I’d like to start by saying I’m sorry for the long absence without warning or any kind of explanation. My mom became very sick and I’ve been in Austin with her for a week.

She’s suffering from damage to her liver, kidney failure and a massive infection through out her body.  This last week has been the longest day of my life. I’ve never seen my mom afraid… frustrated, angry, sometimes unsure, but never actually afraid of something, but for the first time in the 29 years of my life, I saw fear in her eyes and it shook me to the very core of my being.

Right now my family is in what my sisters and I have termed “medical purgatory”. We’re doing a whole lot of waiting. Doctor’s can’t begin to really investigate the liver or kidney issue until they’ve cleared the infection. We have no idea how long, or if it’s possible to clear it, she’s been on antibiotics for about 5 days now and there’s been no change, as far as we know… at least there hasn’t been a single doctor to report any kind of change.  It’s exhausting for us, exhausting for her, it’s just plain exhausting.

I’ve learned some valuable things though, through this experience thus far (I expect as it goes on I’ll learn some more) and those are the things that I came to write about here.

  1. I’ve learned I have a strong family. We are a mess a lot of the time, there are ways we are severely dysfunctional, and sometimes it feels like we are falling all apart, but thinking one of your parents is about to die has a strange way of showing you what your family is really made of. Am I saying that we had the Kodak family moment where everyone put their difference and sibling squabbles and deep parental issues aside? Absolutely not. I’ll be completely honest and just admit, we had fights right there in the hospital, not screaming and slamming doors fights (like from our teenage years), but fights nonetheless. And it’s nothing short of amazing how your mother can be so sick she can barely move and yet still able to make you furious at the same time. The point though, is that in spite of those things, we were all there. At the end of the day, we love each other… not in spite of our differences, or our issues, we love each other including those things and I’m grateful to be apart of that. There was an hour or so when it was just the original 7 of us there, mom, dad, and 5 kids… I don’t remember the last time we were all together and there were no spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, children there too. The nurses had all left, the visitors had all gone, and it was just us. It was a powerful moment and one I will never forget, and not because we all bared our souls in front of one another or anything… we didn’t have to, we were just together, as we are, no pretenses, no pretending, just together.
  2. On a lighter note: I’ve learned first-hand that scrubs do NOT fit doctors and nurses the way that they do on Grey’s Anatomy, but before you despair, the good news is that there really are a lot of amazingly good-looking people working in hospitals. I don’t know if it’s something about the fact that the worry and exhaustion have effected your judgement mixed with the whole uniform thing, but McDreamies and McSTEAMIES exist! Don’t judge, under a week of stress your mind has to find ways to distract its self for brief periods of time!
  3. I’ve learned that when I get stressed I like to make spontaneous changes to my physical appearance… so I dyed my hair… shhhh don’t tell my dad. It’s not really quite as dark as it looks here, I just needed to change something. I found a couple of grays (ugh) and my highlights were much too much grown out and the honest truth is highlights are expensive and I can’t afford them right now with the driving back and forth from Austin to Dallas. So there you have it. It’s just hair, at least I didn’t go out and get a random tattoo or piercing (at this point, as it may be obvious, I’m rehearsing what I’m going to say to my dad when he complains because he likes my hair lighter).

So there you have it, my update for now. Tomorrow is Monday and I wont be driving back to Austin until the weekend, so I’m going to try to go on with writing like normal, I apologize in advance if there are more personal entries than usual. =)

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