It’s been a crazy week. A solemn week. A phone call at 2 a.m. I’m half asleep, but I think I hear the last few chimes on my cell phone. My first thought is: Mom! But no, it’s not Mom, and it takes me a few seconds to change gears. But I hear my daughter’s fiance’ saying things like, ’emergency room, sedated, intubated’. And I physically feel his words in every pore of my body. As I try to make sense of what he is saying, I scribble as fast I can on the pad by the phone. He hands the phone to the ER nurse and she relates, more calmly, exactly what I’ve already been told with the addition that they are transferring her to the “bigger, better” hospital. The weight of that sinks in.
I wake her dad, as I start throwing things into an overnight bag. Why does she have to live 5 hours away?! Dear God…. Dear God…. Dear God…. I pray the whole way there.
The better hospital has her stable when I arrive. No mother ever wants to see her child like this — tubes and wires everywhere. So much equipment in the room. A machine is breathing for her. Her eyelids, face and neck are very swollen. I run my fingers through her hair (she always loved that) stroking her and telling her, ‘you’re okay; it’s going to be okay; I love you’. At one point, later in the day, as I am holding her hand and whispering to her, she squeezes back. Thank you Lord Jesus. Thank you.
Anaphylaxis. I was barely familiar with the word. A few more minutes and we would have lost her. Severe, life threatening, allergic reaction. To what? We’re still not completely sure. And that’s the scary part. Dear God…
While at the hospital, over the last few days, I have touched base with Mom every day on the phone. She is doing fine. She sounds good. I know my sister has been there to visit. I’m not worried about her.
When I arrive home, the adrenaline has left my body (I’m great in a crisis), and I crash on the couch for a complete day. I’m worried and sad and scared and…
On Monday, after checking in with Mom, I go shopping. Enough said. I just can’t be in this house doing normal things. I have been thanking God constantly, but now I just need a distraction.
On Tuesday, I’m scheduled to pick my 8 year old granddaughter up from school. I am “in charge” of her while her Mom and baby brother go to Riley Children’s Hospital for a somewhat minor consultation. While waiting for the school children to be released, I call Mom. It takes her quite awhile to answer the phone. She says, ‘bathroom emergency’. Evidently this has been going on for a few days. “I’m not taking my meds anymore. They are making me sick. I can’t live this way.” Sigh. As I convince her that she must take her pills; she has no choice, I also allow her to remove the “memory” patch. Throw it away. Don’t put on another one. Let’s wait a few days, and see if that helps. She accepts this and says she’ll take her pills. We talk for a few more minutes, and I am confident she understands. Pills must be taken.
I call the doctor’s office just to let them know what’s going on. Since our last appointment, we have gone for blood work and had the scheduled mammogram. I cancelled the stress test — the Cardiologist, after all, gave her a “stable” status and isn’t seeing her again for six months. Let’s not fix what’s not broken right now. We are awaiting more blood work, bone density, and physical therapy. I think that’s all.
I need to check my notes. Having a daughter get sick has muddled my brain. My whole life was held in balance there for a few days. I haven’t even processed what “take the memory patch off” entails…. I can’t think about it right now.
One day at a time. One crisis at a time.
Mom, daughter, granddaughter… I hug the 8 year old a little tighter; a little longer.
Lord, thank you. I am so grateful….so very grateful.
One thought on “A Phone Call at 2 a.m.”
Those crisis phone calls are so terrifying. Praying for your daughter’s quick and complete recovery (and finding out the cause of the allergic reaction) and for your strength and peace of mind. Managing one family member’s health crisis at a time is quite enough for any caregiver.