We are HOME!!! What an indescribable feeling---to finally be home after these weeks of uncertainty, ups and downs, and "side trips" from one hospital to another. We arrived home Tuesday afternoon around 1:00 p.m. It took us a while to actually leave Good Sam because ABC called and wanted to do another "quick" interview and film us leaving the building and getting into the van. As glad as I was to have the opportunity to show again God's healing hand on Dale, I reeeeally just wanted to GO HOME. However, the interview wrapped up; we were driving home; then, about one minute from our driveway, ABC called again and asked if they could take a few shots of us entering our house. Dale and I got to drive around for an extra 20 minutes, waiting for the camerman to get to our house! Finally, all was finished, and we could close the door (literally) on that chapter of our lives and get ready for the next.
On Wednesday morning, the Rehab Without Walls supervisor came by to introduce us to the program. It was very heartening to talk with the man because he reinforced what we have known all along---that, medically and scientifically, Dale should not be here. He should have died that day at the beach, and only divine intervention---our amazing, miracle-working God---brought him back. The water was chilly that day but not cold enough to induce the body-saving-itself technique that some people have been citing. The rescue workers themselves will tell you that, when they pulled Dale from the water, they believed him to be dead already. Even during the Life Flight to Portland, the nurses did not believe that he would make it. They had never seen someone with so low a Glasgow Coma scale number. It is intensely obvious to those of us who trust our Heavenly Father that His hand has been at work throughout this entire time. It is even obvious to those who do not believe in God that something (or Someone) supernatural happened at the beach that afternoon and is continuing to happen in our lives. Our God, Whose hand is mighty to save, listened to the prayers of His people and decided to show the world just what He could do. And we thank Him every day for His death-defying touch!
Back to Rehab Without Walls---we met the Speech therapist yesterday. She was able to conduct a short session with Dale but spent more time talking with me, getting a feel for where Dale is and what she can best help him with. We also met the Occupational therapist. That session went quite well, I thought. She had Dale show her what some of his regular chores would be, and then she had him do some of them. He took out the garbage and unloaded some of the dishes. He showed her his bedroom, and she was excited to see some items she could use to help Dale coordinate his hands and his thinking, like his Etch-A-Sketch and his modeling clay. We get to meet the Physical therapist today. Each therapist will come out about three times a week, and each of those sessions will be about an hour to an hour-and-a-half long. This schedule gives me time to get the girls to and from school, go shopping if I need to, go to doctor appointments, etc. We get to work with Rehab Without Walls for a month probably, maybe longer, and then start outpatient therapy, probably back at Good Sam. We are also looking ahead to getting Dale ready to go back to school, but that will depend on his ability to sit still for longer periods and concentrate more fully on one thing at a time.
Dale got to go to church last night for the first time since August 5th. So many people came up to shake his hand or give him a hug. My husband took him to church a few minutes early so that folks could see him; then, right before the service started, I took him into the overflow room (a side room with a speaker so we could still hear the sermon). This turned out to be a very good idea, because Dale had a hard time sitting still. Then about five minutes after the sermon started, Dale curled up and went to sleep! He had had a long day and was rather exhausted. This nap did not interfere with his night's sleep, either; about an hour after we got home, Dale indicated he wanted to go to bed. He has slept so well since we got home! Yet another thing for which to praise the Lord.
It definitely feels great to be able to get back into the "normal" way of life for us---church, ministries, school, homework, extracurricular activities, sleepovers, shopping. Thank You, thank You, THANK YOU, LORD, for your goodness, your plan, your grace, your people, your love. I will close with these verses; I may have used them before, but they are so fitting and heartfelt.
Psalm 107: 8, 15, 21, 31 "Oh that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!"