February 20th my Daddy called an ambulance to take Mia to the hospital. Her flu symptoms were just too bad, and he was just too sick, to go through standard doctor or urgent care routes.
Almost exactly five months to the day later, July 18th, I’m going to be bringing Mia home for the first time.
I wrote about so much of it in the first couple of months. I don’t know how I did it, how I found the time even. But I’m so glad I did. The facts have gotten so fuzzy… the raw feelings and emotions have started to become ever so faded…
The last post I wrote about Mia and the home-health-situation was April 26th. It was the Brace Yourself: Good News is Coming, and it covered Mia waking up, talking, and being moved back to Kindred to be weened off of her ventilator.
A LOT has happened since then. The highlights:
- Mia spent six weeks at Kindred and improved faster than we ever could have imagined: Within weeks she was completely off of her ventilator, her trach was removed, she started eating real food again, and she started medication to help her handle anxiety.
- We were kicked out of Kindred and transferred to the WORST rehab and health center on the planet: Because Mia was on isolation when her Kindred-expiration date came, we were sent to Rockledge Health and Rehab at the last minute. It was HELL. That link is my Google review and it says it all. The craziest part is that I was with her for the move from Kindred on a Monday, then went to Jupiter to trade vehicles with Corey after work two days later on a Tuesday, which I followed-up with the Cher concert on Friday, and by Saturday I was back in Merritt Island to oversee her move out of that hellhole. No words for the exhaustion…
- Our transfer to Health Center of Merritt Island happened, and the rehab got REAL: When Mia left Kindred on May 12th, she was juuuust starting to be able to use her hands with enough dexterity to feed herself. When she got to HCMI on the 17th, she was lifting her arms really well but couldn’t reach above or behind her head. Only one month later, on June 20th, she walked 50 feet with a walker.
- We spent Daddy’s birthday together as a family: This was the first time all four of us had been together talking, laughing, and STANDING, in 5 years. It was an incredibly hard day for me but we were together and healthy, and that helped.
- And since HCMI is only 5 minutes from Daddy and Mia’s house, I started a consistent schedule commuting to and from Merritt Island: For the last two months I’ve spent two or three nights a week in Merritt Island, going after work to check on the house, get mail, hang out with Mia and talk, do her laundry, and make sure things were still up and running.I would love to say this was easy-breezy, but it meant a LOT of time doing laundry, eating Publix subs, buying and exchanging clothing and shoes for Mia to wear during rehab, making questionable changes to Daddy’s cellphone plan to get Mia access to Facebook in rehab, and one special night casing the house at 10pm to find out why the waterlines had been shut down (long, long story).
And now, here we are five months since this all started, and Mia is coming home.
She can walk so very well now, still using a walker but it won’t be much time before she can ditch it. And emotionally she’s in amazing shape. We’re still grieving over Daddy, of course, but she has a very different outlook on life now and it’s wonderful.
So Friday we start a new chapter, together once again. I’m honestly terrified. I don’t know how I will be able to leave her in the house alone, not to mention let her drive! And I have no idea how she will react to being in the house with Daddy’s ashes, or how she’ll be in the house without him.
I’ll be with her the first week out of rehab – June 18th through 22nd. After that, Corey should be back up for two weeks and then Cari will be back down for one week. And then who knows?
Wish us luck!