Wednesday, February 8, 2012

where the hell have you been? (m)

After 10 stressful but exciting days in California, we return home.  

Last Monday morning at 7 a.m. EST, I get a phone call.  My body has not adjusted to the time change and thinks it's 4 a.m.  My eyes are sealed shut and my brain isn't working.  I stumble and fumble to find the phone.

Me: Hello?
Aunt X: M! Are you awake?  Aunt Y fell!  We are in the Emergency Room.  It's bad this time.  Can you come here?  

Aunt X broke her hip and banged her head hard.  She was semi-conscious when I got there.  They performed surgery that evening on her despite her advanced age (87) and poor prior condition. 

For the balance of these past 9 days, Aunt Y has been in between worlds.  Her kidneys shut down and were barely working.  She was almost comatose.  She ran a fever and was found to also have a urinary tract infection.  When she opened her eyes, she couldn't focus.  People called her name but she didn't respond.
As her medical proxy, I spent much of the week conferring with her doctor, the case worker and a slew of relatives.  I went to visit rehab centers for care in the event she made it out of the hospital.  I comforted Aunt X and updated my cousins. 

Once she stabilized somewhat, I left the hospital on Friday and drove with T to New York to see Sam and go to his hockey games.  We got back at midnight on Saturday and left Sunday morning at 6 a.m. to take Harrison to New Hampshire to meet someone at his first choice college.

Got back Sunday afternoon at 4 and went to the hospital.  Get there and my brother Phil and sister-in-law Betsy and Aunt X are sitting in the room.  Aunt Y looks even thinner and is still sleeping.  It was like a wake.

Me: Has she been sleeping all this time?
Everyone: Pretty much.  You try to wake her up.
Me (walking over to one side of the bed): Aunt Y…Aunt Y…hello…are you in there?
Aunt Y (opens her eyes, stares at the ceiling, slowly turns and sees me and says:) Where the hell have you been?

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