Day 63: Freedom

63. June 12: Visalia, CA
Second full day in the hospital. At around 4:00 AM the x ray technician came in to take one last image of my chest for the doctor. Once again, I was pretty bored in my room. There’s only so much you can do to occupy your mind. So I set out again to do some laps around the floor. After about 30 minutes the doctor came up to me and said that I was going to be released. Although it was another couple hours until I was fully able to leave due to the paperwork work having to be processed. 
The nurse was so kind, though, she was so supportive and encouraging of what I was doing and it seemed like everyone I met on the floor was pulling for me which is really what I needed. I was informed that I have to stay in town until the 15th for a follow up appointment and I have to stay off trail for a week to heal up, which is fair, but I really had my heart set on being back with my trail family tomorrow. 
My cousin Brett picked me and took me to his house where I was able to meet his four month old daughter and his wife, Kaeli. After taking an afternoon map with their dog, Laney, I was finally able to video chat with my friends again. I can’t describe how great it was to speak with them again. I had been in a fairly positive mood the first couple days of this ordeal, but the last day or so has been tough to keep a cheerful disposition. So just catching up was much needed. After talking with them it sounds like they’re considered skipping the Sierras. If this was suggested a couple weeks ago I would have never had any desire to skip this incredible section, but given recent events, I rather like the sound of it. At this point as long as I can hike with my trail family I’m down with. They said that they’ll start thinking about alternative plans tomorrow, but for now I’m going to sleep in an actual home for the first time in two months. 

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