I moved back here just before my mother was scheduled for some surgery herself a long long time ago. "Aren't you so glad you were here to help her?" asked my Aunt Lois. "Uhhno.", thought me.
I was living in the upstairs of the house of the parentals. Stripped of everything except a dog, a car, a visa bill. And kind of a huge mess. This was in Elmhurst, the surgery was set for Oak Park. Ironically-at the hospital that's just down the street from me. I wouldn't go there myself-if I had a choice-and so far I have. Knock wood.
It was firmly established that I wasn't going along to my mother's surgery. She knew I wasn't going to be there. I was an anxious, panicky disaster. I wouldn't add anything to the group and so, I ended that evening sweeping the floor and watching Everybody Loves Raymond which I thought was Very Funny.
The phone rang and I was commanded to go out in the cold because my mother all of a sudden desperately needed her Own Pillow. Of course, I didn't want to go, but how would one live with oneself denying ones own mother a bit of comfort in her hour of need. Shit.
I didn't really know my way, but I drove to Oak Park in the dark and it was so late that the front entrance of the hospital was closed and in the freezing air, carrying her fancy pillow, I had to go around to the emergency entrance. If you thought I was jumpy walking around my parents home sweeping-you had to see me try and make my way through the bowels of a hospital trying to avoid sharing an elevator with any possible dead people or what have you.
Somehow I got where I had to go. There was a hideous decorative wallpaper border on the edges of the room that made the whole thing close up even faster and ignite my flight response.
I think my Dad finally came and then we went up to some higher floor where the all-important pillow was delivered to her room. She was asleep. It never mattered.
Later in the week, I made soup and took her out for walks in the frosty air. She recovered and went on to have a lot more fun.
Today is one week after the surgery.
We did one whole lot of running around on Monday collecting the list of stuff we needed to make a terrarium. (They call them 'fairy gardens' too now. I'm not really down with fairies especially. I like a nice gnome.) We got a super cool old pickle jar from the Goodwill(pink tag $1.00 off), and some activated charcoal at the pet store(That was maybe the most expensive thing($6?) but if it makes the whole thing not stink-I say it's well worth it.) A little bag of rocks from the Dollar Store.
The inside of the thing goes: rocks, activated charcoal, dirt + plants, moss. The gnome came from Michaels as well as a box of reindeer fern that was tinted in shades of green. We were too late to get to the plant store, so we went yesterday for that and it ended up that we had plenty of stuff for two terrariums so back to the Goodwill to find another jar. P would like a monkey for the non-gnome one and I have this urge to hand craft a whole bunch of little tiny ducks. I think that would look really cool.
Why are we doing this? asked P.
Because we have to Mark The Occasion, said me. We kicked ass on this one.
The moment I knew that everything was going to be okay was in the pre-op area. We probably met 11 new people between everyone and the chaplain came in and gave P a chance to pray aloud and we Did Not Even Laugh eventho our faces were set to 100% explosive glee. And the most exotic anesthesiologist who actually listened and believed me(!) when I told her I had spent the last post surgical week throwing up. It's extremely not cool to be heaving when you've just had your linings reinforced. And she adjusted the approach to deliver the drugs via vein as opposed to gas and that totally worked perfectly but that wasn't even it. In the midst of all this drama-they took my blood pressure and it was dead on perfect.
Even the nurse paused to admire it.
For the record, you should leave your best pillow at home. It's not going to make you feel like you're not in the hospital(unless you're taking some very significant drugs that I am not aware of) and when you get home, you're going to have to go hunting for a new pillow because your favorite one will have hospital cooties on it and who wants that.
Know from whom random commands may come and listen to your own heart every time.