Returning Home

Three months since the spinal surgery, three months until I’m back in Cambridge, it’s time for me to return to my own home. This was quite a big risk. I was still losing strength in my legs, the movement restrictions were not yet lifted, I couldn’t drive. My home is about 30km out of Adelaide, past the Adelaide Hills, in the outskirts of Mt Barker. I love Hills living. The space, seeing paddocks from my living room, walking five minutes up the road to visit wallabies, horses, and at the moment, lambs. But if something did go wrong, I could be in a lot of trouble. But I’ve never been one to be held back by fear of what could happen. A big pull to return home now is that there is a lot of uncertainty as to whether I will be able to sustain living in the Hills for the long term. If I only have three months, then I’m going to make the most of it. Once we know how much function I will have in the lower half of my body for the long term is when a decision of where I will be living for the long term will be made. For the moment though, I was just glad to be returning to my own home, to my dog, and to my housemates. I have been planning logistics for months, since I was released as an inpatient from hospital. Finally putting plans into action gave me something else to focus on and something to look forward to.

I knew that resettling into a routine would need to be a priority when I moved back home, especially as I was going into another four weeks of lecturing with other writing deadlines looming. Saturday seemed to be as good as any for a moving day. I was keen to get some writing done in the morning, so we made the plan to move me back up the hill in the afternoon. An added benefit was that my housemates were out that afternoon and evening, which would give me the space to resettle, cook dinner, and collapse in front of a TV series of one kind or another – something I hadn’t done since all this started.

Making plans though is one thing, putting those plans into action is something else entirely. The plan to move in the afternoon became late afternoon; I didn’t have long to unpack before I needed to start making dinner, and I was already exhausted. But following the plans set out for me by my Occupational Therapist, I did make my dinner, even though I was tempted not to, and did what I had been dreaming about for a while now, I collapsed in front of the TV. I don’t think I realised how much I missed being in my own space. Micah, my beautiful Golden Retriever cross, didn’t take long to curl up by my side. I really was home.