Twelve hours is a long time to be in a hospital. Waiting. If I believed in Hell, hospital waiting rooms would most certainly qualify as a special section. The Loud Family. The man coughing up that phlegm for two hours, sitting directly behind me. I may be deaf in one ear from trying to drown out the sound.
Anyone that knows me knows I am a little OCD about cleanliness. You can probably see how being in a hospital waiting room might drive me over the edge. Just a little bit. I had forgotten just how gross I used to feel after coming home from the hospital when my Dad was sick. It all came rushing back last night when I came home and wanted to throw all my clothes in a bag and burn them. As it were, I used a goodly amount of Lysol wipes to wipe down my laptop and everything else I had with me.
My poor mother, in her drugged state, looked around her room and said "this is pretty nice.....and it's really clean." Um, okay. I had been in the room for five minutes and had made a mental note of all the things not to touch, and what the cleaning crew needed to pay attention to.
Mom is doing well today. Breasts don't hurt, but her stomach sure as hell does. She and I both have a very high tolerance to pain, so when she was getting a little snippy about a pain pill this afternoon, I stood over the nurse until she promised to bring one in RIGHT AWAY. The plastic surgeon came in to check her out this morning, and he was pleased with his work, and had the very demeanor of what I would expect a plastic surgeon to have: haughty and dismissive. I bet there are tons of nurses who would like to see him as one of their patients, if you know what I mean.
I normally have a very strong stomach, and love watching shows on surgical procedures. But when the doctor took back the bandages and started poking the "new" flesh my stomach lurched. I hope the fake smile I had plastered on my face didn't make me look like a serial killer, but I was struggling to maintain composure. I thank the universe for making Mom's best friend a nurse, a nurse who has volunteered to change her bandages and empty her drains. I cannot even go into the drains right now. Must be because it's my mother, because I don't ever remember feeling nauseous when looking at the MANY horrors that afflicted my dad when he was in the hospital.
Mom is the last parent I have. As a kid and young adult, I had spares. First, my step-mother died from a very rare form of cancer when she was just 32. My bio Dad (whom I was estranged from) was 62 (I think...) when he died from diabetes/Hep C/alcoholism/who knows what else. Now his death was particularly hard on Mom. Even though they had been divorced for YEARS (since I was about a year old), it really killed a little piece of her. Didn't help that my sister, who had been kind of keeping tabs on him let her duty slip, until one day she couldn't reach him. She called Mom, and Mom found him dead on the floor of his apartment. He'd been there a few days. By the way, that stench does NOT come out after they clean the carpets. Just sayin'. Emptying that apartment goes down on my list of five least favorite days of my life. When my Dad died (actually, step-dad), it was long and awful. Ended up being multiple organ failure, but started out as a heart attack. Really, it was alcoholism and a heart weakened by it. A truly horrific, ugly way to die.
So Mom is IT. It REALLY hit me last night. It used to stress me out, being a kid with extra parents, and now I am down to one. It was tough watching her sleep last night, her face contorted in pain. Mom and I have MANY differences, but our personalities are exactly the same, so we annoy the shit out of each other, but love each other fiercely. My Mom is the strongest woman I know, and today I am very proud of her, but a little scared too.