Thanksgiving week was a blur. I knew it would be so I carried my camera with me everywhere in order to document as much as I can. As it turns out, I didn’t take many photos at all – I couldn’t focus on just one thing so this post is populated by my photos as well as social media photos from the girl and boy. It’s a mixed media post so to speak.
This is the cafeteria at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Washington DC. It was early morning, and most of the nurses and doctors there looked like they were just coming off shift. It’s a beautiful space, one worthy of our servicemen.
A week and a day ago, the husband underwent a total hip replacement. To some people it came as a surprise since he had been so active almost right up to the operation. He just finished a 20 mile ride with me four weeks before the surgery. I had to peel him off the bike – but still. . . After we starting telling folks about the surgery, some people asked, “Does it hurt?” And he would say that it most definitively did.
He’s young, and everyone handles pain differently. Me? I would have had it done ages ago, which is what his doctor told me when he came to the waiting room after the surgery. He said, “It’s worse than we thought, he should have had it done two years ago.” To which I looked at him blankly –
I don’t suppose that most people would make the decision to have such a major surgery done unless it got to the point where they couldn’t stand it anymore. But everyone is different, and the husband apparently has a high pain tolerance. Ouch!
This was our commute to the hospital that morning. I don’t know how people handle this commute every day! It’s notable because this is be the last time the husband will be driving for about 6 weeks. Yes, he drove himself to the hospital.
This was the very private Ambulatory Procedure Unit, or APU. Nothing makes you feel more exposed than having a thin hospital gown on, separated by a very thin curtain from the rest of the moaning and screaming patients.
Not really. There was a child in there who screamed for a good half hour. Poor thing was scared to death. I hope his surgery came out alright.
After they took the husband into surgery, I went to wait in the surgical waiting room along with all the other people whose family was under anesthesia. I brought my computer, my iPad, two books (including the Bible), a bunch of work to do. My plan was to rewrite the entire IT network and checkin procedures and document backup, network and telephone settings.
I ended up watching an episode of the Walking Dead instead. That literally was all I could focus on in the three hours I waited. The rest of the time I paced the floor and ate granola bars.
I also went into the bathroom several times to look at my very first gray hair. Yes, I found it that morning and I was not happy – at all. I fretted over it and sent the above photo to the kids – and several friends.
After the surgery, the doctor came to the waiting room to speak to me. You know how you try to focus so hard on what is being said that you don’t quite understand the words? That was the case here. After he spoke to me, I went back to the waiting room and I wondered what I was suppose to do next? He just told me, and I instantly forget when he walked away. I sat there for a while before going to the hallway and stopped a nurse and asked her what came next. As it turns out, I was doing exactly what I was suppose to do – wait until they called me on the phone so I could go to the recovery section of the APU.
I wanted to show you the husband’s occupational therapist. She looks EXACTLY like Alex girl. And she talks like her, with her outgoing personality. She was cracking jokes on the husband on his way to physical therapy and was calling the joint replacement culture, the “Bro Club”. Alex girl would do the same thing! It was eerie how alike they were.
In the meantime, the girl was driving home from school. She looks great, there was no adverse symptoms from her passing out incident. Like every year, she was tasked to make the mashed potatoes. She said next year she was going to lift some weights before Thanksgiving so her arms wouldn’t hurt so much from mashing.
Yup, it’s quite a work out.
She also did the dishes and in order to prevent her scarf from getting wet, she made it a head dress. I thought it was a fashion statement. But then again, fashion is truly successful when it’s also practical.
The husband came home from the hospital the very next day and on that same day, Brother Peck and my parents decided to come a day early because of the weather forecast.
And on that same Tuesday, the boy flew in from Grand Forks.
It was a true test of my ability to cope – I didn’t make all the beds yet, mop the floors, nor done any food shopping for Thanksgiving. I normally would be stressed about such things, but somehow just saying a little prayer kept me from losing my mind.
You know what I did? I told the boy to make his own bed, the brother went to pick up sundries and tightened the bathroom sink (it was leaking) and the kids did the grocery shopping on Wednesday.
It all worked out and somehow I got food on the table.
The husband did a lot of sleeping. I spy a dog & a cat. Do you?
A lot of sleeping. And the boy couldn’t let him do it alone.
The animals kept us on our toes the entire time, especially Ella the dog. I spy a dog laying, a dog sleeping, and a dog begging.
Bad dog! And we allow it. Or rather, the girl allows it. Every single rule we had was thrown away that week. Who had time to enforce them anyway?
All the animals ended up on the furniture. The girl’s prom date (I have to stop calling him that because at this point, he’s probably more than her prom date – but they’re only 18 so . . .) stopped by a couple of times and so did some other friends to check on the husband.
I spy a Tuk Tuk the dog, Ella the dog, and the cat on an ottoman.A friend of mine asked me if the kids wanted to go take a tour of the President’s and Vice-President’s airplanes on Friday. I don’t know people, I know people who know people.
This is cool isn’t it?
As it turns out, Air Force One had to leave at the last minute, so the kids toured Air Force 2 instead. Which is still cool.
I think this is his The Leader of the Free World’s Thoughtful Look. It’s the same look that Vice President Joe Biden has when he sits in this chair.
Now THIS is an airplane!
Later on that evening, the kids, the prom date, and Brother Peck went to a Capitals hockey game. The tickets were in the nosebleed section but somehow the kids still managed to get one of the Islanders to give them a practice puck. He actually gave it to the girl, which explains it all. . . they had a great time!
I’m so glad there were some things for them to do last week – other than shop. I had lost my wallet the week prior and with everything going on, I totally forgot to activate my credit cards so I went into Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday without them. Now that’s the divine telling me something.
Here are some other photos from our week. The girl posted what she is thankful for – which includes the dog.
And the cat…
but I didn’t see any humans . . .
It was apparently all about the animals last week.
Before I knew it, everyone was gone. Brother Peck and parents left Saturday and on Sunday, each of the kids left to go back to school.
I tracked the boy all the way back to Grand Forks and the next day I was sad. I think it was just exhaustion from the week. Or maybe it was because the husband and I have begun a new season in life, it’s another reminder that things will never be the same again. The kids will only be home “to visit.” They just don’t live here anymore, and I feel the emptiness.
I suppose when the husband heals and we have a “normal” schedule, I’ll revel in my freedom. I just pray that happens soon!
Both of them will be back home in a few weeks for Christmas break. In the meantime, it was zero degrees in Grand Forks yesterday. The poor boy!
As for the husband, he’s recovering very well and so far seems happy with his new hip:)
Here’s to applying the gratitude sentiment all year long . . .