June 01, Coming home and crawling.
On June 01, the good folks at The Ottawa Hospital kicked my ass to the curb, threw confetti in the air and told me to come back some time when I couldn’t stay quite so long. I’d been there for 34 days, and left hospital a full 40 days after the accident. It’s fantastic to be home.
It’s hard to put into words what this experience has done for me. It’s been, at times, frustrating and painful, and scary. There were times when I felt I’d reached the absolute bottom, most of those involving humiliating efforts to move my bowels after the narcotics had plugged me up and I couldn’t get to a toilet. At one point my nurse, God bless him, gave me an enema and as he, uh, drove it home, he said. “Up yours, David.” Funniest thing I’d heard in days but it turns out enemas and laughter aren’t a great combination. I’ve learned to rely on people for the simplest tasks, a challenge for someone so usually independant. I’ve learned that recovery doesn’t happen to you, you bring it. You make it happen. And I think the same applies to life. I was sharing a room towards the end with a man determined to be miserable, and his presence in my room taught me more about living life than watching Dead Poets Society a hundred times might have. Life happens to you, what you do with the hand you are dealt is up to you, and it’s there that you find the choice to be happy, to find meaning.
My first set of stairs but aided by my official assistance cat, Cocoa, aka The Brown Bastard. Hey, don’t look at me, I didn’t name him that. (Or did I?…)
Of all the lessons I’ve learned over and over it’s that life is made of moments. They add up to create a life. So to wish any of them away, to not look for something in each of those moments, is to wish away a piece of life. And if you do so in hopes of something better coming around the corner, you could miss life entirely. I don’t want to get too Zen about all this, but man can life be beautiful. I am so, so grateful to be alive and I’m more than ever aware of the fragility of life. More than ever aware that life is what you make it. I watched UP last night and, aside from crying my way through the first 11 minutes, was reminded again that Adventure is out there! and that it’s up to us to seize it or not.
Anyways, I’m home. I won’t be walking again until August, I think, and I’m a little nervous about that. In the meantime I crawl wherever my wheelchair won’t take me. I’ve got more spare time than I’ve had in ages – time to write the first eBook I’ve written in over 6 months (look for it on the 28th), time to work on a series of Ltd. Edition prints – the first of my work I’ve put out in over a year, and time to answer emails, be more engaged on Twitter and Facebook, and just sit with my mother on the porch with a Gin and Tonic. I’ll be back at the Ottawa Hospital in 2 weeks for x-rays and follow ups and I’ll know more then. Hoping, perhaps a little too optimistically, that they let me weight-bear on the left leg so I can begin to use crutches.
Thank you all, again, for such kindness and support.