My surgery was two and a half weeks ago. I recuperated in the hospital for a couple of days then went to my wonderful parents’ for about five days for more recovery. My fab mother-in-law stayed at our house to tend Cole and help out with quadriplegic Jason. A trip to the pumpkin patch with cousin Max, a new set of racetrack with matchbox cars, and plenty of hugs and laughs made Cole’s week a heck of a lot better than mine spent post-surgery – even if I do love getting to just pick up the phone to order actual yummy food from my hospital bed.
Then we swapped. I was healed enough to come home but not care for Cole so I headed back to my own bed while the little man went to party it up at aunts and uncles and grandma’s houses. Just like with everything else, our family has to do things a little differently to make life happen.
It’s very true that my recovery has been incredibly good. We are all substantially shocked and happy about it. No, I cannot lift anything more than 10 pounds for 8 weeks, so for right now we also have different aides living in our basement to be on hand to roll Jason at night or shift him in his chair and all those little things that I used to do. Let’s face it – it takes a lot of people to replace a mom.
I feel pretty good but I don’t really want to start giving myself jobs and tasks. I keep up with the laundry. I have made dinner a few times. The house looks pretty good and I’m managing my online workshop that is going on right now. Beyond that, I’m not really ready to do much. I fall asleep every afternoon whether I am trying to or not. I’m still healing.
However, about 4 days ago I realized that all this sitting and relaxing and recuperating was getting to me. I started to get a little bluesy. Not physically ready to have Cole back yet, I pondered what to do to get out of my funk. Have you ever heard of a ride-along? It’s when a civilian spends time riding along with a police officer or paramedic or firefighter…or I suppose any occupation could offer ride-alongs to allow someone to get to know their business.
With the thought of giving myself actual purpose, I texted my friend:
Me: Hey, are you taking Jenna to dance today?
Me: Can I come? I don’t care if you have other stuff to do, I just need to get out….(etc.)
Patty: Yes – I will pick you up at 3:50!
Thus began the ride-alongs. No agenda for me. Whatever the person driving needs to do is what we do. I am just along for the ride. Four friends and four ride-alongs later, I am feeling great and ready for my little munchkin to rejoin our household today. I can even start driving myself (practiced that yesterday) and since Cole can climb in and out of just about anything, I think we’ll be in good shape. I can’t wait for our family to be together again. I keep glancing out my window, waiting for Grandma’s car to pull into the driveway – excited but anxious because this is a big step in my recovery process. Can I handle a two-year-old? With playdates and naps for both of us, I think we’ll be able to do it.
But I’ve definitely learned something over the last week. Need a pick-me-up? Starbucks is great but try a ride-along. Cole thinks that Band-aids are the cure to any ailment, but trust me, ride-alongs do wonders in the healing process.