Saturday, March 7, 2009

Time - it's flowing like a the sea....

(photo - one of the big rocks from the side of my driveway on my mountain in the cove: hello rock - miss you).

Ah friends. It's warm here in Texas. I had to go buy flip flops and t-shirts from Target. Silly me forgot about the deeper south and how warm it can get even in February and early March. My snow boots I wore when I left my mountain cove sit untouched, of course!

Frank's surgery went well and he was quite strong. He was out of ICU by yesterday, only one day after the surgery on Thursday! He was talking and alert and feeling fine. Then, this morning he is having a little bit of a setback - but not from the heart, for the surgeon said his heart is fine. So, I am back to ask for a bit more of your wonderful thoughts and prayers and vibes and all those things you do so he can get over this "hump."

Hospitals are the strangest of cities. Long corridors where my mom and I took turns and turns and seems we went a different way each time. The hotel within the hospital was a relief - although we ended up at a door trying to put the room key in the slot and wondering why the slot had disappeared and Mom is holding the room key to where the slot is supposed to be and I'm standing there and she's standing there and suddenly I look around and then burst out in hysterical laughter - we are in the wrong section - this was doctor's offices (closed for the evening)....we both went into peals of exhausted laughter. Then went searching for where we were supposed to be. No matter how many times we went to ICU, we seemed to take the same wrong turn and ended up heading in the wrong direction.

There is much suffering in Hospital, and the faces of the loved ones reflect the suffering, the hope, the devastation, the surprise, the delight when a loved one recovers, the tears and sagging of faces when they may not. There are doctors and nurses and other staff hurrying through halls. There are smells that follow and settle on clothing and hair, constant reminders as you toss about trying to sleep - sleep that seems to come and go in short snatches. Dreams that wake you - real? no, only a dream, it's okay, go back to sleep.

I will say this: for anyone who has been or is a care-giver, I am in awe of you. I've only had short snatches of being a care-giver or one who stays at the hospital to make sure everything is okay--this time and when GMR's mother was gravely ill. One becomes unaware of time and space and reality. The hospital, or the home where the loved one is, becomes this bubble - one doesn't know what is happening out in The Real World. Everything becomes about doctors, nurses, techs, outflow inflow, breathing, in between...hope...recovery...loss...found. Shuffling the hallways between fast-moving staff--staff who avert their eyes, less one asks an unanswerable question--then there are the question answerers, soft-voiced and dewy-eyed. It may feel as if time bends and alters, and when you emerge for breath, maybe only a day has passed, or two, but it feels as if everyone on the outside has moved on far ahead! When you step outside, the air on your face feels fresh and alive - and you feel a bit guilty that you are walking strong on your legs to gulp in that fresh "un-hospital" air. I have never eaten so much fruit in such a short time! I became enamoured of the hosptial cafeteria's fruit and yogurt parfaits, and the fresh salads, and jello, and fruit and cheese trays - things that keep one feeling more alert and not heavy and tired. Then I found "mexican cornbread" last night - Oh! Heaven! With hot soup! Something hot! Oh! I ate with gusto, fast and furious and without restraint.

I have never been around a loved one when they have the hallucinations from surgery meds and anesthesia! Of course, my writer brain was twirling with thoughts, but my stepdaughter brain was taken real it seems to them!

Again, I thank you all for stopping by - I am trying to visit you a little at a time when time is there. I have but a minute here, but will be back soon. I hope this post makes sense, since I am typing it so fast!

And for those of you who said you will buy Tender Graces so more than four are sold *laughing* -- thank you! *big grin of relief here....laugh...* My gawd, but the time is coming so close for Tender Grace's release....I can't think of it, my stomach is flip flopping around! *pant pant*

(PS - I almost forgot - my biological mother called - I have an uncle dying from liver cancer. I feel so strange - knowing i have blood kin out there who is dying and I am not at his side. I've only met him a few times - but we are bound by blood--West Virginia Hillybilly blood. I feel saddened - I don't know what to think or feel about this. I am here with my Frank and my family - but there is another family out there with my blood, dying, and I'm not there...strange lives we lead sometimes, full of ironies and metaphors and ....all.)


Barbara said...

I connected with every word of your post this morning. It brought back so many memories of when my sweet little mother was in the hospital for the last time. Especially, the halucinations after surgery. I was alone with her and they scared me half to death... I WILL NEVER FORGET IT.

I'm sorry to hear about your uncle and what he must be feeling right now with this bad news. But I'm also happy to hear that Frank is ok.

Life's a rollercoaster let's all hang on and enjoy the good times we have with each other while we can.

Janna Qualman said...

I know all-too-well those feelings associated with the insides of a hospital. A lot of my emotions get caught up there, and I know it's something to write about.

Blessings to Frank and the family, Kat. Take care of yourself, too.

Michelle said...

Yes indeed.

Sending good things to Frank and all of you.


DebraLSchubert said...

Kat, You can't physically be everywhere at once. That's why we have spirits. Send your spirit with its healing thoughts and deep love to your uncle. Your post was magical. Hang in there. And, my best wishes for Frank's speedy recovery. Love from PA - Debbie

Debbie said...

You are where you need to be. I am sure your uncle has family by his side taking care of him.
And I spent many days and nights in hospitals taking care of my mom and my step-father in the last two years. Your descriptions are so accurate and vivid.
Get some rest. Get some real food that you like the taste of. And we hope you will be home soon.
And I'm not buying that book unless it has your sweet little signature in it:) (Oh, who am I kidding. I'd buy it anyway.)

Barry said...

Life is tough. And then it gets tougher.

My younger brother (50) had a heart attack in November and required double by-pass surgery so I know a little of what you're going through.

Fortunately he is fine now, as I'm sure Frank will be too.

I will certainly keep you in my thoughts.

Sandra Leigh said...

Kat, I suspect that everyone who reads your post does so with tears in their eyes. You are a good daughter - to Frank, but to your mom as well.

As for Tender Graces, Debbie makes a good point. Are you going to offer signed copies for sale through your blog? If I need to, I'll buy a copy through Amazon and send it to you for signing!

Brian said...

Kat, I wish you and Frank all the best. Sorry about the tough times.

As for Tender Graces, whenever you get the link, please send it my way. I'd love to help promote it by placing the link on my site.

Lisa said...

lovely to hear from you dear Kat adn yes, life is funny situation we find ourselves in----sending love and light..Lisa xx

Angie Ledbetter said...

My friend, you have definitely described well the weird between-two-lives life of the care giver. So surreal. I'm sending you prayers and good thoughts. The book will be fine and you are where you have to be for the moment. Everything for a reason. Love you

Barry said...

I like Brian's idea about putting a link for Tender Graces up on our blogs.

If you can supply the logo and the link I'd be happy to do that.