Tuesday, December 23, 2008

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FIVE DAYS HOME FROM HOSPICE AND COUNTING!!!

Well, its been five days since my return and I think I can comfortably say that things are slowly getting better. While the couch and tree at Hospice made for a nice backgound for a family picture, they all came out a little fuzzy and I was excited about the new wig so we had mom''s co-worker Missy bring her mom Linda out to take some new family portraits and they turned out great. Definitely a fun assortment! Mere, Nick & Drew:

Im lovin' the Argyle!


Ladies in red:


Mom & Dad:



J-Mac, Dad, Drew, Nick, Me, Mom, Mom, Mere.


Me & J-Mac:


Visitors come over for a little Mama Mia Action...

So, this was pretty funny...we wanted to watch a "chick flick" when Mere, Ang & Trace were coming over Sunday night and we've been kicking the idea of picking up Mama Mia. Earlier that day Kelly B (I know its different now but remember? Newer, friendlier, no last names blogs?) Anyhoo, Kelly and her mom BRING ME MAMA MIA!!!! Crazy!! So that worked out. That was not an exciting story at ALL, but Kelly has been requesting more driver frustration stories and since I havent driven in a month....well....Im graspin' for straws here.


I dont know if Im holding a box of kleenex in my shirt or WHAT HERE. Really I have no clue. (Mere, Ang, Me, Trace)

Nick was actually supposed to be in this picture but he was embarassed to be connected in anyway to this movie. He headed upstairs to watch football.

Earlier that day, I took my VERY FIRST road trip outside of my bed to Tar-Jay and it was WONDERFUL! We wanted to get the wheelchair and the oxygen cannulas tested out because I anticipate more of these little roadtrips coming up in the future. It was a just a little bit frustrating for it being the first time, thats all. The Oxygen tank was kind of pressing into my back at first so we had to run out to the car and get a blanket but that helped to remedy that problem fairly quickly.



Here were my chauffers:



We didnt stay too terribly long since I only had like 2 hours on my tank. Im pretty pumped about what I got for mom and dad. Often times thats because it benefits me as well....and the whole family....I wont lie. They ARE going to love it though


Old leftover pics from Hospice!

Here were a few shots that never made it on the any of the old Hospice posts...or maybe they did, I dont think they did though. Im slowly coming out of the fog. Bear with me.


Drew wanted in on the wig action too!


Me & my Godfather, Mike:





Howard & Drew - I dont know if Ive ever given Howard any props on this blog before, but he has always been my "Uncle-that-really-wasnt" who is one of the most amazing people Ive ever known. He's kind and has racked up crazy volunteering hours at Hospice for many years. He's a veteran with an impressive sinking ship story. He's amazing. There's nobody like him.

Mere, Drew, Me, half of Alisa's face & Vivi:

Santa & the Elves visited Drew. We werent expecting them so unfortunately we werent prepared with some some super cute outfit, but he did pretty well considering!




REFELCTIONS ON FIVE DAYS POST-HOSPICE:I will bullet point below some of my reflections on life post-Hospice. Im not promising insight, only honesty.



  • Hospice nurses are a rare breed. They take their jobs personally and each bring their own unique quality to the task at hand. There's nothing they havent seen and make sure that you know that and are comfortable at all times.

  • Since Ive been home I have FOURTEEN medications that I have to take throughout the day. 6a, 9a,12p, 530p, 9p (I think) I have my cell phone timer set but it seems as though mom has reset hers so that she can slide in 7 minutes earlier. At 5:57am half the family storm troopers the living room to make sure I take my two 6am pills. (at least I think theres 2 at 6a)

  • Visitors in socks, you will shock me. Ang spent the night the other night and woke up at 4am to find that my cannula had slid out of my nose. (Not good) she bends over and gives me a whammy of a shock to the face. She didnt slap me, she just gently poked me right up the middle to try and push up the cannula.

  • Visitors in general, watch out for my oxygen tubing. Everyone trips over it, especially dad. He left for work the other day and almost fell on top of me, no joke.

  • My friend Kelly from OU came to visit me today with her little boys. She asked me if I was scared. I told her that in all honesty, I wasn't. I really want to get better and get back to work. Thats it. Im still trying to sort out all the emotions and fear is not breaking in thank Goodness.

  • Mom happened to be sitting there when she asked that question (Or something similar) and she said that it was scary when I was taken to the ICU when my HR went through the roof. She said it was quite scary when they had to give me two shots that stopped my heart. It was one of those "DUH" moments. I completely forgot about that night. I completely forgot there were 60 people that showed up that night. I do remember them giving me two shots that made my heart stop but I dont remember much. I remember it hurt like hell and people were actually coming in to watch. One of the nurses actually looked at me and was all, "Yeah, we dont get to see this very often" like she was excited to see it! Wha?

  • Hospice has set my parents living room up into a pretty sweet little bedroom for me. Ive got a nice reclining bed smack in the middle of the room with a rolling table, not too shabby!

  • Im reallly trying to do as much as I can by myself but I am getting a lot of help physically and entertainment-wise. Ive been yet to be denied the smallest task and between my brother and Angie, there are no movies I have yet to see.

  • One little perk of Hospice services would have to be the Massage Therapy - WHAT? YES! Massage Therapy! I have some serious back issues that could use some deep tissue massage and some knots pressed out in the worse way.

  • I also had my first appointment with a physical therapist last night, which basically turned into a one hour long Health Q&A of questions Ive been answering and could answer in my sleep...Allergies....Surgeries.....General Health questions..... Didn't we get all this information in the last five years? Doesn't the entire tri-state area know my health history? But that was her job so she had to do it so I cant blame her for that! I think we both agreed that the next time she comes, I just need a few of those little bands and some worksheets with exercizes I can do to strengthen my quads. Im having a really hard time getting up off the toilet because I have no leg muscles!

  • I can do something I NEVER thought Id be able to do...CROSS MY LEGS TWICE! you know, cross them over one knee, and then tuck my foot under my ankle. THANKS MUSCULAR ATROPY! Unfortunately my legs dont look fit, they just look wobbly and dry, but Im working on it.

  • John and I have gotten some amazing contributions in the last few weeks....the AD at Kettering Middle School dropped off $300 from the wrestling squad who just completed their winter fundraiser chose to give us their money - apparently there are a number of wrestlers who also played football for Coach Fortener (my dad) and knew I was heading into Hospice and suggested they make the donation. I know my dad was really touched by the gesture.

I think thats about all I can contribute to this post today. Hopefully as the days pass, Ill start feeling better, maybe dedicate

Here are some pics from today - Kelly with her kiddies visit, and later, a visit from my rugby teammate Netti en route to Ottowa - OHIO!





Tomorrow Ill be heading off to Hospice in the morning for another transfusion. WHOOPIDIDO!
Everyone have a great Christmas eve. If I get some good transfusion stories/pictures, Ill be sure to post. Doubtful though!

35 comments:

Stedron said...

Just wanted to admit guilt as your latest stalker. Glad to hear you're feeling better. You guys have a Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the updates! I love
all of your pictures and the laughter I hear in your writing. Wow your shopping trip sounded fun. I can't wait to hear what you bought for your family. Good luck tomorrow. I hope you get lots of energy to enjoy the holidays with. Love to you all.
Carrie

Dru said...

I'm pretty excited that I am going to be the first to post a comment! I was so glad that you wrote something; you have been on my mind so much. As I was baking cookies today, I had time to wonder about how you were doing and reflect upon your situation. Your eyes look better in your photos. Use your theraband like a good girl so that you can get strong. You are unsinkable, and thank God for that. Enjoy your massages and transfusion trip, and have a wonderful Christmas with the family.

Karyn said...

Hey girl, you are looking great and I love all the pics! Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas...Love you

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Melissa. Thanks for the update - Momma Mia was terrific seen live in Las Vegas - can't picture it as a movie. Was so glad to hear you did make it to TarJay. We all knew you wanted OUT. Hope Pam and Donny are surprised and don't spoil that adorable Drew with too many presents. Prayers, love and big hugs. Cheers to your spirit and the spirit of the season. XXOO Cousin Sue

Anonymous said...

Fort, I'll be checking out your page every opportunity I get. I'm not a very serious chap as you know, but you are in my prayers and I can't wait to run the July 4th run with you in '09. Ok, I'll just throw up again but I will try!!!!!

-Gordo

Anonymous said...

Melissa...so good to hear that you broke out and got in some shoppin time. I would have loved to have run into you guys but you KNOW I would have kept you till the oxygen was runninng low!! Will pray that the transfusion goes well & has the invigorating effect it has in the past! Have a wonderful family Christmas & know you are loved, admired and treasured by many people - some you'll never meet. I'll look forward to seeing you sometime soon in person. Give Pam a big Christmas hug for me ok? love you your favorite yaya st

Annie said...

What a wonderful post! The pictures are great :) Have a very merry Christmas, Fort!

angelsamoungus said...

I fell in love with all your Christmas pictures. I am a sap for any family Christmas pictures. I am so glad you are feeling better.

Love,
Terri

Jami said...

Fort--I love the Christmas pictures!!! Really glad you got out to Target and am excited for your many excursions to come!! I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! Talk to you soon! Love, Jami

Steve and Kelley said...

Merry Christmas Fort and J-Mac!! Kel and I could not be happier that you are home celebrating with your friends and family. We miss you and love you tons. We'll be seeing you in the 'nati sometime in '09.

Steve

Anonymous said...

Wow! You continue to amaze me with your tremendous spirit. You look great, too. Glad to hear you are feeling better. I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

aimy brown young

Anonymous said...

Great pics!! I know you already went shopping but FYI, I wear XL!!!

Merry Christmas Forteners and McLaughlins!!!

Pauly the Bastard

Anonymous said...

The family picture looks amazing! Love the hats! Merry Christmas Forts and McLaughlins! We love you all very much!

XOXO,
The Schniebers!

Pam said...

Cydney and I check out your blog every day. So happy to see you feeling better! Have a wonderful holiday with your amazing family!
We continue to send our prayers and positive energy!

Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa,
I'm in NC with family but had to check in on you. So good to see those great Xmas photos. You look terrific, girl!! Even shopping - you're amazing :-)
Merry Christmas to all of you. May its spirit give you peace and joy.
Love, Mari Lou

Susie Q said...

The family pictures look amazing.
You all are one heckova great looking family you know!

Glad you arefeeling better...we are all thinking about you all.

So glad you got out to Tar Jay! Asmy daighter says, "It is the BEST!"!

Love to your Mom...love to YOU...love to you all.

Merry Christmas!

Sue Groseclose Combs and family

Tony said...

HAHAHA...Nick watched Mama Mia...HAHAHA, really, that's the greatest Christmas present I could have ever gotten. I think I can see a tear falling from his face as he turned in that picture. Maybe the kleenex you were holding were his. Oh man, seriously, I haven't stopped laughing since I saw that. really Fort, thanks. And let the M.F.C.K. know I appreciated it. And by the way, it's good to see you're getting better. Keep it up. I'd say more but it's hard to laugh and type at the same time. Merry Christmas!

amy said...

The Christmas pictures are amazing!
Merry Christmas!

Jessie said...

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.”-Marie Curie

Your perseverance is so inspirational. Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family.

Jessie Rindler

Misti said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family! I hope Santa was good to you, you deserve it.

Anonymous said...

Fort you look amazing! I can't think of a better way to start my Christmas Day than with a little 'B-Positive.' I'm gonna give a shot-out to you in my egg-nog toast later!

Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Tonya

Kat said...

Merry Christmas Fort! It's great to see you doing so well! Keep it up. Love ya!

kj said...

Merry Christmas from Colorado! Was happy to log in and see such a long post! Fantastic pics of course.

Very glad you got out to Target since I couldn't sneak you out to Gander Mountain on Friday :) We'll be in town for a few hours Sunday before we head north so we'll try to stop by.

Love you guys!
kj & Watts

PS - We watched Step Brothers. Hilarious!

Bonnie G said...

Sounds as if you had a good Christmas. Your enthusiasm amazes me. You look really pretty in that wig! I am so happy for you that you got to do a road trip. Keep on trippin girl!

Netti said...

it was great to see you and you family! I made it to Ottawa OHIO in one piece amazingly. But it was worth the trouble to come see you. Hope to see you soon! And were your parents excited about the christmas present?? Hope you had a great Christmas and have a wonderful new year!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I sure have miss you on the court. I am glad to hear you are home and doing better. You inspire me!
Much Love,
LeAnn

Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa!! You are incredibly awesome! I love your blog! I just figured out how to post on your site. Your pictures are great. Wishing you a Happy New Year!
Love and Blessings (and a big hug),
Sharon Kershner

Anonymous said...

Sending positive thoughts your way!! Stay stong, girl!!

P the B

Jami said...

Love and miss you Fort.

KJ said...

For all those blog readers that aren't on the Facebook group Friends of Fort, and the ones that she didn't even know, I wanted to pass on that Fort peacefully passed away this morning at Hospice.

Most of you already heard this news but for the far and away readers please know that Fort appreciated you guys too. I hope you were able to grasp what an incredible woman she was even without meeting her in person.

Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers.

The GladGirl said...

I was blessed to have known her briefly. Her precious spirit in the face of such an overwhelming situation was a big inspiration to me.
She was one of those rare people that come in to hospice and touch the staff in an unforgettable way.
She was one of our fave patients. (and we enjoyed the family too.)
We are very saddened for Fort's family and friends.

Anonymous said...

You GO Fort......MO....Melissa...

You Mattered and Made a Difference.....You showed me/us how to play and Make a differance.

Thanks and Hugs.... and Save a Place For me/US......tears and thoughts....Miss Your Blog already...thoughts and Prayers Mo...Melissa...Fort...Mac.........

Anonymous said...

I didn't know Melissa on a personal level, we did go to the same high-school just different grades, so I knew of her. I somehow stumbled onto her blog about a year ago and became addicted:) Her positive outlook on life was amazing, especially with a person fighting a horrible disease. I admired her for her ability to chose to live the life she had left rather then dwell on her sickness. There are tons of people out there that have their health that don't live life to the fullest like Melissa did. I regret that I never wrote on here before to tell her how much I admired her strength and courage, although I believe she knew she was special with all the others that did comment. Melissa had a impact on my life and she doesn't even know me, I can only imagine the impact she left on the people who did. May God be with her husband, family and friends during this time, you all are in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

I, too, read this blog everyday and looked forward to her strength and humor. Fort and her family was/is an inspiration to everyone who knew them personally, and through here. Unfortunately I never had the pleasure of meeting any of you in person, but you are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing Fort with us. She is greatly missed and admired. I will continue to check this blog and share the sadness for your loss, but also to enjoy the magnetic personality of Melissa.
Respectfully,
Bridget