This Mommy Runs on Caffeine

This Mommy Runs on Caffeine

March 31, 2012

Day 24

     It’s been 24 days. A very, very long month. I’m still having the hardest time processing that my Mom is in the hospital- and then it hits me. I’m driving to pick up my daughter and tell the hands-free to “Call Mom,” and then hit the cancel button on the steering wheel just as quickly. It’s habit; I ALWAYS call my mom on my way home so we can share a few laughs, especially if they are over something silly that MiniLatte did last night; or vent about something going on elsewhere in my life. She can’t answer right now, she’s laying in an uncomfortable hospital bed in the ICU surrounded by wires, tubes and cords; a ventilator is helping her breathe; between three to six drugs are stabilizing her heart rate, blood pressure, pain, etc. The staff at the hospital really is amazing- they are doing everything within their power to provide support and comfort until surgery. And I mean everything- she is helpless. But I’m tired of seeing them almost more than I see my husband and daughter.
         Her heart is in really rough shape and isn’t going to get any better without open heart surgery to replace at least one valve. Unfortunately because she keeps running a fever; some days high, some days; low grade, the surgeons won’t even touch her. She has to be fever-free for a minimum of five consecutive days. Five very long days. Days in which other complications could crop up- pneumonia, MRSA, another infection and prolong yet again the procedure that she needs to recover. It’s driving me nuts.  However, this week my condition has been upgraded from survival-mode- just doing whatever the bare minimum is to get through the day- to functioning.
          I put on make-up again on Wednesday; even cooked dinner and worked a few days this week (I’ve been off of work since she was admitted to the ICU). I’ve not been much of a partner to my husband; he’s holding it together for me but it’s starting to take a toll on him as well. I have tried to focus some energy into being a Mom- my daughter adds pure joy to the end of a long and draining day. When I’m spent, she throws her little arms around my legs and says, “I miss you Mommy. You not sad anymore.” It breaks my heart with both happiness and sadness. I’m trying not to let my sorrow and stress affect her. She knows that Mommy’s Mommy is sick and in the hospital trying to get better but wants to kiss her boo boo. I tell her that I am sad because of that but she makes me happy. She’s wise beyond her 32 short months and has more empathy than I can believe.
         My step-dad today told me that he was worried about me. I am too. I worry that I won’t have the strength to get through another day of waiting. I want to take care of myself- my appetite has resumed within the past week- that might be curbed by the Zoloft though- it makes me nauseous. Yep, Zoloft.  I’m seeking a little help from my prescription-strength friends; Atavan, Zoloft and Trazodone. They were probably necessary before this extraordinarily stressful event, but even more so now that my anxiety and insomnia are through the roof. Are they working? Well, I’m resting a bit better. I haven’t had an anxiety attack in about a week; not sure if it’s because Mom is stable, or I am. The Trazodone makes me sleepy, but I still wake up at 4 a.m..  (BTW, have you ever read the entire warning label on a prescription? I think my before symptoms might have been more manageable than the side effects- crazy!) Sometimes in the morning, I remember the dreams I’m having about her; they’re realistic and make me sad. And then my sweet little girl rolls over and says, “Hi Mama,” and I feel a little better but I hope she won’t have to go through this some day.

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