It is hard to believe that Steve has been home from the hospital for 2 years as of today! In some ways it feels like forever and in some ways it feels like yesterday. When I told Steve this morning that this was his homecoming day, he said, "Wow, I can't believe I have been lying in this bed for that long. I really miss you guys." We miss him too--so much. I am SO happy that we have been able to have him at home and keep him safe from complications; this is truly a miracle by all accounts! However, nothing will replace how things were before this all happened. People ask me all the time how we are doing and how Steve is doing. This is really hard to answer. I think overall we have settled in pretty well to this "new normal" with nurses at our house 24 hours a day (praise God for our insurance because I just don't know what I would do without these awesome caregivers!) and me balancing mom/wife/daughter/spousal caregiver/doctor/friend/homeowner etc. The girls are also doing well in school and all of their numerous activities which keeps their minds occupied and off the situation at home. We are still getting Steve out to church, activities when the weather allows and his many doctors appts. We have been able to wean his valium some more and are looking into a motorized wheelchair that he can control with sip n puff/head controls. He has been struggling with some increased myoclonus recently which may make this difficult, but the idea of giving him some control over his surroundings is really nice. However, gorgeous spring days like today make me yearn for the times 3 years ago when we could all go out for a bike ride together or a hike or hang out with our friends. It is so obvious when I see the girls around their friends dads how much they miss their own. Please continue to pray for our family and pray for Steve to make strides forward in his healing.
As many of you know, animals have been a huge part of the girls and my healing process. We just adopted yet another puppy named Jack (hopefully I will be able to attach a picture above to replace that snowy one ;) ), a rabbit and another guinea pig. I have also enrolled the girls in 4-H to start showing their rabbits and Sarah is working on making the new puppy a therapy dog. I realize this will seem ridiculous but we now have 3 dogs, 6 rabbits, hundreds of fish, a guinea pig, a hamster, and 3 chickens. The girls and I handle them daily and have started putting them in with Steve as part of his own therapy (I thought he might go ballistic when I brought the third puppy home but he just smiled and said "He IS really cute." Whew!) I'm pretty sure we are done for the moment and fortunately we have a huge fenced yard to let everyone roam and have their space.
Life for me has been simply nonstop recently. Our dishwasher died, our air conditioners had black mold all over the insides, I have to recertify my board exams for both medicine and pediatrics this year, and UNC just switched to an entirely new electronic health record; needless to say, that all on top of normal daily craziness has nearly pushed me to the brink. However, finally today, I feel relaxed and able to just sit with the girls and watch a movie.
I am so thankful for all of you that have continued to keep us in your prayers and have continued to offer your services whether it be dinner or dishwasher advice :0)! Thank you so much! I pray that all of you are enjoying the spring weather and your families and friends!