Some Things in Life You Cannot Prepare For
from the 10th floor*
has eerily slowed the pace, yet the smells, the sights, the sounds, the walls -
they are all too familiar. The body remembers what the mind attempts to bury.
The memories prompt an unnerving yet comforting feeling. I
know she will receive the best possible care in this building, though, after years of fighting an apathetic medical system, my guard is unwavering.
in the day, on Saturday, Chris, Jayde-Rhiannon, and I were having an emotional
conversation. Jayde has not been doing well since last October. Every bit of
weight she gained after her surgery, from two years ago, and then some is now
gone. Her heart rate, which was once stabilized by her medication, bounces from
55 to 185. The once tolerable pain she encounters every day has become
unmanageable. Now weighing 88 pounds and feeling quite weak, she relays she feels guilty that I still need to take care of her. I responded, "I am
your mom. This is what I do. You have NOTHING to feel guilty about." She
begins to tear up, exclaiming, "Yeah, but I am eighteen years old. I should be able to take care of myself!" Chris chimes in, "Except most
eighteen-year-olds still cannot take care of themselves - and they are healthy.
You are more self-sufficient than most kids your age." He is right. Her journey has matured her in ways you never want to envision for your child.
Later on Saturday night, I was frantically gathering everything that Jayde and I would need to make our stay at Hopkins more comfortable. As she approached me in the kitchen, I could sense the anxiety dripping off of her like beads of sweat from the hot July sun. I stop what I am doing to distract both of us by filing and buffing her nails. "I am scared," she whispers. Pausing to look at her, I do my best not to blurt out, me too! "I know, but you and I are going to get through this like we get through everything - together. We go in together, and the only way we leave - is together. I don't come home until you come home."
night as she attempted to rest, I curled up in my little corner of the room,
quietly allowing myself to feel a plethora of emotions. I am angry, I am sad, I
am frustrated, I am concerned, I am scared. I am also grateful for a piece of
paper that allows me to be here with my beautiful daughter instead of
forcing her to be all alone in a hospital room.
The city never sleeps, causing me to miss our little town even more. Jayde barely
wakes from the 4 a.m. round of vitals. The two separate helicopter landings on
the neighboring roof do not phase her slumber either. Around 5:30, the x-ray
technician came in to scan her port. The bright Baltimore sun now peers
through the sides of the window shade, signaling a new day. The surgical team
begins making their rounds. Her doctor will soon be up to visit. In a few
hours, Jayde will undergo her first test. As much as we need answers, the
options are not great. The day is full of possibilities, and right now, all I
can do is hope for the best.