Maybe we wanted things to move quicker than God had planned. Getting home wasn't going to be quite as easy as we thought..."
That evening, we got the call. The RV was ready. Now we were faced with a dilemma. We had no news from the Dr. on a release, she had not made her rounds yet. Even though the Plastic Surgeon that had treated Mike's wounds in ER had come by, and been shocked to see him up and sitting in a chair, we had to wait for the Queen Bee to give her OK.
Visiting hours for ICU were coming to an end, and with the strict security, I wasn't sure I would be able to get back in on my own. I had gone out to the car once to get Mike's contact lens case and had to beg quite a bit to get re-entry. If I was going to leave this hospital tonight, it was going to be WITH my husband.
Our ICU night nurse, Michelle, was VERY nice. She said it is always the nurses choice to change visiting hours and if he didn't get released that night, she would open out the weird stretcher/chair/bed thing and make it up with sheets for me. She kept an eye out for the Dr., but told us she didn't think she would release us without sending us to a "regular" floor for one night.
We prayed. Then I called Luis. He was very nice, and said it wouldn't be a problem to come by in the morning to pick up the RV. I told him we'd be there at 9:30 a.m.
At 10:15 pm, Dr. "J" made her rounds. She saw Mike sitting in a chair and was impressed with his condition, agreeing to let him go. I got a lesson in bandage changing and wound cleaning, and Michelle packed up a large amount of supplies for us to take home.
Deputy Beach had suggested a hotel to stay in just down the Interstate, in a better location, just in case we got released that day. I called and made sure there was a room available and helped my hubby get dressed. Note: He had been sitting in a chair, he had walked to the bathroom, it hurt, but he was able. So, of course, we figured he would be fine, right???
Michelle wheeled him downstairs and I pulled up the blazer, we loaded him in and off we went. The plan: Spend the night in the hotel, get a good nights sleep. We would pick up the RV and boat, hit the Interstate and be home in just over 2 hours. Mike was fine sitting, so driving the blazer home should be ok.
After hitting the drug store for pain meds, we checked in at the hotel. I carried up several bags to the room (which included our bandage changing goods), then came back down and helped Mike up to the room. He slowly made his way, walking through the lobby, through to the outdoor elevator, then up to the 4th floor where our room was.
The room was great, especially for the price. It was just what we needed, something comfortable and quiet. After I settled Mike into bed, I showered, set an alarm and settled in myself.
It seemed as soon as I fell asleep, the alarm went off. I threw on some clothes and popped downstairs to the "free breakfast", smuggling raisin bran, milk and coffee upstairs. As I turned to get Mike up and moving, we realized something wasn't quite working. His left leg was in so much pain that he could NOT get it off the bed. Literally. He could NOT get it past the point of the edge of the bed.
We thought moving it a little at a time would help, so I sat on the floor next to the bed with my knees bent (sit-up fashion). He placed his heel on my knee and I lowered them about 1/2 an inch. We waited a few minutes, then lowered 1/2 inch again, and so on, until we had lowered his leg about 2 inches below the edge of the bed. That was it. No more.
The only thing I can figure out was that when we left the hospital, he may have still had a little "pain killer" in his system. Well, by morning there was none, and this man was hurting bad. We had some pain meds, HOWEVER, his plan was to drive home, so he couldn't take any.
Plan B. We hadn't quite thought of a plan B yet, but we needed to begin formatting one....and soon. I called Luis and let him know we would be running a little late, he kindly said he'd be there all day, no hurry. Thank you again!
Mike tried several more times to get the leg off the bed, and he just couldn't do it. Mind you, I have seen my husband endure things that SHOULD make a grown man cry, but didn't make him budge. I KNEW if this was hurting him, it was hurting bad.
We weren't exactly sure what we were going to do. We tossed a few things around; should we stay another night? Should we work on some other way to get the RV and boat home? Was there a wheelchair I could borrow to get him in the car?
I inquired at the front desk about a courtesty wheelchair, they didn't have one. Checkout time was coming up, so I extended it until 1 pm, which wasn't far off.
I headed to the store to get some Tylenol, in the hopes that it would help out with his pain enough to get that leg out of bed. While I was gone, I couldn't help but work on my own plan. I called Brad, my best friends hubby. After talking for sometime, he decided that he could get a friend to drive with him to where we were. I could drive Mike home, and he and his friend would take care of getting the RV and boat to our house. I LIKED this plan. I took the Tylenol and my newly formed plan to my husband. He didn't think it was necessary for them to drive all that way. He took the Tylenol and layed down to let it sink in.
After 30-40 minutes, I still wasn't sure what we were going to do. I was waiting to hear back from Brad, and I began to take our bags to the blazer. I was definitely leaning toward somehow getting my husband in there, and driving him home. Glad to leave the boat and RV in other hands. I had just loaded a few things in our blazer and pulled it around to the front. I pushed the elevator button to go upstairs, and when it opened I was quite surprized at what I saw.
My husband. Sitting in the rolling office chair from our room (makeshift wheelchair). Sunglasses on, leg held in the air. This man was going to drive home, and that is ALL there is to it. I wheeled the office chair through the lobby, promising the gal at the front desk that I'd return it to the room. I loaded my husand into the DRIVER'S seat of the blazer, bandages on both his lower legs, right bicep and right hand - that must have been a sight to see. After returning the chair, we headed to the Mechanics shop.
Mike seemed ok, I am sure he was in pain, but as long as he sat still and didn't move around, he was going to make it home. At Luis', I paid the bill and hopped into the drivers seat of the RV. Mike followed me to the Sheriff's office, where Deputy Pete met us. He stood out in the overbearing heat and hooked the boat up to the blazer; off we went.
I bet you think this is the end of the story, don't you? Well, I'll finish this up tomorrow with the adventures of our drive home...
"Hear my prayer, O Lord!
And let my cry for help come to You.
Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my distress;
Incline Your ear to me;
In the day when I call answer me quickly."
Psalm 102: 1,2