The last thirteen days have been the worst of my life.
First of all, thank you to all of you who reached out to me, worried and wondering where I’d disappeared to.
On Thursday, September 17th, I got a call from my father at work. My mom had gone in for gall bladder removal that morning. We’d known about the surgery, we weren’t worried, her doctor assured us that this was routine and she’d be home by Saturday. He also said the surgery was necessary, because it was the source of the infection that had landed her in the hospital to begin with.
My dad’s call felt like one of those movie moments, where you don’t really know how to believe this is really your life. This is something that happens on bad medical dramas not the real world. He said there’d been complications in my mother’s surgery; they’d accidentally severed a vein going to her liver. They were doing the surgery laparoscopically, which means they couldn’t get to the bleeding right away, she had lost a lot of blood and was in critical condition and things didn’t look good.
I called my aunt at work, she met me at the train we headed to Long Island, where my mother was. I fell apart like I have never fallen apart before. Seriously, a two hour train ride while your mother is battling for her life is just about the most horrific and helpless feeling in the world.
The complications from the blood loss are bad, her kidneys and liver are damaged, she has bile leaking into her system, but she’s alive. She was in the ICU for over a week during which time I never left the hospital. I have amazing friends who bought me clothes and underwear and made me eat periodically. We had her transferred to a better hospital in the area and eventually she was put in a regular room. They’ve tried to do some reparative procedures, but she’s too swollen internally. Right now, we’re just waiting. Over the weekend she started to come to a bit. She’d been conscious before, but she wasn’t really her, she wasn’t really with it, but on Sunday I started to see my mom come back.
She’s petrified and weak and feels like the entire world gave up on her. Truth be told, my mother hasn’t had the easiest life, not only is she going blind, but this isn’t the first surgery she’s had that’s gone terribly wrong. She spent almost a year bed ridden after a spine surgery to correct her very severe scoliosis went wrong when I was eleven.
Deep down, I believe she’ll be okay. She’s quite possibly the strongest person I’ve ever met, and I’m not just saying that because she’s my mother; she’s overcome more than any one person should ever have to. I’m just afraid she’s tired of fighting unfair battles, but I need her to, because I’m not ready to live my life without her.