Autumn's Wind

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Chapter 123: Preparations of Hope
(by NativeRose, added on 29 April 2009 03:10 AM)


Dr. Clay the neurologist and Dr. Ashley the oncologist told Autumn she would be able to go home in three weeks if there were no complications. It was time to figure out how to make Autumn's transition as easy as possible. She would have to continue with outpatient chemotherapy and radiation treatment, but she could finally go home. Where exactly would that be?

It was decided that Autumn would live with Jason and Abbie. Jamison volunteered to act as Autumn's personal care attendant, but another woman would be needed to help with the more intimate aspects of her care. And that attendant came in the form of Michelle. Morgan was a certified nurse's assistant at the hospital, so she wouldn't be able to continue with Autumn's care. Michelle and Autumn had become friends during the last weeks, and when Michelle discovered that Autumn would be going home, she offered to help. Unlike Autumn, she was able to recover from her TBI fully, with the exception of some slight short-term memory loss. Still, she remembered what it was like to need help with everything. Her mother had learned all she could, and she had been an absolutely amazing parent, caregiver, and yes, even friend. Michelle was determined to pass the same kindness along to someone who had suffered so much. For while the brain tumor was gone, she still had a long recovery ahead of her. There was no way to know if she would achieve remission or if the metastatic cancer would continue to eat her body. No matter what happened, Michelle, Morgan, Jamison, Jason and the nursing staff were willing to stick with Autumn until the end, whatever that would be.

Jenni and Lance were thrilled when they discovered that Autumn would be going home. They, too, offered their assistance. It turned out that Lance had some construction experience, so he worked with contractors and physical/occupational therapists to remodel Jason's home. Jenni and Michelle were already working out a schedule to figure out who could help Autumn on specific days. They were able to organize the daily care needs around their combined work schedules. None of the extra helpers would accept payment for their time and physical assistance.
Automatic door openers were installed in all of the relevant places, and Jason and Abbie made sure ramps were in the appropriate locations. They got a full electric bed for her use and installed a vertical pole beside it to help with her transfers and balance. A bath lift was installed so she could enjoy the relaxing "soak" without having to be transferred into the bathtub. They also purchased a shower chair, installed grab bars and an adjustable shower head so she could handle as much of the bathing task as possible...when she was physically able to do so. All of the faucets in the home were replaced with automatic censors so she wouldn't have to deal with gripping and turning handles and knobs.
Although she would be quite limited (at least in the beginning), all of these things were modifided so that, when she was ambulatory--able to use the wheelchair on her own, that is--she could be as independent as possible. Everyone looked forward to the time when she could live apart from the hospital setting. She would still have to go to the hospital some three times a week for treatment, but the situation would be far different. She would have a place to call home, and she could be free of the hospital that had become her life for so long. It wouldn't be long now...just three weeks, assuming there wouldn't be any complications or setbacks. She would be welcomed into aplace free of her mother's alcoholism and Lynn's abusive boyfriends, and she could regain some semblance of peace. That was what Autumn needed more than anything.

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