Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Long Road Home

I will be on my way
back to the city
I now call home
first thing
very early
tomorrow (Thursday)

I have such mixed emotions
my mom is in a
Long Term Acute Care Facility
she will be there for about 3 more weeks
so we saw no need in me
being here,
taking time from work
that is unpaid
while she is there
and others can take care of her

so I am going home
and I will be excited to see
my 22 charges
that I hear are being worked
hard and are working hard
so we will see on Friday

I am excited about seeing Tater
Yes, I did give him another chance
and so far, things are really good

you know, it is hard to give up a man
who thinks you are beautiful inside and out
and calls often, writes often, and takes you out
even when he wants to stay in with you
It is quite a change from others of late
and hopefully,
as I climb out onto that limb
it will be a strong one that will hold me up
and not break and let me take a hard fall.

I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed
I am looking forward to planting my spring plants
which I wanted to do during Spring Break
and fixing up my back yard.

I still feel guilty about leaving

Such a mixed bag of emotions...
I am just trying to keep them from
spilling out all over the place.

So, tomorrow, I take the long road home
only to look forward to retracing my steps
in about 3 weeks
when she will be coming home from the hospital.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Ok, Now Pray for Me

It was a good idea to go home
(from TX panhandle) on Tuesday,
after driving up (to TX panhandle)
on Sunday after my mom had a heart attack
and was diagnosed with pneumonia.

It was a good idea to leave her
at her worst state and most critical,
to take care of tasks
so that I could return
when she was stable and awake and alert.

It was a good idea to wait
for my brother to arrive
before going back home
so he could sit with her
in case she woke up
and was alert
and they took her off the ventilator

Which they did
She was cantankerous with him
she said the food tasted like crap
she took her oxygen mask off
even while her hands were restrained

When she talked the nurses
into taking her restraints off
and then she promptly ripped out her IV's
not once mind you
but twice

It was a good idea to come back on Saturday
(yesterday) because now
now she is eating regular food
she is sitting up
she is walking with the help of physical therapists
she is lucid and working crossword puzzles with me

then she is trying to take out her catheter
and she is calling me and waking me up
early in the morning
to ask me to bring her a brush for her hair
and there is one there I took last Saturday
but she can't find it

She is giving away the ice cream I went out
and bought her last night
but she isn't eating her breakfast

She is trying to feed herself
but she knows she is not really able to
and makes a mess

Then she tells me
how the nurses are drug dealers
and are keeping her all doped up

It was a good idea to get up there early today
so she could fuss at me for not bringing her teeth
(which I took before, but my brother brought home
because the speech therapist said she didn't need them yet)
so I drove home and got them (30 min each way)

It was a good idea to feed her the lunch they brought her
then I didn't care if she ate all the Easter sugar cookie
I iced with lemon icing
which she didn't say she liked or she didn't
(I know, she is the sick one, leave me alone)

It was a good idea to sit and do the crossword puzzle with her
I saw that I could do one on my own
and she saw that I could too
and she did think of several words
and said them
after I told her the clue
and how many letters
and what letters I had
and after I had written it down

It was a good idea to come to her house
and take a nap and eat some chicken salad
(I made it Friday for Good Friday dinner)
so that she could call and ask when I am coming back

I love my mom,
I am so thankful she is doing so well,
I am so dreading her verbal beatings,
which if you ever met her, you would understand,
how much I need your prayers right now...

Let's see, here is a sampling from this morning

Bennu, are you going to sleep all day? (8 am)
My brush disappeared, it was here last night and then
poof it was in that chair after I called you.
Bennu, have you lost weight? oh... no I think it is that shirt
that was a good choice
it makes you look thinner
Bennu, tell them you have to go home tomorrow
so they will let me go home and I can have a smoke
Bennu, I feel sorry for your brother, he doesn't have anyone
(who the fuck do I have? who the fuck does my other brother have? I don't know, but my worthless brother has no one, so let's feel sorry for him)
Bennu, isn't she cute, isn't she nice, couldn't you be more like her? (the night nurse)

and now that I write them, I guess they aren't that bad
but you can't hear the tone and intonation....

and I hear them in my head all the time...

I am headed back to the hospital now, after having a nap
and some chicken salad and crackers
for my Easter Dinner
and we will work crosswords
or sit and talk about how she wants to go home
or she will let a few secrets slip out
like my brother (the good one, that was here)
looks better than he ever has
but what she said to him was
Well you don't look like "Bennu's Brother"
after she asked who was sitting with her
and why....

prayers, light a candle, whatever you can do,
I would appreciate them
in both our names

but yes, she is getting so much better
I can tell because she is acting worse

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Say a Prayer Please

My mom had a heart attack
she was sick,
thinking she just had some congestion
when it was and is
really pneumonia
and she couldn't breathe
and because she couldn't breathe
or get enough oxygen
she had a heart attack
She had 3 blockages
in her heart
but they only did
on the one that was causing
the heart attack
so she has a stint in that artery
and two more blocked arteries
she is not a good candidate
for open heart surgery
at the age of 75
with COPD
and a case of pneumonia
to recover from first

She is on a ventilator
she is trying to breathe on her own
she is fighting the tube down her throat
which means
she is a fighter
she will be in the hospital
and I will be there with her
until she is better

I came home yesterday
to get my house and class in order
and tomorrow I go back

My brother is there now...
so I felt I could step away
for 48 hours

Thank you all for all your prayers,
emails, messages
and for being there for me
you give me strength
and I appreciate all of you....

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Dark Day

My mom had a heart attack this morning
She is in the hospital
after having a heart cath
and finding she is not
healthy enough for open heart surgery

I am on my way there
pray for us both.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Thank You, He Said, For Being My Friend

It has been a difficult time for me
It has also been a difficult time
for others
Yeah, I know
I longed for shoes
until I met a man with no feet
and here I am
with my foot in my mouth

Year before last
Mr. Duvall learned his brother
the oldest one
had cancer,
nearly a year later,
or actually last June
he finally succumbed to it.

I stook by Mr. D
through it all
and he is a tough guy
so it was hard
for him to deal with
and for me to watch

but there was some relief
when it was over
because then he could return
to the good memories
of a brother
with "guns of steel" biceps
who he spent his life with
over the years

His other brother
who has no family of his own
has been sickly since Mr. D and I met
He has had diabetes
and not taken care of himself
and there have been times
when Mr. D
had to take him to the hospital
because of how bad it had gotten

So when he told me in December
that his brother was sick
I thought that was what it was
but then in February
he explained it was worse
the doctors weren't sure
what was wrong
but Mr. D feared it was cancer
and when they finally had a diagnosis
it was indeed cancer
but it was on his liver
it was inoperable
and they gave him less
than 6 months to live

then last Wednesday
I called Mr. D
to inquire about his health
and his level of stress
and he told me that his brother
had almost given up the ghost that day
and he had been with him all afternoon
I told him if his brother died,
please call me and let me know
and even though I didn't tell him
it was so I could comfort him
I think it was a comfort to show I cared

I went about my evening as usual
and I fell asleep early.
Mr. Duvall woke me up sometime after 9
he had been out drinking beers
and had 17 or so in less than 3 hours
after leaving work
He was indeed, very upset
mainly grieving over the impending loss
of his brother

We have sat and had a drink
many times
and I have listened to
The Hunting Tales
of him, his brother and his cousin
on the deer lease

so I know that when he saw his brother
laying in that bed
unable to move or speak
and physically less of a man
than he ever had been
it was a hard sight for him

When he called
he wanted to talk
he wanted to talk about his brother
and I know he didn't think
there was anyone else
he could say those things to
and let his heart break
in front of
so I was glad to be there
over the phone
with him

his brother couldn't move
but Mr. D knows the hearing is the last
to go
so I asked
if he was telling great hunting stories
from their past
and drinking stories
to make him laugh
and his smile showed in his voice
when he said yes
and his brothers eyelids moved
while he was talking so
he thought he had heard him

and with that I knew
it was time to change the subject
so I said
if there is anything you need
just let me know
and I am there for you

he said he appreciated it
but he was ok
and then he paused
and he said
Thank you, Bennu, for being my friend

and I said I was the lucky one
to have him in my life as a life long friend
and that he didn't need to thank me

but it was nice to hear
it is the closest thing I will probably ever get
to what I long to hear him say

His brother passed that night
just after midnight
the funeral was today
and tomorrow we will sit
at the deer lease
and drink beers and pay tribute
to his best friend
and brother
and all their years together...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

All is Unwell

As I have said before
there are a few men
I am seeing
nothing too serious
although one
WAS looking like it might be
but alas,
it is turning out to be

Anyway, I have a full plate
which it was stated
very bluntly to me
the other day
my plate is usually full

Like I fucking choose it to be
Like I love having a child
that should be acting like a grownup
but instead chooses to act
like a pre-adolescent
and lie to me,
steal from me,
and treat me with disrespect.

Like I fucking like having men
treat me poorly,
stand me up,
betray my trust,
tell me what to do
with my life
from the smallest detail
to the largest decisions...
(long story, not worth telling)

Like I fucking like
working with drama queens
who act like 12 year olds

and like
I fucking like searching for a new job

which I am....
against my will
and with all the strength I can muster...

and then today
I find
tears at every turn
I talk to the muse
she says

You are in crisis mode
a few days ago,
you had no emotions

Exactly, I think I was in shock

and the last three days
you can't stop crying

Exactly, now it has hit me

Well, she says
You need to seek help
even if you don't want to

and she is right
on both counts
I should seek help
but no
I don't want to...

I am unwell
but it will pass
I just have to muster
the strength
to get through it
and I have to do it
on my own
in my own time
in my own way
on my own terms

but yeah
having a full plate
of worries and troubles
does get old
and it does wear on a person

so yea,
that padded room
with the comfy white jacket
sure does sound appealing

except I would miss the sunshine

maybe I just need a day on the beach...
or a week
or another summer
or a lifetime...

think I will check out the LIFETIME

Until then,
don't worry
this too, will pass