Saturday, May 9, 2009

Football, The Hospital and My Mother

I felt the sharp rush of air cut into my lungs with each inhale and watched the cloudy puff hover in the clear night sky with each exhale. The feel of the ice-like bleacher was creeping through the Mexican blanket that was spread across the cold metal. The stars sparkled above the bright lights that lit the field. I watched my dad pace the sidelines in his khaki shorts and kelly green windbreaker that was puffed out from his quick movements up and down the soggy lawn torn from football cleats. Besides my surroundings, my memories of that night are somewhat dim. I remember feeling sick. I remember feeling cold. I remember complaining to my mom about feeling sick and cold. My mom was very comforting, but also being a good wife supporting her husband as he coached the Weed Cougars. She gave me a some cash and told me to go to the concession stand and buy some hot chocolate. Naturally, the exercise would warm me up, as well as the hot beverage. She told me I could also buy some 7Up if I felt nauseated, which I did, so I ended up buying a cup of hot chocolate, a can of 7Up and a Snickers bar. Why the Snickers? Because I had left over money, and I was six... and I was hungry. I felt stiff, and I had to go to the bathroom. I was so cold... and thirsty. I reached the bleachers and made my way back to my spot on the blanket, where I consumed everything I had just purchased. It's hard for me to think about that now, knowing what I was causing my blood sugar to do! Yikes. Suddenly, I tugged at my mom's jacket and quietly informed her I was going to throw up. I don't remember her panicking, but I do remember us quickly excusing ourselves through bundled up spectators to the bottom of the bleachers, out across the gravel as it crunched under our feet, to the stationwagon. We drove to Nonno and Nonni's house where I made a beeline for the bathroom.

One of my most comforting memories of my mom is her holding back my hair when I would throw up. I know that sounds strange, but it's true. I haven't thrown up for a long time, so the last time I tossed my cookies, my mom was holding my hair for me. Last year I was the sickest I think I've ever been. I was sick with a high fever for almost two weeks, but I never threw up. Every time I felt like I was going to, though, I would instantly think, "I can't! Mom's not here to hold my hair for me!" Maybe subconsciously that's why I wouldn't let myself throw up.

When I was done throwing up in Nonno and Nonni's bathroom, mom left me to compose myself, and I remember hearing concerned voices muffled through the door. "I'm taking her to the doctor tomorrow," mom said.

I don't remember really specific things about the days leading up to my stay in the hospital, or even really my time in the hospital, but I do remember mom was there all the time. My strongest recollections from that time aren't really detailed, but I remember never really being scared because mom was there. These are some notable things I do remember from at that time, though.

I remember Dr. Williams telling my mom to bring me to the hospital immediately, and to bring a toothbrush, because we would be there for a while.

I remember going by Grandma Ruth's house, and getting a hug from her. Thinking about it now, I realize how much strength my mom got from grandma during this time.

I remember mom helping me pack my things, specifically my pink print pajama pants and matching pink long-sleeved pajama shirt.

I remember being afraid I would have to spend the night at the hospital alone.

I remember my mom insisting they put a cot in my room (room #204, I remember that for some reason) so she could stay with me all the time.

I remember when the doctor explained to me I had diabetes, all I heard was DIEabetes. I remember mom holding my hand.

I remember them teaching me how to give shots with saline solution and oranges.

I remember squeezing my dad's hand while they inserted my IV, and insisting on keeping my eyes focused on the needle going in my arm. I was too scared to look away, I had to know exactly what was happening to me the entire time. My dad told me that's the hardest anyone has ever squeezed his hand, and I believed him for a long time.

I remember my mom asking my grandma many questions, and relying on her a lot through that time.

I remember both mom and grandma telling me to trust Jesus.

I remember mom and grandma crying.

Ever since I was diagnosed with diabetes, and now my sister Ellie is too, my mom has been very careful to make sure we're on top of our own care, and doing all that we can to be healthy. Sometimes I fight her on it, and want her to realize I'm busy and don't have time to write everything down all the time. She does realize that, but she brings it up anyway, and as much as it might get under my skin at the time, I appreciate it.

My mom loved her mom very much, and I think watching that had a big impact on me. Seeing my mom go through the death of her mother made me realize that I might have to do the same thing someday. Although it's hard to even voice that, the thought has occurred to me briefly. I want my mom to know how much I love her and appreciate her, and I am so very thankful we are close as mother and daughter. She is one of the best friends I've ever had, or ever will have.


Jill said...

The last time I threw up my Mom was holding my hair too! Moms sure are great, aren't they. And I remember having your sisters over for our Halloween carnival and you were in the hospital so you couldn't come and we couldn't even save you any candy. And I remember you practicing giving shots to the oranges. I thought it was kind of funny.

Karen said...

Haha. I totally remember you guys visiting me in your costumes without candy. And giving shots to oranges was funny.