Sunday, February 13, 2011

The waiting is the hardest part

27 years ago, I was at work, busily ringing folks up as a cashier at our local Gemco when I happened to notice my dad and my boss standing there.  My boss told me to take a break because my dad needed to talk to me.  And my dad told me that my fiance "G," who had been in declining health and had been in the hospital for 2 months at that point, had had a massive stroke and was brain dead.  So I go home and I sit there and wait for the call from G's parents telling me it was all over.

And I wait.  And I wait.  And I wait.  The next day, it was my Grandparents who came and told me that G had died after a hard fought battle that included dialysis, 2 kidney transplants, multiple strokes in the last year of his life, the removal of his spleen and a last minute diagnoses of diabetes before his body finally called it quits at the age of 24.

Yesterday morning, my brother in law called to let us know that my mother in law had been rushed to the hospital with pneumonia and a urinary infection.  He said it wasn't looking good and to be prepared.   My MIL was diagnosed with Alzheimer's about 10 years ago and has become little more than an adult size newborn in the last few months. 

Last night BIL calls and tells me that it will only be a matter of hours now.  Too much fluid in her lungs and brain, her heart rate has plummeted, her blood pressure is almost at a standstill and she struggles to breathe with lungs filled with fluid.  And because she had made out her living will before she became incapacitated, BIL tells me no lifesaving measures will be made.  The only thing the hospital will do is administer pain meds and make her as comfortable as possible. 

And just like when my father in law died, TheManTheMyth is out in the desert in an area where there is no cellphone service.  That time, we came home to dozens of hysterical voice mails from family members.

Once again, I sit and wait for THAT phone call.

And the waiting is the hardest part.

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