~ to read part 1 of the story, click here ~
But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. ~Matthew 14:30
While the nurse took out my staples (--owie--) I distracted myself from the pain by talking through alternatives with DC. Our neighbor Thelma explained over the phone in detail an alternate route we could take. . . . she thought. The nurse gave me my discharge instructions and rather unconcernedly left.
We were worried and frightened, to say the least. I called our pharmacy to see if there would be a way for DC to come get my painkiller, and they said that it would likely be impossible from Little Rock. Apparently our alternate route was now also closed.
So at this point, we were officially discharged, with no way to get home and no way to get the medicine I needed. DC went to talk to someone at the main desk. I tried to take pictures of Rosemary in her going-home outfit that I had picked out with such a different mental picture of how things would be. I was trying to make the best of things, but then my camera’s batteries died before I got even one picture.
At that moment my fear at what might happen overcame my peaceful determination and I began to sob. I felt completely friendless and helpless. Any friends in Little Rock I could think of were already out of town, or not close enough to us to disturb on Christmas Eve. All of our church friends were on the other side of the closed Interstate. What on earth were we going to do?
DC came back at 11:20am, having found out that since we were officially discharged we could not come back to the hospital (that had been a Plan B up until that point). But he also found out that there was a pharmacy in the hospital that was about to close at 12pm for the Christmas holiday. He went to fill the prescriptions and I tried to calm down, and resolved that we would at least get in the car and TRY to get home. My next percocet was due at 1:30pm. (If anyone out there has had a C-section, you know that percocet is still very important three days after the surgery!)
In my narcotic haze and stressed-out mind, we surely had a good reason for a police escort home! Maybe even a helicopter ride! Yes, that was it. We would get close enough to where the road was closed, and they would hear our sad story and it would be like on a Christmas movie and all the stops would be pulled to get us home to be with our kids! So heartwarming it would be the human interest story on that night's news. (See earlier comment about my idealistic tendencies :).
So after we got the medicine I was wheeled out with Rosemary in her carseat on my lap. It was so different than the last time I was wheeled out of that hospital. That time I held a vase of roses on my lap, to keep my arms from feeling quite so agonizingly empty. The sun was shining brightly then, and as Chris drove me home in the horribly quiet car, there was only me to worry about jostling, no sweet newborn in the back seat. I had thought that I would feel completely overjoyed this time, but I was so stressed about whether or not we could get home I couldn’t think about much else.
The orderly that wheeled me out said she had heard one lane of one of the Interstates was now open—she couldn’t remember which Interstate—“I think it’s the one to [our town]?” Sweet. See, everything was going to be fine! We set off with high hopes, and called home to tell Mom and Dad we were on our way and to ask everyone to keep praying.
(taken with my lovely cell phone, just after leaving the hospital)
Then we got to the turnoff to I-30, and our hearts sank. Traffic was being diverted back onto the opposite direction of the road we were on! We pulled off to the side to talk to the police officer directing traffic. “Do you know how long till the Interstate will reopen?” “No, but it’s still raining. It could be a while.” “Do you know of any alternate routes that are open still?” He pulled out a map, and pointed out a backroads way through East End, that was over 60 miles out of the way, mentioning that he wasn’t sure if all those roads were open anyway.
To show the absolute desperation I was feeling. . . .I cannot believe I did this. . . .I called out from the backseat: “Please! We were just discharged from the hospital! Isn’t there any other way we can get home?” He didn’t hear me completely, and by now I had started crying again, and DC had to repeat my question (sorry, Darling!). The officer shrugged and said he was sorry, and went to talk to the next car. . . .