I have some amazing friends and family. I really do. I've only been overseas for a year but what a difference they've made in my life, near or abroad. So, at the risk of being sappy, I wanted to share a bit more of how they affected my life in the hospital.
Lisa was my rock. I can't imagine how she must have felt the night of the accident, receiving a phone call at work around 9pm saying that I had been brought in by ambulance and was heading in for surgery. She left the lab for the hospital and waited until 3am having no idea what to expect when I got out. Hers was the first face I saw.
I had the easy part being the patient with all the attention, the sleep, the painkillers, the surgeries, the sponge baths, the prepared meals, etc. She had it rough. What happened to me happened to her, day in day out, only she had to go home to a very empty house, bills, dishes, a job, reality. She handled every bit of it with grace. She was incredible.
Mostly what I'll remember from our time there was the fun we had. She always managed to keep me entertained! She baked for me, brought in contraband chocolate, bought me Subway and Nando's when the food got repetitive and managed to find a way to fit two of us in a tiny hospital bed to watch a DVD while I was still tied up in traction. We went for wheelchair whizzes, snuck off hospital grounds together for haircuts (try explaining that one), played two-headed patient (photo) and clowned around with anything we could get our hands on. I'd have lost my mind without her!
My Dad, Mom, sister and other members of my family spent hours upon hours talking with me by phone or in person during that period, 24/7, all hours of the day, sorting me out. I took them each down a dark scary path and none of them backed down. They were invincible. No one flinched. Each one of them is a superhero.
There were countless amazing emails of support from friends and family, both near and abroad. At one point, I told my Dad that I felt really lucky for getting to hear so many nice encouraging things about myself from everyone without having to attend my own funeral!
I also had a constant stream of good people coming to visit me. There was even a local attempt to organize a bit of a schedule for visitors so I wouldn't be overwhelmed on any given day. As you can probably tell, one of my good friends here is a project manager!
A few rallied together and bought me a chess board, then came around to have afternoon games with me. Others sent in DVDs or kept me stocked well with chocolate and amazing baked goods to help keep the weight on as I wasted away in bed.
Two people in particular made life a whole lot better/easier for us here. One bought an early Christmas present for his kids, a dual-screen DVD player, and gave it to us to use for as long as we wanted to cut the drudgery of the day. He and his sister (my friend the project manager) kept us extremely well stocked with DVDs for the whole stay. Together they took care of everything outside the hospital that Lisa and I couldn't get to.
On leaving the hospital, a friend of mine from overseas got us a gift certificate for pre-packaged gourmet meals to make the transition back to home and back to worklife that much easier. This wasn't an easy thing to do from so far away.
There are a few more things I want to mention and tons more people I need to thank, but I've decided I need to post about those ones separately. Please watch for future posts about "my payback", "my tallisman", and (as of today), "my Maton"!
There is no way I can thank everyone enough and there's no token I can give to show my appreciation to you all (that and I'm cheap). Instead, I vow this to all of you: I will get better, I'll live harder than ever before and I won't let your amazing support be in vane. I'm a lucky person to have seen the true value of friends and family in my life and I won't soon forget it.