5 For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. 6 From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you. 7 I have become a sign to many; you are my strong refuge. 8 My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.
Isn't it amazing how fast time goes when you are in the middle of a major transition or adjustment of life? Derek and I have both been looking back over the last 4 months and cannot believe how quickly it has slipped by. Now don't get me wrong, there were a few long stretches in there but we are now onto the next stage of our journey- No More Living In a Hospital!
Derek was officially released back into the real world on October 5th around 10am and it was very exciting but the actual process was very anti-climatic. We gathered up all our belongings and the valet man was literally just leaning on my car watching me as I tried to get all the boxes, bags of clothing and supplies into a 4 door sedan. Once we were ready to rock & roll, we said goodbye to our therapists and nurses and received a lovely sheet of paper that said "Notice of Discharge". We headed for the front door, signed out for the last time, and walked out into the beautiful fall air.
It was a 3 hour drive from the rehab facility to our new apartment. Although it was the longest drive to freedom we have ever been on, we had a nice time. Remember, this was Derek's first car ride since June! The whole experience was a little surreal. Derek made the comment that he almost felt like he was floating, which is really crazy to think about. I have also now realized I have to be very careful with my braking and accelerating! The meal of choice was Chick-Fil-A and we parked in our first ever handicap parking spot, which made us both feel very rebellious.
Our first few days home were incredible, overwhelming, scary, and obviously an adjustment. We are only a week in and we are learning we need to be easy with setting plans and having expectations for our day. Nothing too traumatic has happened and no one has fallen or been any more injured. Our new apartment has a really great setup for Derek and we are very thankful! When we signed the lease on the place, I didnt get a chance to see the apartment, therefore we were just praying the "roll in shower" was actually a roll in shower. And it is a roll in shower!
Since we are renting out Bunker furnished, we needed a few things for our new home. Although I do love taking my sweet time shopping, we felt it would be best to pick out everything at one store and then have them deliver all the items at once. When we arrived at the local furniture store, I was given one hour to scramble around and find what we needed for the apartment. As I ran around, Derek was rolling behind me saying, "Walk with a purpose love!" Talk about stressful! I am happy to announce that we were able to pick everything out and the final pieces were delivered yesterday.
We started outpatient this week which was just an initial evaluation. The sessions went well and we should be getting our full schedule by next week. These outpatient sessions will focus on areas such as wheelchair skills, floor recoveries (which thankfully we haven't needed yet!), and upper body strength. Since we won't be spending as much time in sessions as we did in Chicago, it is nice that we can practice skills on our own. After our session on Tuesday, we went around and Derek pushed himself over a mile and a half practicing the sidewalks and inclines of downtown.
Thank you for your continued prayers as we transitioned from one city to the next. I wish I could easily express all the changes that we have been adjusting too but there really isn't a simple or flattering way to explain. I know without a doubt we will get the hang of this, but like everything, it takes time. We actually keep comparing this situation with having a newborn. Once the hospital gives you the O.k. to leave, you feel like, "Wait. What? You think we are responsible enough to handle this on our own? ". And then the next few days are trying to figure out sleep schedules (Derek still needs to move every few hours to keep from applying too much pressure to one area for too long), how to bath, how to get ready in the morning, how to get in and out of a car, how to break down the wheelchair without destroying the side of our car, how to find new hobbies since a majority of things he loves to do just will not be an option right now, and how to continue pursing each other and laughing over spilled milk when all we kinda want to do is just forget this whole thing, move back to Bunker, and go on a run together. As my friend Jennifer always says, "Life is hard."
We are learning that it is o.k. to feel both joy, frustration, and sorrow mixed throughout the day. Without the sadness, we wouldn't learn how to rely on Him. And without the joy and laughter, we wouldn't learn to rejoice in the life we have been given. As we move forward with week 2, we pray we can knock off at least 20 minutes to the morning routine and that Derek's skin integrity gets a little better. Thank you friends.
P.S. We have a fundraiser still going on with our wonderful friends at Mudlove. To check out the campaign, please visit www.mudlove.com/lavenders You will not be disappointed with your Lavender mug or bracelet, I promise!