My third blood culture came back negative, so I could go home! No more Strep A germs were lurking in my blood. Suddenly there were discharge planners and visiting nurses and things to sign. I was going home!
A specially trained nurse came to put my midline in so I could continue to take IV antibiotics when I got home. She had to clear out the room and get dressed in a gown, mask and hat to perform the sterile procedure. Even I had to wear a mask and try not to cough or sneeze while the nurse stuck a really long IV tube into the vein in my elbow, then fed the tubing into my vein all the way up to my shoulder, then she secured the tube in place with special tape.
Rob packed up my flowers and clothes and I headed out by wheelchair. I was feeling frail and perplexed. I felt like I entered the hospital when it was winter and leaving, it felt like spring. The air was brisk and I felt confused by all the noises. With the one ear still only hearing about 10% it was difficult to know where noises were coming from.
I was craving a chicken kabob from Amanouz, a restaurant in Northampton where we always used to go before we had kids. Rob was a bit puzzled why I wanted to go there, we hadn't been in so long and I wasn't eating much, but he was glad to be bringing me home and pleased I was eating. It was almost like I had lost awareness of the more recent years, and it seemed like Amanouz was the place to go.
I ate only a few bites of the chicken kabob, but it was perfect. The peppermint tea was delicious; warm and strong. I looked around at the lively restaurant and to the street outside while Rob ate and then I checked my horoscope in the local paper. I love Free Will Astrology and was glad I found an old paper and could read my horoscope from the week I missed.
Acupuncturists identify an energetic point in the ear called the spirit gate. If it's stuck closed, the spirit is locked in; if it's stuck open, the spirit is always coming and going, restless and unsettled. What's ideal, of course, is that the spirit gate is not stuck in any position. Then the spirit can come and go as it needs to, and also have the option of retreating and protecting itself. I'd like you to imagine that right now a skilled acupuncturist is inserting a needle in the top of your left ear, where it will remain for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, visualize your spirit gate being in that state of harmonious health I described.
I read it a few times and showed Rob. Even he was struck by the talk of the left ear. I wondered what my illness was telling me. But I was tired and ready to see my kids.
We took the highway home.