I was going to wait to write until after I had slept again, before going back to the hospital, but my mind won’t let me rest until I spill these thoughts out, so here I am, back in front of the computer after a full day of tasking. It is a much more stable position that what I was in earlier this morning though, and so maybe it’s good to write again now so it doesn’t seem like I’m as unstable as I felt during my previous writing.
It was good to write. It was good to get all of it out, all of those words that I can’t say to mom.
There was one point the night before last when I was with her. When she was out of ICU and on the med surge floor where she said she was sorry. She thought we were mad at her for being so sick. She said she didn’t mean for any of this to happen.
My heart wanted to break.
How could my mom think we would be mad at her? How could we be? How could we have anything but unconditional love for such an amazing person?
I did everything I could to assure her that no one was mad. That we all loved her. That we were all here for her, and wanted nothing but for her to rest. How that was the only thing she had to worry about.
She’s not allowed to eat or drink, and that has a lot to do with the type of surgery she had. I don’t want to go into details, mostly because they’re not mine to say. I’m sure I’ve already broken all sorts of rules by talking about what I have.
I was going somewhere with that thought…
Oh yeah, I remember. The water fairy thing. She’s not allowed to drink, but her mouth gets dried out because of her breathing. We’re allowed to use little flavored sponge swabs (don’t let the “flavored” part fool you, they suck). Basically, we dip them in a cup of water and we can let mom suck the moisture from it. I was the only one with her for a while, so we sort of got a routine going with it. When the rest of my family came back the joke broke out that I was the “water fairy” and so now I have a mission to find fairy wings to wear at the hospital so I can really be her fairy. I think it would make her smile.
There was another point where she was pretty awake and we had to go through a paper about past medical stuff. Are you allergic to… have you ever had… that type of stuff.
One of the questions was have you ever had a serious illness while pregnant. There were a handful of jokes and playful jabs and as they died off I was said something like, “Maybe regret…” everyone cracked up. Even mom thought it was a really good joke.
Another one was something like have you ever taken street drugs and my older brother was like, “Come on now. She’s not barbaric. She doesn’t do them in the street. She takes it home like a decent person.”
You can kind of get idea of what type of humor my family has…
There was a lot of laughing, though. A lot of playfulness and I think that helped mom a lot. I think it will continue to help her as she gets better and comes ‘round from this most recent surgery.
I screamed in my car as I drove to my brother’s house this morning. That helped to. It’s not something I can do around people. The total emotional… I don’t even know what to call it. I don’t think of it as a break down. Nothing is breaking. It’s an overflow. It’s a volcano, earthquake, rockslide force of nature that refuses to be stopped or silence. And it can only happen when no one is there. This change, this shift, can only happen when I completely let go and allow all of the walls and dams and barriers to be destroyed, wiped away. These emotions and facts and sensations and truths have to force their way into my being. They have to be incorporated within myself, and a change that drastic, that reactive, can’t happen correctly around people. It’s a transformation. A painful, brutal, excruciating change.
I am not the same person I was last night as I bit my knuckle to keep from crying in the hospital room as I watched the RNs bath my mom and change the bed sheets.
I am not the same person who packed two shirts, four pairs of gym shorts, no sleeping cloths and two pairs of panties. I guess wardrobe wasn’t a big concern for me at the time…
I hate thinking that I’m a “different” person. I hate the way that sounds. We’re always who we are. I am still me, but at the same time I’m not. This experience has shifted the landscape inside of my soul and while I am the same person, I am also different and I don’t know how to explain it better than that yet.
I am me, it’s just a different me.
I screamed alone in the car as I drove down the Las Vegas roads to my brother’s house. It was windy and bright and sunny and I metamorphosized under the sun, alone, and came out a quivering new thing by the end of the ride. Weak from the effort and energy it took to go through the experience, but stable and getting stronger.
It wasn’t done. I got my bag from my brother’s place. I drove to my mom’s where I did a few things before writing, which is where it continued. Instead of the anger of screaming, it was the sobs of pain and anguish and helplessness. It was accepting that I have no control in this situation. This is life, and it will play out how it wants and all I can do is my best even if with every fiber of my being it doesn’t feel like enough.
I have to love myself, I have to be understanding that I am human. I have to understand that just as my mom is sick and injured, so am I. I am doing a lot. I am making things so much easier for my bothers. I am holding my own and taking care of the family. I’m taking care of myself so I don’t get sick and end up being another person they have to look after. I am getting keys made for apartments, and paying bills, and running to the store, and keeping people informed and connecting and making sure people have an address to send flowers to. I need to understand that all of that has value, and is worthwhile, and is, in itself, enough. I need to be just as understanding of myself as I am with other people, especially now.
I went out and bought more clothes so I have things to wear other than the same pair of pants that I’ve been in for days now. I got food for the apartment so we can eat breakfast. I plan to make tuna later. Nothing fancy but if food is already made people will be more likely to actually eat.
I got body wash and coconut oil so I can still keep my routines that I so desperately need right now. Something normal, something to balance out the chaos of change and uncertainty. I’m going to eventually go to the YMCA and see about a temporary membership out here in Las Vegas. I’ve already called Bank of America and had them issue me a new debit card.
I can’t remember if I mentioned that. I doubt it. They thought there was fraudulent activity with my debit card, so the canceled it and issued me a new one. Yep. I’m out in Vegas visiting my mom in ICU and they took my card away from me so I can’t buy anything. Luckily they didn’t fuck with my credit card, but I’m beyond pissed with Bank of America. Every fucking god damn time I need, legitimately need, my cards I can’t use them because they get canceled.
At least I was able to have them send the new one to my brother’s address out here, so I should get it in 7 to 10 business days… fuck you Bank of Fail. I’m hoping you burn in a special place in hell right now.
Anyway. I looked into seeing what I could do about my plane ticket out here. It was $700. Yep… that sucked. I didn’t even think twice about it. I didn’t know there was such as a thing as bereavement flights. I really think it’s shit like that we need to be taught in high school rather than the formula for figuring out carbon decay and logarithms. Just saying… this was life information that could have helped me out more. You know… actually enriched my life and shit.
I used Southwest Air to get out here, and wouldn’t you know, they don’t have bereavement rates because their rates are already so fantastically amazing. So I guess I’m going to have to eat that whole fee, but at least I know for next time.
I got keys made for my mom’s apartment, that way my brothers can get in and out as they need to. I even got little tags to go with them and wrote the gate codes down on them for my brother’s house and my mom’s, that way we don’t have to worry about trying to remember all of these numbers. At least some of them are written down and easily referred to.
Tomorrow is John’s birthday. I like to think of it as, ”Happy birthday. Mom is still alive.”
Or better yet, “Happy birthday. The whole family is together.”
I’m trying to find the silver lining around things and I think I’m doing a pretty good job. It’s one of the things a co-worker mentioned about me in their answers to the survey I had to send out for my leadership class. I’m always able to find something positive to say, or something good about a situation.
Yet I still sit here and worry about the masses in my mom’s lungs and worry that it’s terminal cancer and that even though she’s doing better that I only have a short time left with her and that it won’t be enough. It will never be enough.
Those thoughts don’t stay very long though. I’m aware of how much different my mentality is from when I found out about mom’s stroke, verses my mentality of when I was younger and in an abusive relationship.
I have grown so much as a person, and I will continue to grow and evolve and morph and change through this ordeal. And I know most of it won’t be fun, pretty, or easy. Its’ going to be its own kind of torture.
I am not looking forward to it. But I am resigned. One of my tasks is to look into teaching out here in Vegas. In my head I’ve already moved into mom’s apartment. Her patio has the perfect setup for an herb garden… Not that I was thinking about that or how to arrange one of the spare bedrooms… You should see the kitchen… Counter space for days.
Zane and I have worked out rent for this month. This week is Hannah’s turn to buy groceries, so that actually worked out well. I was thinking it was supposed to be me. Zane is taking care of Scarlet for me, but I know she misses me and is having a hard time with me not being there. I wish I had been able to bring her with me, but at the same time I don’t know how I would have been able to care for her at the moment. She’s with someone who loves her and will cuddle with her. I hope she will forgive me.
I’m living by my to-do list right now. Every thought I have of “I aught to, I need to, this has to happen…” gets written down. If I don’t have my notebook near me then it gets written down on my arms. At the moment I have “message dad” scrawled on my forearm in black marker because that’s all I had near me, and I didn’t want to forget to let him know about mom coming through the second surgery fine.
Eat. Sleep. Shower. Brush teeth. Those are all things written down. Give keys to John and Jason. Message Jodi about apartment gate code. I’m keeping it together because I have a road map, instructions, telling me how to breath, how to put one foot in front of the other so I don’t collapse down into a helpless wreck. My notebook is my life at the moment. It’s my “This is how you human”. It’s my structure, my framework, so even if everything falls apart I have the skeleton and foundation left to rebuild around.
I think my mind is pretty done with writing at the moment. I know there’s a ton of red squiggle lines, so I’ll save posting until after I wake up, but at least I wrote, and wandered through my mind and processed a fair amount of the events.
I don’t think I ever finished my thoughts about John’s birthday. But I’ll do that another time. I feel better now that I’ve had almost 10 solid hours to myself. My inner introvert needed this time. I needed to have the previous eruption and then the stillness afterwards to become accustomed to the new landscape within myself.
Shower, brush teeth, sleep. Those are my next steps to humaning. I’m looking forward to a warm shower. One I indulge in, standing under the water letting it wash everything away. Maybe crying more. Who knows. I’m looking forward to feeling clean, and sleeping, even if it’s light and only for a few hours. I’m looking forward to curling up in mom’s bed, her blanket pulled up close and breathing in the familiar scent of home. I’m looking forward to having a little bit more normal before going back to the hospital.