Sunday, September 24, 2006

Urgent Trip to Michigan

This past week has been an emotional rollercoaster in which I'm currently still riding. My mother went into the hospital last week, the day before she was scheduled to come to San Antonio to visit me. She was so ill that she asked that I bring Areya-Sunshyne to Flint instead. I began to worry about the severity of her situation and decided to rent a car the very next day and drive from San Antonio, TX to Flint, Michigan. The Photo that I have included was taken somewhere in Arkansas. It rained so hard that I couldn't see the road right in front of me. When it stopped raining there was a beautiful rainbow peeking out beneath the cloudy sky. I failed to capture it's full glory but I was driving while trying to capture this shot for my daughter's enjoyment.

It was a glorious yet long and draining road trip. I'd decided to go from Texas through Arkansas from there Missouri then I would hit Illinois then drive a bit through Indiana to Michigan. It was a drive that took me roughly twenty-two hours. I know what you're thinking "I'm reading the writings of a crazy woman!" In my defense, this is my mother we are talking about here. Anything for mom, right?

It was great to see many of my family members that I haven't seen in over a years time. In particularly my sister whom moved from Michigan to Huntsville, Alabama well before my move to San Antonio. I was also able to see my aunt Gloria whom I'd hadn't seen since I was a child, my aunt Gwen and my dad Claude are also included in the list of long lost loved ones that I'd gotten to visit.

Most importantly, I visited my mom in the hospital and she did not look well. Her skin looked dark and her eyes seemed to have difficulty focusing on face. I hugged and kissed her but that affectionate reunion was short lived. Areya jumped up and down yelling "Nana, Nana!" and my mother quickly turned her attention to the human jumping bean. My mom smiled when she saw her and her face lit up. Areya is her little buddy and has been every since she came into this world. They have some sort of bond that I can't really explain. I think that my mother sees much of herself in Areya. Whatever it is, it's weird!

A few days later on one of our visits to the hospital, Areya discovered that Nana's foot was bleeding and swollen. Areya asked my mom "what's wrong with your foot?'' I thought it ironic that no one had noticed my mother's foot swollen, deeply bruised, and bleeding (especially nursing staff). I took a closer look at it and noticed that there was much more going on with it than just bruising and bleeding. I immediately called a nurse in to have a look and perhaps gain some professional insight. The nurse told us that her foot looked as if it were infected and that she would clean it and wrap it once we'd left. My brother, sister-in-law and I began to worry and told my mother that we were going to leave so that the nurse could care for her. The next day we found out that one of her toes was dead and infecting others, they were going to have to amputate at least three of her toes! We were all completed shocked and upset when we heard the news. Mom was scared! There's an indescribable feeling of helplessness that accompanies a traumatic event involving your mother or your child. I've felt that twice in my life and would be very grateful to never have to feel it again.

The week began to come to a close and I needed to get back to turn in the rental car that I'd been sporting during the trip. The amputation hadn't been scheduled before I left. I dreaded the long drive back home and decided to take a different route back home, hoping it would yield me less driving time.

I was so glad to be home! Two days after my homecoming I received a call from my sister telling me that my mom had the surgery. I was relieved to hear that she was in the recovery room. However, the next day while in dialysis the hospital staff administered a pain relieving drug to her that she was allergic to and she stopped breathing. Although she was revived from this horrific experience, I continue to worry about her because she is still in the hospital and I am still 1500 miles away.