Tuesday, November 22, 2005

From the Archives

I'm not sure it's a good thing to review old blog drafts - or even the old archives. It brings up too many memories that are better left buried below. With Thanksgiving two days away, I've been thinking alot about all that I have to be thankful for. But much of it is bittersweet, a fairly new experience for me. I guess this is similar to what is called a mature love. It isn't as wildly felt or all consuming as young infatuation. It's a feeling that is based on knowledge...of all that is out there...of how far I've come and the many bullets that I've dodged. The road was rough, but I guess it's that tough stuff that gives us character and wisdom and gratitude. Anyway, here's the draft that never got published. My heart aches to relive mom's pain and terror:

Mom had polio when she was 5 years old. She was one of the fortunate ones - she survived. But she never felt elated about beating polio. She only felt self-conscious because it left her with a severely hunched back and a left hand that had no muscle in the palm. Mom's family treated her condition with shame and made excuses for her throughout her childhood and into adulthood.

Mom was crying when my husband got home last night around 6pm. Her left (cripled) hand was swollen and burning. She said she called me all day long...although not on the phone, she just called out my name. All. Day. Long. I felt a stab of guilt for not knowing this, for not being able to perceive that she was in crisis and needed help.

My husband rushed her to Immediate Care facility and we learned that she has cellulitis, which is basically a skin infection. The doctor put Mom on antibiotics but she continued to be in pain. This lasted all night, until we all got up at 4am to look at her hand. It looked like a lobster claw and it was shaking.

At that point I said the dreaded word, "Hospital." Mom started shrieking and crying that she wouldn't go. We didn't actually get her there until Noon. And I sincerely feel I've been to hell and back between during those hours I spent trying to convince her to go in.

I think at some point, a person has to say "Enough" and move forward with what they feel is best. I listened to the all of the reasons she shouldn't have to go. I listened to all of her fears about having to go. I waited patiently for the antibiotics to kick-in...but they never did. By the time we got her to the ER, she had red streaks snaking their way up her arm. That's a bad sign.

At one point before we got there, I snapped and moved into a different place of reality. I turned stone cold and my demeanor became razor-sharp. I didn't feel like myself and I wasn't aware of being in my body. I was suddenly propelled onto a path of anger that felt as though I was sliding on ice - I no longer had control and the velocity was frightening. I had had Enough.