The biggest risk I’ve taken lately was reaching out to friends to talk about how my medical situation is going. I’ve been protecting most of them from the day to day aspects of what it is like to have chronic kidney issues and last week’s hospitalization forced me to start talking. I’m a private person in many aspects, letting people know I need help in even the smallest of ways is a huge deal for me. It’s always been easy to ask for help for another person, make them the priority; but I feel selfish asking for myself.
I was taken to the hospital on the 14th of November. Unable to communicate what was going on, unable to help in my own medical condition; the hospital at first thought it was some type of emotional/mental issue. It took time for them to run blood work in order to find that my body was poisoning itself and no one knew it. By Saturday morning I was reduced to being in a medically induced coma because I couldn’t function. My body was slowly stopping, my mind had already shut down due to the pain it wasn’t able to handle, my kidney having choked more of the life from me. They tried to wake me up on Sunday, but my body just wasn’t ready. All of the toxins still coursing through my veins hadn’t released their hold on me. The antibiotics were just taking time, the Votrient fighting to keep me alive, tubes in my arms and nose; just a medical wonderment.
Monday they woke me up and the first thing I cried out for was my ex. My brain still couldn’t wrap itself around the idea that she wasn’t there. And knowing that my Medical Directive had been triggered, I couldn’t figure out if she had ever been there. My mother looked like she had been dragged through the war, eyes red, skin pale, and not knowing what to say to me. “Lary, she couldn’t be here. You know that. Even if she wanted to, she just couldn’t”. The pain in her eyes evident since she was still grieving for a daughter she missed, even when she doesn’t admit it.
Slowly my mind started to clear, most of Monday is still blurry. I do however remember them bringing me dinner later which consisted of pork tenderloin! Somewhere it should have said I was on the vegetarian plan, but maybe this was my mother’s attempt at getting me to eat more meat. I haven’t had pork since the Summer of 1988 after spending the time in Europe, I grew to hate that meat! Now the questions start –
“How are you feeling? Do you want us to call anyone to let them know you are here?” Interesting question, I’ve been only telling people the broad strokes of “Yes, I spent time in the hospital over Halloween and three weeks before that. Sorry I missed your party!” What do I do now?
Saturday came about and I needed to let someone in my circle know what had been going on. Let people know that I have been sick and needed to have some people check on me once in a while. Maybe sit around and have a cup of tea, listen to music, play a board game. So I sent out an email asking a couple I know to sit down and help out with some paperwork related to my hospitalization. They agreed! I was so happy that they made the time as soon as possible. But then the hard part came. Telling them what had happened, what was going to happen, and what I needed from them.
I never got to the what I need from them. It was enough they came and listened. Enough that I turned to them in a very small manner and said that I needed a little help. We mentioned the ex, but I asked to not know anything about her comings and goings. If she wasn’t going to be around, it was only going to make things more difficult for everyone. Two months out and she is still the person I need the most, and maybe too much. But that’s what over a decade together gets you! I’ve tried to keep her up to date, but who knows if she reads the emails I’ve sent, listened to the voicemail I left last Friday so that she could hear my voice and know I was better than I had been.
I don’t know what the future holds anymore. I do know that I can control one thing, be honest with my friends and family about what is happening. Let them decide how they are going to be there, if they can be there, if they even want to be there.
That’s been the most difficult boundary, opening up my heart and hoping someone just offers you a smile. A kind word. Maybe a little of their time…