Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Where To Begin?

I have a kazillion things in my head that I want to post about. This could be long but I'll try and condense it.

First of all, I'm quite excited because I'm meeting some really great people here. Not just here, but other places too (like Flickr). I'm always so excited when I have mail and someone's added me as a contact. It's like opening a present. Today it was a guy from MG's blog (The Cooperation) who really is a sweetheart. He's been through the ringer lately (try getting hit by a car) and we've shared some stories. Reality - half the people I "meet" here could be giving me a big line of bullshit and are serial rapists and baby killers - but I like them. O.K., that's part one.

I'm not scared of much. I'm mouthy at times and have been told I'm a little firecracker but that is my defense mechanism in the world because I'm alone and have to fight my own battles. Therefore, I've learned not to be scared. But I must say, lately when I take the long walk back to the car after visiting Mom, a lot of "what if's" cross my mind.It's a pretty isolated lot and mine is usually one of the very few cars parked there. I still don't get scared, just more aware of the fact that I am quite vulnerable and need to watch my back. Richmond's getting really ugly crime wise and about two minutes away from this parking lot (that I park in every night) some guys with knives were robbing people out on the street the other night. I thought about it tonight. But, guess what. As I got to my car it wasn't three guys, it was Rocky frickin' raccoon at my car. I didn't get a picture because I was keeping my distance and he was lurking in the dark corners. I know a guy who had a raccoon for a pet once and the thing used to like to raid my purse and eat things out of it (lipstick). And once, when I tried to grab it away, he went Helter Skelter on my ass. So I was preparing for the showdown....bring it raccoon. He went away. I was uninteresting and not food.

Oh, why I park in this lot...the hospital charges $2.50 an hour, with no "in and out" privileges.And that doesn't seem like a lot until you're parking there everyday for 3-6 hours a day. Then it starts to hurt a little. The lot I park in is across the street and has a flat rate - $6.00 all day or $2.00 for a portion. Much better. I'll fight raccoons and thugs for that.

Now, you may be thinking it strange that I'm so "chipper" all of a sudden and here's why. Although I know it's the drugs, Mom's really "at peace" right now. Compared to a few days ago, when she was extremely agitated and getting violent, she's now very relaxed. She's laughing and is relatively pain free. Our conversations are bizarre mind you - she's obviously heavily medicated, but I run with it. I just jump right in like it's all making sense and we have pretty good ones at that...just not relative to anything that's really going on in life. It's her world and I go along with it....it's comforting to see her at ease instead of struggling. Even if she's not connecting. Tonight we were "at the casino". And she was betting roulette and playing blackjack. And the weirdest thing happened...made me shiver. I said, "o.k. Mom, what number do you want to bet" and she said "17". Then I sat quietly and pondered what I should do next - keep the roulette game going or shift gears to a new subject. I thought "if she's still on this track I'll tell her what number came up - 34". And just as I thought that she said "and 34" precisely at that very moment. Wow. She's good. She always was.

Part II - I have connected with a real sweetheart/volunteer named Sharon. She visits patients regularly and the night that we had all the horrific stuff go down, she and I met and cried together in the "quiet room" for 2 hours. I'd left Mom's room completely distraught and went in there, without even realizing anyone was there. I "let go" and cried quietly until I felt a hand on my shoulder. I was so embarrassed, but it was okay. She was so sweet. She shared the story of her father, who'd passed two years earlier in a similar fashion. We poured our hearts out - two total strangers. And now I feel like she's been my friend for life - she was there tonight and after Mom fell asleep we went around to some of the patients without family and visited with them. It was like a history lesson...some very interesting stories. And she's a doll.

What I'm learning here is that it doesn't all have to be completely negative...this dying thing. That, if we allow it to happen, some good can come to us throughout it all. Seems somewhat selfish and sometimes involves a bit of guilt...afterall, should I be sharing? Laughing? Making friends? But I think it helps both Mom and I if I'm strong and carry on with a stiff upper lip. That's what I'm trying to do.

This is too fucking long already. I'll post more tomorrow. I have eight more paragraphs in my brain.

(oh, and remind me that I'm going to clean up my potty mouth soon.)


I seriously do think I have ADD.


Blogger busterp said...

Hi Deb. I think it was too short. You have a way with words and make me smile when I'm taking a break at work.

Rocky would have scared me. Ha.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Toccata said...

I want the next 8 paragraphs! I think it's great that you have met someone in person that you can talk, laugh and cry with through this ordeal.

Look out for those sneaky raccoons!

9:25 AM  
Blogger Allison said...

You stopped right at the good part ;)

I'm so happy that your Mom is somewhat at peace now, and you've found an outlet yourself.

12:09 PM  
Blogger junky said...

My mom was/is a nurse for the last 40 years or so, she always got a tremendous amount of satisfaction from helping the sick and comforting family's. The last 15 years that she worked she did a lot of hospice type work.
You really have to admire those people it's hard enough dealing with a family member that is ill, I can't imagine the stress from doing constantly because it's your job.
Did that make sense?

And as a baby killer, I resent being lumped in with serial rapists, those people are sick...:)

2:04 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

Thanks Rob...you have a way with pictures that takes me away from it all and makes me smile. So I guess we're a good team!

Rocky DID scare me...he was huge, hunchback and hungry looking.

toccata...i'm so exhausted that i seem to have forgotten them. guess they weren't important. i'm lucky to be in a streak where I'm meeting a lot of people I can "talk" to and who are helping me through... and you'd be one of them my dear.

I'm sorry Allison. My brain was on overload and I needed to chill. Yeah, I don't know how I'd handle it if she were in pain...at least this alternative has her smiling.

junky...you're Mom's a special person then. Although we have two really shitty nurses, the ones that care are unbelievable and no pay is enough for the job they do. Like your Mom.

(and only the ones wailing on buses, right?)

5:53 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

i must say, that one had me shaking my head and snickering at ya...you are too funny.

5:55 PM  
Blogger aka k said...

say it like it is potty mouth, no holds barred here.

i have parents in their eighties who are fit right now but i know it's only a matter of time we have to face the innevitable. i hope i handle it as well as you are, peace indeed.

another late night, goodnight


6:39 PM  
Blogger junky said...

I try not too limit my baby killing to just the bus. The baby can be found nearly everywhere in the wild. While the baby may be a vicious killer, it nonetheless demands respect on the hunt, less you underestimate your foe.

7:35 PM  
Blogger mellowlee said...

Im glad you met that volunteer Deb, she sounds great. Im also glad that your mom is peaceful.

8:53 PM  

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