My computer has been handed to me with the instructions...."It's your turn......" I was very grateful Kelli took it over and actually had a couple of tears reading her posts today. It's so funny how many people have said to me your daughter has learned so many lessons from you when truth be known it is I who have learned from her. I have actually learned lessons from both my kids. Geoff has always been my calm, no worries,, enjoy life kind of guy. He really makes you realize that some of the things you get worked up over aren't worth the energy you put into them. Kelli on the other hand is my worrier. Kelli and Geoff look like siblings, they enjoy each others company, the share the same values but are very different people indeed. As their parents it has always made mine and Bill's parenting experience very diverse! Back to Kelli......it is she who has set examples for me through her growing up years. Most of you know she was a highly involved badminton player, always the underdog mostly because of her small stature. We always loved that saying "It's not the size of the dog in the fight.....it's the size of the fight in the dog." I have some comical photographs I took of her over the years of her standing beside her opponents who absolutely towered over her, outweighing her substantially. She never worried about that. I honestly don't think she ever thought it was a handicap. The year she and her partner Marion got to the National Doubles Finals in Vancouver was epic. The night before, one of the badminton Mom's was busy drawing up a betting pool on who would win each of the finals events the next day.. As it came around the table I was sitting there thinking to myself...."How do you bet on this one?" Well, I did what any Mom would do....I put my money on my girls but I was the ONLY one who did. The opposing team was a team to be reckoned and were the clear cut favourites and to my knowledge our girls had never even come close to beating them. As I walked alone to the club the morning of the finals I remember looking at a church along the way and saying out loud....."Please just don't let them be trounced and embarrassed!" Well, to make a long story short our girls played the match of their lives and it was the most exciting match I have ever watched. Unbelievably they won the Championship that year! It was a sweet win! Going through school Kelli always had goals and she always followed through. Her saying to me has always been "Mom I just don't ever want to settle....." And settle she has not. She figures out what her goals are and then she puts her heart and soul into them. I have often wished I had had the same attitude and work ethic when I was her age. Unlike her, I was often willing to settle and I sometimes just quit or didn't start because it was going to be too hard. In my youth I always thought I would like to be a vet. I talked myself into believing I wasn't smart enough to do that. I was never an ace at the sciences, Instead I decided to pursue a phys ed degree not really because I wanted to teach but because I loved sports. I actually had serious doubts that I even wanted to start a teaching career once I had completed my degree. I have NEVER seen her do that! Having said that.....teaching PE has been a dream career for me. I have met so many amazing, fantastic kids and their families. It was challenging and fun and I do believe I was able to instill the love of activity in many of those kids.
Today was had so much to celebrate. I was discharged from the hospital as was my lovely room mate. Kelli found out today that she has been accepted into the R3 program as an Emergency Medicine Resident next year. This is a real accomplishment as many people were competing for 8 positions. We are very proud of her for sure.
We packed up and left Edmonton around noon. I was heaving and retching two blocks from the hospital. Grabbed a bag from the back seat and managed to get an anti nausea pill down which settled me. I didn't sleep but I literally kept my eyes closed for the entire three hour drive. It was brutal. The nausea is quite honestly the worst part. It comes on rapidly, kills any desire to eat and hurts like heck at my incision site when I wretch. I think the next week is going to be a week of laying very low. We arrived home, walked into the house and there was the beautiful gift from Geoff and Lindsey! A Christmas tree! Now I had told you I was prepared for Christmas, which isn't entirely true. I do have my gifts bought and wrapped but there isn't a decoration in sight in our entire house! Pretty sad. My dear son and daughter in law took things into hand and bought me a tree and had it all set it up for my homecoming. What a fabulous surprise and so typical of their generous spirits. Dad dropped by. It was great to see him but I didn't even get out of my chair. I have been pretty immobile most of the day. I have managed to eat reasonably well today and have so far dodged the nausea. Hopefully I will soon see the end of it. Poor Bill is back to his role as my care giver. He came home, vacuumed, went and got groceries and my prescriptions, picked up Boomer from my friends' Gary and Jenifer, cooked supper and cleaned up. He does this all with not even a hint of a complaint. I am soooo lucky and although I am sore and a little beaten up I know I will recover and I know I have a fighting chance at beating this stupid disease! In the hospital I was on the transplant unit, a far, far, far cry from unit 61 at the Foothills Hospital. I'm sure I mentioned in previous blogs that while in the Foothills I was in a ward for a week,then a semi private I was billed for. My room mate and I shared a common bathroom with our male neighbours. The older gentleman constantly walked in on you when you were in there as there were no locks on the door. In the three weeks there I did not see staff clean that bathroom thoroughly even once. At the University Hospital we had our "private" bathroom cleaned twice a day. Our floors were swept and washed on a daily basis. You never had to ask for your bed to be changed. The staff were pleasant and eager to help you. Even the gentleman who delivered your meals walked in and called you by name and took time to chat with you and see how your day had gone. They were amazing! My surgeon also was a wonderful man. He talked to you, cared and was genuinely interested in your well being! I am so glad I made the decision to go to Edmonton rather than to wait for the Calgary physician to make the decision as to what he was prepared to do for me. When your doctor makes clear cut decisions, speaks in a forthright manner with no waffling or uncertainty it gives you such faith and confidence.
My roommate, Annee, was a lovely young woman, early thirties. Again. as on my first surgery I was presented with the picture that yes, my situation isn't the most desirous, yes it has been a tough go, yes, there have been challenges but I'm not the worst off person around. Annee spent 3 years in the hospital after her double lung transplant 5 or 6 years ago. She is the young mother of a 9 year old girl and I could not believe what she has been through and still is facing. I spent 6 days in the hospital this go round.....she's been there this time for a month, however, happily they sprung her as well today! As we lay in our beds chatting we discovered that I knew her aunt (Denise Pike).....what a small world we live in!
Well, I know this blog has been a bit of a ramble tonight and it's certainly a little disjointed. Probably the result of surgery, meds and fatigue! I think Kelli pretty much kept you posted on my hospital stay. My recovery will come. I plan to lay very low for awhile that's for sure. To those of you who sent me messages in the hospital a great big thank you. I know I often am bad at responding but you do need to know that each and every email I receive gives me a little boost up! We never can have too many boosts! I say this often but with the truest sincerity and I see no problem with being repetitive....I am truly blessed with a fabulous family and friends who go the extra mile. I did not get to doing any Christmas cards this year and I should probably be sending out hundreds. Just know I think of you all often with much love and gratitude.