i wrote in an email to a friend last night that i am so tired, my eyelashes ache.
yesterday seemed to be a better day for my mom. she walked a little, which utterly exhausted her, but still...putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward is something new and different for her, so that's progress. most of the day was spent trying to find a combination of meds that did not have her "flying high" as she put it. she's had crazy reactions to the pain medication and we spend a lot of time reassuring her that she is not late for class, or that the tips from her waitressing job when she was 23 years-old have been deposited safely in the bank. there is a possibility of a rehab stint, which doesn't please her. i know she's longing for the trees and the big sky in shapleigh, but she's resilient. thankfully, there is less pain for her to deal with, and that gives her hope, something she's not had in a long time. it's amazing what that tiny dose of hope can do for the heart.
when you are essentially in the vortex of a bedside vigil, it becomes a different world entirely than the one outside of the hospital. i have lost any sense of time and reality. the outside world just does not exist while you are in that hospital, and it's surreal when you walk away. i spent about five hours at the office yesterday and felt completely disoriented and lost. like a visitor in a foreign country. all i could think about was getting back to my mom, and work felt like a heavy pile of boulders that i had to somehow find the resolve to lift and then plow through. let's just say i had to dig DEEP for the will to do it. and i could feel the on/off button switch inside of me. everything felt...hollow. everything echoed. it was so. bizarre.
another strange phenomenon happens when people from that outside world come inside this "other" life. it's not so much family and close friends of my parents...somehow they fit into the context of the hospital room, because you've seen them before in similar situations and so it sort of makes sense. but when one of my friends shows up, it's almost shocking to see them walk through the door. everything seems gray in the hospital, and when i see a friend, it's like they add color and depth to the environment. (ever see the movie Pleasantville? it's exactly like that.) really, the color almost blinds you. and they look...clean. well-groomed. and awake. which is all such a startling contrast to the disheveled zombies that the rest of us have seemingly become. they are a literal breath of fresh air. and i am always flooded with emotion. i can be perfectly fine and stoic, and when i see them, i just start crying like a baby. it pours out of me. and i can't stop it, no matter how hard i try. this is not something i'm normally good at--this whole crying thing--but i seem to have become an expert in these last six days.
i spent a few hours alone with my mom yesterday--my sister came in and kidnapped my dad to get him outside and away--you know, to remind him what the Real World looks like. mostly i just held her hand, stroked her hair, and guided her through her medication-induced dreams. in one very lucid moment, she looked at me and said "Darl, I'm so glad you have such wonderful friends. You've never had friends like this, your whole life. They really love you." Five minutes later, in walks the Matriarch, almost as if to sort of reinforce her point.
I think my mom finds comfort in that.
I know I do.