Couple of quick notes before I forget:

  * Returned my loaner wheelchair to Helen Hayes on Thursday last.  On a purely practical basis, we now have its previous parking space (in our capacious bathroom) to store a stroller.  (Q: Should either of these things really be parked routinely in one's bathroom?  A: Welcome to New York City, and specifically Manhattan.)

  * On an emotional level, returning to HHH was interesting.  It still felt completely familiar, so I'm guessing that somewhere in my head I still occasionally expect to wake up in room 12, my feet somewhere in Nebraska and an empty urinal hooked onto the railing of the bed.  We saw lots of the people who saw me through from horizontal skeleton-man to vertical ambulator, and got lots of hugs.  Amusingly, in some senses I was still everyone's patient -- Russ wanted to see my trach scar, Connie wanted to know what I'm tolerating in the gym, Laurell looked at my hands more than once and joked about carrying the baby... not entirely surprising, but funny all the same.

  * Returning highlighted just how different I feel now than I did when I left.  No braces; no crutches; no frustrating attempts to open bottles, cans, or my pants.  My feet are half-numb and frequently painful and I can no longer pick up pencils or fallen oreos from the ground with my toes. I feel guilty for having survived and improved and I feel like the luckiest man on the planet for having survived and improved.
  * At this point I can pretty honestly say that if you're going to have a demyelinating disorder, GBS is probably not a bad choice, given the alternatives.

  * I feel like I've returned to work, although my imminent time-off for the baby's arrival does lend a slight air of uncertainty to things.  I don't want to start anything too involved just now, since I might have to leave work on a moment's notice, but I **do** want to work on involved projects, to make up for lost time.  Contradictory, sure, but you try conceiving a child and recovering from a debilitating syndrome in the same year and see how straightforward **your** life's turns turn out.

  * Our grey cat, Lightning, is nearing her own final return.  It's unclear whether she'll make it long enough to meet the baby.  Her decline has been very gradual, but she's still affectionate and responsive to attention and wet food... when she's not sleeping under our bed or hiding out in the laundry closet.

  * No baby yet, but everyone takes our calls these days and then sounds vaguely disappointed when we talk about something else.