The day started like every other day had started since September 14th. Woken at five for a blood pressure reading. Woken at 6:15 for the shift change to be announced “Hi! I’m your nurse!” Bright eyed and bushy tailed and the day’s phone numbers recorded on the board.
Woken at 7:45 with the breakfast tray. Variations on sausage patties scrambled eggs and pancakes or whatever I’d ordered. They do pretty much what you ask. Breakfast eaten I’d normally ring for the RNT or Rehab Nurse Technician aka “Nurse’s Aide” and ask her to pull clean shorts from the drawer and set my wheelchair next to the bed. Then I’d wash. Yesterday my wife helped me to the chair and on I went washing etc. (No help needed. Ahem!).
Then instead of getting wheeled off to Occupational Therapy at nine I sat back and phoned the nurse to clean and dress my one open incision one last time. That done I sat in bed out of my wife’s way while she loaded the last of my stuff in the car.
The van arrived at eleven fifteen and my papers were cleared fifteen minutes later. Chief Donie Lee dropped by much to my astonishment and shook my hand. A friend of the department Rick had put his personal lift van at my disposal and once settled off we went after saying good bye to the chief and another senior officer. KWPD has been very very good to me, a lowly civilian dispatcher. The van ride was delightfully comfortable and I enjoyed the trip including the portion where I fell asleep in my leather captains chair.
Finally, after Rick bought me lunch which was nice as I had neither money nor ID, we reached the Keys and I saw how close I was coming to home.
We passed by my house where my buddy was keeping guard. He leapt into the van and we made our acquaintance fresh as Rick pressed on, passing the scene of my wreck which flashed by too fast for me to notice or care. Thank God.
Allow me to complete the day’s events in pictures. Ironically this apartment is identical to the one I stayed in after Hurricane Irma wrecked the town and I got a night off in a real bed with a shower and peace. And here I was again in a refuge. This time I knew it was Rick I had to thank so I did. And we settled in, all three of us.
A happy ending. A new beginning.