As Dorothy said, “There is no place like home“. Home is a place where you feel loved and comfortable. There is no where in the world like home. I look back on how I could possibly have made it home again. I am back in my home. I am back at work. How did I get here?
This morning, I contemplated this question as I walked into work. I had my crutch in one hand and coffee in the other, I had a sudden feeling of pride. Many thoughts flooded through my mind. The most prevalent included
I am a miracle.
This is where I came back to life.
I am blessed.
Thank God I have a work family like this.
I am the director of rehabilitation and speech language pathologist at a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center in the city where I live. I started working there 2 years ago today. It was a larger building then I have managed out here with a dedicated, strong staff. The mission statement is lived by the people each day. We try our best to make people have dignity and quality of life. I loved working three minutes from my home in my town. I had the opportunity to volunteer at Zachary’s school during a lunch break once a week. Work and Life was balanced. I worked with dedicated, smart, strong team members and I was looking forward to continuing to grow our programs into the future.
Then, the unexpected happen, my accident. Zachary died. I was broken. I needed a skilled rehabilitation stay and needed lots of therapy. At the time of decision, I knew where I wanted to go. I wanted to come home. My life was ripped and torn upside down. I wanted to see friendly faces who knew me before I became the patient. The hesitation I had was the begging question, “would this be too much for everyone to handle?”, “Could I ever be the director again after I was the patient?”.
My boss called and asked me if I wanted to talk to my team. I was so excited and yet nervous to get on the phone. When I called in, I heard everyone’s voices. Excited, concerned, loving voices. I didn’t know they cared so much about me as a person. When I asked, “Is this too much”. A familiar voice said, “We got this. Come home”. Decision made. I was going to be the patient.
The day I arrived, I took a long three hour ambulance ride to the facility. I was greeted by therapists and nurses with hugs and kind words. Entering Room 508, the room closest to the therapy department, I was greeted with flowers, balloons, cards, diet coke, M&Ms, highlighters, a fanny pack and a special sign with a large circle on it that said “Knock if you need anything” on the wall to the therapy department.
I exhaled. I smiled. I was home.
I was at the facility for two months. I worked with my colleagues everyday and saw first hand how amazing they were as therapists. I saw their dedication to my progress. They were with me every step of the process from transferring me with a five person, flat transfer to the chair, to standing in the parallel bars for the first time, showering with dignity, transferring to the car for my drive thru Woods coffee and so many more memories. I had the privilege to experience my staff from a new perspective. I received their hearts. I can’t say enough how much that meant to me.
Now, I am back to work full time. I am the director of rehabilitation and speech language pathologist. I am still respected as a leader by everyone that works in the team. It didn’t change just because I was broken and needed their help. They don’t see me as broken or not fit. They supported me in my worst hours, days, weeks, months. I have the unbelievable experience to work with a team who is closer now then before the accident.
When you go through a war with someone, you never grow apart.
They each have a piece of my heart forever. I am lucky for having known them in this way. I am blessed to be better today because of what they do everyday. I am in awe of their skills. I am humbled. I am thankful. I am amazed.
I AM BLESSED.
I AM HOME.