The past week has been something of a roller coaster. After happily coming home last Sunday, (I was SO READY to leave Harborview, but that's another post entirely), I wound up back in the hospital, only at UW this time, from Monday to Wednesday because of a blood clot in my arm.
The clot is taken care of, and I am home once again. Let me first say that I am very glad to be here -- both here on the earth and here in my own home. Hospitals get really, really old after a while.
That said, everything about life is an adjustment right now, and lots of adjustments at once are not very easy. I hope this post doesn't come across as being too whiny. I really am grateful to be alive and to be home and to have the support that we have, don't get me wrong.
Anyway, the biggest adjustment from all of this is that because my incision needs to heal, I cannot pick up Elanor until at least mid-June, which means that I basically can't care for her until then. Sure, I can change her diaper if she's already on the changing table, and I'm feeding her when she's brought to me, but I can't pick her up when she cries or hold her when she wiggles. It's really, really hard.
We're also not co-sleeping anymore, which I have loved up until now, because I can't get her flipped over to nurse on the other side and we are afraid of her kicking/bumping my incision. Plus I have been taking pain medications, which are not ok to take when co-sleeping. On top of that, she'll sleep through the night if she's with someone else, and it's just been easier for our family to have her sleep at night. I think she knows when her food supply is right nearby and that keeps her wakeful, so not having me right there helps her sleep.
There are lots of people here helping, which is really nice, and I am so grateful we have so many friends and so much family nearby. But it's also hard...I am an independent person who likes to have my own space, so having lots of people here, doing things in ways that aren't bad, just not how I would do them, is challenging for me.
I'm just feeling a little...weird, I guess, about everything. I haven't processed what happened (the fact that I almost died -- oh, my; it freaks me out to think about that. It sunk in a little today when my friend Marci told me that she was just distraught for the four hours the other morning when she didn't know if I was alive or dead), and although I am home and so happy to be here, I feel very out of place and not sure at all what my role is. Sure, I know, my role is to get better, but being the person I am, there's only so much lying around on the couch I can take. I don't even have anything to read, for Pete's sake.
Compounding this is the fact that my memory, my wonderful, accurate, tack-sharp memory, is completely fuzzy. I don't remember what happened, I usually can't remember what day it is, I can't remember which family members were here when. It's very difficult for me. I usually remember everything -- and I mean everything -- with razor-sharp precision. Like what Brett wore on a date to dinner at the Taco House to meet his aunt in June 1999, and the fact that we talked about her recent trip to Dallas and how Brett wanted to go there to see Dealy Plaza and go to the JFK museum someday. You know? That kind of accurate. And now I can't remember the day of the week or the pin number for my ATM card. It's really disconcerting and honestly pretty frightening for me.
Enh, ok, enough whining. I'm really doing ok; I think today has just been a little strange. A lot of days are probably going to be strange for a while. I feel moderately ok physically, so it's the first day I haven't really done much lounging around, and I'm just not sure how to mesh wanting to be up and about with needing to recuperate.
Anyway, that's the update. Health-wise, I'm doing wonderfully; mentally, it's all starting to sink in...but I'll deal with it in time. It's all just a process, I guess.
**Edited to add: Thank you all so much for your comments, emails, thoughts and prayers. It means so much to me to know I have so many amazing friends, many of whom I've never even met in person. It's really encouraging to hear from all of you!