Finally, I’m home.

“Many of us spend our whole lives running from feeling with the mistaken belief that you cannot bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is feel all you are beyond the pain.” -Saint Bertholomew

Today I returned home from my weekend stay at the hospital. As my spirits are lifted finally able to write to update you all from the comfort of my own home, I share with you all a little from my last day in the hospital and the wonderful memories as I returned home today. Just a few more little things to mention about my time in the hospital.

  • Last night was by far the most challenging. I’m convinced that being on 3 antibiotics, estrogen supplements, darvocet, motrin, and zofran finally took it’s toll on me. At times I became very nauseated, dizzy, and lightheaded. It really truly scared me last night – to the point I even called the nurse very concerned. Thankfully I manged to get some rest, though not as much as I probably should have.
  • I’m convinced the medicine definitely influenced so many dreams over the weekend. Many I don’t remember the details of, but I recall waking up a number of times, even last night, either startled or realizing some big things I needed to do.
  • One of my dreams last night made me realize that because of all these experiences I finally felt the strength within me to volunteer with the Now I Lay me to Sleep photography organization. For those that have never heard of it this was taken directly from their web site to help you understand how much my heart wants to give to those who just like me, are challenged with a baby that may have challenges after birth or that have lost a special child they’ll never come to know:“The Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation gently provides a helping hand and a healing heart. For families overcome by grief and pain, the idea of photographing their baby may not immediately occur to them. Offering gentle and beautiful photography services in a compassionate and sensitive manner is the heart of this organization. The soft, gentle heirloom photographs of these beautiful babies are an important part of the healing process. They allow families to honor and cherish their babies, and share the spirits of their lives.” It’s something I’ve considered for over a year, and finally through these recent experiences I am compelled to volunteer to help others who have also endured similar struggles as I am currently going through. I am pleased to say that today I was contacted by one of the organizations coordinators and they were impressed with my photography. Once I provide more examples of photography using artificial light sources I will likely be approved to volunteer. This is a big achievement for me, especially knowing how thoroughly this organization reviews and selects it’s photographers.
  • I was thrilled that my final nurse was also a Valencia grad. Yes, I’m a very proud Valencia alumni and now Professor. I will be writing Winnie Palmer hospital in the near future to make sure they know just how awesome these ladies were who cared for me. It was a very challenging and scary moment in my life and they all put my heart and mind at ease as I endured so many medical challenges.
  • I was so thankful once arriving home to take my first shower in three days. Because of my IV I couldn’t shower because they were concerned that if they disconnected the IV from the port that it could possibly close up. If that would have happened I would have had to have another IV put in, which given all the surgeries and my low blood pressure it would have been a challenge. So the moment I arrived home I hopped in the shower and I have to say that it was the best shower I’ve taken since my time in the military after returning from deployments or the field missions.

This morning at sunrise I was up and ready to take a few photos. I’m currently in a photography course at SCAD and I’ve had a project that I’ve been trying so hard to complete. Every time I begin to follow through with my ideas I’d end up back in the hospital. The project is to create two separate photos (a montage and collage) to visually represent a “sense of place” for where we live. I had brainstormed so many ideas related to my thoughts of central Florida but once I learned I’d be admitted into the hospital and seeing my view from my hospital room I decided for part of my project I would use my hospital room as the setting for my photo. I am not complete with my photo assignment at all, but I thought I’d share several of the photos from the morning. I set up my tripod to be able to do almost  a type of time lapse photos where I could possibly montage separate images of me together into one. Of course I still enjoy most of these images separately, which is how I will share them for now on my blog. As I post them I hope you enjoy a few more thoughts that accompany the moments I was in the hospital.

It was a foggy morning, which certainly set the mood for how I’ve felt these last few weeks. I spent a lot of time in the room this weekend just realizing how much my life has changed in less than a month.

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Right now I have such positive spirits that I am so close to finally recovering from this mess. I do know that the emotional impact of this loss and all the events that have happened the last few weeks will likely affect me for some time to come. I know now is the time to begin to “move on”, but to be honest that isn’t as easy to do as you all might think.

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I still plan to find a way to return to finding time to be silly again. Hopefully more fun memories make their way into my life soon. This morning I just had to be silly for a moment because I was pretty happy to know I was so close to going home.

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I spent a lot of time this weekend thinking about not just this loss and all the recent challenges but also about all those I truly care about and have come to appreciate. I still feel so guilty that there are many of you that Jason or I never found time or energy to call personally. We hope you all know just how challenging these events have been and that it was never our intent to hurt any of you by neglecting to share this news. Hopefully through these recent events you have are reminded to check my blog a little more often to stay updated with how we are all doing. I can’t promise I’ll write as often as I have been, but I do plan to be more proactive than I have been the last couple of years.

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I spent a lot of time in the hospital on my computer. I’m convinced it’s helped keep my spirits lifted as it allowed me to keep you all updated through facebook, twitter, and my blog. I thank all of you who corresponded with me over the weekend. I am still so touched by everyone’s concern.

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This was one weekend where Jason didn’t oppose me on the computer so much. Staying so connected through these tough moments definitely kept my spirits lifted and helped time pass a little faster. If I didn’t have my computer I fear knowing how isolated I likely would have felt.

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While I was taking pictures, Jason called from home. I told him the good news that it was time for me to go home. It made my day to hear how excited he was to learn he could bring me home.

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Once I learned the doctor said I could be discharged the nurse came to disconnect my IV. It was definitely one of the happiest moments of the day. I finally began to feel “freed”.

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As we waited for the nurse to finalize all my discharge paperwork I changed into my clothes and then told Jason I wanted to take a few photos with him. Today on the way home Jason and I talked about how October 2009 was the worst month of our marriage because of how many bad things happened. I had to remind him that through all the bad moments, some good has happened. While we were waiting, and before we took photos, Jason dozed off so I went to give him a kiss and wake him up.

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As he woke up I told him that finally it’s time to go home.

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Once he woke up we took a few photos together. Seeing this photo helps remind me of just how much our relationship has grown in just a few weeks…our love for one another is stronger than it has ever been.

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I really thought it was cute that he was so willing to take pictures with me. Often times he does complain when I ask for him to take pictures saying “come on” or “are we done”. Today he was so sweet and happy just to know he was finally able to take me home. He was so cute trying to make me so happy today, which included coming to visit me with a goatie – that always makes me smile!

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Since our relationship began in the military we have never been too openly affectionate in public. I do blame that partly on the fact that we were not permitted to show affection in uniform. Though we’ve gotten better about it in the 12+ years we’ve been married, we still seldomly show affection publicly. I couldn’t help but smile as he gave me huge hugs as I was taking pictures, knowing I would at some point blog about today and share some of the photos I took today. Oh, how I love him.

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REUNITING WITH THE KIDS & SURPRISING HOPE
Today when I arrived home I couldn’t help but smile seeing my buddy Jaylen cuddling and sleeping with his Uncle Adam. From what I’ve heard, he and his Uncle Adam have become best buds. He seldomly goes to people he doesn’t know, but the moment Adam arrived Jaylen ran straight to him with open arms.

Before I left the hospital  I emailed Hope’s teacher early this morning. After being so concerned about how Hope was coping with all that has happened, I emailed her with my concerns and then also mentioned how I’d love to surprise her for lunch if I was released from the hospital in time. So once I arrived home we went to Panera to pick up lunch. Panera is Hope’s favorite place to eat since before she ever turned a year old. It’s one of the few places we’d go out to eat when she was so young while we were on a tight budget.

When we first arrived I stood waiting for Hope. Jason suggested I stand off to the side away from her initial view. As Hope came in the lunchroom she said “Daddy” and jumped right into his arms. I walked out and Jason turned her around and she saw me. Her face lit up to know I was finally home from the hospital. She shouted, “Mommy” and then ran to me and gave me the biggest hug ever, so big she wouldn’t let go for a good minute or two. All our eyes were watery eyed and so close to crying knowing how much it meant to Hope that I was finally home. It was the best surprise that definitely made her day! I thought it was cute that out of all the shirts she wore today she picked out a shirt she hadn’t worn in a long time. It said “so lucky to be me”. She told me later in the day as she pointed out what her shirt said that she felt so lucky to have me out of the hospital. I’m so happy that her spirits seem to finally be raising again.

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A LITTLE MORE RECOVERING TO DO

When I met with the doctor this morning she suggested I take the next week to stay home from work,  lay low and “take it easy”. She reminded me the importance of rest and that the treatment I received in the hospital should do the trick to help me recover finally. Of course after going through 3 repeat surgeries and then the recent stay in the hospital I am still concerned and wonder, “is it really almost over?” I expressed my concerns to the doctor and she said that so long as I have no further complication like a higher fever, excessive bleeding, or pain & cramping then I should begin to feel better this next week. This afternoon I have felt better. I took time to nap after feeling so fatigued. It was nice to finally sleep in my own bed. I did begin to feel concerned again as I ran a low grade fever of 99 this afternoon. However, that is still lower than they will worry about at this point. Yes, I worried a bit this afternoon, even missing have the care of my nurses to have there to conveniently ask questions when I was concerned. I’m also still taking the estrogen supplements for the next five days. It is being used to strengthen the lining of my uterus after all the surgeries. I’ve since learned that the side effects will likely leave me feeling cruddy a bit the next few days with dizziness, lightheadedness, headaches, nausea and more. So for now I will just continue to rest and watch myself closely this next week and pray that it’s time to turn to a new chapter in this life of mine.

Thank you all again for all your support.

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