Friday, October 18, 2013

Keep Calm and Carry On

How can I blog heartache and despair?

I think, at first, that I shouldn't.

My husband had chest pains yesterday. My son is having trouble with his breathing and is even having hallucinations from prednisone. I've been driving back and forth between them, never feeling right about either one being alone for too long. Mike is in the hospital. Nick is home from school, to sick to come with me. An angioplasty showed that Mike had a mild heart attack, that he had some damage. His heart is big and warm and today I watched it beat on an ultrasound machine. I felt as though I were watching a baby in the womb. That was Mike's heart. It was beating a solid rhythm. It's valves fluttered in syncopation. It was beautiful and I couldn't look away.

If it was so beautiful, why isn't it perfect? Why does it have to be damaged?

I am so damn tired. Tonight, I called the doctor because Nick is having hallucinations. The on-call operator's voice got louder and faster when I told said the word. Hallucinations. Her breathing changed. I could hear it over the phone.

Gees, lady. If I am going to keep this together, you must keep it together too.

Right now, my job is like that of the British while they were being bombed during WWII. Keep calm and carry on.

While I waited for the doctor to call me back, I paced in my pajamas in my kitchen. I tried to keep breathing deep slow breaths. It's minor, just small things he's seeing in his peripheral vision. I won't have to take him to the ER, will I? Will I?


I tried to keep breathing as texted my friend, a vet, and words flew back and forth between us while she looked it up for me. My hands shook. It usually goes away, she said. It's not common, she said, but the ER probably couldn't do anything about it anyway. A therapeutic cup of tea might help, she said. A boring documentary on TV. Sleep. I kept breathing, deep slow breaths.

Breathing sort of worked as I had to drive to the ER to meet Mike without crashing yesterday. It helped a lot to have a good friend in the car, a friend who helped distract me with chatter so I didn't think too much. Breathing sort of worked when I witnessed another collision on I-90 this morning, just through my passenger side window, as we all drove 60 miles an hour down the interstate. It sort of worked when Nick told me over the phone that his breathing wasn't so good and I was forty-five minutes away, sitting with Mike on his Stryker bed. Deep, slow breaths and contact with my friends in between. Keep calm and carry on.

The doctor finally called. He was calm. He said if it didn't come with a headache or personality changes or worsening symptoms, that I should keep Nick on the prednisone, that it was good that tomorrow was a smaller dose. Breathing has improved? Yes, breathing has improved. Nick should drink more fluids, get lots of rest, and I should call back if I need anything, anything at all. This doctor said he would be on call all weekend in case I needed him. My friends have said I could call or text any time in case I need them.

So, Nick will be okay. He needs peppermint tea and sleep. And I will be okay, just knowing I can call any time I need to call. There is someone waiting on the other end of the line.

Thank you for listening, jb

No comments:

Post a Comment