health, life

The Arrival

rampin (800x502) wmMax hasn’t seen his human dad in three weeks and is looking for his return.

“I’ll wheel myself home in this chair if I have to. I’m not going back to the hospital rehab.” My husband, Gary told me over the phone.

After three weeks in hospitals from his injury, my husband was supposed to be transported home from his post-operation appointment. The transport company confused their orders and wanted to take him back to the hospital. I was proud of him for not allowing them to take him to the wrong place, but how in the world were we going to get him home?

“Don’t worry. I’m coming home.” He hung up. I never heard him so determined, and I feared he might really wheel himself the four miles to our house. I imagined him holding his legs up with his injured feet in the air wheeling the chair down busy roads.

tghgWhile he tried to figure something out with the transport drivers, I invited the three women who waited outside to come into my home. They were healthcare workers who had insisted they needed to do an evaluation on his home healthcare that very day. They had been waiting outside in their cars for him to arrive. I was still unhappy about their intrusion, but felt I had no other choice at the time.

Forty-five minutes later, at almost eight o’clock in the evening, the van transport pulled up to our house with my precious cargo aboard. The driver had called the hospital, and they confirmed Gary had been released for home.

Dogs are always happy to see their owners when they arrive, but I’d never seen our Max in such a loving and nurturing state. As soon as Gary wheeled through the door, Max instinctively headed to the injured feet and started licking. Tears flooded my eyes. I wanted to sob with joy that my husband was finally home after surviving a serious accident, but those three strangers were there intruding on our emotional homecoming. (It still bothers me to this day.) I wiped away at my face and swallowed it back.

gmaxbed (640x480)First night home, Max wouldn’t leave his side.

Neither Gary or I had eaten since noon, and he hadn’t used a bathroom for even longer. My heart broke for him, that he had to find a way to go with those three women nearby.

It was 8:45 when they finished their eval and finally left. I dug through the refrigerator and pantry for anything to eat in a hurry. We were starving.

The following day, Max and Gary were inseparable. Despite being worse for wear, my family was finally all together at home again.

LORI - Gary home sofa
That first full-day home gave us a sort of euphoria, but it didn’t last long.

Come see him on his feet again here.

Has anyone ever intruded on an emotional moment for you? If so, what did you do?


15 thoughts on “The Arrival”

  1. Max sounds like a great helper. Just having a beloved pet nearby can make all the difference in the mental healing. I am so sorry that you had to deal with those horrible women and your husband had to deal with that awful transport driver. I love how despite all that is going wrong, you find the silver lining in each situation. 🙂

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    1. Thanks for going back to read these, Kourtney. I appreciate your support. We have an arduous move ahead, but looking forward to the change.


    1. Heya Kathy. It really touched me (and still does) the way Max watched over Gary when he was recovering. Thanks for reading about it and sharing your compassion.

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  2. Aw, sweet Max! Our dogs always know when we need extra love and attention.

    I can completely understand why that day took such a toll on both of you. How beyond frustrating to receive such poor health care at a time when it is needed the most.

    I hope you’re able to let go of the anger that continues to hold onto you. I’m sure the health care workers thought they were just doing their jobs, but it seems they’d forgotten they were dealing with actual human beings who were just learning how to deal with such a traumatic injury. Don’t let them keep defeating your spirit, Lori. They’re not worth it.

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    1. Hi Terri. At the time when it happened, I drafted a blog about it in anger, then never posted it. I was so upset with that nurse supervisor. It upset me even further when the home healthcare tried to make me feel like it was me and not her. Now that it’s 10 months later, I was able to write about it as a storyline instead of like a fuming maniac. I figured that writing about it and sharing would be cathartic, and it did help. I appreciate your support and understanding. Now that it’s posted, I do plan to let it go.


  3. Not just people but dogs and cats in my experience hate to see their loved ones hurting, and do their best to give comfort. I feel like Max is thinking “stupid hospitals, he should have come home to me, I’ll fix it”… they just know. If I was ever unhappy or sick, I would have a trio of furry-ones not far away. We care for them, they care for us, simple 🙂

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    1. Hi EllaDee. It was weird. The hospital allowed us to bring the dog there, so I did one time for a couple of hours. Max didn’t seem to understand why he was there or what was going on. Once we got Gary home, it seemed to suddenly click for him. I wish I could climb into their minds and know what’s going on in there. Anyway, thanks so much for your input. I know Max was happy to be able to “fix it” for Gary. 🙂


  4. Isn’t it amazing how intuitive pets are? When my mother was released from the hospital after her initial surgical complication, her cat jumped on her bed where she remained pretty much for the next several days. She only left to eat or use her litter box. It was pretty fascinating to see a cat do that. Normally she might stop by and give a haughty hello, but to stick around like that all day? Really cool to see, so I can understand why your dog brought forth such emotion in you two.

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    1. Hi Carrie. That is a cool story about your mom’s cat. It’s especially amazing when they don’t normally act that way, and suddenly it seems like an instinct kicks in when it’s needed. Max is always happy to see us, but I’d never seen him act as Gary’s guardian before. It was really a sight to behold. Thanks for sharing your experience with your mom, Carrie.

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    1. Max seemed to understand what happened. Although he is a loving dog, he never quite acted so protective before. While Gary was hurt, he acted like a guardian for him. Thanks for reading, Jill.

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