To say I am exhausted in an understatement. I was exhausted when I got off the plane. The state I am in now can probably only be described as hyperfatigue-induced zombism. The fact that I am sitting here now, trying to crank out homework assignments is proof that I have completely lost my mind. The only thing really keeping me going right now is my fourth cup of coffee and the fact that the rest of the household is asleep. Sleep…
I knew what my sister would look like in recovery, after her operation. I knew that she would be out of it, I knew she would be uncomfortable, I knew she would be confused.
I didn’t know that she would have trouble breathing, I didn’t know that the drains coming from her body would be so big, and that there wouldn’t be anything I could really do to make her feel better.
Standing in post op next to her “bed on wheels”, I took her hand and stroked her forehead as I tried not to cry. Key word: tried. I tried to help her breathe. “Take short, slow breaths” I said to her as we inhaled and exhaled together. I thought, if she can’t take a deep breath, maybe short breaths would help her get some oxygen. There’s nothing more panick inducing than not being able to breathe. An instinct nature instilled in us, and for good reason. Seeing her there, so pitiful and in pain, I felt a strong sense of my world crumbling around me.
I began to feel dizzy, nauseous. And then I got hot. Really hot. Suddenly the walls of the room were caving in on me. I knew I was going down if I didn’t do something. I saw a chair and headed straight for it. The nurse asked me if I was OK. I said yes. My mother asked me if I was ok. I said yes. The head nurse said “it costs money to pick you up off the floor”. I put my head in-between my legs and just let the tears fall.
How could I have lost it like that, with my beloved sister the way she was? Why did I have to fall apart? I guess the feeling is similar to the way new fathers are when their wives are in labor. You just can’t take seeing someone you love going through something so awful, and you can’t do anything to stop it.
I wanted to trade places with her. I wanted to be the one in that hospital bed, the one with a changing body, the one with the broken heart. I would have given anything to have to hear my own the bad news, instead of being the one that had to say it. But I wasn’t.
It’s not over yet. This is just the beginning. More surgeries, more pain, more drugs, more hospitals. But there’s one thing we’ve got that the enemy doesn’t. Each other. And so help me god, I will be there through EVERY step of the way. Even if it means I have to literally pick myself up off the floor to keep on going.