I Miss

I miss being an automobile passenger

I miss not being in a constant state of heightened awareness

I miss the perfectly ridiculous/ridiculously perfect lasso dance

I miss having a handyman to repair the long list of items damaged, dying, or dead since the accident (reading lamps, automobile mirrors, window screens, door glass panels, car batteries, gutters, overhead light pulls)

I miss his smile

I miss the boisterous, sassy cacophony that my three trash-talking, wrestling boys can generate, four boys I guess when the dog joins the fracas

I miss running errands whenever

I miss receiving his full paycheck, with the overtime that can build during the summer months’ long daylight

I miss feeling like I can answer, “How are you?” honestly

I miss asking others how they are

I miss the safety of a hug so tight it’s almost hard to breathe

I miss when I thought muscular dystrophy was the toughest thing I would ever have to face

I miss watching all seven innings of my son’s baseball games

I miss before

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Home Is Where The Dog Is

Against all odds, and in immense overestimation of my medical caregiving knowledge/skills base, my husband was released from inpatient rehabilitation yesterday. Patient stay ranges from 10-21 days, and my overachiever graduated in ten.

My husband is a walking, talking miracle.

Next week begins the outpatient phase of his treatment, months of continued therapies, scattered with scores of follow-up images and physician visits. The specialists tending to him are indeed so highly specialized that each focuses on only the one area of their expertise. The ear guy really is just the ear guy, the facial trauma guy works with only the face/skull fractures, the neurosurgeon and her equally excellent NP look no further than his neck and spine. So, many appointments, but experts are what you want, so my bedside manner has moved to curbside I guess. We will be logging lots of miles this summer. Additional surgeries are on the horizon though, so there’s no end-date for some time to come. Progress though, progress.

My first real test will be changing his cervical collar today so he can shower. I performed sufficiently well practicing under the therapist’s watch yesterday–meaning I didn’t throw up, pass out, or further break his neck–but I’m so scared I’m gonna break him. You should have seen me driving home yesterday! And if you were driving behind me on the freeway, well, sorry about that, but I-94 is not the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

My best friend Deb flew in to help us, and after bawling like a baby at our brief reunion, I’ve really done nothing but text her orders about where to drive whom to which event. I was supposed to visit her in Cali this summer. . . This was not how this was supposed to be! None of this is though. I hope you have friends like I do. And I hope she forgives me for being a bit narrowly focused these days. I hope you all forgive me that.

The homecoming occurred sans fanfare (I mean, I didn’t get the opportunity to hit up Party City for streamers and signage), but my sweet husband said he already felt more like a person being home, and less like a patient with a collection of injuries. Although I’m pretty sure he didn’t use the phrase “collection of injuries.” But these days my short term memory is less effective than his is, to be honest.

The kids were so fearful our dog would engage in his typical jumpy exuberance, and knock Tom down with joyful abandon. He was a good boy though, Caleb was.

Good dog, good dog, Caleb. Loyalty cramming itself between a chair and end table–close, but not too close.

Several have commented that Tom “looks much better” than they were expecting. He really does. What he’s achieved in 2-1/2 weeks is truly miraculous, and that is not overstating things one bit. His care providers deserve awards for their supporting roles in his progress–if I had Oscar or Tony statues, they’d each have earned one–but my husband is the star of his show. Day One. Check. Exhale.