It’s a three-hour drive from my sister’s house near Seattle to my home in Eastern Washington. We had a brief stop in Seattle at the hospital for a post-op appointment with my general surgeon. Even with that appointment, I was glad to be headed home. I loved spending time with my sister and her family. I’m appreciative of their kindness during the week of my stay. Despite that, I was beyond ready to go home. I was ready to be with my family again. I was ready to be whole again, to be a mom and help with homework and read bedtime stories.
The drive home was much nicer than the drive back to my sister’s house after my surgeries, but then again, I had had time to recover and had learned to adapt to my needs. I utilized a pillow on my lap to help support my arms and to soften the blow over any bumps in the road we hit. My seat belt was a little trickier. Having the strap across my chest was painful. I often would hold the strap away from my body and eventually got tired of it and moved the strap behind my back. I know it’s not safe, but when you have a three hour ride home, you simply need to do the best you can.
Coming out of the second mountain pass brought a sigh of relief. Twenty more minutes and I would be walking through my front door. The trip would come to a close, and the majority of my healing would take place at home. I believe home is where I needed to be. It’s where I felt the most comfortable, where my heart and my family reside.
When I finally walked through the front door, I was greeted by my in-laws with a beautiful bouquet of lavender flowers. Our dog, just over a year old, showed nothing but pure excitement to have us all home too. Walking further into the house and into the living room, I found numerous cards from family and friends next to my newly purchased fluffy red recliner. I was never a big fan of recliners, they just didn’t fit my tastes, but we made sure to purchase one prior to my surgery. I’m glad we did because that became my bed for the next three weeks.
Sleeping in a recliner was not a necessity; however, it was the most comfortable for me during that time. Lying flat in bed became difficult. I’ve always been a side sleeper and many times during the night I would rotate from one side to the other. Sleeping on my side was not an option (due to comfort) at that point in my recovery. So, I took to my recliner with added pillows for my arm supports and allowed my husband to have a restful sleep too. After all, I was able to nap numerous times during the day, while my husband had to play the role of mom and dad, caregiver, and chiropractor. I couldn’t even begin to express how grateful I am for those two extra hats he had to put on.
Home, to me, is where ever your heart resides. My heart lies with my husband and daughter. I felt I was able to recover more quickly when I was with them. My spirit was renewed from two surgeries and the news of cancer, all because I had my family by my side. Those two truly are my heart, my soul, my everything.
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