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Thread: Going Home! (finally!!)

  1. #41
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Somewhere in the Rocky Mountains
    Quote Originally Posted by orangejello
    I have been home for a few weeks now. I haven’t written any updates due to a number of reasons. But some people were wondering how things were going, including some family and old friends who check the new injury forum, so I thought I would write an update.

    Things continue to be overwhelming. After a brief transition period, I was finally (finally!) fully discharged home. I spent exactly four nights at home then was back in the hospital for three days. I am okay and feeling much better now. But after waiting so long to go home, it felt like I had breached my probation and was being sent back to jail. So that was a bit of a set back. But I was home within three days so it wasn’t that bad.

    This really was not the ideal time for me to be adjusting to coming home. My family celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas. I come from a large family plus we have a quite close knit extended family. So basically beginning on December 16, my family spent the rest of the month eating, drinking, celebrating, singing, arguing, crying, and doing everything else under the sun. It is a nice time that everybody enjoys and it enables everyone to get their fill of family get togethers until the following December. Under the best of circumstances, this is usually a very stressful time for me because I am less of an extrovert than most of my family. Everybody did what they could to make things as comfortable for me as they could, but I had a hard time with nearly everything. And some of them did too I know. I skipped over most of the larger gatherings and spent most of the holidays quietly with my partner and my cats. I suppose the good thing was that as grinch like and unsocial as I was feeling, I did manage to get out a few times because some people would not take “no” for an answer. And that was very good for me. I sort of need a bit of an outside push right now to stay engaged with the rest of the world.

    As for the other things, I was finally able to get everything unpacked. My two oldest nephews and my partner went to work one day and got almost all the boxes unpacked and everything put away. At this point anything left in boxes can stay in boxes indefinitely. So my apartment is finally feeling like my home and that is a very good thing. They also managed to get the spare bedroom set up so my care givers can use it as a private area—something I think both they and I need. Caregivers continue to be a major headache. I have a managed to snap up a couple of very good ones who I can’t say enough about. Unfortunately there are still a lot of issues covering the entire schedule just due to a serious shortage of qualified people. I have had to rely on a lot of relief and last minute replacements which is hard on both me and the caregivers because they all haven’t had the opportunity to be properly trained. It is a big problem so my family has been pitching in to help whenever a staffing crisis comes up, which is quite often it seems. But that is not a feasible solution and I am hoping things might improve once the holidays are all over.

    The first anniversary of my injury came and went. It was something that I had been thinking about and dreading but when the day came there were so many other mini disasters and other things on the go that I didn’t really have the time or energy to obsess about it. I spent the day at my parent’s house and nobody there mentioned it, although I know it was on their minds. The next day one of my friends who had been there that day came over and needed to talk about it. So we did. We both cried and did the whole “what if we had done this instead of that” thing. It was helpful in some ways and maybe we both felt marginally better afterwards. I don’t know if this date really means that much except maybe now I can stop dreading that one year mark because I have gone through one of everything now—one summer, one birthday, one of everything else. It’s a good theory but I don’t know if that will really be the case.

    I was dreading the holidays because I knew it would mean dealing with people at a time when all I wanted to do was hide under a rock where nobody could find me. Now I am dreading the end of them because it means I now have to deal with all the things I could avoid because of the excuse of the holidays. I have turned avoidance into an art form.
    Good luck
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  2. #42
    OrangeAmanda -
    Thanks for the update. I think the hustle & bustle can be good sometimes, since you then don't have as much time to dwell on the many negatives - it's good to have that rock lifted occasionally - but I'm sure you will find things settling down and you will become more comfortable with the holiday pressure off. That you've found two very good caregivers is excellent - it seems that some people never find even one good one.
    - Richard

  3. #43

    It's been a pleasure knowing you, talking with you, and learning from you. Always hoping for the best for you.


  4. #44
    Senior Member taj2002's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Glad to see your update. I think the first several months at home are a real challenge. When my husband left Craig Hospital after being hospitalized for a total of 9 months, we struggled for the first several months. My husband is a C3-C4 complete quad so his care giving needs are pretty great. It just takes a while to get everything running smoothly. Even now after 4 years, we still have some days that are pure hell. I am always looking for that EASY button, but can never seem to find it.

    I admire the great progress you have made and your willingness to share your feelings with us all. I can read your posts, and they bring me back to the early days of my husband’s injury. Hope you have fun at your New Year’s party. Sounds like a great time. Happy Birthday and may 2007 bring you some peace and the needed strength to continue the hard work you have already begun.


  5. #45
    Hey OJ;

    While cruising through the solar system prior to your birthday, I found a few pictures of your home. It is a very cool place.

    Best wishes for the New Year.

    "Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence." Lin Yutang

  6. #46
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Denver, Colorado
    Hi Amanda!

    Good to see your latest post. I remember last year was Don's first Christmas and Hannakah home (we also celebrate both) and we rushed all over the place trying to be "normal". Well... that was a disaster so this year we made a pact that we were not going anywhere that was not accessible. Don says he gets real tired of being carried up steps into houses and then sits there in strange places like a potted plant. So now if people want to see us... they can come over here.
    It was good that you observed the "anniversary".... We have a friend who is 13 years out from injury and his was on 12-27 and he forgot that that was the day... He was just too busy doing other stuff. I wish that for you that in the years to come you will be too pre-occupied with your new life to remember the past too much...
    Don and I wish you and yours (especially the kitties) a more healthy and happy 2007!


  7. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by john smith
    Hey OJ;
    While cruising through the solar system prior to your birthday, I found a few pictures of your home. It is a very cool place.
    Best wishes for the New Year.
    Cool indeed! If you look at this you can imagine seeing OJ's home on the rings. This one shows the neighborhood.
    - Richard

  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by rfbdorf
    Cool indeed! If you look at this you can imagine seeing OJ's home on the rings. This one shows the neighborhood.
    - Richard
    Thanks John and Richard for those links and great pictures. I watched the entire PBS documentary Cosmos last week (seven excellent dvds!) and was quite taken by it, especially the parts on Saturn and its rings.

    I think I need to look into taking an astronomy course when I get back to school

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