Sunday, December 9, 2012

"Mama, I'm coming home"

Zack and I wake up around 8:30 pm. Amber was very quiet through the night. I never woke up and yet I am exhausted. Zack only woke up once, when she was taking blood for labs. Zack said he was sound asleep and all of a sudden felt something pull on his port, when he is startled like,that ,for some reason, he has the urge to punch. I told him that is something that someone with PTSD would have. He can't figure out why he would do that, but said the nurse jumped back and he stopped just in time. Something to look into for sure. Is this all a result of the years of bullying in school? Quite possible, he had to watch his back for many years, until his freshman year when he finally fought one of the bullies and ended their reign of terror. We have told the nursing staff to make sure and wake him up before putting on cuffs, taking blood, etc.. but Amber was "new" to us and so eager not to wake him.

AM View from the Hospital window
Brian (day staff) came in around the time we woke up. He was waiting for the doctor to come in and give us our walking papers. Once he checked Zacks fluid levels, which caused the machine to "beep" uncontrollably, this morning it was air in the line.  Breakfast was brought in, even though we tell them every day, NO FOOD, (we bring our own). The young man was apologetic and we teased that it was all his fault (he is one of the regulars that we see there and is a sweetheart).  Brian heads out to locate the Doctor and I jump in the shower and start to pack. As I step out of the bathroom, Zack says "we got our papers, we're outta here!" Brian comes in and tells us that his count is 8 (usually with the radiation, they want to keep it at 10), nut since we are done with radiation it is safe. We are told that we could get a transfusion there, but we know that would mean 8 more hours. Zack is feeling fine and just wants to get home. The Doctor said since he wasn't having any more radiation he could wait until Monday or Tuesday. 

All of a sudden I am anxious. I look around the room as if this is my first time packing up. I am disoriented and confused. Zack looks at me and offers to help pack, he is still connected to everything, so I just tell him it is better if he sits and relaxes while I pack. He sees I'm anxious and reminds me that we've done this many times before. I look at him and smile, "I don't know what the heck is wrong with me", he says "Mom, you're tired and this place is getting  to you too."  Well, he was right!  My head feels clearer and I start to pack up one step at a time. By the time we get our paperwork we are packed and ready to go. For some reason we have two more bags than usual. I realize that I packed enough clothes for the two of us for two weeks! We wheel everything downstairs and I walk through the Emergency entrance to the only place I could find to park my car. I pull up to Zack who is waiting at another entrance, we load up and are on the way home. 

On our way, Zacks friends start to call. "Can he come up here?" "Nope", is the immediate answer, "You can come to the house though." We were given strict instruction to keep him well hydrated. This is the way he flushes out the chemo and the "bad" cells. Stopping at the store on the way home I stock up on drinks. He loves these flavored seltzer waters, no sugar, no caffeine and pretty tasty. While at the store (Zack stayed in the car) I run into a couple of friends, apologizing for my outfit, I explain we just are on our way home from Hospital. She starts to cry, I'm not sure what to say. It touches me so, to see someone care that much. I have become numb, I spend so much of my time making it through each day,  I don't allow myself to REALLY think about any of it. We hug and she tells me she will see us soon. I see an acquaintance from downtown, this woman is a well known artist and is the first one to tell me a couple of years ago that Zack should go to SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design). She found out about Zack and was asking how he is doing. She had a similar experience with her sister years ago and can remember the toll it took on her father. She asked me to promise to take care of myself. While in the Hospital, Karen brought us several gift certificates from an organization that helps families with children having treatment, so I was able to use that to pay for today's goodies. Every little bit helps for sure! 

We arrive home and the place looks perfect. Dishes done, everything in the house spotless. Frank is still at work so Zack and I unload the car and I quickly get everything unpacked. Our laundry fro the hospital goes straight into the washer, the "hospital bag" goes up along with the wheeled carrier into our closet, the food in the refrigerator. I turn on all the Christmas lights in the house, the tree and settle in with some chips and salsa on the love seat, turn on the TV and just sit there and smile. Drake has come down to see Zack as well as a couple of other friends. Austin has brought back Zack's ATV ( Zack let him borrow it over the week) and they take a ride down to our neighbors house. Anyway he can get out for a little while. I can't blame him. I want to keep him home and resting, but he has been stuck in the hospital for a week without going anywhere, he is entitled. 

As I sit watching TV, Frank returns home. It's so good to have us all under one roof again. We catch up on a few things and as he unpacks from the days work, I continue to rest. I discover after an hour that I had fallen into a deep sleep and wake up to Frank's shouting that he has ordered Pizza. He came in and said he ordered pizza for him and Zack and ordered wings for me. It wasn't until dinner arrived that I realized he ordered HOT wings for me. Together for 30 years and he still doesn't remember I don't Do HOT / Spicy foods. Oh well, Zack LOVES hot wings, so he devoured "my" dinner and his portion of the pizza.  I had a delicious bowl of cereal and was perfectly content.

Zack settled into his bed for the night, Frank and I are catching up on some of our shows and relieved that another session is down.  Tomorrow is work for Frank and I. Zack will go for his Neulasta shot and will take Mom grocery shopping. Both he and she are excited about spending the day together. 

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