During my hospital stay my wife and her parents did the best they could. Not only did they look after me everyday, but also made it possible to have both of our children visit.
First it was my son. Though he surely did not plan his visit, the way it happened. The Sunday following my injury, he suffered an accident himself, by running with his hands in his pockets and landing on his face, while our family was visiting some friends. He was rushed to the same hospital as I was in, and eventually, following his treatment, my wife brought him to my bed. I could see how confused he was, and frightened from all that has happened to him. It also marked a day of courage and strength for my wife whose “two boys” both injured themselves the same weekend. She had to stay strong.
The second was my daughter, who could visit me a week after the accident, while I was being treated for PDPH. One of my greatest regrets was not saying goodbye to her that day. I could not know, only imagine how confused she could have been, that her father disappeared from one moment to the other, without saying farewell, and never returned. She was half asleep, when she was carried in into the room in her mother’s arms. She was just waking up, and when I could see the recognition in her eyes, that the hairy man behind those pipes, on that messy bed was her dad: all she wanted to do was lay on me, embracing my body. That moment, was one of the best moments in my life.
She asked me all the questions about what those pipes do, why is there that container, what am I doing in the hospital at all, when am I returning… and when her mother asked her to leave, she would not want to. Both my wife and I were a little worried, how shall we solve this situation now. However, after we explained her patiently that unfortunately she will not be able to stay with me now, that she has to return home with her mother, and that I will follow as soon as I can, a miracle happened. Instead of becoming angry or frustrated, she showed an unexpected level of maturity. She asked me for a goodbye kiss and a hug and then asked my wife for her hands, and they left the room together hand-in-hand, waving goodbye.
Thursday 13th April was one of the most uplifting days in my life. Not only was I released from hospital, but also, I could meet my family again. After the stitches were removed, I was sent to x-ray and following that, the first plaster was placed on. Once I received my papers and closing report in the afternoon, I was finally released. (It may have taken me only 2 sentences to summarize, but this took several hours in total.) We asked a carrier then, to roll me down in a wheelchair to the parking area, where I could get in my father-in-law’s car. After some technical challenges set by the two crutches and an immobile leg, we managed to get me seated on the backseats, fasten the seat belts and off we drove!
I noticed that during these two weeks, nature transformed itself in proper spring fashion to amaze me by its display of vibrant colors, the vivid smell of blossoming trees and flowers – all of which I could not experience for 13 days… As the car was moving it felt like I was in a movie, as the places and people were passing by. I also realized that I started to fear fast movement. Many things changed during these weeks of immobility.
Once pulling up at my in-laws’ house, my mother-in-law embraced me with warmth, welcoming me home. I tried to tell her also how grateful I am for everything they did, but my tears flooded and cut me short in expressing my gratitude. A few hours later my wife and children arrived. They both ran happily to me to get their own fair share of embrace and kisses. Losing those vital to your life – even if temporarily – strengthen these bonds and confirm how much you cannot feel whole and live a fulfilled life without them.
Now that I am writing these lines, I am home again, following my visit to the hospital. With my plaster removed after 47 days, and a week to go until my third surgery, all focus is now on the skin to recuperate on my left leg as much as possible and making sure, that it is still not put under any pressure or weight whatsoever, until That Screw is removed.
Now that my leg is free, and I experience its weakness: I realize, feel and know, that this road to recovery will be a long one. And, I am grateful. For I am not alone on this path.