Tuesday, April 9, 2013

February 20 2013

Yesterday, at 4 am my mother was admitted to the hospital. She could no longer sleep in her bed. She could not lie down. She said she felt like she was suffocating.
Her bags were packed when I came home. No she wasn't leaving. "I was going to call the ambulance. I think I need to go to the hospital. I looked at her ashen, tired face. She hadn't been able to sleep in months. One hour in the bed then 10-15 hours at the table face down on the table. Her legs were swelling. She had not yet told me how bad they were yet. My heart is breaking. I look at. I am so scared she will not come home again. I don't know if I should go or not she says I don't want to burden the family. Who will feed the bird? Who will take care of the cat? When I got there she kept saying she didn't know if she should go. She said she didn't want to put the family through it. i had to tell her that if it was necessary that it had to be and it was ridiculous for her to worry about that. The cat would get fed and so would the bird and her husband would not starve.
It was really hard for me to dial 911 because looking at her, I though I might lose her. it doesn't matter how long you know. It doesn't matter how much you tell yourself that it is going to happen. It will break your heart.Its odd what you will think of to keep from doing things that need to be done. Ma, we'll do it. You have to go I tell her but the words are so thick on my lips that I can scarcely get them past my lips. I am sitting at the table. Talk to me about something else. Take my mind off of it. How are rehearsals? I tell her about my part. Shes a woman lost among gossips. She is religious and strives for higher things. She can't fit in. She has visions. She paints apostles which have the faces of the men she knows.
She has a slight smile on her face when I am done. It does not last long. I know what has to be done. I force myself to my feet and move to the phone. I start to mumble and cry. I don't want you to go,  I begged you to handle your business, I love you.
I lift the receiver, 911 can I help you. Yes I need and ambulance. What's wrong? So many things pop into my head. I say my mom can't breathe, I stammer a bunch of other things and start to cry. The woman says we're sending an ambulance. Now its the countdown. I start to cry. She says please don't do that, please, I am so nervous. I try to stop, but its hard. It seems like mere seconds and I see blue lights flashing outside. I go to check it out. It is not the ambulance. It is a Gretna police officer named Arthur. I find that out later. He is responding to the call until the ambulance arrives. the ambulance in only moments behind. I go to get my mom. The officer follows me and trips on the edge of the garden. He does what appears to be a shoulder roll karate flip and lays on the ground. I blurt Oh No are you ok? He says yes. I am a police officer. If that little spill hurt me I need to retire.
The ambulance is there so quickly. My mom walks out, for a moment she doesn't look like she needs and ambulance. Why are we here?, the emt asks. Just look at her face, i say. She looks scared and ashen. They put her on a stretcher and roll her into the ambulance. I look at her through the door opening, I tell her I am going to follow in my jeep.
The officer is still there. He is in his car. I walk over to talk to him. His name is Arthur. He tells me about the last days of his mother. Somehow they were estranged, I sense. I ask him once again if he's o.k. We talk for longer than I should. I go to my jeep. Ernie has been in the jeep since mom got in the ambulance. He had fastened the seat belt and couldn't get out again and the door doesn't open from the inside so he was stuck. He hoped he wouldn't be spending the night in there. We go to the hospital.
The EMT's already have her inside in a room. Ernie pets her feet but one of them is so swollen she tells him not to touch it. She looks relieved and we wait. Nurses come in and out taking blood pressure, taking heart measurements. They have her on an oxygen mask and she says it is wonderful. She can breath so easily. We are there for quite a while. When they decide to admit her, it is about 1 am and she convinces me to go home because I have to work the next day at 6 am. It is hard to sleep that night. There is an emptiness in the house when she is gone.
Today, when I visited her, i lay on the bed next to her and she brushed my hair and petted my head. When I am with her I hug her tightly and try to remember her smell, the feeling of her shape and her skin, the feeling of her hand holding my arm. I try to memorize her and all of the crazy funny things she says. The nurses already love her and call her my darling. One called her sassy. She says anything she wants and they just laugh. She told one that she had big arms and that no man would mess with her.
She is glad I made her go to the hospital. She has a smile in her eyes again which she hasn't had in a long time. She feels safe and they have been giving her Lasix to get rid of all the fluid in her lungs and around her heart and in her swollen weeping legs. Since she can't lie down they had gotten so big and red and swollen. They look much better now. She can sleep and has been nonstop sleeping for 2 days.
I love her. I love her so so so much. I will be very lonely without her when she goes. She is my all above all others. Without her I will be alone.