What Can I Say? It’s Been a Crazy Couple of Weeks
You may have noticed a lack of posts over the last week and I do apologize for what might appear to be my sloth, but let me assure you that it’s been anything but! Following a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend with my daughter, I came home, once again assuring my feline children that I had not abandoned them, only to do just that two days later.
Wednesday evening, my daughter decided that her stomach pains and nausea needed looking into and failing to remember that she had a couple of friends who were probably available, drove herself to the emergency room. Five hours later, they finally determined that she had appendicitis and started the process of preparing her for surgery (which, after all was said and done, took another three hours before she went in for a 45 minute procedure).
As any of you mothers out there understand, there was no way I was leaving her alone, especially since her husband has not yet returned from a rather lengthy deployment. After texting the young man who cat sits for me, cleaning the kitchen and tossing heaven only knows what into a suitcase, I tried to ignore the look on Dylan’s face which said Surely you’re not leaving me again? You only just came home and have yet to fully make it up to me for your absence! My poor furry man looked as devastated as a cat can be when he watched me walk out the door, suitcase and laptop in hand. But we both knew that aside from lack of constant attention, he would be well cared for.
Sleep Deprived? Don’t Expect to Fix it in a Hospital
Trying to even gain admittance to a military hospital campus at three in the morning is an adventure in and of itself. Despite the fact that they were supposed to know I was coming, the young man at the guard shack took an inordinately long time deciding I could pass, gave me incorrect directions for locating my daughter and added an admonishment about the speed with which I had approached the gate saying that it made them think I was a terrorist (despite the fact that I stopped at the gate and properly presented my ID!). Because of his faulty instructions, I walked around the wrong building for another 20 or 30 minutes trying to get in although every door was locked. I finally gave up and wandered into what would turn out to be the correct building because the door actually opened for me!
In a civilian hospital, there is a very clear and very occupied front desk where you can find out exactly where your loved one might be and where you receive a visitor’s badge before you’re allowed to go any further. In this case, I found myself wandering the eerily empty halls looking for a human who might be able to help me. Just as I was about to give up, a very kind doctor came out of a door and stayed with me until he located my daughter. We tried the floor the guard had given me first but were told she was still in recovery. Of course, this hospital had a kazillion recovery rooms, so he finally left me in a waiting room while he visited several before finding the right one. I’m sure there’s a rhyme or reason to where he finally found her, but then, it is a military installation, so the reasons could be extremely convoluted (think red tape).
We finally made it to her room around 4:30 where she was poked and prodded some more. Just when we thought we could both pass out for a few minutes, her IV pump started screaming because the position of her arm had pinched the tube. It took a few more screams before the nurse put a pillow under her arm so it would stay flat. But the fun didn’t end there.
Once Heather’s alarms were silenced, her roommate started setting off alarms of her own. She also proved to be on the impatient side when it was Heather’s turn in their shared bathroom. By the time she finally settled, it was time for shift change and about six people followed the day doctor into the room. I nearly jumped for joy when he told us she could go home as soon as she’d walked around and peed. Little did we realize this wasn’t as simple as it seemed. She was in a lot of pain and getting out of bed was not exactly a day at Disneyland.
For the next few hours, I stayed at her bedside, handing her water, adjusting the tray when meals came, walking around the halls with her and even searching for a repository when the pain pills caused her to bring up the contents of her stomach (thankfully, mostly water and no pills). I left her for an hour to grab a quick nap in a room I’d found which had reclining chairs, and to remove the contacts which had been in my eyes for almost 24 hours (don’t tell my optometrist. She’d be horrified!). Finally, they cleared her to go home.
Trading One Noisy Neighbor for Another
Climbing the stairs to her room wasn’t an obstacle she was ready to face so I got her settled on the couch with water and Netflix. Part of our evening’s entertainment was the sound of her neighbors arguing and smacking one of their kids on the other side of the wall. Then back out into the pouring rain I went to get soup, mac and cheese and other soft foods since the act of chewing was too much for her to handle right after surgery.
As she steadily improved, she required less and less assistance from me, but I still got up at the crack of dawn to drive her to school on Monday. Moving around has definitely helped with the healing process and by Monday afternoon, she felt she could handle most things by herself, so I waited until what I thought would be the end of rush hour and took my leave.
An Easy Ending to a Week of Insanity Was Not to Be
Google Maps refused to give me my usual route home, but I knew it would figure it out so I began my journey. The first half went beautifully; light traffic, a beautiful sunset. Then, disaster struck. I entered a world of blocked off lanes, inaccessible routes and finally, the tail end of a big rig fire (which I only learned about tonight) making a three mile stretch take 45 minutes to traverse. When all was said and done, a 2 1/2 hour trip took almost 4 hours (cue “Gilligan’s Island” theme song) and when I finally got home, I was so wired, I stayed up until 3 AM despite having been up since 5:30 AM with only an hour’s nap mid day.
Re-setting My Internal Clock
It may take a couple of days to get back into my routine and reset my internal clock, but my daughter is on the mend, my grand furries are appropriately spoiled and my cats are sticking to me like glue. I just know they’re telling each other If she tries to leave again, bar the doors!
My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that my daughter is on the mend.
2. I am grateful that, although we live 2 or 3 hours apart, it’s still close enough for me to be there when she needs me.
3. I am grateful for all of the love and healing energy she is receiving from friends and family. I know it’s making a difference in her recovery.
4. I am grateful that I have a week or so in my own world to try to get back on track with work, chores and exercise.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, joy, health, happiness, peace, harmony, prosperity and philanthropy.
And now for some shameless self-promotion:
I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel and my website, www.shericonaway.com. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!