Thursday, August 30, 2012

Let the Shitstorm begin!!!

Okay, so I know it's a vulgar title, but there really is no other way to describe it, literally and figuratively. Sarah had a rough night Tuesday (and by "rough night," I mean she spiked a super high fever, fought her eye drops at 3 am, then proceeded to have night terrors the rest of the night about the eye drops, and wouldn't let me touch her because she thought I was trying to hold her down for more eye drops),  slept most of the day yesterday because she was febrile (fancy doctor-speak for "she has a fever") was up for a few hours watching movies, then fell asleep around 10 or so. Not too bad, considering she had slept all day. Time to get my Hunger Games on, finally. I get about ten minutes in and fall asleep. Again.

Around 1, I can hear her whimpering in her sleep, so I get up to check on her. Heart rate is super high, so is her respiratory rate, so I call the nurse. I go to touch her, removing her sheet so that I can readjust it, and lo and behold, she is lying in a pool of her own excrement. "OH!" is my reaction as the nurse comes in, and I explain that this is not what I called her in for, but lookie what we have here! She graciously helps me to clean the bed and Sarah up, and no sooner do we finish this than Sarah starts to throw up, all over her freshly cleaned sheets and all over her freshly cleaned self. In my haste to get her something to puke in, I dumped out the basin holding her bathwater, but the drain wasn't fast enough, so there is now water on the floor, and by the time I got the basin there, she had stopped throwing up. Perfect.

We repeat the process again, obviously. New sheets, another wipe down, did I mention that Sarah has the shivers from her fever, so she is cold anyway, then being given a sponge bath in an air conditioned room? Not fun for her, which she is letting me know in no uncertain terms.I go to put fresh pajamas on her, then think better of it since her fever is so high and won't break. I don't know if I have ever recounted the story of the febrile seizure she had at thirteen months here, but since I probably have, and it's not the point anyway, let's just say high fevers make me seriously nervous. Seeing Sarah seize then go unconscious is still the worst experience of our lives to date, and this being said after going through three years of chemo. I wrap her in a towel and go to put her on my cot to at least put an undershirt on her, but she snuggles into my lap and falls asleep, and it makes me feel like I'm doing my job at least a little to hold her, because it's all I can do to ease her pain. So I hold her for awhile. Then I go to put her in her bed, put her undershirt on, and proceed to rinse out her clothes. The song "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol seeps into my head as I turn around from the sink where I am rinsing and watch her sleep for a second. I can't exactly explain why, the lyrics, maybe? I don't know. But there it is.

And  now I can't sleep. Maybe because her heart rate has only just come down after two hours, maybe because I'm afraid the second I fall asleep she's going to poop or throw up again, maybe because I know the nurse will be in any minute with her eye drops, and the fight will begin anew, so I may as well stay alert. Like most people, I tend to have less patience when I'm half asleep. Maybe it's the fact that Kristie's Foundation left a pamphlet about hospice care services, and it is scaring the Bejeezus out of me. I don't feel in my heart that it's time for her to go, and my gut has never steered me wrong before, at least not where she is concerned. But I can't quite tell if that's denial, or a mother's intuition, and if I do say so myself, the force is quite strong with this one. I can always tell when something is going on with one of my kids. Always. Even the ones who don't want to be my kids anymore. I can't help it. It just is.

But then, there's that part of me that says I may just be fighting the inevitable. I have to banish those thoughts, because they are productive for no one right now, but at the same time, I am a realist. Denying the truth will not make it go away, Death is looming at our very door, how can I ignore it? Still, ignore it I am trying very hard to do the moment.

My mother has said of late that God or the Universe or what have you, has been putting the words "fear" and "faith" into her path lately. She is fond of quoting her favorite saying where this has occurred, "Never let your fear be stronger than your faith." All well and good. Then, in the ten minutes I happened to catch of the Hunger Games before I fell asleep, there was a line that caught my attention, as President Snow, and the other guy who I can't quite place because it has been months since I read the books and the movie hasn't stated his name, discuss the uprisings in the districts, and what they do to control it. President Snow asks the other guy (lol! I am so good with characters usually, this is cracking me up and bugging me at the same time that I can't remember!) if he knows why they have a Hunger Games at all. (For those of you living underneath a rock, the Hunger Games is a fight to the death between 24 contestants picked by lottery, two from each district, of which there are 12, ages 12 to 18. It's a death match, with only one victor, the last one standing. The victor gets riches, fame, etc. and mentors future contestants. They do this to remind the citizens of the government's generosity and their ultimate power.) Anyway, the president asks the other guy (Seneca Crane, the head game maker for the Hunger Games, thanks IMDb!) if he knows why they even have a Hunger Games, when they could just pick 24 kids and just execute them then and there. He says a single word, "Hope." Hope is stronger than fear, he says, and effective in ruling the people. A little hope is alright, a lot is dangerous. I think that's where I am right now. I want to hope that Sarah can make it through this, but I am afraid of hoping for too much, and then being all the more bitterly disappointed and saddened if it doesn't turn out the way I would like. I guess the best I can do is to hope just enough to keep us going.

Then again, a lot of hope is dangerous to the enemy because it gives courage and strength to do what you wouldn't do otherwise. Courageous people do great and incredible things because they believe there is a chance they can win. So maybe it's not so bad if I hope a little more than a little. It's gotten us this far.

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