When the phone rang this morning as I was sitting there drinking my coffee and watching the ocean, I thought “this can’t be good”. Then I saw it was my dad – and immediately thought “Mom is in the hospital”.
Funny how that little thought jumped right into my brain -and it was right.
“We are at the ER. Mom is in so much pain that she can’t move. They are taking blood and xrays now. Hopefully we will know more soon.”
I hate Crohn’s Disease.
And the fact that on Friday, I had commented to her that it was 2 years ago that they were trying to get the diagnosis right. I was spending almost every weekend down at their place cooking for her, trying to get her to eat, being the water nazi making her drink another glass, and cleaning. Oh, yeah – and keeping Dad from having heart attack #2 by alleviating some of the stress.
He called several hours before I had planned on leaving for home. I figured I’d hang tight there as cell coverage on the drive back is spotty at best. But the more I sipped my coffee and thought about it, the more I realized I needed to leave. I just had this strong feeling that I would be getting home in time to turn around and head to central Oregon to see them.
Coming back into cell coverage, I got a call from my brother. Mom has to have surgery. She has a severe infection – and a fistula between her intestines and her bladder. They need to fix it -and they don’t think they’ll be able to reroute her intestine due to the infection so she’ll need a colostomy bag for several months until the intestines are healthy enough that they can reconnect everything. But right now -they are trying to get the infection under control – and the pain under control.
My mom is comparing the pain to “worse than any childbirth she experienced”. And that is saying something given her last child (my brother) was such a horrific labor and delivery that she almost died. The woman knows pain.
So, tomorrow, I’m headed down to see them – almost 2 years to the date to when this all began in earnest. I’m going to the hospital I walked into two years ago to see my mom look just as small and weak as she did two years ago. I am trying hard not to think anything but positive thoughts. They are going to do the surgery and fix it all. They are not going to find anything more – it’s going to go as planned – and she will heal and be stronger for it.
And then, I’m going to help my dad calm down. He and I are very much alike – two peas in the pod – managing crisis, taking care of everything and everyone while no one takes care of us. So, I’m going down there to be his rock. Be his shoulder to lean on – to cry on. I’m taking Maggie with me as we will all need a laugh or three. And I will need a cuddle or twelve, I’m sure.
My brothers are scared. Both are terrified that one of our parents will die. Well, here’s the bad news for them – they will die. It is kind of guaranteed – the question is just when. And while I hate the same thought, I am just better at swallowing those emotions to deal with the task at hand. Will it be easy tomorrow seeing my mom hooked up to all kinds of things – in terrible pain – pain I wish I could take from her? Fuck no. But I would be no other place. This is not about me – it’s about her.
Work is being accommodating. They are like “go do what you need to do”. I have promised lots of help. I have promised lots of guidance. This is hell week at work. This is the week where I thrive as we get ready to go-live. My boss has to do it now. I take that back, he has to do it until Wednesday when he goes out of town. Thankfully there is a youngster who can (with guidance) step up to the plate. And I’m happy to guide. Thankfully I can do it afar.
So, that’s my news. I should be sharing photos. Instead I’m sharing the next life stress.
Yeah, I’ll be taking a flask with me tomorrow. Though, thankfully, my brothers should be around for a beer or two. While self medication is not the healthiest thing to do, it may be needed. We shall see.
Not the way I expected to end my vacation….