Sunday, September 10, 2006

Day 19: I'm out!

We’re at the Rotary House!! Dr. Andersson and the team came to my room around 10:30 this morning, looked me over one last time (well, till tomorrow at the Ambulatory Treatment Center), and signed off that I was good to go. Judith Sokolow and George Lasalle were there to witness the event, as was JayByrd, and so was Anna, who had started to head downstairs to bring the car around when she saw the medical team heading toward us. So off we went, everyone except me carrying something as we cleared the last of our stuff out of the hospital room. We got into the car and drove over to the Hilton for lunch—it has quite a nice restaurant, and we were the only ones there, thus honoring the injunction to avoid crowded places! And then, after lunch, drove back over to Rotary House. Judith and George collected their bags and left for Austin; Anna and JayByrd and I came to our room. Anna sat me down in the big white leather chair that JayByrd had brought for us from home on Saturday, and then she and JayByrd got really busy getting this little two-room apartment into order, setting up tables (including the desk I’m working at right now in the bedroom and a similar one in the living room where JayByrd can work when he’s here) and room dividers and bathroom stuff and kitchen stuff and I don’t know what-all else; and I tried to take in the fact that I’m out of the hospital.

I don’t think it’s realy hit me yet: my shoulders are tight even after Greta’s massage yesterday afternoon—I hadn’t realized how tightly I’d been holding myself. Has it been the whole time—all 26 nights in that room up on the 11th floor? I went to the bathrrom; I can’t tell you how good it felt not to have to wrestle the IV pole in there with me, to say nothing of not having to pee in a so-called “urinal,” aka plastic bottle, which I had to do so the staff could determine whether my “output” matched my “intake” closely enough to decide whether I needed diuretics or not… I took a nap while Anna and JayByrd went to the store for a few necessities (like a longer Ethernet cable for the living room); then Anna came in and joined me, and it was so wonderful to be lying there in the same bed with her. And then I got up to take my 5:00 pills, and now I’m going to send this off before we go for dinner (another uncrowded place). I’ll try to post something tomorrow about the rest of the weekend, and all the friends who came from Austin to visit. I’m due at the clinic at 12:30 tomorrow afternoon, but we have to go to the Lab for a blood draw at least an hour before that, and of course it takes time to walk from place to place in the clinic—something I haven’t had to do for a while now! So we’ll see how the day goes and whether I’m up to writing.

For now, suffice it to say that I’m delighted to be out of there! And to say thanks again and again to everyone for all the magical love and support. Without you, I’d still be in there waiting for the medicine to work. Instead, I’m here at Rotary House, thinking about going to dinner instead of having dinner come to me, at least 4 or 5 days ahead of what we expected, and feeling better than anyone less than three weeks past transplant has any right to expect. I’m a very fortunate man.


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