I'm thankful to be home in my own bed. My bed which saw me lying face down on it at about 8:15 last night. I was so exhausted, it just needed to be done.
James, now unaccustomed to having a bed mate, found me to be most irksome. Apparently I now snore. Or, more accurately, I have a nose whistle (this damn cold that I have had since mid August is really hanging on in the form of the nasal business). I was also restless, and allegedly, I got up in the middle of the night and closed the bedroom window, so it got too hot (I don't see this happening. Normally I am the one opening it wide, as I am a hot sleeper). I was also restless and wide awake at 3 am (thanks to going to bed at 8), and started getting texts from my brother at 7 am....so, I remain somewhat exhausted.
I came home with a much lighter heart. My brother is recovering from his surgery well, and we are thinking positive thoughts about the final pathology results. We're unsure of what the next steps are, if there are any, but my fears have somewhat subsided, or at the very least, gone partially dormant for the time being.
Fearing for someone you love....it's physical pain. I felt everything physically. My heart hurt, my stomach was aching. My senses were overloaded. The memories of my own hospital stay, complete with NG tubes, countless IV's, more blood tests, needles and shots than you could ever imagine, became fresh all over again and again and again. The empathy I felt for him as he lay in a hospital bed feeling like one big human science experiment was and is endless. It's an awful feeling to go from being strong and independent one day, to being so hopelessly feeble and dependent the next. It really does a number on your pride.
It's hard to know what to do for someone who is sick. Men don't get that. They need a solution. My husband was always asking me "What can I do?" or "How can I help"? The short answer is "Nothing". Sit by the bed. Read a book quietly. Just. Be. There. Either that, or rub my feet.
That's hard for a lot of people.
I find myself at ease in hospitals. As much as I don't like the idea of ever being in one again (something that I will likely have to face again), I don't freak out. Of course I don't want to be there, no one does. But when someone is sick and they HAVE to be there, it's selfish to say things like "I'm sorry, I just don't like hospitals, they make me uncomfortable". Until that person is in the hospital bed, they will really have no clue at how selfish and hurtful that statement is. And how completely ludicrous it is. Get over yourselves, people who "don't like hospitals". NO ONE DOES. Probably not even doctors, and they make like...a million dollars a year.
I logged about 60 hours at the hospital over the last week, and I would do it again. Anything to make Brian feel a little less alone, a little less unsure. Anything to create a sense of normalcy, to try and make him laugh, to remind him that it gets better, and life will go on. The women in his life surrounded him with love, doing anything and everything we were allowed to do for him, from massages, to back washes and back scratches, to walking laps around the ward, dragging his IV pole. What a guy.
I felt guilty for leaving yesterday, but I have a life to get back to as well. I have a husband, and a job, and friends. And his turn around in the last two days has been incredible. He has a few less tubes coming out of his body, and he's feeling so much better. His shoulder no longer hurts (during surgery, they had to move his diaphragm, and this caused post surgical discomfort, like a sharp knot), and his scar is clean. His stomach is going to be tender for a while, but it's on the right track to heal.
He's dying to eat. He hasn't had anything by mouth since last Wednesday night, and is probably another 2 or 3 days away from the simplest of meals....broth and jello. But, we're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and it feels good.
I love my brother so so much. He's an incredible person. This experience will deepen him and change his perspective in ways only he will understand. Life is horrible and beautiful and strange.