The World Ain’t Slowing Down

On Thursday, I had therapy.  My counselor was quite pleased, because for the first time in our year together, I was at baseline!  Sure, there was some circumstantial stuff happening, but overall, I was peachy-keen, and we were so pleased with my mood.  Then Friday happened, and I thought, “welp, that was a nice minute of calm.”  I desperately want to get in for an emergency session right now, but my therapist is booked up at the moment so I’m waiting on a call back…which means that you, dear reader, get to play counselor today.

My mother, as I mentioned previously, had a quadruple bypass on the 19th of April.  She came home the following Saturday, and was doing ok.  In the mornings, I would go over and make her coffee and get her pills and wake her up, so Dad can sleep in a little.  On Thursday night, she called and told me not to come over at the usual time, which is between 5 and 6am, because she wanted to sleep in.  So, I set my alarm for 7am, when I have to take my eyedrops.  I woke then, got myself moving, and headed over to Mom’s at about 7:15.  I made the coffee and got the pills, and went into her room to find her sprawled on her back making a terrible noise.  Dad was snoring beside her, completely unaware.  I tried to wake her, but it was no use, so he finally came to when he heard me yelling at her, and tried smacking her in the face.  Nothing.  We tested her blood sugar and it was very low, so we trier to get sugar in her, but she only choked on it, and I had to get behind her and lift her up, which couldn’t be good for my eyes or her heart, but needed to be done.  No use.  So, we called 911.

As I type this, I think of my mother some time in the future reading it, and doing two things: one, she is crying because she feels terrible to have put us through this…which is silly, mother.  Stop that.  And two, she is slightly peeved I’m posting this on the internet, but you know what Maureen?  I can’t talk to you right now, so I’m going to go talk to them.

Anyway, she’s been unconscious since.  There have been slight improvements, in that her brain scan is normal, her blood sugar is normal, and she has been moving her hands and feet and occasionally opening her eyes.  Nurses seem to think she is aware that she’s got tubes in and is in the hospital, but that’s about it.  It has become a long game of wait-and-see.

Friday was extremely hard for me.  It was very triggering of my PTSD.  First, I am confronted by a woman in a bed who is making a terrible sound…just like when I was 8 years old and found my Grammy dying in her bed, her death rattle signaling me to get an adult NOW.  And then they put my unconscious mother in the ICU at Mercy…just like when my aunt Ka was dying, and they made me visit her there.  Nope, sorry mom.  I love you, but I cannot just walk myself into a waking nightmare.  You know that.  You don’t mind. 

So, when I told Sahar what happened, she packed a bag and drove up from Cleveland because she is the best, and she spent two days here trying to keep me busy.  I blocked a lot of Friday, so I don’t know what we did, but I know she was next to me the whole time.  And on Saturday Beth came by with breakfast, and then Sahar and Mark and I took a drive and went to get groceries.  At night, we went to the bar at the corner and heard my cousin Dom’s band play, which was a good time.  (Funny sidebar: so Dad calls me while I’m there and I can tell he’s in the car and he says “WHERE ARE YOU” and I panic, assuming the worst.  I tell him I’m at the bar, and then he says “oh ok, be right there.”  Man just needed a drink.)

Sahar didn’t leave until 2am, when I was tipsy and tired.  I woke up feeling surprisingly not terrible considering the previous night’s drinks, something I have all but given up since living that gastroparesis life.  Mark and I went to the History Museum to se the Cherry Blossom Festival.  It was a nice little walk through a beautiful little park, and then we went to wish my Gram a happy 91st birthday.  Sahar went home to Ohio, and now it is Monday and back to the normal life.

But it isn’t the normal life, because Momma isn’t here in it at the moment.  The doctors are positive.  Her brain scans came back normal, and she has been moving around a bit, but there is no real change.  They just tell us to wait, as through I am not the most impatient person on the planet.

But I will wait.  And I will hope and pray and wish and wonder, and soon my Momma will wake up and read this and say “Jesus, Brigid…did you have to tell them everything?”

Alright.  I’m off to call my therapist again.  Have a…Monday.  Just…have a Monday.

This is one of my Momma’s favorite songs.

Open Heart and Open Eyes

I’m hopped up on anesthesia.  Not now, as I write this, but now, as you are reading it on Monday morning, when I am scheduling it to be posted.  I figured I would save myself some grief and just get Monday’s post out of the way now, on Saturday morning, while my husband and kids still slumber. 

So anyway, if you’re not family or friend, you probably didn’t know that my mother had a quadruple bypass on Tuesday. 

She found out a few weeks back that she had had a couple of small heart attacks, and this was alarming, so they scheduled a procedure called a cabbage.  At least, I think that’s how it’s spelled, because it’s certainly how it sounds.  Anyway, I guess once they got in there, there was more work to be done, so she got the whole she-bang. 

The day of surgery was intense.  First of all, I had a follow-up for my cataract surgery from the previous day, so while mom was under the knife, I was sitting in the ophthalmologist chair hoping my sistter wasn’t crying in the car because Dad called with terrible news or something. But no, when I came out she was there and no news was still good news, so we went on with our day.  It wasn’t until about 130pm that Dad called and told me that she was okay.  Surgery was over, and she was still asleep.  Later, he told me that she woke up around 5pm and they took out the ventilator. 

On Wednesday, I got to see her for a few minutes after work, and she was sitting up in a chair.  She was on oxygen, which was a good thing because she wasn’t breathing as well without it, and was able to talk much more.  Visiting hours ended early because Covid, so I was only there for a little bit.  On Thursday I went for lunch which was chaos at the hospital.  Visiting hours start EXACTLY at noon, not one second before, so there was a line out the door of folks waiting to see their loved ones.  When I finally got through the screening, I got upstairs and found her and she was delighted I was there.  I was delighted they took out her chest tubes.  I got to hang out for a bit before work, but she kept falling asleep on me mid-sentence, so I just let her rest until the TV or some nurse woke her again, and we’d go on talking like nothing happened.  Then a nurse came in with some medication that Mom was really excited about, because it would make it easier for her to breathe.  That night, Dad said she was doing even better.

Yesterday I was crazy busy, so she called me to say hello at night and that she was sad.  See, she wanted to talk to her sister, my deceased aunt, and was sad she couldn’t.  I told her it was ok, because Ka wasn’t available last night anyway.  She was at my poetry reading, listening to me read the one I wrote about her.  Mom liked that idea.  She then told me she might come home today, which is wonderful.  Alas, I am still going to visit her at noon…well, perhaps a little after, given how many people were in that line.

So, overall, she is doing well.  I am happy.  All is good. 

Edit: It is Monday.  I am not hopped up on anesthesia, because I took this last surgery like a champ and am in a fan-freakin-tastic mood because I CAN SEE ALL THE THINGS.

Furthermore, I never went to visit my mom at the hospital again, because she came home that afternoon!  She’s sore and a little woozy still, and the coughing sucks, but she is a trooper and is doing pretty good.  So today…a good mood overall.  Happy Monday, indeed.