Yesterday my mom had a second emergency surgery.
She was only in the ICU for one night. They’ve already moved her to a regular room.
Her vitals are stable but her white blood cell count is really high. I want to believe that the appearance that she’s moved through this second surgery better and faster than the first means she’s really truly going to be fine. But we’ve already been through all of this. She’s been in the hospital for 12 days now. She will seem to be doing better and then – it gets worse.
Last night during her second emergency surgery I really thought we were going to lose her.
But today she’s full of her usual mischief trying to get us to give her water when she’s not allowed to have any yet and pulling out her nasogastric tube. She is joking and feisty. I want so bad to believe that this all means she is going to be just fine.
My meditation for today is this:
You’re not really out of the woods until you’re knee deep in the ocean. Be in the present.
I am trying to remain in the present as much as possible but it’s a roller coaster ride and sometimes my emotions can’t keep up with the changes and the facts.
I saw the nurse change my mom’s surgical wound today and I have to say that I was quite unprepared for how shocking it would look. There is a long very deep vertical cut down my mom’s midsection. I couldn’t look for very long. I saw it empty and completely open and then I looked again as it was being packed with wet-to-dry dressing. I’m not sorry I looked. So many people go through surgeries that it’s quite common-place and easy to forget what a tremendously big deal it really is to slice a person open and rearrange things inside their bodies or to remove things or repair things and then create conditions in which those bodies can heal. I will not soon forget what a body sliced open looks like and after watching my mom go through the healing process for almost two weeks only to end up back at square one I feel qualified to say that the human body and its capacity to endure and survive trauma is phenomenal.
At what point does a body give up? When is it too much? Why do some people come through impossible surgeries and beat the odds while others die after simple procedures? There are too many factors to ever have one clear answer to that question.
The hardest thing with such a complicated medical situation as my mom is in right now is to know exactly what the best-case scenario is that we can hope for. It’s not that clear. The long term ramifica-
And just like that I have left the present for speculation about the future.
Be in the present.
Right now my mom is hanging in there.