(This blog tells my family's story. To see more, click "blog" at the top of this webpage.)
Beth’s decision to leave the rehab hospital early ramped up preparations for her return to home and school. At a July meeting with staff at the high school, she expressed no concerns about her first year in the sprawling building or her inability to do almost everything.
I obsessed over every detail, trivial or not.
I planned to meet Beth at school over her lunch break, so I requested a cot. A storage closet with an attached bathroom was converted into her private locker room. It included a small vinyl mat table. I also would be on call before and after lunch, so I signed our first contract for cell phones, ready with speed dials.
We dropped physical education and band (trumpet) from Beth’s schedule and added two study halls, including one at the end of the day that she could skip to leave early. Three afternoons a week, we would drive straight from school to physical therapy in Green Springs with Laraine.
Beth would not need to stay late at school for volleyball team practices and games, as we had planned before her injury.
Her last weeks in the rehab hospital, John and I converted our living room into a first-floor bedroom. He removed the carpet and put down linoleum so the floor would be easy to wheel on. I bought a hospital bed and a cumbersome shower chair with rails for our one small bathroom. There wasn't enough time to build a bigger one.
I tried to focus on anticipating what Beth would need, but my guilt over causing her disability would not be ignored. Averse to pity, I avoided everyone except my family. Even with my husband and children, the last thing I wanted was to cause them more worry. I made a heroic, but ultimately futile, attempt to bottle up my emotions.
Planning for school turned out to be easier than going to school.
6/6/2016 09:33:01 am
Every post you write brings tears for your pain and struggles. I admire you for sharing each step and all the challenges you and your family faced. No one ever knows what can happen in their lives. Know that you were in my prayers and continue to be.
6/6/2016 01:35:24 pm
Thanks so much, Kathy! It has been a challenge for me to write as honestly as I can and not be too dramatic. And you're right, things can change in an instant...another reminder to make each day count! <3
6/6/2016 01:56:34 pm
I had to chuckle when I read this post...........we had some very good friends that made a donation to the "Clark-Ostrander" household who were struggling with shower and toileting issues..........The chair was retired one year ago.........we used it until it begged to be put to rest. Chuckle.........our sincere thanks for saving our bacon........it was great for Rich. If my day starts questionable.........I open up your blog and inspiration flows through my entire body...........Cindy, you are an amazing writer. I have truly enjoyed all of your work. Kudos to the "Kolbe" family!!!!!!
6/6/2016 02:42:04 pm
Hi Deb! I had forgotten about that shower chair's second home! I sure hated that thing. I have a blog post planned in two weeks or so that will mention that! ;-) But I'm glad it worked for Rich! And it's always so nice to hear from you. I'm glad that you found some inspiration in my blog...It is a story I feel compelled to share! Thanks for following!!!!
6/9/2016 04:28:23 pm
6/9/2016 06:19:58 pm
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