When I say "The Final Stretch", I mean to say that soon Amacker will be release from the hospital to go home, be near the things she loves, and continue her amazing recovery. I don't mean to imply, by any means, that the road ahead of her isn't full of obstacles and difficulties. In many ways the most difficult road lies ahead. The doctors, and nurses, and nurse's assistants, and therapists, and cooks, and orderlies, and shrinks, and cleaning staff -- all of whom have worked so hard for Amacker -- they've done their part, and the next stage is up to Amacker herself, and us to help her through it.
Amacker is currently scheduled to leave the hospital Friday. There will be no marching band. There will be no fanfare. (I say that knowing full well that someone will put together a band and fanfare just to spite me.) But A few of us will roll her out of there for good, take her home and get her settled in her newly arranged home.
Katy and Don have organized a team of many... Paul, Lisa, Tim... so many others... who have come to Amacker's house for several long days, and arranged a downstairs room to be sterile and functional for someone who isn't yet walking, but also to make it very Amacker. There are lovely tapestries on the walls, pieces of art, and interesting lighting. She'll have broadband internet, TiVo, DVDs, phone, and easy access to a restroom and a kitchen. All of it is downstairs and made accessible with ramps and rails. Still, Amacker's amazing library and bedroom wait for her upstairs as yet another carrot in her recovery. To say thank you to that team of people who created Amacker's new space is nothing but of insufficient, and yet there's more.
As we speak, Katy is organizing a team of folks to be with Amacker around the clock for the first week after she gets out. We're going to take turns baby-sitting a woman who, as far as I'm concerned, is completely competent. She might need help with the odd tin of sardines or something, but she's going to get most things done herself. If you'd like to help out with that, please do email me.
Amacker has come a long way. Her full memory is there. Her full voice is there. She can do amazing things physically, especially when you consider she isn't allowed to use her left arm, her left wrist is not listening to her (some significant nerve damage there), and she's not allowed to put any wait on her left leg. She sits up in bed all the time. She gets out of bed and gets herself in her rolly-chair. She can roll her chair in a straight line, which, you know, is more than she could do on her motorcycle. She has far more flexibility in her neck than I ever imagined. She eats what she wants (no chocking hazard), and goes to the bathroom by herself. She'll delight you for hours with stories from before or after the accident. She'll tell you the names of every care provider who visits her. She will even, when asked very nicely, answer the ridiculous questions the psyche care providers ask her.
On Thursday Amacker is scheduled to get a new skin graft on her left shin, covering a place where the first graft didn't take very well, and that will mean all the bits are closed and mending. She'll need dressing changes in a few places several times a day, but she'll be plenty buttoned-up for her return home.
As I said before, it's now up to her, and us. Amacker is VERY motivated and has an amazing positive attitude. She will, of course, need some cheerleading. Some days will be better than others. Some days she won't want to open her eyes, but I have days like that, too.
It's all a bit overwhelming to see her amazing recovery, as you might imagine, but all the kings horses and all the kings men...