Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

Jamie is being discharged from the hospital today and will be spending tonight here with us but the following day I'm going home with her to spend a couple of days as she reacclimates to her home life. She went in for an in and out day surgery on July 20th and complications kept her in ICU for two weeks then a transitory hospital room for about three days and then rehab for nearly two weeks. They removed her trach this evening which wasn't a given. If they hadn't I'd probably have needed to go get lessons on how to care for it provided by her rehab team.

My travel plans to return home to Phoenix had been set for this coming Sunday but when news of Jamie's imminent release reached us Tuesday I began to panic at the thought of all I still needed to do by Sunday morning which now needed to be done in two days instead of five with the stay at Jamie's sandwiched between. So I called my husband this evening and got my stay extended a week.

Now maybe. Just maybe. We can plan some fun stuff to do before I head home.

I know at least one fun thing Jamie and I had planned before I arrived and that was to watch the video Julie and Julia together as she owns it. I'm still looking forward to that but I'm also hankering for something that will take me out of the house and other enclosed spaces like the back seat of the car and waiting rooms.

I arrived here on July 11th. The first week was all about learning the ropes for what I'd need to do the following week to care for Mom, the pets and the yard while my sister went on a week's vacation with her son. She left on the 19. We learned of Jamie's ordeal on the 21st.

My sister arrived home the wee hours of the 25th. The daily ICU visits began on the 26th and went through Saturday the 31st. We actually spent more time in the waiting room than in Jamie's room. We would leave here between 8 and noon and arrive home after 11pm.

Late that week my brother's family left for their two week vacation and turned their respit care child over to my sister. So entertaining a ten year old girl, dragging her along to the waiting room or driving extra miles to drop her off for play dates and so forth became part of our routine.

Mom and I took a few days off from the ICU visits after Jamie's sister flew in from Alabama on the 31st, staying until the following Wednesday. My sister took one of those days off from visiting Jamie in order to run errands and grocery shop.

After Jamie's sister left town we resumed our visits but stepped back to every other day and occasionally my sister would leave Mom and I behind even then. Within a day or two of her sister leaving, Jamie was moved out of ICU and after that our visits would only be a couple of hours at most. But those days were centered around those visits what with waking to the need to get ready to go and arriving home past time to get ready for bed.

Contrast all of that to what was in the plans as my visit loomed closer:
  • We were planning on having a day at the beach with Jamie and possibly my brother's wife and girls.
  • I was planning on having another day at Powell's book store in Portland to wander the aisles of books for 4-6 hours and maybe buy one or two. Yeah window shopping on the other side of the window. I love that bookstore. I wish I could live in it.
  • I was hoping to get to spend some time with a high-school friend.
  • I was planning to scan more of the family pictures. Had even brought my own printer/scanner with me for that so as not to have to commander the one hooked up in the office.
  • I was planning on finishing several of the library books I can only get my hands on while visiting here.
  • I hoped to wander the path around Lake Sacajawea one end of which is a few blocks from here.
  • I'd planned to work out daily on the mini-tramp my sister bought so I didn't have to bring mine.
  • My sister wanted to take me bargain shopping at the dollar store and the liquidators store.
  • I'd expected there would be one or two evenings of food and board games at my brother's house in Portland.
  • I'd hoped to get to go visit my Aunt and Uncle (Mom's sister) who live several miles out of town.
  • I was going to suggest a picnic at Willow Grove beach on the Columbia River.
  • And Jamie and I were planning a two day slumber party to watch movies and gab at her apartment.
Instead my summer fun and relaxation became focused on crocheting and decorating the bookmarks, giving them away, sorting and organizing the related craft supplies and tools, shopping for more supplies (18 new thread colors and 19 new ribbon colors!), learning new stitches and techniques and designing new patterns and color combos for future bookmarks 20 times faster than I can hope to crochet them.

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