Monday, March 9, 2009


It's finally here... we have left the hospital.

We weren't quite sure how it was going to go when we got up in the morning. The doctors came in and said that Krista was doing well, but didn't say "Pack your things and get out of here." This was another discharge much like the discharge from the ICU. There's always a last minute something -- or somethings.

One last minute something was a red blood transfusion. Yesterday, her count was 9.0 and the story was "no transfusions unless it drops down to 8.3". But today, 8.9 meant a double transfusion. Go figure.

The blood took a long time to get here; long enough for another something -- a transport arrived to take Krista off to get an ultrasound that was supposed to have been done last Friday. Mia McElwee had dropped by just before the transport arrived. She had been donating platelets and wanted to drop some gifts off for Krista from her and from Jeanne Rodkey. (Thank you both so much!) Anyway, we were surprised by the ultrasound but Krista really did need to get it done, so we invited Mia to go along for the ride (down the elevator). It probably wasn't the visit she expected, but it was very encouraging to Krista.

Much of the day was spent packing and trying to figure out how to get all that stuff out of the hospital and into the hospitality house. There's not really a place for loading and unloading stuff at this hospital. There's a valet parking entrance, there's a patient drop-off circle, and there's a parking structure where they charge $11 no matter how short you park. Being a complete cheapskate I wanted to avoid the parking structure. In the end, Glen "parked" in the red-zone by the valet, and he and Janelle managed to fit everything in their Jeep except for two pieces of luggage which I was able to manage on the shuttle.

Leaving the hospital was quite an adventure. Krista had become pretty accustomed to the the sensory-deprivation of her room and was rolled out in her wheelchair into a buzzing metropolis on the first floor filled with people moving briskly in every direction. As we waited for the shuttle, I received a call from my sister, Rachel, which (unknown to me) made Krista nervous. She didn't know how it was all going to work catching the shuttle and was on pins-and-needles about the whole thing. I had to interrupt the call when the shuttle arrived quickly and out we rolled into a three-lane valet roundabout, with the shuttle on the furthest lane. The driver shut the door just as we got there, and I had to knock to get him to open it up. Meanwhile, Krista was in the middle lane of the roundabout and felt like a car was going to run her over! Fortunately, nothing bad happened -- the driver opened the door, scolded us for showing up for the last shuttle of the day (huh?), and loaded her onto the back of the shuttle using the attached wheelchair lift. The ride was a bit bumpy, but it gave Krista's nerves an opportunity to unwind from a different distraction.

While Glen and Janelle unpacked the car Lance and Natalie arrived from Torrance to bring some more comfortable clothes for Krista. The long stay in the hospital has caused her body to no longer fit well in her normal clothes. This was a very sad realization for her, since she had lost so many inches before the leukemia relapse. I keep reminding her that she did it once, and she'll be able to do it again -- only a bit slower this time. Thanks to the Newharts for the clothes (and the dinner)!

I'm exhausted now and need to get to sleep... we have a doctor appointment at 1:30 pm tomorrow, and I need to get a good jump on the day in order to be ready for it.

In my anguish I cried to the LORD,
and he answered by setting me free.
The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid.
(Psalm 118:5-6b)

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