pimples and puberty around the corner, I want to give her a meaningful yet useful present. I ask you to think in it.
The last week or so, you have been getting dressed and doing your morning things with the OT assistant guiding you. The other day you showered using a shower bench. You didn’t think it went well. “I nearly drown.” You said. Tomorrow you get to shower with the OT assistant again. You groan at the thought as you tell me.
PT was good but no stairs today. You leg brace was adjusted a little. It was given a little angle so your leg won’t buckle. That might make stairs a little easier.
We spent a long time on the phone talking about the first day of your recovery. The day of your surgery. You wanted to know how I made the decision to do surgery. I think you felt that I must have put a lot of thought into the decision. I tried to explain that very little thought went into it. I just knew that I couldn’t give up on you. The children needed you.
I told you I asked the doctor what ‘reasonable recovery’ meant. Could you still be a Daddy with a reasonable recovery. At the time, I couldn’t think beyond that concept. Saying yes to the surgery was far easier then saying no. It was only afterward, while we waited to see you after the surgery, that I wondered what I was making you go though. But deep down I knew that surgery was the right thing to do.
Somehow I just knew.
Today you talked to a priest. You talked about forgiveness. The priest told you that God has already forgiven you. God has even forgiven you for not forgiving yourself. He said there would be a point in your life where you will know that you are forgiven. You won’t have to be told by anyone.
Somehow you will just know.