Sunday, August 10, 2008

Finally some good news

So, Friday morning Rorysaurus, Little Monkey and I managed to get into Needlenoggin's hospital room. It wasn't easy, as they have a "no visitors under 14" policy, and Rorysaurus was a) dressed as Batman and b) wearing red leather clogs. However, his doctors and nurses knew we were coming and all managed to be looking somewhere else when we arrived. :)

Anyway, we got a chance to hang out and see Needlenoggin before the EMTs were scheduled to arrive. Unlike the last few times when Rorysaurus has been a little hesitant, this time she very happily hopped up in the hospital bed with her uncle.

They were thrilled to get to cuddle and watch a movie on his DVD player while we waited (a special thanks to his work buddies who brought him that and the DVDs he watched throughout his hospital stay. It allowed him some entertainment in the ICU and saved him from telenovelas and bad game shows in the TCU).

It was good. The EMTs showed up, told him they'd let him watch movies in the ambulance, and laughed and joked with him. Once the guys heard what he's done, they told him he should work for the fire department! He was all smiles as Rorysaurus kissed him good-bye and he headed out to Santa Clara. When told Little Monkey would miss him as well, he rolled his eyes in a good-natured fashion, so nothing has changed there.

My Fairy Godmother (she's magic and grants wishes) arrived right as they were wheeling him away, and she hopped in the car with us as we headed out. I really need to express my undying thankfulness to her and to Crystal, my good friend from high school, for coming up here. Godmom has two kids of her own and a job, and flew up for the weekend, and this week simply wouldn't have been possible without Crystal. She's just gotten over the worst year ever (as bad as ours has been, maybe) and flew all the way out here from Florida to watch the monsters so I could get back and forth to the hospital and run errands.

Then we were off to Rorysaurus' PTSD appointment. She worked really, really, really hard, taking toys off of shelves and throwing them on the floor, and tucking everything in sight under a blanket to "help them get better." We then went over the whole story of her fall, and reminded her that it wasn't her fault and that Uncle Needlenoggin was happy so she was allowed to be happy and play as well. The "not your fault" meme really stuck with her, and she's been repeating it. She also told the doctor that her uncle "bwoke his back in five pwaces," so at least we know she's listening, right?

We got some suggestions for home, a diagnosis, and another appointment for Monday. Then we came home, slept and made about a dozen phone calls about places to live. Wheelchair access is really, really sketchy in older places, and newer ones are just so expensive. This is the Bay, so most 3 bedroom places are $2000 a month anyway, and if you factor out walk-ups, you're looking at a $2500 average.

Right before bed, Tuffy finally got home from work, and Rorysaurus' package arrived in the mail. We unpacked it and, presto! a chair for Lizabeth!

Rorysaurus spent the rest of her night wheeling Lizbeth around the house, putting her in bed, and checking her heart with clips and wires. Maybe she'll grow up to be a doctor?

Saturday dawned way too early, but we were up and running with the last of our coffee. Despondently, I refreshed craigslist, and started up my so-far-utterly-futile apartment search. I opened up a half dozen ads, and started writing my 56th email. I'd sent out 50 over the last 2 weeks, and made more phone calls than I care to count, and had recived back three responses. So, when I opened up the ad entitled "3 bedrooms in Emeryville for $2300", I knew I was in for yet another converted Victorian with skinny doorways that I'd have to retrofit for Needlenoggin.

Instead, I found this:

Whaaa? So, Tuffy and I drove over and did the application. This place is way out of our price range, but then again, so are all the first-floor apartments and ones in elevator buildings. This one has a court-yard and a pool and BBQ area, and a bathroom with a shower that Needlenoggin can roll into. Of course, Tuffy and I actually looked at this building a few years ago and couldn't afford it, so we were hesitant. We applied, because we have enough in savings that we had planned to use for Rorysaurus to go to preschool and to pay for my teacher's credential that will cover the difference.

It is four blocks, maybe five, to Needlenoggin's job and 6 blocks to Tuffy's. Emeryville is also flat, so biking is way, way, way easier than living in Oakland.

Here's the floorplan:


It looks like we were approved to rent the place! So, now we will at least be able to have a home for Needlenoggin for the next 12 months. The buildings, courtyard, elevators and the apartment itself are wheelchair accessible and they're familiar with service dogs (which we will probably end up with). So, one problem solved.

Oh, and talking to Needlenoggin at night, I was told he's really working his booty off in rehab, and was able to sit up for 40 minutes in a chair. They have support hose and an abdominal compressor that keep his blood in his upper body (so he doesn't pass out) and he spends an hour on and an hour off every day doing PT from 8am to 5 pm. So, he's progressing well!


Paul said...

I heard about your story from my mom who went to high school with Bobbie. My brothers and I "grew up" with Dennis, his brothers and sister.
I wrote this whole long email about hope, spirit, etc. and I just junked it.
Know that you and your family is in my thoughts and I hope everybody involved can heal as best they can.

Christina said...

OH yay!! I am so glad you found a place to live. What a relief. Also wonderful to hear about progress for both your daughter and brother.

GiGi said...

Oh RoundPeg, this all sounds so promising. I'll keep putting good thoughts out into the universe for all of you.

Stacey said...

Yay! So glad you found such a beautiful place to live. I tear up looking at the pictures of Rory and your brother. Thanks for keeping this blog. I think of you all every day.