Sunday, June 29, 2008

Home Stretch

We're in the home stretch now, all systems are go, we just cruised past the 7th inning stretch and other then Ozzy Osbourne decimating "Take me out to the ballgame", and we're ready to get the heck out of there. I feel like Tim Robbins in Shawshank Redemption after he crawled through 300 yards of sewer lines to escape prison but in the end it was all worth it, except Hope went through much more then me. I do feel a bit like Red (played by Morgan Freeman) as the guy that knows how to get things done as I've learned to work the hospital system, docs especially, to get what we want. For example, Hope has a wheelchair outside of our room with a sign on it that says for 244 only that I'm going to take her outside on for the first time today. I convinced one of her many docs that after 3 weeks in hospitals they needed to get her unhooked for at least a couple of hours so we can go outside without the coatrack. They unhooked her yesterday except for feeding and drug times so we'll be out this afternoon. One of the nurses told us wheelchairs are hard to come by and she's never seen them do that before. Anyone need a life-size poster of Rita Gardner or a sculpting tool for chess pieces???

She's talking better every day, feeling less dopey and tired, and happy to poop and pee on her own. Ahhhh, the little things so many of us take for granted. I went home Saturday to coach Nate Dog's basketball game and see the kids for the first time in a week. We tied 12-12 on two late baskets by Nate's team so now my career coaching record is 1-1-1. Not hall of fame numbers yet, but we have 5 more games in the season. I'm worried though, our by far best player and overall stud, Kim (our lone girl) is going to miss the next two games. Her family some how thought a family vacation outweighed basketball and I could not convince them to let her stay with us (or Hope for that matter) to help my career basketball record. I think their priorities are way out of whack (me first, then the rest of the world) so they're still going. I do like them though still, they're from New England and big Celtics fans. The mom played college ball in NH, but I forgot where they said now.

After basketball we hit our usual, Beef O'Brady's with my Mom. The kids love that place although it's not that easy for us to find something good it has all the kids staples and prizes afterwards if they eat good and they always eat good there. I like it because I can get a beer and watch any one of dozens of TV's with nothing but sports all around. Nathan loves picking out a game whether we know any of the teams or not and just picking one to route for. He really gets into them, says things like "they're cheating dad, see all the fouls." When he gets Reese into it (and that's hit or miss) they start calling the other team stinky and potty words he's only supposed to use in the bathroom. I can't imagine where they learn to say such things watching sports. Just as an aside though, if that no good stinkin' poopy faced Kobe drives the lane one more time and gets bailed out by the cheating refs trying to keep a hapless Lakers team in the series for televesion ratings I'm going to scream. Then some times I do. Anyway, kids are so impressionable and must pick these things up from their friends.

I'm sure Tampa is a great city, so no offense to Esther and John, Kurt and Ann-Marie who used to live here (not together --- at least that I'm aware of) but we're happy to be leaving and not coming back for a while. If we come back I hope it's to ride the coasters at Busch Gardens and if I never drive on I-4 again I would be a happy boy. We do have to keep packing Hope's mouth and neck 3 times a day, she'll keep her stomach feeding tube, and we'll be watching her trache hole and healing leg/neck closely so we'll have some adjustments at home. We already have to portable coat rack on wheels and other supplies we need from our first run at the house so we should settle in quickly. Both of us are looking forward to sleeping in our own bed, and actually together in it for the first time in 3 weeks.

I did sleep in Hope's hospital bed the last couple of nights. The miserable chair they gave me is very narrow with these hard wooden handrails on both sides, it's this sticky vinyl material, and all it does is lean back about 45 degrees with a foot rest. It does not even lay all the way back. You would think with a multi-gazzilion dollar facility (did I mention it's freaking huge?) they could get some decent cots, blow-up mattresses, or something else that could squeeze into these tiny rooms for loved ones to sleep on. Once again they're not putting my needs first, and I don't understand why everyone can't do that. It was nice to sleep with my wife again, even if it was in a hospital bed. This is our home stretch literally, all we need to finish it off is the stretch limo ride home but we'll save that for another day. I did learn that my mom has never ridden in a limo yesterday, and that Nathan and Reese have counted 16 taxi cabs and 13 limousines (Nathan does like the word limo) since we came back from NY. You have to love what kids keep track of, I cannot even keep track of our doctor's and nurses names and they know how many cabs they've seen. They're the best, and we'll be back together as a family soon.


Anonymous said...

Your cheerful news on counting cabs and coming home has made my day! Here's to your last trip back across I-4!

Anonymous said...

Homeward bound- soon to be homeward bound. Hip Hip Hooray! I love hearing from you Jake, but I will be glad when Hope is back home and able to Blog herself. Being new at this that didn't sound right, Oh well. You get my good wishes. Love and Hugs, Aunt Nancy

AnnMarie said...

Fantastic! Give Hope our love and see her soon.


PS- I started working from home and finally moved back to the right coast mainly because of I4!

AudreyO said...

Wow, I found your blog through the mom blogs and just read quite a few posts to understand who is in the hosptial and why.

Thanks for sharing your story with others. Todays post is indeed good news.

domingo79 said...

It is good to hear that Hope is doing so well and that you two will finally be able to come home again (and for the last time!!). I guess we will have to change our party schedule at work now that you will be back soon (and I just bought the coolest Pinata). Well, Jess and I keep sending good thoughts your way and are ready and willing to help in any way needed. Keep taking good care of each other and get well soon Hope. Here's to the "Home Stretch!"

Domingo and Jess

Anonymous said...

Home Stretch- time to stretch at home( say stretch?!)
We hope you are settling in well and keep getting better!!
rach, brad, Liv and ethan