Friday, April 29, 2011

Part 8: Welcome Home

There were so many doctors involved in my care, they all seemed reluctant to commit to a date when I could go home without consulting the others. Finally, Dr. Orme said Sunday would be the day. Ah, Sunday! I made a special effort to smile when the doctors would come and try my best to look extra healthy - anything to keep them confident that I could go home!

Little by little things started disappearing: The oxygen, then My IV stand, then my heart monitor, etc. With the new freedom from my hospital "gear"came the looming reality of what "going home" meant. I went on several walks around the cardiac floor, and I would return and have to catch my breath and feel completely exhausted. I would take a shower and dry my hair and need a nap to recover from it. How was I going to manage at home? Josh came to visit me and I told him how conflicted I felt about going home. On the one hand, I wanted out of this place, but the thought of returning to the demands of motherhood, and keeping a house, and even caring for myself had me feeling completely overwhelmed.

Saturday was full of final scans, x-rays, exams and instructions. I decided not to order my own dinner and just take what they gave me: Chicken Noodle Bake - overly cooked noodles with pieces of all the leftover chicken dishes from the week in a mystery sauce. I'm not really a picky eater, but this one did me in! It was "pluh" as Yaks says when something is too yucky to eat.

Sunday morning I began slowly gathering up my things. Boo and Yaks and Josh came to bring me home. Josh was so helpful to hurry along the process of checking out. Sometimes all the paperwork and red tape can take longer than necessary. I got prescriptions from my doctors, and well-wishes from everyone. They wheeled me down to the entrance and loaded me into the car.

I was greeted at home by an enormous banner that my sister-in-law Cara made and sent, along with an assortment of paints, markers and decorations. I'm told the kids spent hours decorating it - what a great idea! We brought it in from the rain and it has been sitting in the garage. Today I wanted to snap a photo to show you. I sent the kids out to get it, but it had "disappeared"! I waited one day too long - I think it went out with yesterday's trash. Sorry :( Thank you, Cara!! There were flowers on the counter from friends and a cute little poster made by Boo's Kindergarten class with all of their names and their handprints forming a blue flower, "because blue is your favorite color, Mom."

Our house sits on top of our garage, so there are stairs to get into our house, no matter where you enter. I walked slowly up the stairs from the car to the house and greeted Diddles and Annette (who stayed with us another week) and had to sit down and catch my breath! Suddenly the stairs in our house seemed so overwhelming! They are getting easier, but wow...where is a rambler when you need it?

I was in the kitchen and Yaks gave me a little hug. I whispered, "It's so good to be home." He said, "There's no such place like home, right mom?" Right.

Enter my visiting teachers, friends and the Relief Society, who truly live up to their names! Meals were brought in, baked goods delivered, my kids whisked away to play so I could rest, e-mails were sent to check on me, rides for Boo to and from school were easily handled, and Josh was home usually by 4:30/5:00. I really don't know how I could have managed those first few weeks without the extra help! Thank you, thank you dear friends and family! You truly strengthened the feeble knees!

Today I try to remind myself that we have temporarily lowered the bar of expectations in our household. Josh is a champ for being tolerant of the chaos, and pitching in the nano-second he walks in the door. Kids fend for themselves quite a bit. We stay in our jammies for large parts of the day.

No sweat, Mom. I'll just get my own breakfast!

"We're cleaning up the toys with these!"
Don't you love her jack-o-lantern smile? She's lost seven teeth this year!

Today Boo and Yaks made their own lunches, and did a pretty good job! Mouths go unwiped. Toddlers walk around with toothpaste on their shirts and pancake syrup in their hair.

This one now has eyes only for Daddy.
The other day she was kissing and hugging the Fisher Price plastic Dad doll, while the Mom doll sat in the plastic car.

Boo goes to school with any outfit she pleases, whether it matches or not. I only ask that it's clean!

The house is not spotless or organized, but guess what...

There's a mom in it! And that's the happiest ending I could ask for.

Thanks for your patience in letting me document this event (eight parts, yikes!).
Thank you also for your supportive comments. I read and love every one. Thank you, friends! I love you.


Brianne said...

I LOVE "There's no such place like home." So cute! Glad you're feeling better. We've been praying for you. Anything I can do for you?

Heidi said...

It definitely puts things in perspective about how much we NEED to do versus WANT to do! I am so glad that you are home and safe and recovering and that you have had so much help!

Jeff Taylor said...

I love your words . . .so uplifting! And reminds me of what truly matters - FAMILY (not the stuff around it but the actual members).

Sure do love you tons and I will continue to pray for a speedy recovery!

keep blogging . . . I need your uplifting words!

Taylor's said...

OOops I posted under my husband instead of me!

Sarah said...

I am glad this eight-part saga is completed. No, I don't mean that I have not enjoyed reading it...I have learned from the unknown details...I have cried through much of it. I mean that I am grateful you're at the point now that MOM's HOME and ready to move on, in time.
Love you.

Dianna said...

I love your last picture so much! I wish I could hug you and tell you how happy I am to see that familiar healthy, joyful, perky Amy face.

Holly said...

Hooray! I'm so glad you're home and things are going well. I bet your kids are really glad to have you back--even if they stay in pajamas or don't get their faces cleaned right away. =)

I appreciate how positive you have been through everything. I think it would be really easy to find things to complain about and be negative, but you have always been such a good example of strength and having a positive outlook. It's in the really trying times that you're true character shows, and I love that you were the same in this hard time as you always have been when you were visit teaching or hanging out at church.

love.boxes said...

I'm so grateful that you would share this inspiring story and I hope that you will make a quick recovery... those stairs will probably be more helpful that you think. Glad you're back!!! *hearts*

steph said...

You look beautiful. I'm so glad you are home and recovering. I'm so grateful that you have loving friends and family to help. I just wish my home were closer to yours so I could be useful to you.

Sidenote: My Brooklyn was diagnosed with pneumonia on Thursday. After reading about your experience, the news of Brookie has got me a little EXTRA concerned. We think she's responding to the meds.

Bess said...


I've never gotten in the habit of commenting much on here. But I wanted to say a big THANK YOU for sharing your story. When my mom called me early that first morning it was a shock. I am beyond grateful that things turned out as they have, rather than the grim outlook of that morning. Your words have inspired me and strengthened my faith. Thank you! I echo the sentiments of others that I wish we were closer to provide you with whatever help I could. But I continue to pray that you will be strengthened and blessed through your remaining recovery. I love you Amy and am grateful for your example.

Love, Bess

Cara and Steve said...

Amy, you have done an incredible job of documenting this "journey" you have been on! I love that last pic of you... so happy, cheerful... you are incredible! Love your hair too, by the way :) Today in Relief Society, one sister made the comment of lowering the bar for yourself and being proud of the things you do check off your daily list, and not stressing about the things you don't get to. It made me feel much better because I only clean up the toys once a day now, I only wipe the high chair seat once a week, and I let Grace eat the leftovers on the kitchen floor before sweeping... and I don't feel guilty about it because I do the best I can. Be proud of everything you have accomplished! I will always think of you as a super mom!

Granma Faye said...

Fascinating and inspirational account of your experience. Also, pretty scary! I'm so glad you're on the mend. I just really wonder how you got that awful lung condition in the first place? ...especially when no one else in the family (thank goodness) was affected. I'm so grateful for modern medicine and devoted nurses and doctors. I'm grateful, too, for family--birth family and ward family--and their love and support. Take good care, Amy, and thank you for being such a wonderful example and for sharing your story.

Nicole said...

thank heavens for ruby red slippers that come in the form of doctors, oxygen, prescriptions, visiting teachers and moms. All that made it possible to even come home!!

kthom said...

First things first....fabulous haircut! It's so good to see you healthy and happy! I'm sure you're still recovering each day but I'm so glad you get to see your bubs all day long in the process...pjs and all! You're loved...excellent job telling your story! Love you.

Chad said...


Thanks for taking the time to document this miniseries. You had some amazing experiences and I am glad you were so candid in sharing each of them. So glad you are okay as well. Thanks for sharing the ups as well as the downs and thanks for such a strong testimony. Love ya.