Friday, April 8, 2011

Welcome Home

Finally after many weeks and months of hospital rooms, tests, surgeries, chances, tears, sadness, ups, downs, anger, yelling, crying and finally upward progress from ICU to rehab, my mother arrived home from her fight against H1N1.

She is weak, but walking, talking and feeding herself.  She has a long way to go down the road to recovery, mostly regaining her strength.  From the worst place I have ever been in my life at the end of January and the beginning of February to now is almost night and day.  We still aren't back to normal, but we're getting there and my brothers and I have my Mom back and my Dad has his other half.

There are so many people to thank, I don't know if I can think of them all, but, I want to take a second to thank all of the wonderful people in my life who have been there in the darkest days of our family.  My husband who was stoic and allowed me to be selfish, would hold me for hours while I cried and drove us to Grand Rapids hundreds of times.  He was suffering just as much as the rest of us, but was a rock for all of us, especially me.  My Uncle Rick and his family who live about 10 minutes from the hospital and gave us a key to come and go as we needed.  They gave us beds to sleep in and fed us every weekend and whenever we needed a place to go.  Even though I know my uncle felt he wasn't doing enough and his wife who asked him why we hadn't moved in yet felt the same way, we are family and they wanted to take care of us.  It means so much to us, and we can never thank them enough.  Courtney and James and the Moore family, who helped try and keep a sense of normality for me, Nicole, Melissa, Pastor Emmett, Pastor Rick, the Eks, Debby, the Spedowskis, MaryJo and the entire IRC camping family.  Lisa, who took notes like a mad woman for me when I missed class, the professors who, in unison told me to do what I needed to do and make up the work as I can, instead of asking me to withdraw from my final semester.  To all of the people who supported and fed my family when I could not, the Healeys who fed Zack during the week when my Dad was still at the hospital on late nights, the Hammonds who took in our family dog, and the BRHS hockey family who rallied behind us and produced massive amounts of food for when no one could get up the desire to actually cook and held a team prayer for my Mom shortly after she went on ECMO in the ICU and always took a second to comfort and ask how Mom was doing.  And the hundreds of people who sent cards, well wishes and the people who sent the gas cards and food cards for all of the traveling from home to Grand Rapids my Dad did.

The doctors and nurses, respiratory people and ECMO techs who told us after Mom started to get better, that they had never had a sicker patient who lived.  Without their round the clock care, Mom wouldn't have been able to fight this off on her own.

And the unsung heros in all of this. My Mom and Dad.  My Dad stepped up hardcore and managed to figure out the finances that my Mom, being an accountant, had always taken care of.  He was at the hospital every day, talking to Mom, holding her hand and wishing he could do all of it for her and when he could not, he kept on the doctors, asked questions and got answers.  Always driving and pushing and hoping that Mom would get better.

And my Mom who fought so hard, and had taken so many steps to healthy living before this that helped her fight off this terrible disease.  I hope that in the following years as Mom continues down the road to recovery, she will continue to make those healthy choices that helped her survive this.  Mom has always been stubborn and that was so beneficial to her in this fight.

I love you, Mom, welcome home.


Anonymous said...

I am so so so happy for you. I'm so glad she's back. As you know, I read every one of your dad's updates the moment I woke up in the morning and before I went to bed. I don't know your mom, but if she is anything like you, she is an amazing woman with more courage than me. I love you and I'm so glad things are starting to get back to normal.

You are so incredibly strong for proceeding with your studies while all of this was going on. I would have given up, but you did it. I am so proud of you and I am so happy things are going well. You deserve it more than anyone.
I love you!!

Deb said...

Oh my goodness, I'm crying happy tears on a Friday night and no alcohol is involved. Don't forget that you are also a hero for going through this. We are all so proud of all of you. p.s. College did you good. This was beautifully written!