So.... A few hours ago I was feeling rather uninspired.
Well, boy oh boy, I have found some blog fodder now!
If you read Alan's CB you know that we were able to get a room at the local Ronald McDonald House.
Wow. I have been using words like 'incredible' and 'amazing' to describe this place. If you are looking for a place to support or volunteer (in addition to your local church) then look no further than RMH.
These places are a true God-send to families of sick kids. Here's how it's gone for us:
At the beginning of our ICU journey, we had my grandparents and their RV just 45 minutes down the road. We got to get away, shower & sleep. Nana & PawPaw fed us like royalty! But then they had to go home and help take care of Dale and other things on the home front. (Thank you N&P!!! You were our lakeside retreat when we really needed you most!) :)
And then, after 10 days of camping out in Alan's room and the ICU waiting room, sleeping on a weird fold-out couch or two chairs pushed together, eating expensive cafeteria food, showering in an institutional-like public shower, and treking down a long hospital hallway just to brush our teeth, we were given a room at RMH yesterday afternoon.
Greg and I came over to do the orientation and get the tour and our key. I immediately jumped in the shower. In a REAL bathroom. Yes, a shared bathroom, but it looks like any bathroom that could be in any home anywhere. After getting cleaned up we were just in time for the evening meal. Different groups volunteer and donate or cook the meals. Last night was take-out pizza. We sat at a real table and chairs and drank out of real glasses!
After eating, we were anxious to get back to the hospital, where we insisted my parents take the first night in the real beds. The next morning, they arrived at the hospital, rested and showered, and with food from the House! The hosts insist that you pack a lunch, and bring food for those at the hospital. They brought Greg and I each a sausage biscuit, a poppy-seed muffin, and a carton of orange juice. What a treat!
Greg and I are spending the night at the house tonight. So here I sit, with wireless internet access. Freshly showered (I've had a shower a day for 2 days in a row? Impossible! And I even got to shave my legs!).
Supper tonight? Donated by a local hotel. Oh-my-goodness. Some sort of pork. Scalloped potatoes. Chicken breasts in a better-than-fabulous white sauce with capers and other good things. Huge ziti in a white sauce with sun-dried tomatoes. A vegetable medly with the hugest, freshest brocolli, cauliflower, asparagus, and tomatoes. Plus desserts out the wazoonie. Turtle brownies. Chocolate chunk pecan pie bars. And little raspberry/cheesecake squares on a chocolate crust that just made you go weak in the knees.
All they ask is that you give a little donation per night. And clean up after yourself. And do your assigned chores (ours are in the living room). And you can sleep. And eat. And shower. And play. And do laundry.
A pretty amazing deal. An undeniable gift from God. If you ever are looking for a place to give to others, please consider RMH!!
*It could probably go without saying, but I feel the need to throw in here that as whole-heartedy grateful I am I would trade in the whole RMH experience in an instant if it meant I could make this whole liver disease thing go away and take home a happy, healthy Alan right this very minute. But, ironically, it is that whole "liver disease thing" that makes me so grateful and appreciative of all RMH has to offer.