Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Fights on..

I reached across his chest and helped slide the belt into the buckle....
Our eyes met.
Bravely, with an undertone of sadness...he said, "I just don't want to do this stuff anymore."

I smiled and choked down the tears that were threatening to make their appearance..
"I know baby, me neither."

I walked around the backside of the car and climbed into my own seat. Deep breaths helped me to belt myself into place.  I rolled down the window and pasted a smile.

There in the yard was my nine year old. Pressing himself against the fence, his freckled face showing his feelings.  The whites of his eyes turning quickly red. His forced smile, a lot like mine...beginning to fade. "Bye mommy, I love you."

I look further and see my baby. She sits in the arms of my mom...on the porch that leads to my home. She waves her chubby fingers at me and screams about how much she will miss me. Her eyes also filled with tears. Earlier that morning she had whispered, "I will miss you mommy, but just look for me in the stars." I wonder when she began to grow up so quickly....and I shiver at the thought of all that Ive missed.  With her....with her brother..  The moments that have been stolen by their brother's illness....

I wave and smile as I begin to drive away.
I begin to remember....
The first time,
the second time....
the 50th time...
that I have had to leave someone behind to head south.

I remember the tiny face of my little boy who was only 2 the first time I left him behind. His tiny voice on the other end of the telephone....
I remember the tears that he shed then...
and now his sister....
her face, her tears...
They haunt me.

The boy in the rearview mirror....he haunts me too.
The site of his face, when its filled with worry and fear...
The tears that he sheds in silence as we drive down the road....
Those visions keep me up at night.

Most things in my life are out of my control.

Most things come my way whether I welcome them or not.

We left the apartment building first thing this morning...Parklen walking beside me...refusing to hold my hand... busy picking the already too short nails on the end of his fingers.

He walks quietly... looking at the ground.

Once we get to the hospital...he begins to remind me of how hungry he is. His procedure requires him to not eat....

We settle into his infusion room...
The normal tweaks,
Adjusting his bed just the way he likes it,
Finding his favorite channel on the t.v.
Vital signs taken...
The revealing of his nurse for the day...
The inserting of the needle into his port...
The pre-meds pumped into his body...
The waiting game for pharmacy to send up the med (somehow its always a surprise that we're there)
And then the infusion begins...

Parklen refuses to speak to me.
He wants to look anywhere besides in my direction.
I am the one who has driven him to this place...so he blames me...
I accept this for him...
Its easy to let him blame me, I am his constant...and I will do whatever I can to make his life a bit better....
He makes small talk with his nurse but nothing more than one word replies...
As the medicine pumps through his veins, he continues to ignore my presence....
He half heartedly participates in some physical therapy and manages to dislodge his needle....causing an infiltration of his medication into places it wasn't meant to be...instant swelling..stopping of the meds....
Needle taken out,
new needle placed in....
medicine started again....
3 hours have now passed....as the doctor walks into the room to speak to me....
We talk about the puzzles...the known, the unknown...
no matter what he says, I feel the same. The same as I have felt many times before...
The feeling of the other shoe ready to drop....
They come to collect him for his procedure...

Parklen walks down the hall... next to me, and next to his IV pole.  He pulls more skin from his fingers as he looks to the floor...step by step....he walks quickly, nerves.

We walk into the room and introductions take place...
I help him onto the table....something I have done dozens of times...
He shivers and they wrap him with a warm blanket..
I help him to lay down as they show him whats going on around him...
"Can I please see the needle?"
and the doc looks straight to me...."show him."
If there is anything I know about Parklen and hospitals...he doesn't like secrets or surprises...he desires to be in the know...and as scary as it is...he would rather face it head on that be kept in the dark.
They pull a needle from the cabinet and hand it over for him to see.
He studies in through the packaging as the doctor explains which part will be inserted into the back of his hip...his face unsure as he says, "ok."
I ask him if he'd like to hold my hand, "no."
I watch, he watches, as they begin to push the medicine into the tubing....seconds is how long it takes for him to drift away... I lean in to kiss his lips and then walk out of the room.
I tried before, to count the times Ive watched Parklen be put under anesthesia....I lost count...I know that its more than 45 and most likely more than 50... little procedures, big ones.... long surgeries and quick ones...

I walked down the hall back to his room and waited.
Visited with the doc some more....
They bring him into the room still asleep...
He sleeps soundly for over an hour. (if you wake him up...its not pretty...for anyone)

I lean over and gently whisper..."Parklen, its time to wake up."
His eyes flutter a bit as he considers whether he's ready to pry his lids open.
A few minutes pass.
Again, "Parky, its time to get up."
I set a juice on the table in front of him...enticing the thirst and hunger within him.
He stirs.
I help him to sit up and watch as he drinks.
He has told me before that there is nothing that tastes as good as juice after surgery..after the hours (sometimes days) he has gone without a drink...
He eats and he drinks.
and then,
He asks me to come and lay with him...
I oblige...
and he snuggles in.
He doesn't quite fit the way that he did years ago...when we would sit in the same room for hours at a time...  He looks over and leans in to kiss his momma.
I begin to breathe easier.

We spent the afternoon and evening together...in the hospital and out. We ate dinner together, we laughed together....
He told me that he's very sore where they took their samples...
But, he has been in the best spirits that Ive seen in a while.

Parky fights on...for how long he must, we do not know.
We will wait for these results and see if anything changes...
Parky fights on.....