Homesickness is a very real illness and I am definitely infected with it. There are so many things I miss about being home and in my neighborhood that I keep fantasizing about what it would be like if I had a 24 hour "hall pass." If I could leave the hospital for 24 hours and not have any of the physical limitations I am currently facing (muscle atrophy, fatigue, contractions), what sort of things would I take advantage of? With all of this time on my hands, I have deeply thought about my escape and what that day would entail. First and foremost before any special outings, I would arrive back home and just enjoy being there. I would spend a lot of time with my cats because at this point, they probably think I am either dead or I abandoned them! After some quality time with my four legged kids, I will take that long awaited shower I keep dreaming about. I would love to take a bubble bath too but on my one day off, I want to limit the amount of lying down for obvious reasons. Once I am fully clean and rejuvenated from the shower, I will put on real clothes (not pajamas) and actually put some shoes on! Wearing my normal clothes, I will venture outside into the fresh air and just take a nice long walk in the sunshine. Not being able to go outside and only breathing air from an air conditioner is unbelievably depressing...especially when I have a window to look out of to taunt me and make me feel like a caged bird. This is probably one of the toughest things to deal with at the hospital because I do feel like a prisoner sometimes. Okay, back to my fantasy! Where was I...oh yeah, in the great outdoors. So I spend a good amount of time just walking around my neighborhood taking in the beauty of nature and doing some much needed people watching. I walk to my favorite local nail salon and get the full mani/pedi/massage treatment as a gift to myself. I loved the session I had at the hospital but nothing beats the real experience of sitting in one of those comfy chairs that massages your back the entire time. Yum!
After fulfilling my mind and body, the next order of business is taking care of my stomach with food! At the hospital, the food has gotten very repetitive and I am not enjoying ordering the same things over and over again. Plus, it never arrives very hot since there is a long path taken in order to reach my room. The same holds true for food brought in by visitors. I love getting variety with outside meals but I am constantly eating food that is luke warm or heated up by a microwave. To top it off, I have only been allowed to eat while lying in bed with a big towel draped over me for spills. Not very appetizing or comfortable. For my hospital day off, I will actually sit at a table and receive piping hot food! The first place I go...In-N-Out Burger, and I will savor every minute of it.
Now that I am fed and have gotten my fill of being outside, I will hop into my car and drive around to run errands and go shopping. This day is not about doing anything extraordinary but literally just doing the ordinary. I miss normal and part of that normal is driving to pick up the dry cleaning, stopping by Petsmart for cat food, and taking a stroll through the mall to buy clothes and eat a pretzel. You would think that on my one day off I would rush over to Disneyland, go to the theatre, or do something really exciting but honestly, it's all about the simple things. The most simple thing being at the very end of the day, where the only lying down I want to do is on my own bed. Sleeping on a twin sized slanted hospital bed is about as uncomfortable as it sounds. Regardless of the countless hours I have spent lying in bed at the hospital, I still just want to curl up in my own bed and sleep soundly without any beeping contraction monitors waking me up. Although this entire day is simply a fantasy, I will get to do all of these things soon enough once I have delivered. Well, maybe not the sleeping soundly part once the babies come home but everything else is definitely possible. Until then, I will have to keep clicking my heels with the hopes that I will soon be back home.
*The song "Home" is from the 1975 Broadway musical The Wiz which is a unique retelling of The Wizard of Oz way before Wicked came along. The Wiz was then made into a movie in 1978 starring Diana Ross as Dorothy and Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow. This was one of my favorite movies growing up which I watched on Betamax...yes Betamax, not VHS. This song in the show is the closing number where Dorothy is about to go back home after experiencing her amazing journey through Oz. She reflects on what she has learned, how she has grown, and how much she will appreciate her life back in Kansas. In a way, I am in my own kind of Oz, far away from home facing challenges and making new friends. Like Dorothy, I want nothing more than to go home and be in my familiar surroundings again. My husband actually gave me the idea for this blog post because he asked me what I would do if I had one day to go back to my former life. This song popped into my head and I started thinking about how Dorothy felt being stuck in Oz. Like Dorothy, I also realize that there is no place like home and thankfully, soon that home will include two little munchkins!