I feel like I have lived three weeks crammed into this one. On Monday I worked with Middle School and taught reading. My son also was sick that morning, so I took him to the doctor as soon as I got out of work. Then I packed us both a bag for several days.
Tuesday I taught Writing and Literature to around 150 seventh graders. (Not all at the same time. They were divided up into seven or eight classes.) It was a long exhausting day because I was tired and distracted. When I got off work, I went home and changed clothes before putting our bags in the car. Then I made sure all the animals had plenty of food and water for a few days. After that, I loaded up my son and our smallest dog then headed over to my mom’s house to pick up my brother and my parents.
We made it to the next town where, after several delays because of traffic, we dropped my son and his dog off with my dear friend Alicia who arranged to work from home in order to take care of them while I was gone. Then we were off on a three-hour trip north to the state capital. We made it after dark and got checked into the hotel. Everyone was tired so we went to bed. I slept closest to the air conditioner out of preference. I sleep better when it is cold. It didn’t take me long to drift away into the arms of Morpheus. However, when I woke up at 4am, I found that my brother had stolen all of the blankets. I was left with half a sheet but I was also the first one to the shower and the coffee pot.
Once everyone was moving we made the drive to the hospital and began threading the maze that is Vanderbilt. Finally, we found where we were supposed to be and got my dad checked in. Then my mom, brother, and I proceeded to wait 9 hours in the waiting room. My brother isn’t used to being still or quiet. He has to constantly be moving or have lots of noise. I was ready to sedate him after five minutes.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my younger brother dearly, but I am an introvert and my
mother and brother are most definitely not. My mom passed a lot. I managed to keep my brother quiet after I pulled the book out of my purse and made him read. ( I came prepared.)
I finished two books while we waited but finally, the doctor came out and told us the surgery was a success. They managed to remove all the cancer and did a skin graft from my dad’s leg to his face. We were tired but happy. They said the regular part of the hospital was full so they were putting him in the critical care unit. For the first 48 hours, he had to be monitored every hour to make sure the blood vessels they removed from his neck to replace the ones in his face, were working properly. One of us would need to spend the night with him, in order to make sure he didn’t try to get out of bed when the nurses weren’t around.
Our original plan was that he would probably be sleeping off the anesthesia that night so my mom, brother, and I would get one more night’s sleep in actual beds at the hotel. Everyone was exhausted but my brother and I would be driving home the next afternoon whereas my mom would be sleeping on the little couch in my dad’s room for the next several days. So I volunteered to stay that first night.
The nurses were on time with their every hour time table. My dad managed to eat some jello and I managed to get at least a couple of hours of sleep on the hard pullout couch. (I’m pretty sure the floor would have been softer. Or at least not have wooden boards digging into my hip and knees.)
The next morning they said they were going to give my dad a bath after breakfast. He was much more alert and more himself, so I went back to the hotel with coffee and doughnuts. I woke up my mom and brother, took a shower, and got us all checked out of the hotel. While drinking my coffee and staring out of the window, I had noticed something in the view. We were directly across the street from the Parthenon.
My brother and mother had never been, and we had time to kill, so after leaving the hotel I took them across the street. My mom loved it. We walked around the park and went through the art museum and the building itself. Seeing my mom smile made it all worth it. Then we went back to see my dad and get my mom situated.
My brother and I left that evening and made the three-hour journey home, stopping to pick up my son and his dog. I dropped my brother off and when I made it to my own driveway I only carried in the necessities and left the rest to be carted in later. I don’t remember much of yesterday. I know I did laundry and slept quite a bit.
If all is still going well, I get to make the long trip back up there tomorrow to pick up my parents and take my dad home. He still has a long road to recovery but I am so glad he got it taken care of, instead of giving up.