It’s been a year since the accident. I’m rejoicing in today, because somebody once told me, when the day comes, think of it as the day you didn’t die.
It’s been a long year. I started it off with four brain surgeries. I remember waking up from one surgery and my abdomen hurt. My husband said that’s where my brain shunt drains. I remember thinking, “I have a what installed?!” Crazy. I have all my days in the hospital mixed up and have to get it in line again with P. I had bad dreams. I thought P was going into surgery too (luckily he didn’t). From time to time I ask him questions about the hospital because I get confused.
I’m grateful P’s still here with me. It’s been a long road. “Through thick and thin” takes on a different meaning when it includes endless nights in the hospital, staying up reading medical journals on hydrocephalus, shuttling between mom and baby’s room, dealing with a wife who couldn’t talk back, and nerves, leaving you awake at night. I didn’t know when he married me that it would include this. He truly is my best friend and soul mate. And by my side he’s stayed, through numerous doctor office visits, therapy sessions, surgeries, lumbar punctures and hospital stays, more than someone would expect. For the longest time the neurosurgeon and other doctors didn’t know what was going on with me, why I didn’t get better. I know it was hard on P. An idiot doesn’t have to tell me that.
My friend told me her husband left her when “thick” happened. I don’t know what I would have done, but I sure didn’t do this by myself. I consider myself very lucky to have him with me through all this. We had both moms shuttle in from another state, taking care of the baby, so it was a lot of work for them, too. My sister-in-law changed jobs and moved to our home in Texas . For someone who’s your sister-in-law, that’s love right there.
I made some unlikely friends in the hospital. For someone who recently moved from Hawaii, I had a good support system, and wasn’t left alone in the hospital. All of the sudden, a girlfriend of our friend in Hawaii came to visit, and she introduced us to other people. For someone who couldn’t speak, I made a lot of friends and nowadays keep in contact with them. They helped fill up some empty spaces in the hospital. I had visitors that I didn’t know, coming to my room to sing, give hugs, or offer some consoling words.
And my CNAs were super friendly too. They came to my room to talk when they didn’t have to. They even watched the royal wedding with me when I was watching it (for the third time) with my mom. Two of them even drove to my house after I was discharged to hang out with me and Camille.
My therapists were always upbeat and so nice. I remember when I couldn’t talk, my speech therapist at the hospital brought on a music therapist in hopes that I would sing one word in a verse. I couldn’t, but she was always upbeat and happy, despite what was going on. And when we moved back home and went to outpatient therapy, my occupational therapist was like my friend, pushing me in the pool. The pool was my favorite part of the day. My speech therapist there also never let up on me, doing really hard exercises that would tire me out, but in a good way. My physical therapists pushed me, making me go on a mini-trampoline and freaking me out on the red mat, something that hurt my knees the first time around but was okay afterward.
So for my one-year staying alive anniversary, I asked P the other day, “What’s your favorite dessert?” And he said, “Hot and sour soup.” What?!
Gross. For those who don’t know P, he doesn’t like desserts, opting for the salty items rather than the sweets. The first time I made hot and sour soup was in his apartment in Monterey, California. Okay, I thought, I’ll make it again! But I lost my Cook’s Illustrated magazine which featured the recipe. And we planned a last-minute trip so I’ll attempt to make it when we get home. As you can see, I was able to take him to an Extraordinary Desserts with some friends. Woohoo!
So, on this day, I will enjoy the little things. P and I will rejoice in the day. We’re lucky our baby is happy and healthy. We’re lucky to have each other. And we’re happy that we can spend another day together.