Sunday, October 31, 2010

D Day Plus 221: (October 15, 2010): Take Me with You

Last night reminded me of the movie “Ground Hog Day” wrapped up in a reprisal of our hit show “Sleepless in Sterling.”

I considered another trip to the ER, but decided to tough it out. Remember how you’d say you “tough it out.” You rubbed off on me. Besides, I didn’t want to go through the embarrassment again of being told it was “mild constipation” and “this too shall pass” without making some progress on that front.  So I went for the big guns – Exlax.  
Dad snored loudly. So I thought I was safe. I didn’t want to wake him. I tried to be extra extra quiet. I jumped a little when I heard the blanket tidal waves across the mattress when I closed the bathroom door and turned on the light. I willed the medicine cabinet door to be quiet.  It wasn’t. It cried out for WD40. I thought for sure I woke him, but I didn’t. Remember how quiet you’d try to be late at night so you wouldn’t wake up Dad?  

I snuck off to our Inspiration Room to sleep on your tan brown recliner. The last time I’d done that was the wee hours of the morning, the day your body caught up with your soul. I took over the night shift from Dad, who stayed up all night with you. I kissed your forehead and told you how much I loved you.  You smiled a little and said, “Me, too.” 

Dad checked on me in our Inspiration Room after he got up.  He said he’d stay home. I said, “Go to work. I’ll call if I need anything.”  

I called in to work again.  It was the same old story, but a different day.  I was glad I sounded pathetic and tired – that way I didn’t have waste any energy explaining.  

I dosed off while Dad clanked and clanged in the kitchen making breakfast. Dad woke me with a big tall glass of Miralax. And he stood there like I was a naughty child so I’d drink the last drop. This time, I only thought about the funny face you made after you finished your glass.  Oh and maybe I thought of a soft rain shower of flashbacks instead of the tumultuous thunderstorms.    

By mid-morning, the Exlax and Miralax combo had met its mission. The waves of pain had subsided to ripples. I even ventured downstairs – the first time since I got back from the ER. I ate a banana and a half a bagel.  It was the first time I’d eaten since my date with popcorn and DWTS.  

Most of the day was a lot like yesterday in our Inspiration Room ­– TV, audible books, and phone calls from Dad, Morgan, and Aunt Janiene.  The first time Aunt Janiene called I bragged about my earlier success in the bathroom.  She asked, “Did it have a face?” (Remember all the times I harassed you to watch “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant?”) Anyway I laughed and said, “You're so stupid.”

Aunt Janiene and I talked a lot about nothing until I got really tired and couldn’t talk anymore.  I stayed put on the recliner until the angry fists pounded my gut in waves again. I figured I’d walk it off.  Remember what the pain management doctor told you and me at MD Anderson – walking was the best thing to help relieve gas and keep things in check.   

I did laps around the kitchen, foyer, family room, and dining room. Every so often I’d hold my belly, notice it was swelling, think about how your belly swelled. Then I’d touch one of the pictures of you on the dining room wall, and kiss my fingers, then touch the picture again. I kept the laps and picture kisses up until I couldn’t do it anymore. By then, I was cowered over like the letter C. And I wasn’t getting any relief. I was in pain with a capital P. 

I landed on the floor of our Inspiration Room and managed to sleep off and on – at least for awhile. When I woke up, I was drenched in sweat. I thought about a taking a bath for something like thirty seconds then put my head back down on the carpet. That was the first time I said, “Take me with you.” 

I didn’t call Dad. I didn’t call Morgan. I didn’t call Aunt Janiene. I just wanted to be.  Besides, I’d already told Dad to work late.  I  didn’t want to go to the ER either. I didn't want them to tell me, it was just mild constipation.   

Two hours later, I felt a little better. In fact I asked Dad to pick up some chicken over rice from the Pho place on his way home from work.  I figured that would be safe to eat since I hadn’t been eating much.

Dad delivered the chicken over rice to me in bed around 7:30.  I took one bite and felt really sick.   

“Take it away.” I said.  

Dad asked if I needed to go to the ER.  I asked him what he thought. He said, “I don’t know.”  The rest of the night went like that.  Dad asked me, and then I’d asked him.  I wanted him to tell me to go. He wanted me to tell him to take me.  He did his best to help. He’d check on me a lot. He moved your tan brown recliner to the master bedroom so I could sleep on it.  He’d bring me water. He'd do anything I wanted.  I only had to ask.

By midnight we got into a fight because I tore off his head.  But you know and I know that we normally are calm and rationale.  If we’re yelling and cranky, we’re in PAIN. We’re not mad. We don’t hate them. We just hurt.  

I hurt so much.  I even broke down and took the heavy duty narcotics. I did that even though I was afraid they’d stop things up more and make it worse.  I was desperate. It didn’t make a difference. The pain meds didn’t help at all. 

After my blow up with Dad, things calmed down between us. They didn’t calm down in my body. That’s when I started throwing up violently. After the first round, I tried laps downstairs, thinking that would help. I dropped to the floor in pain and delirium the exact same spot you did – on the hardwood floor in the living room, right next to the foyer.  The pain had really gotten to you too.    

Dad asked if I was okay. I didn’t or couldn’t answer. I just laid there thinking of you in a cold sweat.  I didn’t feel your pain anymore. I knew it – unequivocally. I knew it! 

The rest of the night was a blur of projectile vomiting, dry heaving, and diarrhea. I crawled from my bedroom floor to my bathroom from my bathroom to your tan brown recliner, from your tan brown recliner to the guest bed, from the guest bed to your bathroom, from your bathroom to the hallway, from the hallway to the guest bed, from the guest bed to your recliner.   

Dad checked on me alot, but I didn’t let him know how bad I was. Only you knew. 

I was back in your bathroom lying on the floor, cool tiles cradling my face, when I said it again.  

“Take me with you.”   

I didn’t want to die. I just wanted to know what it was like where you were. Were you happy? Is there something more? I know you’ve shown me signs, but I didn’t know if I was making them up. I didn’t think so. I had faith. But, I really wanted to know.  

“Take me with you.”  I said it again.   

Then I was transported to scenes from my childhood, people from my past, and places I’ve never been before. It went on forever. Waves of pain were replaced with waves of experiences and feelings of love and tranquility.  

The last thing I remember were your whispers, “It’ll be fine in the morning.”

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