Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April 8th - Home Again

“You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!”

Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Yesterday was a full day for Kristi that brought along with it some anxiety about whether or not she could do all that it entailed to get Home. Although she has taken strides in her recovery sitting for hours on end is very difficult.  As the morning started Kristi began with her own chant "We're going home today" in hopes to instill courage for the journey ahead.  Danina and I prayed!  So many details in taking a "sick person" home on a commercial plane.  We all noted that we are gaining compassion for those who live life disabled in some form or fashion. 

Lets see if I can give you a birds eye view...
Upon arriving to the airport you would see Danina and Amy scurrying to unload all the bags plus locate the wheelchair for Kristi and cars are zooming in all around us to drop off their loved ones.  I (Amy) note that the tail of the car is hanging out into the other lane and due to it being a rental car certainly do not need to be rearended so in the scurrying I jump in the car to pull it forward only to send the suitcase that Billy loves but won't stand up tumbling to the ground and Kristi saying "Amy I don't think the back door is closed" and it wasn't!  We then decide our best plan is to do curb side check in so we get in line and Danina realizes we have left both her and kristi's computers sitting in the wheel chair - not a safe idea so I jump out of line to put the computers in the car with Kristi and the man behind Danina graciously helps her move our luggage forward - only upon returning do I realize I need Kristi's drivers license and need to escape the line again!  Finally we are checked in and given our ticket to meet an assistant with Kristi's Wheelchair. The whole time we are getting the evil eye from the security guard/parking attendant at the drop off area for leaving our car sitting there for so long but fortunatley (for us not them) some ones car broke down and a wrecker had to come in and that distracted the man from getting on to us!  Danina and Kristi move on with the assistant, Danina bogged down in all the carryons that we needed to travel with (duffle bag with medicine, food and other essentials, pillows and a seat cushion for comfort, back pack with Kristi's computer and Danina's computer bag, purse and the walker) and I head off to return the rental car.

Going through security itself was a new experience.  We thought maybe when you travel by wheelchair you get to take the fast track but not so... Kristi still had to stand and walk through the security check point and be patted down plus they wipe down the wheelchair and the walker for any traces of explosives.  We all passed security and I prayed that God would cover their eyes from the pair of scissors we needed to bring along with us and He did! They were probably so shocked by the umpteen bottles of medicine in my bag that the scissors just slipped their minds.

Finally we are at our gate - Whew! leg one of this journey is complete! We have found lately that we remind Kristi to only think of the next thing because the big picture of recovery feels overwhelming!At the gate I was surprised to see a friendly face boarding our same flight!  God is so good in all the tiny details - He has proven over and over to us that He goes before us. A local Doctor was flying home with his parents after his dad had to be at MD Anderson. He offered to assist me with our carry on bags and that was a gift. We were shocked at all the wheelchair assisted passengers on our plane and how assertive they can be to be first in line!  We learn knew things about people every day on this adventure! Before boarding we had to say our goodbyes to Danina as she was flying out 30 minutes after us to head for her home.  We hugged and shared our tears - theres always so much in those goodbyes - we'd been through a lot in the last few days together and we hold that in our hearts and we HOPE for improvement and healing in Kristi by the next time we are all together again.  We count our blessings that we can walk this road together and to share in the hard moments and the victories.
We board the plane with that assistance of Dr. Stinnet getting our bags put in the overhead compatments and begin to attempt to get Kristi settled and as comfortable as possible with numerous pillows and her seat cushion.  The flight went smoothly and since we were in the front row we were highly entertained by the stewardess as she went about doing her job. We were anxious to get off the plane as it was very hard for Kristi to get comfortable but she was a trooper as always. Once again from your birds eye view you would see Kristi shuffling to our assistant with her wheelchair and I smile and nod in thanks to Dr. Stinnet for grabbing the extra bag as he tells me he'll meet us at baggage claim and off we go, grateful that the second leg of this journey is over.  When we arrive at baggage claim it dawns on us we didn't wait for them to unload and bring us her walker up on the tarmac and now we're in a delimna because we cannot go back through to that side of the airport without re-entering via security.   But,  to our rescue again comes the Doctor.   As he waited on his dads walker, he realized we'd forgotten ours and he came bringing both around the corner at that time! Again, we smile and give our thanks for his helpful hands! Kristi stays with her wheelchair assistant to point out our bags as I head off to FINE parking to get my car and come around to get her and our luggage. This part went much smoother than anticipated except for that suitcase Billy loves...... now the pully handle won't come out so I drag it along with the other suitcase, duffle bag and back pack while the assistant is carrying the walker and Kristi wheels herself through the rotating doors to the car!  I'm buying Billy a new suitcase :) 

We cozied Kristi into my car where she could recline all the way back and stuffed pillows and blankets all around her.  She took her next dose of anti-nausea and we were off for home! She did so well and slept the majority of the ride.  As we drove into her house her kids were outside playing and came running for Mommy Hugs! Nothing is sweeter than that!  Leg three complete - Welcome Home Kristina!

1 comment:

  1. Well, that certainly brought a few tears and a few laughs and a very grateful feeling about Dr Stinnet. Just the smallest thing like grabbing the walker & carrying things can make such a huge difference. I must tell you I am glad that wasn't me trying to do all that! I love the Dr Suess poem! I am reminded each day that even though Kristi has had incredibly hard times she has a good an promising future. "Oh the places we have been." It is hard to not be able to rescue your child. You have to trust that someone else will. Thankfully we have a Father in Heaven with all the authority and power to help us sail through stormy weather and come out on the other side into the sunshine. We love you all and that is such a treat!