She hates it when I call her mother, or mommy, or mamma. I only do it to torture her. Its one of the few teasing jokes I think I can get away with, without actually insulting her. She sometimes takes offense easily.
She doesn’t like people looking at her, or paying attention to her. She prefers to remain in the background, or at least to not be the center of attention.
She would hate this.
I haven’t seen her yet. Apparently there are tubes and wires and needles covering most of her body. There is very little skin left exposed that isn’t covered with some kind of medical equipment.
Aneurysm. The word bounced off my conscious mind when my sister called on Monday night. It just wouldn’t stick. Aneurysm. Mother.
Surgery on Tuesday went well. They opened her skull and tried to fix the bleeding. They cut into her head. Things looked much worse once they were inside, but they seem to have fixed the problem. “Picket fencing”, the surgeon called it.
She used to call up total strangers after she heard about them in the oncology ward at Children’s Hospital in Denver. “My name is Jan and I understand your child has Leukemia. My son also has Leukemia, and I wanted to see if you wanted to talk about it, and if not then I just wanted to tell you I hope you’re doing ok.”
We haven’t called her friends yet.
And now she’s somewhere else. Not dead. Not in a coma. Not asleep. Not here. She needs time to recover, and quiet inside her head to try and heal. We don’t know yet, and we won’t know the extent of her recovery for days, possibly weeks.
This is the dangerous time. She is by no means out of the woods. It’s easy to think that surgery fixed the problem and she should be awake and walking around by now, but that’s not the case. She’ll be in intensive care for 2 – 3 weeks. In the hospital for at least 6 weeks.
I haven’t seen her yet. I’m afraid to see her. I want to see her. I wish there was some more dignified way of receiving treatment that having your entire body covered with tubes and wires. I’ll see her, but I won’t be able to talk to her. She won’t be there. I never called her back last Friday when she called me.
Mom. She’s no stranger to hospitals, but she never was the patient. She would hate this.