Maya Angelou Quote - Nurses
Appreciation,  Compassion,  D.G. Kaye,  Health and wellness,  That's Life,  THOUGHTS

We Are Home – On the Road to Recovery #Gratitude


On the Road to Recovery

Maya Angelou Quote - Nurses

I found this memo pinned on to the bulletin board at the nurse’s station in the hospital today and just loved it. It is so true that when people extend kindness and compassion and can care for others in their most humiliating moments – those people are always remembered.


My husband has been to North York General Hospital a few times now for surgical procedures, and a few times in the ER, which ultimately led to another visit in the surgical department. I remember quite a few nurses for their compassion, but it was also nice for a few to come up to me when I was sitting beside my husband while waiting in pre-op. Three of those nurses approached me to say hello. They were the ones who commented on how well I take care of my husband. So you see, it’s not only us finding compassionate nurses, but them also noticing the compassion their patients receive from others.


Even the best of healthcare systems could always use more nurses. I know how much they are relied on, and I had a few 12 hour days where I had plenty of time to observe. As good as the nurses are, they just don’t have the time to give more than the required attention to a patient because they have too many patients to take care of. So I do my best not to bother them for things unnecessarily. And I know how exhausted they must be looking after so many for many hours. But I’m an old pro at finding things in the supply cupboard and pantry without having to ask for things. When we demonstrate to the nurses that one of their patients isn’t as needy as others, they are quite willing to do other little favors for me when asked. It’s all in the giving to receive.


I was so touched by the beautiful comments you all have left me not only here, but on other social media and by email. My husband came home yesterday after a long 5 days in the hospital. They kept him in emergency most of the weekend hooked up to various cocktails to halt the bleeding until Monday’s procedure was done by my husband’s own gastro-enterologist, who happens to be an amazing person and doctor. Only 3 days before he was rushed into hospital we had visited Dr. B in his office for a follow up from the prior 2 week past emergency visit at the hospital, which turned out to be a completely different issue than this visit. Dr. B had scoped him both ways previously and told us all was calm and gave us his blessing to head off to Mexico (supposedly 2 weeks today we’d be leaving for the winter). But after hubby was taken into the operating room to be scoped again down his throat, Dr. B came into the recovery room and announced, “Deb, you guys won’t be going anywhere for a long while.”


Apparently, as my husband’s age progresses, so does his liver disease. With this disease, pressure mounts on the portal vein which runs from the liver to the heart. As pressure mounts, something called varices can grow, not unlike small varicose veins that have a potentially fatal propensity to burst in the lower esophagus, which is what happened. The treatment is a ligation banding where they insert ‘elastic-like bands’ through a scope to tie off and strangle that vein to kill it from further bleeding. The scary part is that it can happen again somewhere else. A most frightening and horrific thought to ever have to experience that again to say the least. He was also put on some other new meds – beta blockers, to try to keep the pressure from surging on that big portal vein.


They say it changes people when they have a life and death experience, in the same way a person who smokes a pack a day couldn’t imagine how a heart attack could change their life until it happens. I remember my own heart surgery to remove a tumor. I was petrified that I may never wake up afterward. And when I did, and realized how close I was to the possibility of dying, and surviving just makes you see the big picture – a little bigger.


We finally came home and had our melt down moment together after he cleaned up, shaved and napped at home. On came the tears with apologies for putting me through these last 5 days, the thank yous for saving his life and being there for him 24/7, and his realization that he was lucky to survive. And out came the emotional sea that had been welling up inside me for those same 5 days. But we are home now. And as Dorothy says, “There’s no place like home.”


D.G. Kaye Worn Out
Worn out but grateful



Right now we are focused on recovery – getting his strength back, his hemoglobin back up, adjusted to the new meds, and my mission to fatten him up. I also ordered a baby monitor to help give me peace of mind so I can put one monitor in the room he’s in and the base where I work so I can hear him calling. This will certainly ease my ongoing  concern I can’t hear him calling from the other side of our condo, saving me with my paranoia from having to get up every 5 minutes to see if he’s okay.


And so begins his road to recovery and me slowly getting back to a mountain of things to tackle to catch up on life that was put on hold this past week. And once again, I want to thank the so many of you friends who left comments and messages for me with love, wishes, and prayers. It has meant the world to me to know how much I was thought of, and that you are all my circle of community and friends, a community I missed being a part of very much. So just know how grateful I am.

Thank you gratitude


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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.


  • amreade

    Debby, your husband is a very lucky man to have you looking after him. You seem to have a strong grasp on his condition and its dangers, and that’s got to give him some peace of mind. My daughter will be starting nursing school in the fall and I love to see posts like this because sometimes I think people don’t quite realize how hard nurses work to take care of our loved ones. I’ll continue to keep both you and your husband in my prayers for peace and comfort and healing. And don’t try to do too much–you can’t pour from an empty glass. You need to remember to take good care of yourself. <3

    • dgkaye

      Thanks so much Amy for your kind words. Yes, my husband never fails to remind me how lucky he feels to be alive and keeps telling me it’s only because of me. But I have been blessed in my life for the many times he was there for me. Life is always going to entail giving back, so I’m doing the best I can.
      Thanks for your lovely wishes Amy. I’m so appreciative of the wonderful community of friends I have who have offered kind words and prayers, while the colors of friendship have stood out clearly. A true comfort to know I have so many in my corner. <3

  • marianbeaman

    I saw this great announcement on Facebook and rejoice with you too back in this space. Answered prayers for sure!

    The baby monitor is such a nice (necessary) touch. He IS your baby, but of course!

    • dgkaye

      Thank you so much Marian for keeping tabs on us. And yes, I don’t know why I didn’t think of that monitor months ago when my worry began escalating, it’s unnerving when you know any given moment something can happen to a sick loved one who doesn’t have a loud enough voice to carry across our home. The monitor should be here tomorrow, lending some most needed peace of mind. 🙂 xx

  • Marcia

    So glad you are home again, and hubby is on the mend. The nurses are right. You do take good care of him, and it’s inspiring to us all. Hopefully, you will have a long stretch of peaceful days now, and both of you will get lots of rest. You deserve it, for sure! Thinking of you and sending you healing energy, love, and prayers! <3

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for the orders Deb, lol. But I know, I sometimes feel my instincts keep me on auto pilot, often not bothering to eat and certainly not sleeping very much. I shall take heed! 🙂 xx

  • hilarymb

    Hi Debby – so glad to read this … and quite understand your comments re being there and looking after, as much as possible, your hubby – I had the same experience with my mother and for that I’m very grateful … as to her thanking me for my care – that’s life and what it should be about … love and care essential.

    So pleased for you – you look good!! But know that exhaustion and anxiety takes their toll – the baby alarm makes total sense … take care and all the very best as you both take stock of life ahead together … cheers Hilary xoxox

    • dgkaye

      Hi Hilary. So lovely to see you pop by and offer up some of your positive inspiration! And thank you for sharing a part of yourself. I’m sorry you too have walked in these shoes. One day at a time! 🙂 <3

  • olganm

    Dear Debby, sending you positive thoughts, energy and strength. Love and best wishes to your husband (who has the best nurse ever). Great idea the baby monitor. Do remember to look after yourself and anything we can do…

  • D. Wallace Peach

    I’m so glad you’re home and on the path to recovery. A beautifully warm update, Debby, filled with love, tenderness, and gratitude. My heart is with you and with your hubby, wishing him a speedy return to good health. <3 <3

  • Christy B

    I totally get why you would want to check on him every 5 minutes, Debby! I’d be the same if something happened to someone I love. It’s natural and shows your devotion to such a special man. I’m glad you’re back home, both of you. Hope settling in and healing come soon xo

  • Sean P Carlin


    Just being home does wonders for the healing process, so take comfort in that. Meanwhile, I’m going to keep a good thought for both you and your husband; he’s blessed to have such a devoted partner.


    • dgkaye

      Aw, thanks so much Sean. So nice of you to drop by and leave your words of encouragement. And funny I was just thinking about your recommendation to me on Twitter. Before I popped in here I was ordering a few paperbacks and added in the Screenwriter book by Syd Field. 🙂

  • Annika Perry

    Dearest, Debby, I am so sorry for your husband and you…what a terrifying time for you both. It is with relief I read he is now home, being cared by your good self. It is understandably a long journey to recovery and from what I gather a frightening disease with complications. May he soon be better so you can enjoy time together and find some peace of mind. Your strength and fortitude shine out in this post, as does your generosity of spirit…your tribute to the nurses speak wonders and wow, the quote at the start pulled my heartstrings! Warmest hugs, xxxx❤️

    • dgkaye

      Thank you Annika for all your love and support. I think if it weren’t from the outpour of well wishes and knowing you are all a finger stroke away on the keyboard gave me some sanity. Yes, I saw that quote pinned while waiting to take him home. Those words touched me deeply, especially after what I had just witnessed and been through with those wonderful nurses. Now one day at a time! <3 xxx

  • Adele Marie

    I am so happy that both of you are home, where he can recover and rest. It’s always best to be back at home where everything is as it should be and he can get the best recuperation helped by his fantastic wife. Debby, no words can say how happy me and Becca are that you are both home. May healing surround you both and happiness. love Adele and Becca. xxxxxxx <3

  • Norah Colvin

    Oh, Debby, what a frightening ordeal you have both been through. I’m so pleased Hub is home now and on the road to recovery. I hope the process is speedy and uneventful with no more visits to emergency or surgery. How disappointing to not get your trip to Mexico just yet. It will be much more fun when health returns. Sending big hugs and lots of love across the miles. Xx

  • roughwighting

    I’m with you in my heart and thoughts all the way, Debby. After reading your book “Twenty Years After I Do,” I feel that I know you and your husband in deep loving ways. And the love you have for each other is helping you get through these emergencies of ‘life or death.’ May life continue as you hold each other close and breathe in the love you have for each other. For of course, love never dies.

  • Cynthia Reyes

    Oh, dear Debby. You have both been through so much. I thank God that your beloved husband made it through this scary time, and that you are still standing. Tired, of course, but still standing. Sending you both waves of good vibes and best wishes.

  • balroop2013

    I am so relieved to hear that you guys are at home and on the road to recovery. Deb, I can understand those horrifying moments of sitting outside and wait and pray that all would go well while the most important person of your life grapples with a surgery or a procedure…big or small doesn’t matter…emotions overwhelm and the monster of fear grips harder till we are through all that traumatic experience.
    You have been in my thoughts ever since I had read on Facebook and I am glad that your husband is feeling better. My best wishes and healing vibes would always be around you dear friend. You are such a loving and caring wife! May God bless you both with togetherness and love. Hugs of relief.

  • Bonnie A. McKeegan

    So glad to hear you are both home and recovering after such a harrowing experience. I can see how you’d be nervous when thinking about the possibility of going through a traumatic medical emergency again. I am sorry to hear Mexico is off the itinerary now, but so glad that you guys were home when this happened. Wishing you both many peaceful, joyful, and resting days ahead!

  • Tina Frisco

    It’s a relief and a blessing to know you’re both back home, Deb. Such an ordeal. Although pharmaceuticals are not our first choice in treatments, the beta blockers should help lessen the pressure ~ and ease your mind. I hope George is feeling some relief as well. I appreciate your kind words about nurses and your understanding of their situation. You are an Amazon with a big heart, dear friend. Love and hugs to you and George ❤❤

  • Terri Webster Schrandt

    I’m sorry I have been a little out of the loop with my travel and school prep! My best wishes for a safe and healthy recovery for your beloved hubby and well-wishes for your peace of mind. Thank you for sharing and keeping us updated. We are happy to hear the good news and please know that we are your friends and care about you very much! I’m home myself and three weeks away in nice warm weather, but I am so happy to be home and back to my routine as I prepare to teach this week. I hope your home and routine keeps you grounded, Deb! All my love xoxo!

    • dgkaye

      Hi Terri. Thanks so much for your beautiful wishes. It’s one day at a time here, but so grateful we’re both home. It’s looking like a long winter here before he’s ready to go anywhere, but healing is the number one priority.
      I’m glad you had a lovely warm vacation, and nice to have you back around my friend. 🙂 <3 xx

  • Aquileana

    Debby, glad to know that your husband is back home and I wish him a speed recovery. I bet it was exhausting for you and emotionally draining, but things will be better now.
    You look very pretty in your pic above, BTW. Cool outfit too. Sending love and positive vibes 🙂

  • lisa thomson-The Great Escape...

    Aww, Debby, I’m so glad you and your gorgeous hubs are home. I hope you are both getting some much needed rest, too. I love the idea of the ‘baby’ monitor although I would name it the ‘hunky hubs monitor’. Sending hugs to you! And I believe nurses are angels on earth.

  • Sue Dreamwalker

    Dearest Debby, I feel awful that I had been absent from visiting and knew nothing of your traumatic week through which you both have thankfully now emerged from..
    Reading your words, you have been through such a roller coaster ride these past few days.
    I send your dear Husband my healing thoughts and prayers,..
    It is not until we are faced with such life and death situations it brings home to us how fragile life is.
    And how in a blink of an eye all can change in a matter of moments.

    I have nothing but praise for those on the front line, our Nurses who do a magnificent job..
    And remember well how when my own husband was rushed into hospital some years back how I felt.. And how the nurses did more than their duties in providing care and kindness along with cups of tea.. 🙂

    I am thankful to hear your Husband is now back home in your Caring arms.. Your description of your returning home brought tears…
    We have so much to be grateful for and thankful.

    I hope the year now progresses more smoothly as your husband regains his strength and you dear Debby need also to take time out, just to be.. <3 xxx <3 <3 <3 xxx

  • L. T. Garvin, Author

    Debby, nurses are a true blessing. I met many wonderful nurses when I was at the hospital with my mother last year. I am so thankful that you guys made it home. Your post is a beautiful reminder of the love and care we take with those who mean the world to us. You both remain in my heart where I will continue to send good thoughts, love, and the very best wishes for recovery. Take care, much love. xoxo

    • dgkaye

      Aw, thank you so much Lana for your continuing love and support. <3 And it's nice to hear your own kudos for nurses who do so much and often don't get enough recognition. We're doing one day at a time Lana. <3 xx

  • Liesbet @ Roaming About

    Oh, Debby!!! I’m so glad you are both back home and that your husband is on the road to recovery, again. What a draining experience for both of you, and, I can totally imagine that emotional break-down, once you had a moment of peace, back at home. It is during those moments, that two people in love realize how important one another his and how precious our relationships and lives are. We have had to go through this as well, unfortunately. During times of loss, serious illness and sadness, the bonds with our partners grow stronger, for sure. I also agree with you that, unless someone really faces a life or death emergency in themselves or their loved ones, they don’t realize how quickly things can change and how much gratitude we should have for our (healthy) lives.

    I’m gutted to read that you won’t be going to Mexico this year, but I know that having your husband back home and being together again in a familiar and safe (hurrah for the baby phone) environment means heaps right now. And, to get back to your own writing routine, which can’t be easy after all that just happened. I’m so glad for all the support you received. Wishing your husband a speedy and as good as possible recovery and you inspiration, friendship, love and understanding! xxx

    • dgkaye

      Hi Liesbet. Thank you so much for your beautiful wishes and for your support and friendship. Honestly, I don’t know how I’d be without my supportive community of friends here – I only wish I lived a little closer to you all, but grateful just the same. I know you are enduring your own tribulations right now and wish you some calm and peace right now too. Yes no warm winter this year bites, but there would have been no relaxation there if I had to constantly worry so I need my husband to heal and get checked out again internally for prognosis before we can even think of a different vacation. One day at a time is the only way right now. Remember that one! <3 xx

  • Natalie Ducey

    Oh my, Debby….blessings to you both. There is so much love, compassion, and hope in your words. Your strength and love for each other is a treasured gift. Big (((hugs))) to you both. XO

  • elainemansfield

    Thank you, Debby. I send prayers along with so many others. I remember those long days in the ER and in the hospital. I remember the bad news and sometimes good news. Vic and I tried one last trip to AZ and it was so much harder than staying home. After that, we happily stayed home where doctors were close, friends were close, and we knew how to get support we needed. I was glad to read you’re staying home this time. May you have plenty of support and peace. (I’m still not reading many blogs because all my energy is dealing with my mother-in-law who just turned 102. Looks like she’ll be moved on Monday. There’s so, so, so much to do, but it will all happen with the help of many hands. Wishing you and your husband calm days, healing tears, and lots of love.

    • dgkaye

      Thank you once again for visiting, sharing your own journey and your heart Elaine. You of all people know this journey with your own Vic and for so long now with Virginia. Wow, 102. I remember you writing about her turning 100 – how quickly the years are passing.
      I wish you strength for this next move with Virginia. God bless. And thank you for making your way over here in your own busy time. <3

  • macjam47

    Debby, your husband is so lucky to have you to love and take care of him through all of this. I’m glad to hear you are home and I will continue to pray for his return to health. I wish I could give you both a real hug,but virtual hugs will have to do. Lots of love and big hugs.

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