Monday, March 02, 2015
More and More and More and More ...
In grade school, I had a teacher who would be instantly infuriated whenever she heard a student say, "I'm starving."
"Are you starving?" she would begin. "Are you really? Do you know what starving even means?" she would continue as we would cringe and pray that the floor would swallow us whole. "Children in Africa are starving. YOU, however ..." and at this point she would coldly look us up and down with the kind of look which instantaneously spawns eating disorders ... "You MIGHT be peckish. At best. But you are no where near starving."
Since meeting this teacher, I have always been keenly aware of hyperbole ... fixedly aware of exaggeration.
I say this to make it perfectly clear ... that when I say, "I am exhausted ..." I mean that I am literally, by definition, completely and utterly exhausted.
I spent last week alternating between feeling like I needed to sit down and have a good cry ... and wanting to curl up in our big, comfy bed and sleep for 24 hours straight. We went from a perfectly stable, quiet life ... to the wheels falling off the train. My train is now sitting in a field, miles away from tracks of any kind.
After an ER trip that confirmed the hernia in my stomach, Stoney and I went to the surgeon's office to learn about treatment and recovery options. It was the first time he'd accompanied me to a doctor's appointment ... and it was both new ... and wonderfully comforting. We left the office with a tentative surgery date and a plan. He'd already scheduled PTO in March so he could stay home and watch the NCAA tournament ... now I'd just be a (hopefully) small part of those plans.
We parted with a kiss in the frosty parking garage and I headed off to work, happily believing that things were well in hand. Less than two hours later, I got a text from my aunt. My mom had fallen and hurt her ankle. They were on their way to the ER. I asked if I should meet them ... and she said Mom said no ... wait until after work. Okay ... mom fell and sprained her ankle. This is a manageable calamity.
An hour passed before I texted my aunt again. Were they in a room yet? Had mom been x-rayed? My aunt sent a short, cryptic text. It said something about them being in the back, mom getting an IV and, what concerned me most, that she was "finally" being given a shot of morphine. My chest tightened with panic. Morphine? For a sprained ankle? What was going on?
What was going on was a lot more than a sprain.
Mom fell ... and managed to not only break all three bones in her ankle ... she dislocated the bone. She was in excruciating pain and the foot was hanging there ... loose. I drove to the hospital and sat by her side while we waited for the orthopedic specialist. Her ankle was as big as a softball ... and approximately the same hue as an eggplant. The morphine wasn't helping and she was nauseous from the pain.
The specialist pulled me outside mom's room and told me privately that, due to her age, she couldn't just have the bone set normally. He said, when treating younger people, they would usually just set the bone and let the patient "scream it out" ... but the risk was too high that mom would go into shock from the pain.
So ... I was asked to take a walk. I sat in the waiting room while they knocked her out. They gave her Propofol, reset the bone back in the socket, and put a cast on her leg ... all in the smallest emergency room cubicle imaginable.
Her surgery is day after tomorrow ... two weeks to the day before mine. They are putting a plate on the ankle to hold the bones together. It took two days ... but she finally agreed to move in with her brother and sister-in-law until she can put weight on her foot. It was a rough 48 hours for all of us ... very little food ... even less sleep.
As if all this drama wasn't enough, we think Stoney might have torn his meniscus moving things out of the house. His knee has been causing him a lot of pain and his doctor is having him take medicine, wear a brace, and ice his knee regularly. When it rains ... it pours.
So ... if I don't write a lot here in the near future, it's because I'm balancing my time between my job, working on my house, checking my mom's apartment, and checking on her. I slept a lot this weekend ... but it wasn't enough. I feel like I could sleep right now. Is there such a thing as trauma-induced narcolepsy? Can someone look into this? I would ... but I'm too busy teaching myself how to sleep with my eyes open ...