Wednesday, November 09, 2005

the hospital

Her room is a stark white with glossy linoleum floors and harsh florescent lighting. It’s surprisingly a private room; the only sound is the luxurious Rufus Wainright from my laptop and intermittent cries for help from my mother.

“GOD HELP ME!” She yells every few seconds

They had to take her off medicine to prepare for surgery and she is now delirious with pain.

She tries to get move, scared and without any idea of what is happening to her. I run over and calm her down. She stops moving finds a place of peace. But then she repeats the painful action a few minutes later, forgetting what happened. That’s the problem with short term memory; you forget even horrendous pain from a broken hip. Why does this happen to her? Does she deserve to lose her mind and now her body that’s breaking down before me?

So that is my day, I try to process what happened to her. It sounds as if a new nurse got flustered and made a mistake. Unfortunately this mistake could cost my mother what limited mobility she already has and possibly her life, as this injury normally does to people in her condition. So should I cause the nurse to suffer from this mistake or do I let it go. I understand flustered, I’ve been there. But every time I hear my mom cry out my heart is broken. Correct or not, I want someone to pay for this pain.

Her breathing is labored. Now I know what labored breathing sounds like, She sucks in air sharply, taking all air that she can fit, aggressively in her lungs. She breaths out the hail of rocks and nails, coughing like the far off thunder echoing of a thousand hills. Each breath sounds like her last. And then is silent, breathless for what seems like minutes, hours even. This has caused me to stand next to her, placing my hand above her mouth checking for breath, while holding my own.

Asleep, her skin is perfect like alabaster without any wrinkles. Her hair is still a lush dark brown without any grey, even though she’s entering her mid sixties. If you saw her asleep you would have no idea the pain and psychosis trapped within her.

She was so full of fire, my mother when she was more stable. She was stubborn and angry at times, but loving at others. I remember waking up many a night, scared. No matter how late, or early in the morning she would sit with me and make me cheese and crackers or some other yummy snack and we would eat it together. Then she would hold me in her lap, stroking my hair and sing to me as I drifted back to sleep. Safe.

All alone, I sit here with her. Unsafe.

Listening now to John Vanderslice’s Trance Manuel soothing melody, I dream of better days. Of peanut butter sandwiches and chocolate milk, Christmas with the fire going and telling jokes, of dancing like a ballerina on the kitchen floor while my mom claps. I went from being a innocent kid to a angry teenage girl rebelling against a mother that came from a different generation, not just different from mine but so very different from even my friends parent’s generation. Graduating from high school in 58’ was different from 95’, she didn’t understand me either. I went from that to my early twenties with a mom that could barely even remember who I was. I wish I would have had a few years as a adult with my mom. Where we could have looked face to face as adults and I could have told her I understood. I could have said sorry. Our fights were so bitter.

I still think of myself to young to have to deal with a mom with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and now a broken hip. But now at almost 30 I would hope somewhere inside I would be stronger, used to it. Able to cope easier, I don’t know. There’s been too many times sitting in hospital rooms alone with my mom where I’ve been screaming inside.

I am screaming inside right now.

Screaming, alone and waiting.

I never feel lonelier, as a single girl than in the hospital. I can travel the globe alone and feel at peace, I can watch movies by myself and read contently in coffee shops. But hospitals I can’t do. When I think of myself as independent; times like these I wonder how much I’m fooling myself.

I broke down this morning. When I got the call, I broke in my cubical at work. I broke down again when telling the other manager, again when I went to tell Mo at her desk. Thank God she drove me for I would have wrecked for sure. I was broken so quickly. I went from talking to a customer with a smile on my face to cracking and breaking for all my co-workers to see.

My dad came thru for a few minutes to sign papers. Then alone again

I’m here for the long run. If you hear screaming, coming from room 425, it’s just me.

My supplies:

  • 1 laptop
  • 3 books
    • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
    • Sister of My Heart
    • Ten Little Indians
  • Chili cheese Fritos
  • 1 odwalla juice
  • 3 movies
    • Garden State
    • Door In the Floor
    • Arsenic and old lace
  • Portable speakers and headphones.


BethInPortland said...

Hey, I'm praying for you and you mom and dad. If you want prayer some time at church we can do that too.

Flyingwaitress said...

Thanks beth

BonikaStJames said...

Teresa - I can't imagine anyone at any age could go through what you are right now without breaking down. I don't know what could prepare you for it.
Don't feel guilty about any of your feelings or struggles right now.
If you want someone to go with you to the hospitle I can next week after Thursday.

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