May 27, 2016
Today is the day that Den will come home! Em and I slept very little last night. We are just too excited to calm down enough to sleep! We are up and out of the house before the crack of dawn. We even told Harry, the dog, that we were going to get daddy and bring him home. I did take the precaution to gate Harry in our office, so that we could get Den settled before Den and Harry were reunited. The drive to RIC was uneventful and quick. I told the valet parking attendant to please make sure the car was close by so I could bring down Den’s things and put them in the car before he was bright down to the lobby.
Before Den was discharged they did one last blood work up to make sure everything was as it should be. The plan was to have him discharged and on the way home around 8AM. When the blood work came back the doctors had to send an adjusted prescription to the pharmacy. Den’s INR (blood thinning level) was too low and he needed a higher dose. He was officially discharged at 9:45AM. You have to remember that Den had not felt the sun or wind on his face since the beginning of April. The only way he knew what the weather was like was by looking out his window…which overlooked a construction site. His smile and happiness to finally be going home was contagious! The staff helped load Den into the back seat and we all said a heartfelt good bye. He was finally free! We rolled down all the windows and Den took deep breaths of the smells and asked if I would drive around the area a little before heading for home. I, of course, obliged him! He smiled and took us down memory lane for a while, showing us places he had worked and the best places to eat in the area, from the times he had worked in the area. After about 30 minutes, he said, “Let’s go home.” I turned the car toward the expressway and didn’t look back. We made good time, since morning rush was over and we were going in the opposite direction of all the left over traffic.
When we got off the expressway, we all felt that the nightmare was finally over. I think we started breathing again when we finally pulled into the yard and I turned the car off. I know I felt like I was finally waking up from the worst dream I could think of having.
Em and I got Den out of the car…Harry barking like crazy the whole time inside the house. We set up a chair by the back door so Den could sit down for his reunion with his beloved dog. We even got Den a pillow to put over his drive line, so Harry didn’t catch his foot and dislodge anything. This is when I felt is was safe to let the two boys have their first face to face meeting in almost 2 months. I can tell you not one of us had a dry eye. We all stood or sat there soaking it all in….Den was home! Harry did circles around Den’s head and chest, licking his face and rubbing his cheeks. It was so touching…I wish I had had the mindset to take a video at the time, but I was too caught up in the moment.
After we all wiped away our happy tears, emptied all the equipment out of the car and settled in the house, I called our home healthcare nurse, John, to let him know that we were indeed home. He was glad to hear Den had finally been released and said that he would stop by to do his initial assessment. John did stop by just before 5PM and was amazed at the changes in Den. The last time he had seen him, Den was pale, cold and not doing well at all. Now Den had rosy cheeks, his hands were warm and you could tell by talking to him that he was much improved.
That night, when all was quiet, Den and I made a list of meals that he wanted to cook on his own or help me make. They included:
- Taco Salad
- Baby Back Ribs
- Any vegetable…fresh cooked
- Shrimp Scampi
- Egg Foo Young
- Butternut Squash with lots of butter
- French Onion Soup
- Ham and Home Fries
- Chicken and Yellow Rice (a family favorite)
We were all looking to a brighter future with us all together again. I had been a long time since we had been under one roof and we made the most of it with a movie in bed and lots of snuggle time…yeah the bed was crowded with 3 humans and a dog, but we always make room for love in this family (we always will).