Wednesday, July 18, 2012

In the Hospital

I've had a leave of absence.  Partly because I've been so busy (and so away from computers), and partly because I haven't wanted to write about the things that are in the forefront of my mind, and heavy in my heart.

One of those is me mum.  What a wonderful lady she is!  I still have old-timers (no offense to those rich in years and wisdom!) who ask me if I am her daughter.  I guess there is a family resemblance.  I'm always flattered.  I want to be like my mom when I grow up.

My mom had surgery recently, and I've had the honor of helping care for her.  It's been rough, and she's had a hard go of it.  She's back in the hospital now, with a massive infection.  I don't know how she feels about me writing about her (I oughta ask her, dontcha think?  I can't now, 'cuz she's in surgery.), so I haven't.

For me, being a medical care provider for a family member is a mix of emotions.  I love taking care of her.  I love being with her.  It's an emotional boost to be able to help someone who has done so much for me.  It's also a pot full of scheduling conflicts, anxiety that I get my own family taken care of, anger at the medical mistakes that negatively affect us, joy in watching my family pull together, melancholy and sadness in remembering past hospital stays, fear that things may not work out the way we want them to, frustration that our bodies don't always work the way we want them to, and amazement in the divine engineering that they usually do work so well.

The late hour now makes it easy to succumb to discouragement, and I'm fighting it.  The specters of old, unpleasant hospital experiences seem to lurk around the quiet, dark corridors.  Every hospital smells the same: a mixture of sterile and stale and sick.  In my mind, I keep hearing the beeping of the monitors surrounding my sweet Angel as she struggled to stay in this life after her terrible fall out the window.  I see the operating door open, and the gowned surgeon telling me that the husband of my youth had cancer.  I remember all too well the fear and despair - it's as much a part of me as the dear newborn babies I was handed in other hospital rooms.  I'll remember the joy and the hope, and tell the other, darker ghosts to go away.  That's all we can do, isn't it?

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