Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Jan is back home!

Dear Jan, you are coming home!

It happened so swiftly, I found you looking out the window, searching the street to find me. You were dressed and ready to go. The nurses had provided a paper bag where you had neatly placed the rest of your belongings. With your blanket rolled carefully under your left arm, you were the living image of a camper ready to go camping. When you heard my voice, you turned with a big smile and quickly stood up by yourself, you pointed to the bag and told me that everything was already packed. When I told you that I would double check the drawers, you rolled your eyes and said: Oh, brother!…we already did that. I went to ask the nurse if we needed any other paperwork before leaving the hospital, but Jan was really ready –all you needed was in your bag, I felt sheepish. We thanked the nurses for the excellent care you received during the two months you were there, and then, we marched towards the elevators, I was carrying the bag in one hand and the radio on the other; you were walking alone with your blanket under your left arm and a big smile on your face.

The rest happened very quickly and unceremoniously; one moment we were talking in front of the elevators, the next we were driving down the parkway. Just like that, two months of our lives were left behind in that hospital. Graduation day, came without any fanfare, well, in fact, Jan was extricated from that place by a set of complex rules that try to send everyone home as soon as possible. You still have to work on the aphasia and apraxia for an unknown length of time. You still have to keep getting physiotherapy to strengthen the atrophied muscles on the right side of your body. You still have to train your brain to pay attention to the right side of your body – because you don't see it, visually it “does not exist” for you. You still have to keep up your determination to get well in spite of the frustration of not being able to communicate all of your thoughts. You have to want and believe that you will get your functions back.

So, today was not a graduation, but more of a rite of passage: you were in the hospital for 111 days. In that time, you went from a deep coma and from walking the thin line between life and death, to walking up and progressively recuperating functions and abilities to the point where you are now. This has been a strange stage in our lives. Jan and I are not the same. But we don’t know yet who we exactly have become. We know that we are more appreciative of life, of small things, we see time in a different way, we trust more, we open our hands with more ease, we are ready to love more readily. This has been a time of stretching and testing our minds, hearts, beliefs and concepts. Jan, you left the hospital with a smile. You were looking forward to going home. You took my hand and rested your head on my shoulder. It felt just like the old days –of last Fall.

The drive home was scorching. The heat wave had broken another record. By the time we arrived home, you were exhausted and hungry. We went to get your medications and to buy some food because you have to eat exactly at 6pm –dinner time.

Jan, you are back home! This afternoon we initiated another stage of our lives. Please remember us in your prayer, we will need all the support we can get.

Fede

2 comments:

sharon said...

Dear Jan,

CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR MOVE BACK HOME! (home sweet home where you belong with Fede) & congrats on your progress to-date. I am so proud of you & for Fede for all his support, love, acceptance, patience, grace etc. It is a gift to me to see such two beautiful soul in an incredible marriage moving forward & getting stronger more & more each day & more so by this experience. THANK YOU!

Jan, I am confident that you will continue your miracleous recovery in mind, body and spirit gradually every day because God is with you, you have so much determination, so much to share with the world, so much love, so much support & I know God has a plan for you!

I love you & will continue praying for you. You are in my heart.

Love always
Sharon

Julia_A said...

Dear Jan,

Congratulations! What a survivor you are! I am so thrilled that you are coming home and that you are on the brink of the next phase in your journey and I am eager to witness what the Lord has in store for both you and Fede.

to Fede - please let us know how friends can be of best support to you right now. We love both of you and are here to support you.

Welcome home Jan!

Love,
Julia