Posted by: Kate | April 10, 2010

There’s No Place Like…


Which is where I am, right now.  I’ve known for several days that Saturday was probably the day, and had it confirmed by the nurse yesterday afternoon and the doctor last night, but I just couldn’t bring myself to post it.  Superstition, mostly, and I didn’t want to bring another big letdown to the Internet if something went wrong at the last minute.

But instead, I returned to my previous upswing, healthwise.  Not as dramatic as before, just that my hemoglobin level, which is supposed to be around 12 but can go as low as 9 before they get nervous, had finally stopped dropping – it got to 9.1 on Thursday, and I really thought I was in for yet another delay, another week away, another round of disappointments for everyone involved – and finally, on Friday, started to rise all by itself.  Not in a stellar fashion, only to 9.4, but a rise is a rise is a rise, right?

I was, frankly, shocked.  I didn’t feel anemic, whatever that might feel like, and so I didn’t know what to watch for, how to make it better, even how to fake better long enough to get them to let me out.  I just kept having these bad numbers, and then another round of blood transfusions, and had absolutely no control or even input about whether it got better or worse.  Which is the worst thing… I understood that if I wanted my wounds to get better, I had to eat a lot of protein and put up with the dressing changes on a regular basis.  I understood that if I wanted to stop getting the nasty burning heparin shots (which, just so’s you know, though I deeply hope none of you ever needs this information, it stings a lot less if you can get the nurse to blow on or fan the site immediately after the injection… no idea why, but it does help), I had to get up and out of bed and do laps around the unit to prove I wasn’t lying there inviting a blood clot and thus an embolism.  And so on… there were things I could do.  But with this anemia,  I just couldn’t seem to affect the outcome in any direction; it just got worse when it wanted to get worse and I didn’t even feel the difference between better and worse.

So I just got in a mindset that it would continue to get worse on its own, woe is me, blah blah.  And so, on Thursday night, when I talked to the doctor, we had an agreement that I would go home if the hemoglobin went down by less than a full point, and that I would stay longer and endure more invasive testing if it went down by more than a point.  It never occurred to either of us that it might finally actually start to go up on its own – that wasn’t even in our list of possibilities.  But there it was, and so without question, home I went.

And I have a baby here, and he is sweet and small and gorgeous, and in time I might actually start to feel like he’s mine instead of someone else’s child that I’m just taking care of.  It helps that he’s a mellow kind of guy, happy to snuggle and get to know you, and also that he has a lot of similarities to his brother so there’s that family-ties sense running through it all.

I’m going to go snuggle him until I fall asleep, which won’t take long because he’s already asleep and I challenge you to hold a sleeping baby and not nod off.  Plus I had not one, but two VAC dressing encounters today, the first being incredibly painful and the second not so bad but still anxiety-producing… I’m awake right now but am sort of meandering alongside the Cliff of Nap, and could fall over the side at any moment.

So.  Yes.  Home again.  With the VAC, true, and who knows how much longer that will be, but at least it’s small and portable and, in case I forgot to mention, it’s at home.

My big kids are at Jenny’s for the weekend, because once again she is stepping in to help things go as smoothly as possible.  They’ll come home tomorrow and raise the general volume and excitement level here.  Willem gets home around 9:00 tonight after his trip, which I am so glad he took because he really, really needed something just for himself… it’s a longish story, short version being he took an overnight trip to Los Angeles for a concert; tickets purchased months ago and it took a great deal of convincing for him to still go given the timing of stuff with me, but he went and I hope he had a fabulous time.  My dad and stepmom are here to help me and Isaac keep ourselves alive until Willem gets home.   My mom is in New York until late tomorrow night.  So, people are spread around and about, but it’s all working out.

And you know what?  I was worried, that coming home would exhaust me, would make me lots more sore than I already was, would scare and overwhelm me after a month of staring at beige walls and being in near-total control of the stimulation level in the room… just that it would all be so much to handle and I’d be something of a wreck.

And instead… I feel fantastic.  Seriously just good.  I’m anxious to get hold of Willem because he picked up my various prescriptions during the week and now I can’t find them, and I’d like to know where they are before my back/surgical pain starts really acting up.  But right this moment, having been home for about six hours, gone grocery shopping, done some low-level organizing when I emptied out two of my hospital bags, fed and snuggled the baby (with more to come!)… I’m a little tired, but good-tired.  Not aching, dragging exhausted, just tired.  And otherwise, the rest of me feels truly, unequivocally, honestly good.

I guess Dorothy had it right when she clicked those shoes together.  No place like home, indeed.


  1. Yay! Yay! Yay!

  2. Hot dog!!! So happy to read this great news!!! Love on that baby and enjoy it!


  4. Yay! Glad you’re home!

  5. Oh, YAY! So very glad you’re finally home with your baby and your recovery seems to be going better; this really made me smile. Here’s hoping you continue to amaze everyone with your healing prowess and can lose the VAC!

  6. I’m so happy that you are home!!! Sending my hugs & lots of love!

  7. Home…what a magical word. 🙂

  8. YAY! Hooray hooray, home! I’m so glad for you. Now just keep taking it easy, okay? No overdoing it and wearing yourself out right away. Just sit there and hold that baby and let everybody else hand-feed you chocolate and frozen coke. (Or, okay, healthy protein food if you must!) 🙂 Yay again!

  9. I have looking for hours for this post, though cuddling a new baby is way more important than a blog post, I just knew it would be coming. I am so happy and excited for you and your family! BIG HUGS, and try to sleep good tonight, but don’t miss that night feeding if you don’t have to. 😉

  10. 🙂 Best news ever.

  11. Yay. Yay. Yayyyy!!!

    I was so frustrated for you to log on today in nearly a week and learn your homecoming had been delayed. Glad things are rectified in that respect, and all is really as well as it can be for you at this moment.


  12. YAY Kate!! I’m so happy to hear you’re home!

  13. whoo-hoo!!!!!!!!

  14. You went grocery shopping.
    Good heavens.
    Sleep tight, so glad you are at home.

  15. ‘Scuse me while I go get the kleenex. *sniffle*

    You just SOUND better (in your tone of writing) now that you’re home. I am so happy. And speaking as someone who just rocked a baby to sleep, you’re right, that is so, SO wonderful (and soporific!).

    Sleep tight, my friend – tomorrow is the first wonderful day you wake up in your own bed!

  16. I love it! Welcome home Kate.

  17. WAHOOOO! Best news I’ve heard in a long time!

  18. Confetti and music and showers of stars Hooray!!

  19. Wait a minute, you went grocery shopping?!?!

    Trust you to be concerned about disappointing the interwebs when it’s really your own disappointment you need to worry about 🙂

    I am so very, very glad that you’re home and I hope your family saved you at least a little bit of the chocolate we sent. Sweet dreams!

  20. Great news, indeed! If you’re still on the Heparin, you can use a bag of frozen peas to “numb” the area before the injection. Otherwise, just enjoy being HOME!!! 🙂

  21. So very happy. So very happy to picture you not in a hospital, but home. Where you belong.

    Mazel Tov!

  22. Finally home–that’s wonderful! So happy to hear the good news.

  23. I am so happy for you and I bet today is a very exciting day at your house when all the others get home. HUGS to all.

  24. Happy, happy HOME!!! So glad to hear you’re finally there! Be well, and heal amongst the people you love the most.

  25. Yay, home! Good thought, not jinxing it. Now, enjoy healing up, eating stuff that’ll get your hemoglobin up, and snuggling your baby. He’s yours. You’re his mom. You’re home.

  26. Loud cheers and happy tears! I am so very happy for you and your family!

  27. That is so freakin awesome! I am so happy to hear that you not only beat all the dr’s projections, but mostly are just home. 🙂 I’m doing a crippled happy dance down here in florida for you ^_^

  28. I am so glad you’re home. You sound so chilled out. By now I hope the whole family is back together, that Willem had a brilliant time at the gig, that Emily doesn’t look so scared and that you are all hugging and laughing and just being. xx

  29. Welcome HOME!!!! Sweet-smelling baby? Nothing better than that!

  30. Yay! So happy for you to be home now. Take it easy and enjoy that snuggly little guy 🙂

  31. Fantastic!!! Snuggle away…

  32. That’s AWESOME!! So glad you’re back home.

  33. Awesome!! Welcome home!!

  34. YES!

    Enjoy that baby, Kate. So heart-glad to hear you are where you belong.

  35. So happy for you, Kate!

  36. Awe.Some.

    So glad you are finally home – where you belong!!

  37. Home. Home is good.

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