Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Two Steps Forward... One Step Back

Ok, so I'm really behind..... really, REALLY behind on this! But life has been pretty good lately, so not much to talk about. I'm sure you don't really want me to tell you about our boring daily routine. So I guess I'll pick up where I left off before. 

Michael got to go out for almost the whole day for my birthday!!! It was so amazing after all we had been through recently -- by far the BEST birthday present I could have gotten!!! We picked him up at the earliest possible time (around 10:30 am) with strict instructions that he had to be back by 8:30 pm. It was so funny to have a curfew after so many years! We joked about it all day. Well, the plan was to take him to the mall for a hair cut first thing because he hadn't had one in so long. Of course, our hair girl was running behind when we got there. So we walked around and had a snack. Even though he could walk pretty well, his physical therapist insisted he use a wheelchair during the outing to make sure people didn't bump him. Plus, he tired out pretty easy, and we wanted him to last the whole day. Well, it ended up taking FOREVER for the hair cut. Also, since he had been so isolated for so long, he was REALLY overwhelmed by the mall -- at Christmas time, no less. We didn't get out of there until the late afternoon. Then it was off to the house to rest, get ready for dinner, and visit our pets. Our doggies (daddy's girls) went NUTS over him!! He was so worn out that he took a little nap in the recliner with the doggies while we got ready. We went to dinner with my mom, his mom, and an awesome couple that are our dear friends. It was so yummy! He even arranged for a cake from Rick's and a gift from the fancy downtown jewelry store!! BEST DAY EVER!!!!!! He was so worn out that we took him straight back after dinner -- well before the curfew. 

He continued daily therapy at the rehab hospital. They kept adding in additional therapy whenever they had extra time, and he got up to 7 therapies a day (the minimum is 4)!! He also got a red badge, which allowed him to transfer from the bed to his wheelchair and go to the bathroom on his own, and a blue badge, which allowed him to walk in the halls with his walker and an escort. We were so proud of those badges!! The only other badge was green, which was completely independent. I told him we weren't sticking around for that badge -- he'd just go home! And that he did!! On December 15, he was discharged for home!!! It was so great!!! 

Then, on December 21, he had a check up at the pulmonologist. It's kind of strange because we thought the appointment was on January 21, but he went anyway. His mom took him so I could go to work that day. It was scheduled as a follow up because his chest x-ray at the hospital had shown enlarged lymph nodes in his lungs. They didn't think it was cause for concern but just wanted to make sure they had gone down. The good news was they had, but the bad news was blood clots had formed in his lungs (pulmonary embolism). He was admitted to the hospital -- IMMEDIATELY. We were so sad about that because it was so close to Christmas. Michael's sister was due to fly in the next day from Cleveland, and he was so excited to be able to go pick her up. Now he couldn't :(. He was started on a series of blood thinners. First, he had to get some super strong shots that would work in the short term to get rid of what was there. Then, he also had to start taking warfarin pills for the long term, which he will be on for the next 3-6 months. They let him go again on December 23, so he didn't miss much time with his sister. Little did we know, the shots they prescribed him were next to impossible to get and cost a fortune!! It took all afternoon on the 23rd and most of the 24th to get them, but we finally got some! A HUGE thank you to Collier Drug Store on Dickson Street in Fayetteville and Mr. Collier himself for staying open an extra 30 minutes for us on Christmas Eve!!! I nearly cried when he handed it to me. 

Since then, life had been pretty good!! We had a great Christmas -- very low-key and easy. We had a nice long visit with Robin and still wish she was here with us. Michael had a fun birthday at his mom's house on New Year's Eve! We ate at Mellow Mushroom, and he had a Captain America cake!! He got way too much stuff to play with too!! He continues to go to outpatient physical therapy twice a week and can walk pretty well for a long time these days. He still uses the walker but mainly just for balance so he doesn't fall. He can pick it up and walk with it, and he's getting to where he leaves it when he's walking around the house. He's even getting back to work, but I'll leave him to tell you about that if you're interested. We still have to get his blood drawn regularly to check his levels, but that's going so well that they have extended it to every 2 weeks now. 

So life is pretty peachy!! Here's to an awesome 2012!! Happy New Year!