Getting settled in Omaha

I apologize for being so late in blog updates. It turns out that there is no wireless internet access in our room and my stubborn computer won’t connect to Brian’s phone hotspot.

Today is the first time I’ve had quiet time inside of the hospital’s wireless network. So, last night I sat down and wrote some blogs of the past couple of days and today I can finally publish them. Here goes: Omaha Days 1 & 2.


We arrived very late Saturday night. Because of a snowstorm and an evening departure, we spent an hour and a half in our plane on the tarmack waiting for our turn for de-icing. We finally got in the air, but because of weather, it was a very rough flight. Thank goodness Patrick did very well for the whole flight and in taking care of Mommy.

Because we were late, it took some extra time to get the rental car and then to get into our room in the hospital’s hotel-style housing called the Nebraska House. We checked in around 10 p.m. Then Brian started the journey to move our luggage from the parking lot two buildings away while I tried to corral Patrick and unpack enough to get ready for bed. The room is a decent size, though the beds are tiny and the pillows, hospital pillows. The whole room is a strange mix of hotel and hospital that is sometimes depressing and other times really helpful. (Sharps container in the room, cool. Pedal operated sinks, not cool. Handrails all over the bathroom that double as towel rods. Cool. Hospital style shower with low water pressure, not cool. Extra big fridge and 3 sinks. Cool. Hospital pillows on the bed. Not cool.)

And, in order to maximize storage for people who stay here a long time, the walls are lined with cabinets and drawers. For a tired Patrick, this is a wonderland. For our neighbors, not so much. We got a call early the next morning letting us know there were several complaints about Patrick banging the cabinet doors while I tried to unpack late at night, and we’ve been working extra hard to keep things quiet and polite since. (Thus teaching us that this is NOT the right place for Patrick to live post-transplant. A first reminder of the fact that this is an adult hospital, not a children’s hospital… and the Ronald McDonald house, which is made for children, will likely be a better fit and somewhat of a refuge when we need it.)

The night was late, and the next morning Patrick woke early. We were definitely overtired. But, we knew we needed to get out of the room until we all got caught up on some sleep and Patrick wasn’t going to have any early napping.

So, since it was Sunday, and because this week is the 4 year anniversary of the day we took Patrick to the temple to be sealed to our family, we headed over to the Winter Quarter’s Temple.

Winter Quarters is a historic site in our church. The Mormon Pioneers stopped there for the winter on their trek west from Illinois to Utah. There is a cemetary there, a new LDS temple, and a visitor’s center.

So, we went over to the visitors center and the missionaries gave us a tour. What a sweet start to the Sabbath day and a refreshing dose of the spirit after a difficult arrival in Omaha to have a sweet young Sister Missionary, a servant of God, bear her testimony about our Heavenly Father’s love and how he helps and supports us through our trials. She had gone through many medical difficulties herself as a child and shared with us how grateful she had been for parents to help her through scary medical tests. And as I stood in a replica of the log cabins pioneers often lived in with 8 or more people, often 2 families together, I decided that I could make peace with an unfamiliar, but very comfortable, hotel room and hospital far from home.

After stopping at our room for a very short, but much needed nap, we headed over to church. The ward (or congregation) assigned to the hospital is about 15 minutes away. We barely got there on time because we were trying to let Patrick sleep as long as possible. The parking lot was crazy full and so was the chapel.

It turns out that they had just changed the boundaries to combine two congregations. It was the first Sunday they’d had a chance to meet together normally. So, while it was nice to take the sacrament and hear the messages taught there, with Patrick overtired and a brand new primary presidency trying to start classes for a brand new primary, we opted to skip out early.

Besides that, our late arrival had left us without the opportunity to make good plans for food on Sunday. Normally, we’d hit the hospital cafeteria, but they all but close on Sundays. And first, we weren’t hungry. Then, we were trying to fit in sleep. By the afternoon when sacrament meeting ended, we hadn’t eaten yet. So, we skipped out and grabbed a much-needed dinner.

And then we came back, got ready for a busy morning, and got to bed early. I didn’t sleep much those first couple of nights. Too many worries about the day to come and not feeling very at home.

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