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Inspiration for living a luxuriously and balanced life

Monday, August 2, 2010

Home at Last - Picking Up the Pieces Mondays

As I moved from the car to up the walk way, I truly left like an elderly woman, frail and hunched over, cane in one hand, while being assisted (held up) on the other side. I shuffled my slippered feet along the path way to the stairs that took you to the front porch and my front door. How I made it up those 5 steps, that first day still remains a mystery – though I had help, it felt like 50 steps nonetheless.

Walking in my front door, I looked around – everything was just as I had left it, more or less. I was seated on the sofa, while my things were brought in from the car; I looked around – a feeling of being an intruder in another person’s life enveloped me. The person who lived here, was full of life, pictures scattered around - showed laughter and memories with friends at social gatherings, travels, charity functions and BBQs. Yet, this person was me – but now I could barely hold my head up let alone be the active, energy filled soul in those pictures.

image: google search images
Upstairs, my nightmare became a reality; I had to be lifted unto my Wheat Farmers style bed – I had previously so easily hoped into. The duvet that I had purchased and covered with a ruby red and golden tone duvet cover, that had felt so light and warm – now felt like a ton of bricks, and had to be replaced with a light weight blanket. As I lay there unable to move (literally) I took in the room – on the chaise arm my bikini, a regular summer staple, like a sun loving friend – would become the enemy of my now butchered abdomen; my new Chanel hand bag sat on the vanity table – I had just purchased it weeks before my accident – would I be able to use it – with my right arm fused at the elbow in a hand shake position; a strange voice brought me out of deep wonderment “Miss were shall I put these, don’t imagine you will be needing them anytime soon..” as my eyes followed the sound – a woman with a Jamaican accent stood there holding in one hand strappy heels I had bought on my trip to Miami that summer and my Jimmy Choo black heels in the other hand. I laid there speechless, who are you? Why do you have my shoes? Ran through my thoughts, but for some reason I could not get the words out.

Exhaustion must have come to my rescue, as I opened my eyes I was greeted with friendly familiar smiles. “hey sleepy, did you meet the caregiver yet? She makes a great cup of coffee.” I was informed that there would be 3 shifts of caregivers – morning, afternoon and evening. They would assist me with, bathing, going to washroom, eating, dressing, meds and anything else I may need. Great, I was now a patient trapped in my own home.

What I want to share with others;

While your loved one is in the hospital people do not see them as they were prior – they accept that the person is injured. However, when your loved one goes home and is seen in a familiar environment – these same people expect to see the “old” loved one – this goes for friends and family members. Know that your loved one will do everything to be that “old” person (as they too are in denial of change) – so it becomes very confusing as to whom they are. Frustration, depression, escalation in pain, confusion and the limitations of your loved ones ability – boil to the surface.

What your loved may not be aware is that going home may be a bitter sweet experience. For me - I thought going home meant regaining some of my freedom and return to my life. Of course those looking out for me knew otherwise. They knew I still had a long road to travel, with many loops, turns and the yet to be discovered additional detour or two, along the way.

Next Monday when the reality becomes too much for friends and family – your loved one feels even more helpless.


  1. This is such an awesome series!
    It's amazing to see how far your have come!

  2. Are you glad they'd left your room exactly as it had been before? Or do you wish they had already made some changes - hid those heels, for example, and taken away the heavy duvet?

  3. Welcome Home :) Thank´s for sharing this with us!!

  4. Puts my longing for a Chanel handbag in the shade, as I realise that health is what matters not what arm candy you have and as for the bikini - my big fat belly may be awful but it is round, hard and white and even after 4 children, still bears no mark of the stretching that has taken place. I will wear my bikini with pride on holiday in spain and wont give a shit what anyone thinks I look like and I will wear it with pride for you, those words "butchered abdomen" bought a lump to my throat. xxxxxxxxx

  5. What can I say my dear friend....???
    How I understand you angel (maybe you've already wonder why I call you angel... but I feel you like an angel that survived the biggest accident because has things to do yet in this life. An angel with no wings, but with a heart)
    That's something very important what you say about the expectations of people around us (and maybe also ours...),

    Much love my angel friend.


  6. Great blog! Really enjoying watching your journey :)
    xo tash

  7. you are painting such a clear picture of
    the many challenges the infirm face
    when they return home.

    i never thought about the confusion and

    this has been extremely helpful for those
    of us lucky enough to have escaped your
    terrible trial.

    thank you.

  8. Love following you on this journey. I feel like we came 'home' with you.

  9. It is hard to imagine what you have been through and still going through. My heart aches for you. May you find comfort in knowing others do care.

  10. Thanks for sharing this. It is so important. Are you going to write a book????? Let me know. It's really good and important stuff to share with others who are struggling.


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