My mother slept for 22 hours. Half of it at home and half after I took her back to the ER yesterday. When she finally was admitted to the hospital, she didn't even notice when they moved her from the gurney to the bed. Last night after I came home I couldn't sleep. The winds had kicked up while I sat next to my mom in a curtained cubicle in the ER, and I felt like I too had been transported somewhere strange and different without my knowledge. All night long trees clawed at the windows as if they were desperate to come inside. Every now and then there was the crash of someone's patio heater or trashcan. My body ached from sitting, and I wanted to be outside walking.
When I did sleep, I woke from dreams in which I was neglecting a houseful of guests. All the women I'd travelled with in Greece had come for a visit. No one had clean sheets or towels, and I'd forgotten to buy coffee, and where was the blowdryer?
And there was the thought of my mother dying. I lay in my bed, dreading the ring of the phone. She had rallied by the time I'd left the hospital, but it seemed unbelieveable that she'd awakened from her Sleeping Beauty spell. Maybe the bacteria had made it to her brain, and that was what had jolted her awake before it pulled her back under.
This morning she was awake and fully herself, though pale. She ate breakfast and lunch sitting up in a chair. This afternoon she told me I shouldn't come back in the evening. She'd be okay, she said. Having already made two trips to the hospital today, and having spent a total of 15 hours in the ER spread over three separate trips since Thanksgiving, staying home seemed like a fabulous idea. I saw bacteria in the stack of shirts she'd worn once and piled on a chair in her room. Bacteria in the bedding and the sink and the shower. And oh my god, there's got to be a fresh nasal canula for her oxygen around here somewhere.
The sun is setting and I've done a dozen loads of laundry, finally given the floors their first post- Thanksgiving cleaning after nearly jumping out of skin at a dust bunny I thought was a rat. I might walk to bar on the marina and eavesdrop on other people's lives.