Saturday, September 22, 2007

Day 25: New Friends

Friday we had a visit from a new friend, Julie and her mom and children came to visit and we had a great time. It was fun to talk and laugh and joke and visit and although John took a while to warm up to the kids even he was having a good time. It's great to meet new friends in person and put a face to the names that I've seen on the Loopers list and email for a while.

Loopers is an email community of homeschooling LCMSer's. This group is the best example I've seen of the cartoon that shows a little woman hugging her computer and exclaiming that she loves it because her friends are in there, far from being imaginary or cyber-friends these are real people, with lots in common and even those of us who mainly lurk there and don't 'talk' as much know that when we meet a fellow Looper we're meeting a friend! Thanks for coming to see us Julie, and thanks Loopers, you're a great bunch.

The other new friend around here is TJ, we call him Tiger, he's a little stuffed Tiger that John was given the last time that he was in the hospital in Columbia. John has been given hundreds of stuffed animals and while he will look at them, maybe even give them a hug and wave them around by a limb, none of them have been befriended like Tiger. Today is the second day that Tiger made the trip to the cafeteria, and today he was even fed, given drinks and prayed with us, oh and Tiger had to lick salt too, poor thing. I was so impressed to see this, it's just not something that John has ever done before. Of course, it's not a security-blanket-sure-hope-the-kid-gives-it-up-before-college kind of an attachment, at least not yet, while on our walk around the block Tiger got tossed to the pavement a couple times and finally I let him ride in the back so as not to get tossed again.

Oh, and one more time John woke up from his nap, got himself out of bed and then woke me up, yes, we're still trying to catch up on sleep around here. When I woke up he was just standing there, holding onto his bed, jabbering. For now John is sitting in the living room-ish here and playing/whining by himself. He has got to learn this play alone thing, silly kid, he actually has a good time and enjoys himself once he pulls out his hearing aids and whines for a while, now I can hear him in there unpacking his toys from the box and playing.

Virtual Tour of the Lied Transplant Center If you click on the "view a model of a patient room" you can see a 360 of the bedroom-ish area of the room we are in, it's the one titled "Model Patient Room - Lied" also with the room there is a little sitting living-room-ish room with a love seat, recliner, table, lamps, and a little 'kitchen' type area with sink, microwave, refrigerator and cabinet space. The room also has it's own handicap accessible bathroom, which for us means that while there is no tub for John to play in there certainly is enough room for him to run around the bathroom in his gait trainer and steal your towels :) The other pictures in the tour are places that we go often, the cafeteria, atrium and such.

We have debated back and forth in our heads about whether we will stay here or go to Ronald McDonald after John's surgery. We've finally decided that once he goes out-patient we'll come back here. One of the big things is the availability of private space, living under the stress of not being home, kid being sick, etc. it's nice to have a space to go and shut the door and just be alone, or as alone as you can get with a silly pants kid. RMH does provide a private room, but bathroom and such is shared and while that does afford a great chance at meeting other families with similar issues, it also means that when those other families are having severe family issues you are right in the middle with no place to run and hide. The big drawback to here is the lack of a real kitchen to cook in but all in all that just doesn't outweigh the benefit of being right here, instead of 4 or 5 blocks away, with John having appointments here nearly every day of the week, and cooler weather on it's way. Ah, and that was the other nice thing about meeting Julie, it's just great to know that we aren't the only family that chooses to live on planet-one-car, so at least in some circles even we get to be normal, for a minute!

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