|Last visit to the metabolic clinic.|
One of the toughest good-byes (at least for me) was our last visit to Charlie's metabolic clinic. They have taken such good care of Charlie and us. Julie, Charlie's dietician, is wonderful beyond words. She was always available to answer questions, help when we had trouble getting formula, or had concerns and gave great advice about things we hadn't even thought of. Leaving to a new place away from them was hard. The one comforting things is that all of our dieticians we have ever had have been great. Personally I think that all potential dieticians have to go through some sort of "niceness" test. So I am not too worried about who our new dietician will be, but it is always, always, hard to say good-bye to people that are so much more than a doctor to you.
On a similar note (although unfortunately I do not have a picture) I almost cried saying good-bye to Dr. Radtke who has been my neurologist through out my entire seizure ordeal. I was walking out of the room where we had been visiting when I suddenly realized that this was the last time I would ever see him. I am kind of glad that I hadn't had that realization earlier because I don't know if I would have been able to make it through that appointment. He would answer emails that we would frantically send any day of the week asking what we should do now when some medication wasn't working or I was having major side effects, etc. After that final visit he gave me a hug and softly and lovingly whispered "I hope all goes well for you. You have been through a lot." The way he expressed it with genuine care almost brought me to tears.
All the people at Duke took such great care of me; Dr. Friedman my brain surgeon, Eve my midwife, Dr. Peters my neuro-oncologist, Dr. Radtke, and all of the many therapists and nurses that helped me along my difficult path. It made me feel sad and vulnerable to leave all of them behind.
Another thing we miss is the state farmer's market. It was like no other farmer's market I have ever seen; huge, open year long, the variety was amazing and fun local fare like okra, pickled everything (really, everything), etc. Not to mention the most beautiful and cheapest ceramic pots ever. You would have to see it to believe it. Unfortunately we don't live there anymore so I won't be able to show you.
Of course the friends we made were the hardest to leave. I couldn't say enough about our dear friends so I won't try, except to say that they were the jewels of our life there, as true friends always are.
Johannah, for instance, gave me the privilege of watching her son Jack who is the same age as Charlie. They quickly become great friends and it was truly a delight to watch them play together. I don't think Charlie understood what was happening when we said good-bye to them for the last time, but I did and it broke my heart to know that Charlie would never see his dear friend again.
Shortly before we left Johannah took me kayaking out on Lake Johnson. It was the freest I had ever felt since the seizures started. Seriously. I don't think she knows that gave me so much more than a ride in her kayak. It was the first time that I felt like my old self again; the self that at times I thought would never come back to me. After my ride I came back and picked up Charlie. He doesn't look like it in the picture, but he loved it. He peppered me with questions about the big pipe under the bridge and how the house on the pier stayed on the water.
The Fergusons and Flores' are also friends that we still miss very much. They had been my walking companions and as a result we became good friends. I know that Emily was the answer to the many prayers that I offered while in St. Louis and was scared of moving to yet another place where I knew no one. We met the first week we were there and quickly became very good friends. Our boys all became friends too as they played together on play dates and when we did babysitting swaps. While I took the picture on the right, Charlie said "I will miss you Thomas." Oh how it broke my heart! I don't know which was the more difficult: saying good-bye to our dear friends or knowing that we were taking Charlie away from his friends and he couldn't understand why or what was even happening.
These are just a few of the people we miss and were dear friends that we still think about and miss. Looking back I realize that the list goes on and on. One of the blessings of the seizures that I see in hindsight, is that it brought me in contact with many more people than I would have reached out to without being in that situation.
|Boxing up the apartment and then a celebratory lunch (and lemon) before beginning the cleaning.|
And then whoosh! We packed up and were headed off on to the next chapter in our lives and new adventures!