First week of rehab is in the can.
It's quite an adjustment go to from the buzz of the ICU floor, with much staff and sterile and beeping and always poised for the next specialist's visit to a chill, quiet, open hallway, no monitors attached. It might seem like a big relief, but it takes (me) a few days to breathe easy and not worry that he's not receiving enough medical attention.
He's close to home! Yay! That's a fantastic, fabulous thing. Except it does raise some questions and some guilt: how much time should I/do I need to spend at the hospital with him? He's working hard ... does he need/want a cheerleader in his therapy sessions? Shall I wait for him to be done and then come to see him? If I'm not here every day, does that mean I don't care? (obviously not, but that's where the guilt comes in). Does a "pop in" visit "count" or should I stay for a few hours? How often should I bring the kids in with me?
I was disappointed two days ago ... I watched him struggle with his tremor. He was pale. He said nonsensical things... he was too tired mentally to converse in a "meaningful" way. He was very cold, in a very warm room, and several coughs led to a raging headache.
It was depressing. I couldn't bring myself to come in yesterday.
I kept reminding myself: He did this before. He relearned to walk. At one point, he sat with drool hanging out of his mouth, unaware of it. This is not that. We'll get there ... Be patient.
|rehab snuggles (it was PJ day at school)|
|Audrey makes eye contact. So feelings.|
But then I'd think: Yes, but this time he's altered going into rehab. He's not 100% to start ... what is baseline now? Is "generally confused" going to be the way things are? Is he ever going to show interest or patience in the minutia of conversation? Have we transitioned from best friends to caregiver and patient?
What happens when he's released from rehab? That puts me back into nurse mode again. I am the one to determine "how he is" going forward. Pressure.
I spent most of a day arguing with myself, dealing with my own demons.
Today I steeled myself to get over it and spend time with my partner, my friend, my love.
I was rewarded with a More-Ian Ian.
Yesterday I felt defeated and rotten. Today, we can do all things.
It's different by the day, folks. This journey we're on ... it's a bumpy one.