Friday, March 21, 2008

Flying the Coop!

Apparently, I am either the world's BEST or world's WORST spinal patient. Either one you choose, I have "flown the coop" and am DISCHARGED from Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, CA.


(Not that there was anything wrong with the hospital - but for Pete's Sake! It was a hospital! Dude! YOU would want to leave if you could, right? The food wasn't all that bad though... the cafeteria was loveley... the staff was excellent... hhhmmmmm. Long pause....)


Back to reality.

Thank You!

Really - I am checked out. Gone. Finito. Kaput!

My departure took place earlier this afternoon, around 4:00 pm local time. After giving and recieving hugs from the nurses, donating my many boquets of beautiful flowers to the 4th Floor (THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU OUT THERE!) Spinal/Neurological Ward, packing up my gear (how much stuff can one person amass after a few days in the hospital? Seriously!), emptying my Folly for the umpteenth time, talking to Dr. Richard (my petite, yet vibrantly red-haired, and eternally optomistic urologist) for a few minutes, triple checking the room for any final items - Nathaniel and I walked hand-in-hand out of the hospital.

And then the air, the sweet-smelling, warm, salty, flower-filled air hit me. I inhaled, and it was simply beautiful. I closed my eyes, holding onto Nathaniel's hand (quick note - not recommended for any post-surgical spinal patients... beware!) - and simply inhaled the wonderful, fresh air.

No - not the same as on the top of Mount Palomar, but beautiful and sweet nonetheless.

We slowly walked towards the car, where Dad and his rented Prius awaited. And my Dad, with his infinate enthusiasm, was so excited to show me how the Prius started.

"You just push a button! Look!" He exclaimed.

I laughed, and then pressed the button.

Like father, like daughter.

After a drive along the coast, we arrived at the Stratford Inn (spelling?) - a Best Western in Del Mar, CA (Cat - where you stayed last weekend!) Dad and Nathaniel have been here for a few days, and now that I'm here - I can say that it's as great as they claim.

It beats a hospital room! :)

For the first time since Monday, I was able to shower. Wow. I will never take for granted a steamy, hot shower. Or shampoo. Let's just say that hospital bed + dirty hair + surgery cap + random rinsings = not-all-that-clean-hair.

The coconut shampoo and conditioner was so good, that I had to shampoo AND conditioner my hair a second time. You would have done the same - trust me.

Afterwards, the three of us headed out for a late dinner of Sushi and are now watching NCAA Bsketball. Aside from the hospital paraphenalia and my Folley, it almost seems like the three of us are taking a fun-filled, adventuresome family vacation. Thankfully, my Dad isn't like Clarke W. Griswold. Or Greaseball. Or whatever it is.

And no - Nathaniel has never made a dog jump off the Eifel Tower (Rusty, the token male child, threw his baret off Le Tour Eifel, and a fru-fru dog went after it. Stupid dog! But funny scene!).

So there you have it - nothing groundbreaking (already did that on Monday, thank-you-very-much!) tonight. Just back to the normal. Or as "normal" as I can do. Ahem.

Thank you again to everyone out there. I am beyond touched. You have all played such an integral part of my recovery, and I am forever grateful.

I finally have my computer AND internet back, so I'm really looking forward to reading everyone else's blogs, commenting as much as I can, and answering my emails. It may be a slow process... but believe me - I'll have plenty of "down" time, er RECOVERY time, to do so.

It's great to be out of the hospital... and well ahead of schedule. Hurrah! No, I can't skip down the road (my doctor's and body prevent me from doing it) - but the little girl inside of me is jumping up and down.

I have a feeling that sooner (rather than later) she'll emerge, and I'll go flying by the seat of my pants in one direction. Can't wait!

*One quick note: Dad, Nathaniel and I will be out in San Diego for another week or so. Dad is flying back to Minnesota on Sunday, but Nathaniel and I are staying in town for a bit longer, in order for me to see the surgical team and specialists who have played such a big role in my recovery. I've got an appointment with the Spinal/Neurologist on Tuesday (the same guy who asked me, "What did you learn?"). The others (urologist and internal trauma) are still waiting to be scheduled on Monday morning, first thing.

However - there is always hope. Just yesterday, I made my stern and seemingly unforgiving spinal/neurologist break out in laughter at something I said. I asked him if there was a limit on how much walking I could do.

When he replied, "No...", I got visibly excited and said, "Oh Boy! I can't wait to do laps around the 4th floor! This will be GREAT!"

He laughed and said, "I wish all my patients were as excited about walking after back surgery as you are."

He has NO idea!

Like I said before - there is always hope. In more ways than one.


Beth said...

I'm so happy for you that you are out of the hospital Marit!! That first shower must have been amazing!!! :) Glad to see you are up and around too and still upbeat and positive. Hope you and Nate are able to enjoy your time in CA as must as possible (with foley and all... :)

Have a happy Easter!

Mel said...

YIPPEE Marit.....your humor is back to the blog are such a positive person....I Love it!!!
You and Natinele have fun and a safe trip back!!!! I bet you are the fastest speed walker around....with ALL your energy :)

Pedergraham said...

You make getting out of the hospital sound like so much fun...I feel like booking a ticket to San Diego!

Hope the rest of your night went well, and I'm so glad that Nate is able to still be there with you. (Your dad sounds wonderful, too! I would like a ride in his rented Prius...)

Cat said...

WOOOOOOO HOOOOOO!!! remember that verbena coconut scent from the 'Y' shower? yup ... goodies from the best western. i'll be back down there on friday night, do you think you'll still be there? selfishly, i hope so. :))

i'll call you over the weekend.


Greg Remaly said...

i loved the whole walking thing - that is really funny! walking fast is great cross-training and you don't have to put the same limits on it as running.

i hope you enjoy san diego county for the rest of your stay. we're heading down to the LA area on Thursday so we'll be kind of close.

E.L.F. said...

Hey, champ. Next Friday. Palomar. Sherpa Thomas and I are going up again. Chris in full taper will be driving a van to the top to pack our gear for a t-run. Join him in the passenger seat, drive up alongside Thomas and I and feel free to smacktalk us the whole way. Or, it could be like the tour. You could give us a mussette bag. Just be sure to fill mine with a box of that white cake from the Von's. And, if you can't join us for that load of fun - PLEASE join me for cake on Friday night. Yes?