Theresa and I went back to the hospital on Tuesday morning. Mom was sleepy as ever, but after the doctors checked us over, and they gave two thumbs up to letting her go home that afternoon. Theresa and I left to go home and clean up and decorate the house to prepare for her arrival. My dad was all set to pick up my mom and take her to the house.
Theresa dropped me off at my house so we could both tie up loose ends before taking on the clean sweep challenge. About 90 minutes later, Theresa called me in a horrible panic.
“A social worker just called and said for the family to get to the hosptial quick, something went wrong!”
Patrick had just left to get the kids from school so I had to wait for him to return before I could leave. By the time her came, I was in hysterics. All I could think about was getting there before it was too late. “Something went wrong” can mean so many things. I thought about all the hurt I had caused my mom and didn’t feel like I ever apologized enough. I wasn’t ready for anything bad to happen, i couldn’t imagine not being able to talk to my her ever again. Patrick got home and raced me to the hospital.
When I got there i saw the chaplin talking to my sister. I couldn’t even decipher his words, I could hear him talking but he sounded like how the teachers in the Charlie Brown cartoon sound – “Waah wahhh, waahh, wah wah wa wa wa..” I didn’t want to know what he was saying in fear it was the worst. I later learned that the intensive care unit always has a chaplin on hand who walks around to offer support to the families of people who are in there. But in this case he unintentionally did more harm than good.
They finally let us in the room to see my mom. They had her heavily sedated and she was on a breathing machine. There were tubes coming out everywhere, her mouth her nose, both arms, a catheter, and she was unconscious and extremely pale. You never know how much you really love someone until you come “thisclose” to losing them. That is what that moment felt like.
All the family came and was as horrified and frightened as much as we were. nobody could handle how bad she looked. It was really hard on my nana. She didn’t want to leave at the end of the night but we made her go to my cousins house to get some sleep.
Around 2:30 am, my mom woke up from the sedation. I’m so thankful Theresa and I were there for her. She looked so freaked out. There was this huge tube that went in her mouth and down in the inside of her chest. She had no idea how long she had been that way or what was going on. Her hands were tied to the side of the bed to prevent her from pulling out the tubes. The nurse came and gave more medication so she could go back to sleep. By 4 am she was knocked out.
Around that time my uncle came in. I was wondering why he was there so early in the morning…
“Are you ready for some more good news?”, he said. “Nana fell down at Ronnie’s and fractured her shoulder. She is in the emergency room downstairs.”
Theresa and I were so exhausted and sleepy, it didn’t even quite register. It was waaaayyyy too much to digest at that moment. At 5 am, the nurse sent us out of the room so she could tend to my mom’s needs. We headed down to the emergency room to check on Nana.
My poor Nana was sitting there onthebed in so much pain. My uncle and my cousin Ronnie sat next to her and they looked more exhausted than me and Theresa.
At about 6, we went back upstairs to check on my mom and my cousin Ronnie took Nana back to his house.
Patrick picked me up at 6:30. I got home and was extremely sleepy but couldn’t fall asleep. This was our first week of having four art vending booths, DeAngelo started geometry in school (which means we all started geometry), my mom was in critcal condition and my nana fractured her shoulder. My mom-in-law came over to help clean and paint stock for the art booths that Patrick would be handling on his own. He is so sweet, he rubbed my back and feet and assured me that everything would be OK. I finally crashed out at 11 am. i woke up at 6pm and went back to the hospital and stayed until 12:30 am. My mom was still alseep but it felt good to be there anyways.
The good thing was that it brought all our family together. In between visiting my mom (only two people allowed in the room at a time), we all had lots of time to bond and catch up on our lives while waiting for our turn in the waiting room. My cousins and I all have kids and work, and in everyday life its easy to let everything else go on the back burner.
I got to spend time with my new baby cousin, Lauren. She is so adorable. She’s only a few months but she looks at you right in the eyes and giggles – like you are the funniest, happiest person she has seen all day. I had never held her before, but she cuddled with me like i was her favorite grandma in a rocking chair.
I also got to spend time catching up with my cousin Stephanie. Before we each got married, we did all kinds of wacky things together like taking impromtu trips to disneyland and traveling to Europe, and mucho shopping adventures. We’d go out to nightclubs and guys would always befriend me, get my hopes up and then ask me if I would put in a good word for them with her. We both wore berets and got our hair cut in a flat top during the whole 80’s new wave era. She rocked out to U2 while I grooved to the Eurthymics. These days we are moms who’s parties now center on birthday hats and gift bags. We talked until our voices were dry and then went and hugged my mom goodbye for the night and went home.
Theresa stayed overnight in my mom’s room.