Day 3

Steffanie's mother stayed with her all night last night in her hospital room due to us being uneasy about leaving her alone considering how much of a difference in care we observed from the NCCU to the Inpatient Recovery. I had to be at our apartment Wednesday morning to let cleaning folks in (we sprung for having someone else do it in prep for her coming home. One less thing to deal with this week). My Mom and Dad had came back to Alexandria as well, vacating their lovely, but pricey hotel in Baltimore. When I awoke Wednesday morning I had a text from Steffanie saying that early in the morning she was able to walk to the bathroom, by herself and return. On top of that, the doctor had been by to see her, and based on her improvement he was having a physical therapist see her at 10:00 am. If she could pass her exam, she would be discharged and sent home. After getting things squared away at our place, my Mom and I left for Johns Hopkins, leaving my poor father back home (who had spent most of the past two days sitting in horribly uncomfortable waiting room chairs). At around 11:45 we got to the hospital. We would have been there sooner had I not had to deal with the cleaners over the phone. Despite my having given them our current address, they had us listed under our old address and sent the people to the wrong building. This took 20 minutes to straighten out over the phone while standing in a parking garage. After this was over, I managed to get up to Steff's room, with her bag. The nurse was in the process of getting his discharge paperwork in order. Steff changed out of her hospital gown and into her "going home" clothes that we had prepared this past weekend - certain types of clothes that are easy to get into. No pull over tops or button/zip up pants: pajamas - zip up sweater, that sort of thing. After a short bit of waiting the nurse came back with her papers including her prescriptions and all of the paperwork and instructions relating to her medication, diet, and allowed behaviors. Her two remaining IVs (long since detached from any tubes) were taken out and a gentleman came up with a wheel chair. From there the group moved off to the main entrance while I headed off to fetch the car from the visitors parking garage. After several minutes of navigating the campus of Johns Hopkins I was able to pull up and collect Steff, her things and our Mom's into the car. Then began the car ride from hell. You see, they had given her the last doses of pain medication from the hospital that morning when the doctor officially gave the orders to discharge her. By this time it was 1:30 pm - about 4 hours since that happened. Her pain medication had completely wore off. She was now about 50 hours out from brain surgery with nothing to stop the pain inside her. Are you aware just how horrible the roads of downtown Baltimore are? Or I-95 South to the beltway? Or the inner-loop down south down to Alexandria? Well, they are. Every bump, pothole, bridge/pavement transition, car breaking fast in front of us, etc, would cause her extreme pain/discomfort. In addition, any loud noises would hurt her too (the gentleman at the hospital who kept insistently blowing his ear splitting whistle to hail folks cabs was especially helpful). We had to talk in soft voices/whispers until we got her to our apartment in Alexandria. After parking, we began the long long long walk down the hallway to our apartment. I was worried if she could make it, but she did, heading straight for our bed. After getting settled in, we thanked my parents and shooed them off home, given that they had a 7 hour drive to wytheville to get their dog who was being watched by my aunt, and then another 2 1/2 hour drive back up 81 to their home. As I type this sentence at 9:30 pm, they're probably still driving I just spoke with them on the phone and they now have the dog and are about 1 and 1/2 hours away from getting back home. Once Steff was safely in bed, I headed off to Walgreens to fetch her prescriptions. Once I arrived there, I had forgotten to get her drivers license or her insurance card. Luckily, my ID and my insurance card was enough for the pharmacist. She also had her insurance on file due to another prescription she had filed there once before. The pharmacist was very helpful in making sense of hard-to-understand medication instructions on the paper Johns Hopkins gave us. After a short 20 minute wait, I was out of there and back home with the meds. Steff had managed to eat some food by this point, and move into the living room on the couch. This enabled her to be able to take the Oxycodone (you do NOT want to take it on an empty stomach) along with her other cocktail of pills. After a short bit, she was feeling much better. I then headed off to Whole Foods to buy all of the things she needed (plus all of the things I'm not normally allowed to buy at Whole Foods when accompanied by a wife who gives you reproachful looks whenever you pick up various boxes of sugary things that I probably don't need). While I was there I ate a bit of food from their hot food bar before realizing it was the first food I had eaten all day. At around 6:00 pm I got back home and unpacked the groceries. Steff was still doing much better, as the meds were keeping the pain at bay. The rest of the evening was uneventful. Mainly keeping her comfortable and handing her things because she cant reach for them herself. Helping her stand up, sit down, make it to the bathroom, shift positions on the couch, etc. As of right now she's had dinner, her 2nd dose of meds and is in bed watching a movie on Netflix over the Apple TV. Hopefully she'll be able to sleep soon. She hasn't taken her Benadryl yet so I'm going to go off to the bedroom now to make her do so. I'm being very strict with her meds schedule according to doctors orders.