Today is a very special day indeed! Mom celebrates her 73rd birthday! It is even more special today....because we almost lost mom two years ago.....wow has it been that long? Mom was in the hospital for high blood pressure and due to be released that very day, I was there sitting next to her bed talking and laughing when suddenly the nurse comes in and is checking her urine bag. Her face looks puzzled, and so she goes to check her chart....I could hear her have a conversation with the other nurse, who then comes in with her to check the urine bag. They both left quietly....and well we didn't think anything of it. Suddenly within minutes...and I mean minutes....I could hear them frantic making phone calls...paging her doctor....and before I realized what had happened, my mom's bed was surrounded with medical people in white coats...what is wrong I began to scream....crying and demanding answers....my mom is just fine, she's talking and laughing and leaving today, what is wrong somebody tell me damn it!!!!!
They grabbed me and took me to the empty room next to hers and asked me to stay out of her room, I could hear my mom crying and moaning....then the nurse came to talk to me and bring me a box of Kleenex. She then tells me that mom's kidneys have failed...that she hadn't had urine for hours and that they needed to take immediate action. It seemed like hours before I could go back in her room...and meanwhile I went in the hallway to contact my siblings, and the rest of the family. The nurse came out to get me, telling me that I could go back in to see my mom. I swear it was like someone knocked the air out of me...and my knees would fold if I let them. Mom was no longer awake, they had drugged her up, and she was on a respirator, I could see her chest going up and down when the machine pumped her with air...and she was bloated up like a balloon, her hands were so puffy and full of needles and plastic lines. This didn't make any sense she was just fine...how could this be? It was more than I could bare....and I thought this would be the end of me, I don't handle stress well especially when it comes to medical issues. I whispered to mom that I loved her and that she would be ok, and I kissed her face, anywhere I could find her beautiful skin as they had so many tubes on her. I left my mom's room, my heart was bleeding and in pain, I left the unit, and immediately headed to the little room that I had noticed earlier...a tiny chapel that was located down the hallway. I went in there, shut the door, and I pleaded with God to let her live, I was selfish, and I was angry! I told him I needed her here for me, that I was not strong enough to lose her, not yet. Don't you take my mother damn it, don't you take her!!!! It was hours before I went in to see her again, I don't know what it was, but I just couldn't go back in there, I was soooo scared....my siblings arrived one by one, and I let out a loud cry with each of them, I frankly didn't care who saw me or heard me, I was in pain..... Nobody could console me, nobody. Later in the evening her doctor came in to speak with us...we were all sitting in the small chapel...all of us, crowded like sardines, taking up the couple of chairs and sitting on the floor...maybe we felt comfort in there, under the cross of Christ that hung on the wall...I know I did. Maybe that's why we gathered there. I can still see that room if I close my eyes......When the doctor was finished with his report.....I asked him, barely able to speak from crying...."Doctor is my mom going to die?" His response was "I sure hope not I just spent 2 hours working on her" - we all laughed for a moment, and that response gave me just what I needed "Hope" - I mean if you saw mom, there is no way you would think she'd be alive today. And the odds were against her, the survival rate for kidney failure is 40%.
Mom's journey has been long, she remained in the hospital for nearly four months...she had good days and she had a lot of bad days. Mom was then transferred to a rehab unit at the hospital...she was down to 83 pounds at her worst...it's heart wrenching to see your parent this way....heart wrenching.....a couple of times I had a secret conversation with God and I told him that if he really needed her in heaven that I would be ok with it. You never think you'll feel this way, until you see someone you love suffer. Then it's no longer about your needs, but theirs. Oh but mom has come such a long way. Her journey has been long and hard, filled with a lot of disappointments. She now goes to dialysis three times per week...and when I really stop to think about it I break down....it's not fair. But mom is strong, and she is alive, and she is laughing, and she can hug me, and correct me, and upset me sometimes, but ooooooo thank you God for keeping her here just a little longer. I cherish the time with mom, and though I sometimes don't feel like taking her grocery shopping, or to get her nails done because my life is so busy, well I quickly remind myself of those feelings I had at the hospital...and let me tell you, it's a blessing to be able to do anything for her. She is a blessing, she is mom and she is alive! Happy Birthday to my beautiful mother! I love you mom!