I told you two days ago that I’d be back to tell you about my amazing family. I’m sorry I didn’t get back here yesterday. I had a morning appointment with the plastic surgeon to have the sutures removed and then spent the day at mom’s house.
This one is hard to write. How do you put into words how much you love and appreciate those closest to you? Thank you just doesn’t seem enough to express my gratitude. I woke up from surgery surrounded by everyone I love and everyone who loves me. How do you say thank you to the folks who were there as the nurses removed the breathing tube? The people who were there urging me to breathe as so that the nurses would be able to remove the tube?
I never spent one day alone in the hospital or rehab. Someone was always there with me. They came in shifts; my parents during the day, Tommy and Arlene (my brother and sister-in-law) during the dinner hour, and Chuck (my husband) after work. Sometimes my room was full of the above mentioned cast of characters.
I’m so grateful they were all there for me, but I’m even more grateful they were there for each other. In particular I’m so glad they were there for Chuck. My parents always loved him like one of their own so I’ve no doubt they took good care of him during the days I don’t remember. I’m so grateful that Tommy and Arlene sat with him and kept him company.
There’s really a week of my life that I don’t remember and it’s comforting to know that my loved ones were all there watching over me; my five guardian angels. I don’t remember the really and truly terrifying days. Chuck had to make tough and frightening decisions for me. In a way only Chuck, my parents and Tommy and Arlene suffered through them. It was much less scary for me because for all intents and purposes I slept through the worst of it. I’m glad they were all there together.
I couldn’t ask for more kind, loving, generous loved ones. It’s not just the heavy serious stuff that I’m thankful for either. It’s the seeming little things that mean so much.
Chuck spent all of Saturday at the hospital with me in Critical Care ICU. He went home, fed the cats, ate dinner, got my laptop and Netflix DVD, and drove back to the hospital to watch The American President with me. All so we could have some time alone together and so I wouldn’t be alone my first night really awake and alert in ICU.
My mom brought me German Potato Salad and carrot cake from the Cannstatter’s so that I’d have something yummy to eat.
My dad brought me soft pretzels because I asked for them. He brought enough for my nurses also.
My sister-in-law saw to it that I had all sorts of comfort items. She brought me a plush cat that sang What’s New Pussycat with a Padre Pie rosary/medal attached. I prayed that rosary or just ran my fingers over the beads whenever I felt anxious or scared. Every nurse who took care of me loved (as did I) the Halloween footies she bought me. I’m actually wearing them now. And I’m quite sure that I was the only patient at Cooper University Hospital with a lighted Tigger the Tiger Jack O’lantern.
Tommy could always be counted on to bring me a fresh bottle of Coke, which I hoarded so I’d have it all day.
Really, the stuff that doesn’t seem like much is in fact much. I hated the food in rehab. Every day my parents and Chuck brought me lunch and dinner. That’s five days worth of stopping for food, paying for food and taking the time to eat with me.
I can’t begin to say thanks. I wouldn’t know where to begin. Chuck’s taken so many days off from work to be with me so that I wouldn’t be afraid or alone (in and out of the hospital). My parents have rearranged their lives to spend time with me in the hospital, at rehab and at home. Tommy and Arlene came nightly at dinner time putting their own dinners off to spend time with me as well as calling, texting and messaging several times a day.
I am so loved and I am so grateful. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
~ Carol Anne