Visitation Rights

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Growing up, my house house was the place we congregated at. I would say from middle school on, it was no surprise for one of my friends to just show up at the house. My closest high school friends became a permanent fixture. I even remember being ousted from my own couch, while my friend Mike staked claim. Eventually it just was like that, and my parents, especially my mom, welcomed our ‘guests’ because then she knew where we were and what we were doing in those formative years. By the time we could all drive, our house had a revolving door. To this day my friend Matt still comes to the house unannounced and I smile thinking about those days when it was a regular occurrence. We would often sit around the kitchen table and talk or play Pitch or hang out in the living room and watch movies. It was nice having such a close knit group of friends that felt at home at your house. Several of my friends even took up residence at one time or another, making for some interesting stories. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

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But as you get older those friendships remain but the frequency at which you see them often isn’t. One of my oldest friends, Tammy, and I actually came up with a New Years resolution years ago to find time at least once a month to get together and doing something new. It was probably one of our most ingenious ideas because it has taken us to new restaurants, the theater, even Philadelphia on the train. We don’t always find the time, but at least we give it our best go. A lot of the time in order to stay in touch with your adult friends we resort the phone or social media. On occasion, I prefer to send letters like to my oldest and ‘bestest’ friends Kristy and Aimee. They serve as nice reminders that the thought is still there. I fortunate to have stayed in touch with most of my high school friends and equally as fortunate to made new friends as an adult through work. I love my work people. We enjoy breakfast daily before the work day begins and the dynamic is both hilarious and much needed to get through a day of ‘adulting’. It is one of the things I will miss most over the course of my year long hiatus.

I initially thought that i wouldn’t really want to see people during my hospital stay, but thus far that hasn’t been the case. I thoroughly enjoy my visits from my family, friends, the doctors, nurses and the pcas. I have had some phenomenal conversations over this past week in a half with the some of the amazing nurses. It helps pass the time and I’m so social by nature, so I need those interactions. I have heard great stories about homelands in Jamaica, travel, weddings, promposals, life in general. The doctors and nurses come in unannounced like my old days, but my everyone else has visitation rights. That doesn’t mean that you have to stand outside the door and look in like an observation tank, despite what Matt thinks. There is no sign on the door that says don’t touch the animals, but close. There are signs instructing people how to prepare for their visit.

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When you get to the pod you must check in at the front desk where you will receive your visitors badge and closable plastic belonging bag to put any personal items that you need to bring into the room. Otherwise you will be directed to put your things in a storage locker nearby. After you get situated, you must go to the ‘dressing station’ to hand sanitize, put on your purple gloves, and don your hospital grade mask before you enter my room. So needless say, everyone I see is wearing purple gloves and a mask. It’s an odd fashion trend in my Β mind. I, however, do this process in reverse, only when I leave the sanctity of my room do I need gloves and mask. It is also then that I get to see the actual faces of the nurses I interact with on a daily basis. So far I have enjoyed visit from my fiancee, my parents, my future mother in law, and my friend Karen. Despite the process, the visiting part is the same. We talk we laugh, etc. Except visitors cannot have any food or drink in the room, because that would mean removing the mask and they have to leave and repeat the prep process if they need the restroom. The only awkward part is the goodbyes, especially with Josh. We can’t hug or anything. It’s like the end of a first date, when you aren’t sure of what to do next.

When I return home, visitors will have to undergo a similar gloves and mask process to visit me and I will have to do the same to leave my environment. So gone are the days of open door policy and now visitors have to follow the visitation rights.

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8 thoughts on “Visitation Rights”

  1. AND I was just saying the other day, I need to write you and I don’t know how to get it to you! HEHE love your blog and you seriously do need to just put this in print. Certainly the most inspiring person I know! XOXOXOXOXOXOX virtual hugs and kisses lovie

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  2. I can’t imagine what you are going through but you continue to be an inspiration for me! As I write this, the tears are streaming down my cheeks because I think about my day yesterday! I was quite whiny because I woke up w my usual back and body pain and stomach trouble followed by an intense pounding in my head. Shortly after the pain, came the spotted vision and its then that I knew I was having another migraine. Within a few hours, my vision returned to normal but the pounding headache lasted for hours. For most of the day I was unproductive and really feeling awful that I missed my first day back to school after April vacation. I truly enjoy seeing all my kids after a vacation. On top of missing all their beautiful smiling faces, I also realized that I’m stuck inside on this gorgeous spring day! But then I read your blog and it suddenly put a lot of things into perspective for me! I thought about the fact that yes I deal with difficult things that effect my daily life but then I thought about what it must be like to be in your position. I guess I have taken for granted the fact that I can kiss my husband without having a mask between us, or just go outside on a beautiful day. I can do other things that I take for granted everyday but you are forced to do things a certain way now and I imagine you are doing it w a smile!?! Because that’s who you are! You are naturally a cheerful, kind, loving person who takes any obstacle that comes across your path and powers through like it was never there! That’s how I know you will fight this to the end and come out even stronger then when u started! Because that’s who you are! You are a fighter and I’ve decided to try to take a play out of your playbook. Of course, if u don’t mind? I don’t want this to sound like I can do things that you can’t right now because that’s not my intention at all! But I found a feeling of hope after reading your blog. I haven’t felt this feeling in quite a long time. So now when I’m suffering w one of the many symptoms I deal with on a daily basis, I’m going to stop and take the moment to think about everyone out there that is struggling. Not necessarily struggling worse then me because there are days that I can’t get out of bed or days that I miss the fun because I’m in so much pain and I wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone! And I hate to say “worse than me” because everyone has their own level of tolerance and pain and different struggles, both emotional and physical that they go through. However, my goal is to stop and think about the things that I do have to be thankful for instead of focusing on my daily struggles. Because I’m sure that’s exactly what you’re doing. For years now I’ve wanted to live more fully. Approach each day like it’s a gift and not a curse. It’s very difficult to get to that point in your life when you have spent so many years getting beaten back down.
    Recently, my family and I celebrated my grandfathers 90th Birthday. He has always been an inspiration to me as well. He continues to live for his family and others and is always looking on the bright side of life. Over the last week I have learned something from my Grampa that I’ve never heard before, and it changed me! The power of “3” Meaning, God is 1, the people around us are 2 and I am 3. And the interpretation of this methaphor is simply this, try to live your life knowing that God comes first. Then there are all the other people out in the world that come second and I come third. So something as simple as being in line at the market and someone is in a hurry and yes I have places to be but maybe they have an emergency that I don’t know about so I think about God and what would he do, then I let that person go ahead of me and I am third. Because some day that same person might remember that I put them before myself and they may do the same for someone else.
    So as I wipe the tears away from my cheeks, I want to say thank you! Thank you for being such a beautiful person, both inside and out! Krista, you have a light around you! Your mere presence in a room sends a happiness throughout the room just like my Grampa. That is truly a gift to have that sort of presence and strength in this world! Thank you for sharing your experience with us!! Please know that you have so many people fighting with you!! You’ve definitely got this! And I’m working on that too!! Thank you so much for your words and inspiration!! πŸ˜˜β€οΈπŸ™πŸ»πŸ‘ŠπŸ»

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    1. Brooke, Your grandfather is a very wise man. My mom and dad have always had a similar approach to life and this experience for me. They frequently tells me to let go of what I can’t control and give it to God, the rest is up to me. I think attitude is half the battle. I keep saying mind over matter makes a difference. I have to believe that right now. I appreciate your kind words and your story. Everyone is fighting a battle others know nothing about. I think the way we deal with the battle makes the difference and if you’ve decided to take it head on. You go for it! Just remember there will still be moments, Lord knows I have them. I just don’t let them get the best of me. And go enjoy your life with your beautiful family. I’m hoping in a few weeks, I’ll get to do the same! ❀ Thank you again for the support and encouragement!

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