Today fear hit me in such a way that I am still processing everything that happened and my own feelings about it. Writing seemed the only way to be able to start reflecting on the events and a part of my new reality I haven’t confronted before. One that is always in the back of my mind, but I never dwell on it instead choosing to believe it will be sometime in the far, far distance.
It was a regular day. I was grading papers at my desk thinking toward my afternoon class. My phone rang. It was Mom. Except when I answered it wasn’t Mom. It was her co-worker telling me she was having chest pains and needed to go to the hospital. I RAN from the office and probably broke a few laws getting to my Mom.
Mom on the gurney. Mom hooked to machines. Mom looking SO pale and frail. The calm nature of the doctors and nurses. Me screaming in my head as I observed all of this, “Why are you so calm? Don’t you know this is my Mom? Don’t you know this is the only parent I have left?” Me speaking to the nurses in my own calm voice answering questions about her medical history, family medical history, current medication–so many questions.
Waiting–oh the waiting! I thought answers about heart attacks would be quicker. Nope–a 3 hour wait to evaluate cardiac enzymes or whatever they are called. Pacing, sitting, standing, looking at my phone, pacing some more, sitting some more.
And then finally the non-answer. She didn’t have a heart attack, but the heart is a funny, funny muscle. She could have been feeling something but only tests from a cardiologist will be able to tell us more. The ER visit today was to solely tell us she didn’t have a heart attack. Then, he kind of made me laugh when he essentially told us he was also going to treat her for gas, because you know, it could also be that. I brought Mom home and then proceeded to nearly give her a heart attack with the number of times I crept into her room to check on her. And, I will likely do this for some time to come or until we have more answers. I definitely will be these doctors worst nightmare in the weeks to come as we have these tests. I want to understand every detail.
But, I’m also sitting here thinking about my support system. Wow, these people cover me in love and concern when I need it. Hubby was home ensuring Munchkin was happy and content and, above all, oblivious to what was happening. Texting and checking in. Making me laugh even when I didn’t want to. My sister–stomach all torn up with worry right with me–feeling the same fears. Mind going a million different directions–none of them good.
Two other women, the most unlikeliest of friendships, like always were ready to do whatever I needed. These two women have been the most amazing friends since we moved to town. I’m the youngest, J is 10 years older than me and R is 10 years older than J. I do not think I would have been able to stand, stay focused and be as healthy as I am without their constant friendship. I do not thank these two women enough for being such good friends and strong examples to me about motherhood, friendship and overcoming challenges. They jumped in and took care of what needed to be done at work and then just kept in touch with me and would have been in that ER in 10 minutes flat if needed.
Later, I reached out to some family to let them know what was happening. I was scared. Just needed some reassurance. They always provide the level headedness. And, as always, I wish my Dad’s family was just a little closer distance wise during times likes these and that my sister in law was just down the road.
I got home and I reached out to my silent, constant–K. She knows the deep rooted fear since she lost her father many years ago now. She was right there and you know what, I know with out a doubt in my heart that if I had said, “K–I need you here.” 8 hours later she would have been in my driveway. She shared how she’s dealt with the fears. The healthy ways she’s tried to channel it.
And there are many more. I know that. And I know I am so blessed in having this support.
But, I’m not going to lie. It freaking sucks to have this fear of losing my one parent. I have many friends who have already lost a parent or both and I think, “How do we do this?” How do we keep all the fears in check or how do you keep the grief in check? How do I make sure this episode doesn’t put me back into that dark place I was a year ago; two years ago? I just don’t know.
I know I will have this fear, this far reaching, deep fear of losing my only parent. I know that I have to recognize the fear, deal with it in a healthy way and then handle the future with the same calm on the outside with hopefully more calm on the inside. I also know that I still have an amazing circle of people around me who will help me with whatever comes my way.