Sunday, January 07, 2018

Home Again, Home Again

I slept in my own bed last night for the first time in nearly a month.

It felt strange not having a nurse walk in at 5AM looking to take my vitals or make me swallow a handful of pills.

I didn’t have to listen to my roommate’s television blaring out quiz shows, infomercials, and football player interviews at all hours of the day and night, and I didn’t have to suffer through the pre-dawn shrieks of “Help! Help! Help!” from that crazy old bastard across the hall.

There are no more daily rehab classes with those wonderful people in the gym, no more hospital meals, and no more blood tests. And I don’t have to wear those hospital gowns anymore.

That’s all behind me, God willing, and now my rehab begins at home.

I came out the hospital on Saturday the same way I went in—riding in the back of an ambulance. The two lovely crew members rolled me out into the blistering cold weather—my first taste of outside air in weeks--loaded me up into the bus, and zipped over to my street.

The only view I had of the world during the ride was through a pair of caduceus-branded rear windows. Lots of snow out there.

I live in a three-story walk-up and I got the chance to practice the stair-climbing technique the rehab staff taught me during my stay. It went pretty well, if I say so myself, except for one misstep near the top. And the ambulance people were right on top of me at the first sign of trouble.

“I know you’re going to get better,” one of them said on the way out.

This Tired Old Body

My apartment is frozen in time, virtually untouched since December 14, the day I wrecked both my knees after a pair of falls in the snow.

I’m still wearing the massive braces my doctor first put on my legs after the surgery and I have to see him in three weeks where—I hope—he’ll open them up 45 degrees. I’m praying that by spring I’ll be able to sit down and walk normally.

I’m can’t leave my house now, given the hideous weather and my constricted condition. My poor sister is running around town doing all the simple tasks I used to do for myself, like shopping and dropping off the laundry.


I have to do everything in slow motion--getting up, sitting down, walking around the apartment—things I once did without thinking now require planning and extreme care.

I’m still wearing my yellow hospital bracelet that tags me as a “Fall Risk.”

Going to the bathroom is a challenge when you can’t bend your knees and I have to skip the shower in favor of a body wash at the sink since I can’t get these braces wet.

I’m trying not to do the “Poor Me” routine, but it hasn’t been easy. I’ve been screaming at my computer all morning in response to several failed attempts to log onto my bank account. I suspect that some of my neighbors would’ve preferred I stayed in the hospital.

I’m trying to remind myself that there are people in much worse shape than I am, including several folks I saw nearly every day at the rehab gym. Anger and self-pity will only slow me down, but those sons-of-bitches are so hard to resist.

I have a lot to do going forward, but right now I’ll focus on the immortal words of John Denver and remind myself that, hey, it’s good to be back home again.

11 comments:

Jay said...

Yay - you're home!! I was thinking about you yesterday and thinking that you'd probably be released soon. I'm really happy for you, but boy, do I know that 'insecure, just got out of hospital' feeling. on the one hand, it is just so nice to be in your own home, and on the other, there's nobody to watch over you and make sure you're OK. Well, I'm nowhere near as banged up as you, and I have OH to do the nursing, and the cooking, and the shopping, etc, so you do still take the biscuit, and I'm sending you all my best thoughts and prayers. I also seriously admire your fortitude in getting yourself up those stairs!

You can do this, Rob. I have every faith!

Bijoux said...

I'm glad you are safely back home! Are you in pain or do you feel ok when at rest? Wishing you a speedier recovery than forecasted!

Rob K said...

Oh, Jay! Thank you so much for your support and kindness. I really admire how you got through your situation and I’m using you as my guide! I’m so happy you have this faith in me because it keeps me going every day!

Rob K said...

Hey, Bijoux! How’s it going? It’s good to be home and I’m not in any serious pain, except without pain in the ass I have whenever I try to move around this place with these god awful leggings on. Thanks for the warm wishes! I really need them now! Take care!

Carrie Owsley said...

I'm glad you have your sister there to help. That first shower is going to be amazing!!

Harriet Kleppel said...

Glad to know that you're back in your own space. I've fallen down escalators, and had very bad nerve damage to my left side, knees, and head. I also had a very bad concussion, and couldn't move or see for 3 months from a fall at a concert. I'm only telling you this to let you know that I have empathy for the frustration you're going through by not being able to do much for yourself. You're lucky to have your Sister to help you. I had nobody. Rob, you WILL get better. Have patience with yourself. The body knows how to heal itself, and yours will, too, in time. Hang-in there!

Rob K said...

Oh, you got that right, Carrie! I'm so lucky to have my sister!!

Ron said...

Rob, I'm sooooooooooo happy to read that you're out of the hospital and back home! OMG, I can't believe it was almost a MONTH that you were in the hospital?!?

"My apartment is frozen in time, virtually untouched since December 14....."

When I read that I knew exactly how you felt because I felt the same way after coming home from the hospital two years ago when I was gone only two weeks. It felt so strange looking at my apartment exactly how I had left it before I went to the hospital ----- frozen in time!

I'm so glad to hear that you've got your sister there to help you. That's awesome!

“I know you’re going to get better,” one of them said on the way out."

And they're right, you ARE going to get better!!

Take care, buddy! Sending you lots of Reiki for a speeding recovery!

Ron said...

P.S. I forgot to mention in my previous comment that I LOVE the photo you used in this post from the movie, Misery. And it's so ironic too because I just recently watched that film, I kid you not!

Rob K said...

Hey, Ron, great to hear from you--as always!

I am glad to be home, even in this rather banged up condition. I'm going to be getting some physical therapy at home and see it were it goes from there.

Glad you liked the photo! It just seemed so appropriate!

Thanks so much for your support, Ron. It really means a lot at this most awful time.

Take care, buddy!

Rob K said...

@Harriet:

I'm so sorry to hear about your troubles! That sounds awful! But I'm grateful that you shared your experiences because they do give me hope!

Thank you so much for your support, Harriet. With people like you backing me up, I can't lose!