Of course, it was a struggle getting out... big pressure on my part... not worth describing, but finally made it to the lobby where Phil was waiting with my luggage at ten minutes to noon. Ambulette was due to arrive at noon so I felt like the queen of organization.
My ambulette service was not without incident and tears (mine). Phil was really wonderful. The guy was late and when I called they told me I had no reservation... of course I did, and I had confirmed it the night before. Then they found it and the guy was an hour late.
The whole point of the ambulette was the wheelchair lift and when the idiot driver finally showed up (after Phil had to chase him down as he didn't have the sense to come to the front door), the driver opened the back door of the van and told me to get in. I said No, he then said maybe I can get in the front seat and that's when I started crying when I said I wanted a lift and he said "no lift" -- well, when I started crying, he relents and opens the back and there was a lift, he was just too lazy to do it. Phil said part of it might be that I don't look sick so he thought he could do the path of least effort.
This van was like a courtesy van for a 29 dollar a night motel, maybe worse. What a piece of crap. I was strapped in the back like a piece of cargo with Phil in the front seat passenger seat. I have never in my life gotten car sick or air sick, but I was close to it. Traffic was a crawl; it's raining, no shocks left on this van, and I had intermittent tears while Phil tried to say cheerful things like when we were finally crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, he said, "Ok, just a few more blocks" -- I was teasing him about that later saying I know where the Brooklyn Bridge is, and it is NOT a few blocks from my building.
So my carefully crafted plan was that the van would pull up one building away to a parking garage so I could use the driveway of the parking garage and there'd be no curb. When the guy lowered me in the lift and started to push up the smallest incline of the driveway, he was groaning and huffing and puffing and if I was too big to push. So much for being treated with dignity as the website promised.
So then the idiot driver pushes me to the steps of my building. It's raining, the handrail was wet, and therefore slippery. That's something I hadn't counted on. My legs were asleep because I couldn't move them in the almost two hour ride and my butt was dead from sitting. I held on to the rail with my right hand while Phil took my other hand, and I tried (once) and couldn't stand up... and that's something I'd done easily, with no thought, in the hospital a dozen times a day.
Then out of nowhere, this man appears... Jose the crack addict (or something... definitely a street person) and he's all hands and murmuring to me "don't worry Mama, we'll get you and your chair up those steps" so I said, It's just me, not the chair... so once more, my right hand on the railing, my left hand with Phil and Jose with his hand under my upper arm and I instantly stood up. At that point, the idiot driver takes his chair and leaves. Didn't even say goodbye, linger for a tip, nothing.
I had ten dollars in my bra that I was going to use for the driver if earned, but he was worthless. As soon as I stood up, he vanished and Phil had to run to get all the bags, suitcase, etc. Jose wanted to help and so he very diligently carried everything inside to my door while Phil stood by and I did the steps by myself (remember the first step is 10 inches, then 7 inches... they're not even to code) but I think, frankly, it helped that it was raining because it gave me no time to rest or bitch I could,n't do it.
I can't tell you the time I laid in bed thinking about that first step. We rehearsed in PT and I could put my foot up on a 10 inch wooden box ten times in a row, but I almost heard that duh-dum music from Jaws when I looked at those steps. Lane told me that I should think of the steps as climbing "Victory Mountain" and that's what I did, and I conquered Victory Mountain
Phil had been telling me about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and I told him that Victory Mountain was harder, but he wasn't buying that.
I gave Jose the ten bucks, gladly, and then Phil and I got inside... ordered Chinese food feast, my home landline is broken (yes, the bill was paid) so I have to get that fixed. The visiting nurse came this morning to check me out and we organized all the medicines so that was good.
So the thing that struck me is my wooden floors. I haven't seen wooden floors in weeks, and I kept looking at them, also no fluorescent lights. Phil and I slept until about 10, then the nurse came, now he is out running and buying bagels and toilet paper, two of life's necessities. I had groceries delivered yesterday so all is well. KNOCK ON WOOD.
I am slowly, slowly doing baby steps, put in my first load of wash. When I got discharged, the paper said that Patricia has mastered ADL... I asked what this is, and it's "activities of daily living" meaning I can potty, dress, feed, bathe myself, etc. This morning I even made my bed by myself.
And, yes, there' s no place like home!