I unwillingly left mom in the hospital room tonight. I really thought I would spend the night in the "lounge" chair. They had planted a roommate in there and the room became so crowded with nurses, me, potty chairs, etc, that I finally thought it prudent if I left. But leaving my mom there one more night, alone, was really difficult. They still can't stop the GI bleeding and she is still receiving infusions of blood. I can't believe 12 hours ago we were bringing her home and now she has gone through 3 more "procedures" and still bleeding. What was a scary incident and now turned out to be almost unbelievable. (I won't go into the part about how I suggested that maybe the place they cauterized the first time had maybe come unglued and was ignored ... which btw, was the case).
I sat in the dark and watched her sleep. Thought who would get the jokes about the "hot house" where I lived as a child. My grandmother, uncle lived with us ... in a hot attic apartment in Texas ... so small that when my grandmother snored, the house would rattle and everyone would kick the others bed until whomever was sleeping next to my grandmother would kick hers to get her to stop. I started thinking about what phone calls I should make. But she is the one with the "family" numbers and I always get her to make the phone calls to family about important matters. And then I make myself stop thinking those thoughts and get back to planning on cleaning and doing laundry when I get home.
There was a moment that brought me to tears tonight. The woman in the next bed had a pacemaker mess-up ... I guess they put it in the wrong spot (is that possible?) and then they had to re-plant it. She wasn't looking good. But got a little more agitated when I came in and started fussing over mom. She was crying, sobbing, really with the TV blaring. The nurses came to ask what was wrong, was she comfortable, checked her blood sugar, etc. Then she started telling the nurse what nursing home she had come from and that she was going to stay closer to her ex-daughter-in-law and grandson in Tacoma. I could only surmise from that information that her son was gone. Her husband probably gone as well. She had no other relatives. She said she didn't like to be in that room, and she was so sad.
At that point, tears were streaming from my eyes, thankfully the curtain hid my profound sadness from her. I had heard her tell the nurse that she had been sad for years. I was thinking, where were her belongings? Where did she live? Was she is moving from one nursing home to another? I asked her if I could help her with anything. I asked her if she needed some water. I washed her face and hands a couple of times with a hot cloth. I pampered her for a couple of minutes. I wish I could have pampered her a little longer. How sad is life when one ends in the company of strangers. In a cold, noisey hospital, room with the curtains drawn, machines bleeping their constant warnings. With no family there to hold your hand. I will pamper her a little more tomorrow. I tried not to cry all the way home.
Elena Ferrante, the storyteller
1 hour ago