One of last week’s prompts was Together. However, I didn’t get the chance to respond because I was a bit…preoccupied…doesn’t seem to cover it.
Someone very close to me was rushed to the hospital last week. She nearly lost her arm–she could have lost her life. But, thanks to a spectacular doctor who properly diagnosed her and the brilliant surgeon who rushed to her side to operate on her, she is well and on her way to recovery.
What amazed me most about everything that happened these two weeks–it’s difficult really to narrow it down to just one or two things–was my family’s sense of loyalty and togetherness.
Immediately family rushed in, first over the phone, then in person. They jumped in their cars, scrambled to find plane tickets, all so that they could be here with her and I. So that we could be together. So that we could support one another.
I like to think I’m the kind of person who can stand anything. I can take anything. I pride myself on that fact. That people…my family…look at me and see that I am strong and that I am always calm. It gives me a sense of pride, that I’m seen as dependable.
Family flocked to the hospital where I’d been waiting for hours, where I’d driven to over and over, back and forth, day after day, not wanting her to be alone. They came and they hugged and they kissed and they told one another that they were loved.
I tried to be the stoic one. The collected one. The one that could be unfazed by everything happening around us.
On the inside, my heart couldn’t settle, my mind raced, I felt like I couldn’t think straight. My brain processed too fast or too slow–I don’t know. In the car, driving back and forth to the hospital, I banged my head to Disturbed. In the waiting room I played Minecraft. At home I drank and watched horror films. I didn’t sleep. Day after day, night after night, I didn’t sleep. But I told myself it was okay and on the outside, I was okay.
When she was discharged, we brought her home. I’d run myself ragged cleaning and shopping for anything she’d need or want. I was exhausted but too wired to sleep. Night came and we’d finally gotten her settled, life a little more calm than what it had been in days and, suddenly, we were rushing to the hospital again.
There was a mix-up in the ER that left us sitting in a waiting room for two hours while she bled and gritted her teeth to keep from moaning–I’m not the only strong one in my family. It was there, then, that I had a breakdown. Not a Hollywood breakdown. I didn’t throw myself on the ground sobbing and beating my breast. No. I couldn’t hold my tongue or my calm or my composure anymore and I snapped. I try not to shout. I try to stay clam and stay positive and respectful but I lost my grip and snapped at the nurses (who did nothing wrong). At the orderlies. At the doctors who stood around helping other people who weren’t as important (at least to me) as this woman who’d just gotten out of the hospital. The most important woman in the world to me. Who was hurting. Who I could have lost. Who I’d had to watch hurt and cry and grit her teeth. I’d almost lost her. This woman who’s existence meant so much to me that I couldn’t picture life without her. I’d almost lost her.
I’d almost lost her.
It was nothing, we found out. Just par for the course, your run-of-the-mill scare. The other patients in the waiting room really did rank higher than her–though, still to me, she should have come first. I got her home, some hour between sundown and sunup, and settled her into bed happily medicated.
Completely depleted, exhausted and half dead, I collapsed. I could have made it longer and further had she needed it but, in that moment, life drained out of me I collapsed in her bed and laid my head on her chest. And she patted my head and told me she was okay. And all felt right with the world again.