It’s AB, Natalie asked me to post a blog to let you all know about Day 1 at Homewood.
Our day started early! I was working nights and had Natalie and her daughter meet me at work at 06:00 so we could get on the road right away. (thank you Kelly for coming in an hour early for me so we could leave on time!!) We wanted to leave lots of time incase there was traffic, bad weather or … we got lost. I know, I know … a medic AND a dispatcher getting lost is unacceptable – I’m embarrassed to admit – we did. On the way down, we did hit some traffic .. Natalie and Caroline wouldn’t know that cause they were so exhausted from sleeping all night that they needed to nap! lol. We made it to Guelph in the hour of 8 which was perfect … it gave us time to stop for a quick bite to eat. Natalie was doing okay … but C and I could tell she was nervous and antsy. She wanted to sit and eat her breakfast, and then clean up and leave all at the same time. She wanted to talk and stay quiet with her thoughts, all at the same time. I was nervous and it wasn’t even about me. I think it was just the ‘unknown’ and the idea of this new chapter finally starting. We made it to Homewood around 08:30 … we found parking, she made some last minute phone calls, and then we made our way to the admissions area. It was surreal sitting in the waiting room … other patients/families waiting to fill out their paperwork … no one really making eye contact. It was almost like everyone wanted to be respectful of each others privacy and anxiousness. The staff worked swiftly …. you can tell it’s like a well oiled machine in there!! Natalie got her hospital bracelet and asked if we could come and see her room. The lady happily announced, ‘OH YES, WE LOVE TO HAVE FAMILY HERE’. It was kind of funny, as we navigated our way thru the hallways the volunteer would randomly declare to other staff ‘we have family here’, ‘this is her family’ … picture it in the voice of a train conductor saying ‘ALL ABOARD’. I started to wonder if it was some sort of secret code cause it was just too funny. We finally made it to Natalie’s floor and we were instantly met by welcoming staff. They gave the volunteer Natalie’s room assignment, and away we went. Nat was still quiet, and you could definitely tell she was on overload! She looked timid and nervous. After the volunteer went over the house rules she left us alone to unpack and settle in. We put a few of Nat’s things away, but she had more paperwork to fill out and then she wanted to lay down. Nurses and staff would pop in to do their own admissions assessment and they wanted Caroline and I to meet with a social worker. C and I left Natalie in her room for a little while to go to another area where the social worker would later meet up with us.
The social worker was very kind … she was very concerned about making sure all the family had access to support and resources to help in their healing as well. She reassured Caroline that Natalie’s illness was not her fault and that Caroline never did anything wrong to make Natalie do the things she did. The social worker explained to C that treatment wasn’t about making a bad person, good. It was about helping a sick person get healthy. I was so proud of Caroline. She spoke candidly and with such wisdom. She loves her Mom so much and desperately wants her to get well. When our meeting was over, the social worker took us back to Natalie’s floor where we were told it was time to say our goodbyes; Natalie had a big day ahead of her and it was time to dive in. With a soft knock on Natalie’s door .. we found her sitting on her bed doing another intake assessment with another nurse. We told her it was time to say good bye, and the sadness on her face was heartbreaking. After a few hugs, a few reassuring words … Caroline and I left. It was time to let Homewood ‘do their thing’, and it was time for Natalie to start this part of her journey.
She called me last night … I’m happy to report she’s learning the ropes quickly, and has already made some friends. She sounded exhausted, but not defeated. She met with one of her doctors and loves them … I believe her exact words were, “she’s so cool and she even has tattoos” .. lol.
I’m also happy to report I finally got to sleep! After being awake for 27 hours, and having the peace of mind that she’s at Homewood … I slept, and slept, and slept some more 🙂
Stay tuned .. more Homewood updates to come!!