I asked my fellow PITAs to contribute written snippets of this incredible, exhausting, magical happening of which I have been part (plus it will help with the book :)). Thank goodness, Mama Jen took me up on it and picked just the right snippet.
Please leave her some comment love!
Moma Jen's contribution for Denise's 'Juggling Life' blog
It was D-Day. Or maybe I should say R-Day – Recovery Day. But we'd been here before – so many times Jenny had been in medical hospital with the vague 'promise' that she would be transferred direct from there to Rosewood Ranch, the eating disorder treatment center that had been pinpointed as ideal for Jenny's complex needs. So I was trying to tell myself not to get too excited.
But actually, it felt different this time. Far more positive. Firstly, Jenny was in a different medical hospital that actually seemed to care! All the nurses were doting and caring in Memorial Hermann Hospital where Jenny had been for a couple of days. The doctors seemed to not only care far more for Jenny than previous hospitals, but they were keen to learn about how to treat someone with an eating disorder, rather than getting her only just medically stable and then discharging, often late at night.
So here I am, sitting almost five thousand miles away, in a teeny tiny, quiet village in Oxfordshire, UK, alternately huddled over my laptop on my round glass table or pacing around the room, thinking:
“WHAT'S GOING ON?!!!?”
I know that Cherie is on the plane from Florida to Houston. I'm opening up real time views of Cherie's flights to see where she is. Nearly there.
I'm watching all the threads, seeing the discussions, heart in mouth, waiting to see when Cherie arrives at the hospital, and seeing Jenny talking to the rest of us PITA Moms who are all doing the same as me. Watching and waiting, impatiently. Jenny's telling us that she's not stable enough to fly. But we know full well that she's just scared, despite wanting to recover so much. The discussions on all our different threads (they all have names, one quite rude where we can vent!) are chaotic at times and all over the place as we're all chatting to one another, guessing at what will transpire and how. All of us are waiting with baited breath.
Then we see a picture pop up on a thread of Cherie with Jenny! She's there, sitting on Jenny's hospital bed, scooping her up to safety. But I'm still not ready to celebrate quite yet – there's still a flight to Phoenix to go, and then meeting up with Denise and Alyson, aka Thelma and Louise, who were driving from San Diego to Phoenix to meet Cherie and Jenny at the airport. The plan was to then eat out, all together for the first time, and then drive Jenny the 90 minutes to Rosewood.
We see that Cherie is helping Jenny to sort all her stuff out. She has a LOT of stuff! Eventually we hear that they're at Houston airport, on their way to Phoenix. Another photo is posted by Cherie of the two of them on the plane, later followed up with a picture of Jenny sleeping. Bless. One of the mom's – Lisa I believe – commented that that will be a picture to show together with baby pics at her wedding, or some other big celebration that we ALL intend to take part in... :-)
More waiting. More chatting. I'm trying to focus on doing things around the house. Write a blog. Prepare dinner. But always with half an eye on the laptop, our chat threads. Our lifeline threads.
Suddenly there's lots of chat as we see that they've landed, met up with Denise and Alyson and are finally on their way to Rosewood! By now it's around midnight my time and I have to get to bed. So first thing next morning I'm up, logging on quickly to see what's happened and see the chat threads have hundreds of comments on them!
Part of this extraordinary journey of helping Jenny throughout her illness is the morning ritual, for me, of reading through the threads from the day/night before because of the 6-8 hour time difference. The threads can take an hour or more to read sometimes! Frequently I would have to scan read them – look out for pertinent comments from people and scan over the 'chat' (which can get quite personal and fruity, I can tell you! Well, we're sisters now, what would you expect?!). Certainly this particular morning there was more than enough to read through, but early on I quickly noticed a beautiful picture of Jenny with Cherie, Denise, Alyson and Shannon at Rosewood. She's there! She's safe.
Now we can breathe. Relax, take stock of ourselves, learn to self care again and live our lives. Because this journey has been so all consuming that even our own husbands and partners have been neglected. So now it's time to show them the love they all deserve, and adjust to our 'normal' lives again. But always with Jenny in our minds, just waiting to see her again when she's finished treatment. Or even during, if it's possible, for some of us.
We PITA Moms are sisters now. We will always be there for one another, and, especially, for Jenny.