We had a nurse come looking for us to say her goodbyes. She found us in the common room which was funny, because I had been going by the nursing station all evening trying to catch her to give her the card I had written for her. She wanted to see us and we really wanted to see her. She was one of those people we are supposed to meet in life. She came into our lives just at the right time. Maria was the one nurse who understood how painful the skin irritation around my incision was. She was careful removing and applying tape to it and never rushed. It got to the point that if she wasn't working I wouldn't have the bandage changed that day. She was who I requested to take out my staples. She stayed after her shift to do so because she would have been rushed doing it during her shift. Maria is the kind of person who has all of the qualities you would expect in a nurse. She has a no nonsense attitude which I love, but has compassion to go with it. She made another visit to my room after my family left for the night and we talked again. We had tears in our eyes when we said goodbye.
The next morning I opened my eyes as though it was Christmas Day and I was ten years old. I can't move very quickly but I was up as fast as this body could muster! Barry arrived about an hour before usual and helped me get ready for the day. Our goal was a ten o'clock leave time to avoid the traffic. The doctor arrived on time and gave us her blessings and her notes and prescriptions. I had a visit from the pharmacist, my physiotherapist and my occupational therapist and my nurse. Good bye and hugs all around.
We were on our way. It didn't hit me until we were downstairs in the Tim Hortons line up as we had been many times before; I looked up at Barry's smile as he told the cashier "we're getting out today!" There was a sense of excitement mixed with satisfaction as we left that building for the last time.
We did it! So many people played a part in this recovery. My immediate family were outstanding. I could not have asked for more from them. My professional team of doctors, physiotherapist and occupational therapist we excellent. Family and friends visiting was the fuel that kept us going. Cards, letters, flowers, thoughtful gifts and deeds made us feel cared for and loved. Then there were those behind the scenes caring for our house, cutting our grass and watering plants. We needed someone to pick up a walker and other essentials for us in North Bay and have them at our house. Our friends stepped in again, not only picking those items up but leaving a meal in the fridge, balloons and a welcome home sign on our garage. Our neighbours crossed the street to ask if they could come and bring Chinese food for dinner. They had been thinking of what to do and it was the perfect thing. It is all the perfect thing, because it is done with love.
It takes a lot of coordination and effort, kindness and caring to dig your way out of an emotional or physical crisis. I know one thing I will never do again and that is wonder what is the right thing. I know know anything is.
Thank you to all involved, it's humbling to have such thoughtfulness directed my way. Books, beautiful hand cream, cookies, texting, calling, emails, every little thing helps. I will thank you by paying it forward.
The reason I outline this in my blog today is, there are many times when friends and family are going though a difficult time and it's hard to know what to to to help. There always is lots, but it is hard for that person to ask. I have been in the situation of not knowing what to do. Do whatever comes to mind, and I have given you some examples from the thoughtfulness that has been bestowed onto us. Everything helps and encourages the family. Thank you.
Being home is hard to describe because it is a feeling. Both Barry and I "had smiles like they had just invented teeth." That's a quote from a movie that I have always loved. We walked around the house. Then I needed to go outside. We both wondered if it was a good idea but decided it was a necessity. Walking in my garden is one of those peaceful things I do each and every spring, summer and fall evenings. I love to look at what stage all the plants are at and the quietness, the smells the sounds of the birds all make me feel good. We did it together with Barry on one side and the cane on the other. My gosh, the garden has grown so much in the time I have been away. Everything is so incredibly green and lush. I have missed the butterfly bush, the irises, the purple and white lilacs. My peonies are outstanding. The walk about was worth it because it ended with seeing our beautifully pregnant neighbour and their adorable two year old son, who decided to play shy with me, sneaking a cute smile every now and then. I know that won't last. I have a secret weapon, Whinnie!
Although I had a wonderful gel bed at the rehab, I had the best sleep last night. Today I woke up to a wonderful breakfast, with "hot" coffee, and sat at a table with Meg and Barry to eat it.
I'm home and I'm happy!