When my mom made me her health proxy, and they had to notarize it and make copies so that both I and my mother had copies as well as copies being sent and put into her medical records, it wasn’t as loud of a moment as I thought it was going to be. I don’t know how best to articulate what I expected it to be like, maybe something like a feeling of BOOM down in the pit of my stomach, but nothing happened. There was no emotional recoil. It felt like a natural process of things. The reason why I expected something to be so loud about becoming responsible for someone, is because my mother asked me half a year ago to be her health proxy over my father. That she hadn’t had the conversation with him yet, and I figured that once that bomb dropped that it was going to be full of sticky emotions. But it wasn’t.
Its late at night as I am writing this, and being awake all night has the ability to dump words into the vast emptiness that I know only a few people will see, or read. I don’t write this asking for responses, I don’t write this in a way that caters to readers. I write as I am thinking, and it usually ends up this messy blob of word-vomit that is streaming from my fingertips thanks to being awake at odd hours.
Maybe my brain is all over the place and I am trying to reign it in. Maybe I am really grateful that I have therapy tomorrow. I’ve had to miss a couple therapy sessions because of dealing with family stuff, that I am sure that Thursday I’m going to burn the fuck out and sleep so hard afterward. When pet sitting over the weekend (which, mind you, was the last thing I wanted to fucking do.) I drove right passed the house I have been pet sitting at 6+ times a year for the last 14ish years. I know my way to their house in a blizzard or black out, yet I had driven right past it and had to turn around and come back. Then when I was finally released from that house to head home, I missed my exit. I don’t remember seeing exits 8-12… normally I skip exit 10 and regain my focus/ off autopilot after exit 11. And then I get off exit 12. But I was chatting away with my friend and drove right on passed it, I had to get off another exit and it took me an extra fifteen minutes to get home the back way. Probably just too much going on in my mind? There’s nothing going on in there. Maybe it’s just going on too deep for me to listen in to.
That sounds weird saying it that way, but when I had a mental ‘breakdown’ of sorts in high school, there was a lot of too much going on. Too much racing thoughts, it was so loud in my head I couldn’t breathe. I ended up grabbing my ears and yelling “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” and I haven’t heard my inner voice since. Really. Its dead silent in there unless I force myself to hear something. I don’t think its normal. So when I say that I didn’t think I had a lot processing in my mind, its because I don’t hear it, that’s not saying that it isn’t going on. For all I know there’s a staff meeting in there and they are all freaking out.
I wrote a previous post in January in regards to my mom having pain in her stomach and that she was retaining fluid and had to get 3 liters pulled from her stomach and that she was going to have to have another tap very shortly afterward. That she was frequently in pain and she wouldn’t go to the doctor and I was wigging out. That they thought maybe it was a bacteria from her intestines going up into her stomach and that was making her sick and she could be treated with antibiotics. My therapist tried getting me not to panic by assuring me that that is probably what it was and that could be treated with antibiotics. But I knew that wasn’t it, but I was holding onto hope that that was what it was going to be.
See I have a weird in-tune thing with people sometimes, and I can always tell when something is going to be wrong, or is wrong.
It rarely happens now, but when I was younger it was pretty effective. But I knew that this was mom’s liver acting up, but she wasn’t listening to me. It was stressing me out. I was scared. She was scared too. Sometimes just crying and I’d offer a hug or a cuddle, and she would sob out how much she hated needing me to make it better. But this is what we do for each other. This is what you do for family. Its what I would always do for my family. She wants me to move away to live my own life, because she’s afraid that she’s going to trap me here. But you know what? I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now. I can live my own life later. I only have my mom and dad. That’s it. I wouldn’t leave now, even if I had the means to do so.
They ended up not being able to do the second tap on her stomach because there wasn’t enough fluid to pull out with a needle because they used IV lasix. (Water medicine that makes you pee out extra fluid.) She’s on these as pills, but IV works SO much better. So that got a huge amount of fluid out of her abdomen, but it made me freak out that there was still extra fluid in there, because I knew that the last time that she had fluid like that it went up around her lung. (Two years ago) and they had to remove it. I was scared of that happening again because it put strain on her heart and they thought she might have had a mild heart attack…and it also makes her lung collapse a little and adds extra strain on her body. Obviously a horrifying thought.
She refused to go to the Doctors again even though she was incapacitated about 3 ½ weeks ago. I was losing my shit. I begged her, I threatened her…I did everything I could do. I texted my friends who ganged up on her, I texted her friends and ratted her out. Nothing. Completely frustrating.
She ended up telling me 3 weekends ago on a Saturday that she was going to urgent care because she couldn’t breathe. I called to see if radiology was open and reported back to her that it was. I asked her if she wanted me to text my boss and ask to leave early. She said she would get back to me. She ended up being sent to the hospital, that she had fluid build up around her lung again. And yes, she wanted me to text my boss.
I asked my boss if I could ask the 2nd shift person to come in a hour early…all of this was going on in the morning but I didn’t want to screw anyone over, I wasn’t going to leave super early as she was able to text me when she was going to be out of the waiting area and actually in the ER part. My coworker asked who was working with me and proceeded to tell me no, that this coworker was able to be alone for a hour, and that if she wanted me to have her in early, she would only come in 30 minutes early unless I get a hold of the 3rd shift person to come in early for her. Are you fucking kidding me? It was only a extra hour, not four extra hours.
I ended up leaving at 1:45 and proceeded to the other hospital to go see my mom. She was being released and I started crying. Because they don’t have a intesiveist on during the weekends, which meant that she was going to have to wait until Monday with instructions that she was to go back to the ER if the breathing got worse. Which she texted me at 10 am again on Sunday that it was indeed worse and that she needed to go back to the hospital. I called her best friend and asked her to drive her to the hospital so that she didn’t have to be alone. I stayed my whole shift and then rushed over as soon as it was over. They released her again, but luckily tapped 2+ liters of fluid from around her lung, but that was because there just happened to be a lung doctor on hand, whereas she normally would have had to wait until Monday to be seen by anyone. Someone had a more emergent case, and so he was finished with that, and heard that my mom was struggling and offered to do the procedure. (THANK YOU DOC.)
she was fine for the next few days, but started coughing again on Thursday, saying that she was exhausted and that her chest was tight again. Because I was working 2nd shifts that week, I got to have Sunday off and I slept all day. It was glorious. But once I woke up I asked mom if she wanted to go to the movies or something, and she said she was thinking that I could go with her back to urgent care. I told her that we’d go, and we did (though she decided to fight a little bit. It wouldn’t be my mom if she went willingly anywhere.) and we got to urgent care, they did xray and found that her lung was 3/4ths filled again, and that there was diminished lung sounds on the right side. So they asked us to go over to the ER again. Which we did, after going to bring dad his phone, and getting his handicap plaque, and getting some tea because she was so thirsty.
We checked into the hospital and they decided to convince her to be admitted. That she was going to be seen on Monday, and if she decided to leave, she would have to come back in Monday to get tapped, and would have to wait in the waiting room all day instead of being there, seen first thing in the morning, and released early in the day. I called her boss to let her know that she wasn’t coming to work. She stayed overnight and texted me most of the night because she was doing IV lasix again, and felt like she couldn’t breathe. They ended up only pulling a little over 1 liter out, but she had peed more than 2 liters due to the medicine…so if they didn’t it would have been much more fluid pulled from her lung.
She was feeling a lot better. So because she had been admitted her liver doctor insisted that she see her liver doctor in Layhey. Because obviously she wasn’t doing okay. They did a regular ultrasound which is standard before her appointments with Dr. Q. Her Dr. K office called and stated to Dr. Q that they found gallstones in the duct of her liver and that it was probably stuck. If it was stuck they needed to do a procedure that would cut the stone out of the duct and allow stones to pass…that they weren’t going to be able to take out the gallbladder until they do the transplant because she was a high risk due to the fluid with her lungs and everything else that complicated things. She was going to be treated with medications, if that didn’t help the fluid, they would have to put in a stint. They are going to do the evaluation process for getting a liver transplant. Her MRI showed that she had passed the one blocking the duct, however it looks like she has more gallstones formed in the gallbladder that they will have to keep an eye on. That they found small lesions on her liver that might be precancerous, so they have to do another MRI in 3 months time. If it happens to be precancerous, or cancer, that instantly puts her to the top of the transplant list… But it also means that all this shit is collectively getting worse.
I had a horrible time sleeping while she was gone despite taking sleeping medicine, I was awake for the day at 1 am because I kept having the nightmare that I was called and told that she was passed, and that I went to tell my dad, and he killed himself. I’ve had varying degrees of that nightmare reoccurring, but sometimes its a murder suicide, where I try talking him into killing me before killing himself, and he shoots me in the shoulder because he doesn’t want to kill me.
So, I expected things to be getting worse for the last few months, and my parents have been in denial. I expected to feel like the paperwork for becoming health-proxy would make a loud echo in the emptiness that is inside me at this point of time, but I just folded it up and put it in my wallet like it was any other piece of paper. I knew that I was going to fill this roll for years, so really this paperwork was only for the medical records. I half wonder if I folded it up nonchalantly because that’s what I’m hoping all this is. If I treat it like any other normal thing, maybe that’s what this all will become.
I’m angry, and uncertain, and very very worried. I don’t exactly know what I am. I don’t know where this is going. I’m tired.