When It Is Your Mama…

I have written in my blog that my mom was coming up for some tests. Well, the test has been done.

It wasn’t the news that we had hoped for.

As we went down the highway, driving the 75 miles to the doctor to which she had been referred. I noted the role reversal in my life. I was driving because my dad has never driven in bigger towns and congested traffic. So, I got tagged to drive. My mom sat beside me chattering away, she was nervous. Talk about anything except the reason for this trip.

My dad, he decided that I had things under control so it was a good time for him to lay the seat back and take a nap.

The closer we go to the doctors office, the more nervous I got.

I knew it could be bad news. I have been here before. I knew this dread that I felt gripping my stomach and causing my throat to constrict as I fought back tears.

When we arrived, my sister meeting us there helped Mama out of the car. We all wandered into the office. I took my seat first. My sister sat across the small waiting room and my dad sat beside me, leaving a seat between us.

I had purchased a newspaper outside, something to keep my mind busy while she was back. When the nurse came called her name. My sister said “Can one of us go back with her”. The nurse said we could. All eyes instantly were upon me.

TAG, YOU’RE IT!!! My sister and my dad don’t do this well. They don’t know how to deal with sick people. They have never had to. I, due to the nature of my existence, know how to deal with the gut punches that go along with sickness.

I rise from my chair. I walk behind my mother. She forbids me to look at the scale when they weigh her.

Then we go in for the initial let me ask you every questions about your life that you don’t want to answer portion of  a visit to a new doctor.

After this phase, they took us into a room with an ultrasound machine. I sit in the corner sending my person a message letting him know we have arrived safely.

I look over to where my mom is laying on the table. They were checking her and suddenly I hear her heartbeat. I know her “tells” she has a flinch that let’s me know when she is nervous. I need to help her relax. So suddenly, I yell out. “IT’S A BOY”. I had to do something to lighten the mood. It was entirely too serious in the room. My mom and the nurse both laughed.

She did the test. Next step, talk with the doctor.

He comes into the room. He tells my mother what they have found. He gives her the three options she has. One is a study, one is surgery and the other is to do nothing.

I don’t see my mom at a loss very often, I did this time. She couldn’t from sheer shock grasp what was being said to her.

I had to in that moment step in and ask the tough questions. I had to take the punches that were being thrown at her. I had to body block what was hurting my mom.

I would be willing to do this anytime. She has taken many punches on my behalf. Here are some examples…. when I was in kindergarten and had pneumonia. They thought I was going to die. She never left me even to sleep. She nursed me through colds, broken arms, almost ripping my nose off on a coffee table. Then as I grew older, she took the punches with me as I was trying to block the pain that cancer brought into my world. She never let me take a punch alone. She made sure I had a place to stay when overnight stays at the hospital were necessary. She only missed one trip to the hospital with heart surgeries, wounds and cancer were happening in my world.

She spent the first two nights with me after I was alone. She took the punches for me and now it was time to take them for her.

I asked questions. I told her (in human words) what he was saying. I listened intently. This is my mama. I need to understand and make her understand so she can make an educated decision.

After the doctors visit, I am a little shell shocked. I am not going to lie about it. Now to make my dad and my sister understand.

As I step back into the waiting room, I take a deep breath and prepare for round 2.

My dad and my sister know that when I nod my head toward the door that the news was not great. We would discuss it as a family, out of the hearing of those in the waiting room.

We stand outside the doctors office, my mom tells them what she heard, I fill in the blanks adding, This is your decision, this is your body, I will support you whatever you decide.

My sister bombarded me with questions. She was not riding with us so she needed to understand before driving home.

As we got into the car to come home, I noticed a couple things. My mom was much quieter, lost in her own thoughts. She would from time to time ask me questions. My dad didn’t nap coming home. He needed to understand so I was questioned intensively while trying to navigate rush hour traffic.

I was so stunned and overwhelmed that I forgot to send my person a message and let him know how we were. I did that as soon as we stopped to get dinner.

I needed my safe place. I needed normalcy. I needed to know that he was there.

We came home and I got into my car. Instead of going home, I went for a walk. It was cool, drizzly and kind of ugly weather. I needed to figure things out for myself. I needed to find a peaceful place to think, to pray, to cry.

I needed to feel what I was feeling. After all, it is my mama.

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