Saturday, December 7, 2013
Death, Pain, Anger, and Santa on a Tractor
My mom is home.
I've explained and re-explained the difference between pro-biotics and antibiotics. We've gone over the changes in her pain meds. I made soup for dinner, made sure to offer her a bowl of ice cream, and I just rolled some Max-Freeze onto her back. She's not quite herself, eyes like giant hollows, walking in super slow-mo. Each hospitalization, while life-saving, delivers its own special beating and sends her home weaker.
My father died suddenly of a massive heart attack one night after dinner. I was away at college and witnessed nothing of the the actual event of his death, yet that quick drop to the floor is how I've always imagined my mother would leave this life. It's now seeming quite likely that I was wrong.
A sudden death seems a mercy to me. To be alive one moment, aware of a brief pain perhaps, and then gone. No needles. No indignities. No litany of agonies. No small chiseling away of the mind and those elements of personhood that once were so integral and now are gone without a trace.
I really don't think very far ahead these days, and I don't worry. I do the things I can do. I have confidence that I will do the things, solve the problems, and ask the questions and find the answers, and change what needs changing, and just keep going. And even after I do all of that, she'll die.
Hahahah, life, you trickster! is an attitude that I can usually muster these days. My tire pressure light comes on as I start my drive to the hospital in the pouring rain. Okay. Hahaha. We take a detour to the tire store. Oh, now there's a Christmas parade and I'm behind Santa on a tractor. Okay. Hahahaha. Oh, the home physical therapy didn't get set up like it was supposed to? Well, less funny, but we'll survive. A pain medication situation that doesn't seem to be working? Well, I could get a little angry, but anger won't stop the pain, so never mind...but still, I'd like to engage in the luxury of rage. For most of my adult life, it's been evident that the lessons learned through difficult situations don't always come up again and give one a chance to flaunt that back store of knowledge. There's always new stuff. Like never ever get discharged from the hospital on a Saturday--and especially don't get discharged on a Saturday if they're going to fuck with your pain meds.
But I'm ready. Sleeping on the couch, maybe, with the MaxFreeze at the ready. Tramadol dosages researched, ready to say go ahead, just take it 2 hours early. And aware, at least right now while I'm still wide awake, that anger at anything won't do anything good.