Flattened greasy sandwich (hold the mayo please)

January 4, 2008

I was all set to post my “Hey it’s 2008!” piece, wherein I said something to the effect that I feel like I’ve been suspended over a great yawning chasm of shittiness for the past few months and how I sense that my parents’ respective health problems will suck me down into said chasm.

But…some small rocks on the edge of the cliff gave way last night, knocking me even closer to the floor of the canyon…my dad called around 8:00 pm last night to say that my mom was vomiting blood.  I arrived at their house to find him somewhat grayish in color and her lying in the bed with a bucket of blood sitting in the bathroom.


Long long story short, my mom is at the James tonight, after receiving two units of red blood cells — her hemoglobin was 4.1, which is ridonkulously low, so low that several medical professionals pondered why she hadn’t passed out completely. The doctors (and heavens, I saw the intern, the resident, the fellow, and the great elusive man himself) seem to think that her stomach is bleeding from the steroids she has taken to hold the cancer at bay.  She is going to have an endoscopy tomorrow, which should tell us more.  Meanwhile, we wait for her hemoglobin to stabilize.  She is, in a word, hopeless about her circumstances, despite the fact that the doctors seem to believe that they can get these issues under control and help her to feel much better.  But she’s tired.  So tired of fighting and being strong.  She just wants to be home, and even at times, I think, wants to be home, home.

Meanwhile, my dad’s surgery isn’t scheduled, but his color is poor and he tires frighteningly quickly.  They are both so worried about the other that they’re having a difficult time taking care of themselves.  This might sound noble — and in a depressing way, I guess it is.  But it’s also a royal pain in the ass.  I feel like they are each a spinning plate and I keep running from one to the other to keep either from shattering to the ground.  I love them both so much, but neither one is a particularly patient patient.  And by necessity, that makes me the bad guy sometimes.  Today, my mom grew angry at me as I persistently explained about her vomiting blood.  As I said, she simply wants to be at home, and I think that a part of her believes that I’m somehow standing in her way.

As for the sandwich, well.  My kids, especially Abby and Rob, acutely feel my every absence, especially if said absence is predicated by the sad fact of a sick grandparent.  They are all clingy and needy, and I totally get that.  Yes, I feel sandwiched between their needs and the needs of my parents.  Great friends help — they do things like pick up your kids from school or make you a wonderful dinner.  Thank God for the body of Christ.  And a great husband — who doesn’t question my reasons ever ever ever — is a rock, as he adapts his schedule to fit around the family in crisis.  And he goes out and buys peach schnapps and orange juice just ’cause.

I’m so so tired tonight.  If anyone could be praying for my family’s tomorrow, I would be ever so grateful.


3 Responses to “Flattened greasy sandwich (hold the mayo please)”

  1. Liz said

    peach schnapps and oj used to be one of my favorite drinks when i still drank not that is really anything of value but after i burst into tears when reading your post…right now with all that is going on with myself and family stuff and those around me who i know from central vineyard and others it just really feels like this truly is a fallen world. i can only say i will pray and most likely continue to weep lots over all of the people i know who are going through so so so much stuff. i hope to see you tonight at group but understand too if it is just too much

  2. Liz said

    p.s. i was NOT trying to say ANYTHING against drinking. i admire people who can drink and not finish off a bottle or two of schnapps. i just am sober and clean for about 15 years now but i still at times want to use and think that i admire people who can just enjoy some and not have it ruin her or his life………….

  3. We prayed hard for you tonight at home group. We prayed hard for Bud and Di. And for Dan and Abby and Rob, too. Tim got a little as well.

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