Day 42: Monday
Yesterday began at 5:00 a.m. so we could intercept Jacob’s doctors and see if he was able to be released. It was three days since his surgery. When all assembled, we were there, too, to receive the news. He could go home.
However, that little action took most of the day. It took 4 hours just for his meds to get ordered and IV taken out. Then we had to get his clothes and get down to Medical Records so we had a record of everything to take in hand with us to Seattle. That was more complicated. The system they used to copy digital images was broken, and even though we stood in line and paid for the CD they would put it on – they couldn’t do it. But, they assured us, they would call us as soon as it was done. The day ended without a call.
But we moved forward anyway and got Jacob packed up and out of the hospital. We stopped for a pizza for late lunch and while there his father made arrangements for a flight to Seattle for him leaving Santa Anna at 5:50 and arriving in Seattle at 8:00.
Jacob was moving slowly, but I think he wanted to be home. We certainly wanted him to be home. And his brother was planning to be waiting for him at the airport in Seattle when he arrived.
We watched as he painfully went through security – it was difficult to take off his shoes and get them back on – and then he was walking slowly out to his gate. We waved to each other and his father and I heaved a huge sigh of relief. The past 17 days had been an ordeal the likes of which no parent ever wants to even imagine. But, it was a miracle to see our youngest son WALK out to the gate unattended after all he had been through. Nothing short of a miracle. Nothing but sheer grace.
Knowing his brother would meet him in Seattle, we could relax enough to think of something else for the first time in 17 days. So, we drove straight West from our hotel and stopped when we came to Redondo Beach. The sun was sinking on the horizon and a few clouds were forming. Surfers were riding the waves and bikers were riding the boardwalk. It was beautiful. It was even cool. And it felt so good to be outside of a hospital room. We ate at a little pub on the beach and then went back and fell into bed. I’m sure it will take us a few days to recover some of the lost sleep!
Day 43: Today, Tuesday
Now for the return trip to Seattle. We packed out of our hotel where we had been for the past 8 days and resumed some hint of normalcy. But wait! We had to return to the hospital one more time to get the digital imaging that went with all Jacob’s medical records. As we went through the hospital security I prayed this would really be the LAST time we needed to be there!
At Medical Records we took our place in line and waited and waited and while standing there we saw the person we had dealt with yesterday walk by. Randy said, “Good. At least it’s the same person. I’m sure she remembers us.” And then we waited some more. A few minutes later a man came out and called our name. He explained that the system for transferring the digital images was broken yesterday and they were still trying to get it fixed. But he was sure it would only take 30 or 40 more minutes. I asked if we could just have someone put the files on a thumb drive. “That only takes a second. I have a thumb drive in my pocket.” No, that was not possible. The hospital installed a new system in November (NOVEMBER!!!!) and they were still having difficulties. But it would only be about 30 minutes more. I was not going to hold my breath on that one!
To my utter amazement, thirty minutes later the Medical Records clerk came out to the waiting room and had a CD with all Jacob’s images on it. Minor miracle, that one! We thanked her profusely and left the hospital – hopefully forever.
Back on the road again. While we were in the area we had driven by 3 homes where I had lived as a child and Randy wanted to find the place where his great grandparents had a chicken farm in the 1930’s. We found the area and even the street, but of course, there are no chicken farms there today!
And while we were west of LA, we drove out to Chino to the Planes of Fame Museum. This had been a stop on our tour of museums last year, but we missed this one because we arrived too late in the day. So, today, we visited, but it was almost too hot to enjoy it. The hangars were filled with beautifully restored planes, but it was 100 degrees out and I think even hotter than that in the hangars.
And then we headed north. Tonight we are in Hesperia. And we are planning to take our time. No more 500 miles a day. We are back to enjoying the view.