These past few days have been a blur of stress and anxiety. I flit back and forth between the hospital and the real world – on the one hand a tiny, airless flourescent-buzzed room filled with wires, tubes, one very ailing sister, my mother so tense and strained from 10 days of advocacy, caregiving, fighting with doctors and nurses that she is shaking and can’t stop; on the other hand my family’s house, trying to make sure everyone is eating, taking care of the various and sundry pets, checking in on the news (Holocaust Museum shooter, Iran election riots, lovely), laundry, errands, and sleep when it comes…
I am – we are all – stressed.
Fortunately, my sister is (presumably) not suffering from anything life-threatening – they’ve ruled out all the Very Scary Things. She has still-undiagnosed severe abdominal pain requiring frequent intravenous pain meds. Unfortunately, some combination of those pain meds, a possible electrolyte imbalance, and her body’s general exhaustion after being a hospital guinea pig for the past 10 days caused her to have a seizure a few days ago that pretty much traumatized myself, my little brother, and my grandmother for life. One minute she was fine, the next she was seizing (the possibility of which was never explained to us, despite the fact that a simple Google search of her pain medication very clearly states that any significant use can lead to seizures. Thanks for letting us know, assholes. Your medical system at work.) Of course the seizure happened during the half-hour that my father convinced my mother to let him take her out to lunch, as she hadn’t set foot outside the hospital in 7 days.
Anyway, it was scary. Terrifying, actually. Of course now we know she’s fine, now we know it was just (“just”) a seizure, but at the time… machines were going off, nurses were running around yelling, they shut us out of the room and wouldn’t tell us what was happening, my grandmother was in hysterics, my little brother looked like he was about to pass out, we hear my sister making all these horrible noises and every time we open the door we see her shaking uncontrollably… it was bad. But she’s fine now.
And I’m just venting. The role I play in my family is the very put-together, responsible oldest child, making sure needs are met, taking care of what needs to be taken care of so my parents can focus on my sister. Though this has been a very stressful time for everyone, I’ve only cried twice, and both times on the phone with Finn. It’s important to me that my family not see me freak out. It’s important that they feel like they can rely on me. So I lose it every time I talk to Finn, and poor thing, that’s all she’s really gotten from me since I’ve been here.
In any case, my grandmother and I are off to see a movie, forget the hospital stress for a few hours. Something stupid, something that doesn’t require a brain. Sounds about right.
Hope all is well where you are…