Support Staff

Monotony

The rehab did a great job at bringing the patients and their families together.  They had game nights and BBQ’s and all sorts of things if you, as the patient, were up for it.  There was so much for them to have to do during the day with therapy three times a day and assorted doctors that I know my daughter was exhausted by the time dinner time rolled around.  One evening we decided to go on a field trip; my daughter, her roommate and myself.  I was going to wash their hair.  We got one of the aides that we liked to open up a spare closet that had a sink in it.  I leaned back their wheelchairs and lathered them all up and began the process of cleaning them up.  They played music and I washed and we were all soaking wet and laughing by the time we were done.  We must have been singing some Taylor Swift song when an orderly walked into the closet and we stopped dead in our tracks.  “What are y’all doing in here?”  We were like high school kids that got caught smoking in the bathroom.  “Oh, we’re just cleaning up”  We giggled our way back to their room and by the next morning the whole unit had heard of the singing and shenanigans that went on in the closet the night before.  At least it was a break in the monotony of the boredom and pain that was taking place.  She would occasionally have a visitor; Gingham, her cousin, her brother, her grandmother, but most of the days it was her and I.  One afternoon I wasn’t moving fast enough for her and she snapped at me and loudly.  In walked a nurse and very sternly said to her “Do NOT talk to your mother that way.  She is here every day by your side and if I hear you talk that way to her again I will tell her to leave and go take some time for herself.  Do you understand me?”  I loved that moment.  I wasn’t trying to be a martyr but honestly what more could I do?  Ease up on me, I was doing all I could.  I know she was embarrassed and later that day she apologized.  Again came the tears and the conversation of how this could happen.  I had no answer except for what I’d been telling her over and over again “It was an accident”  By comparison to the other patients she was in pretty good shape even though everything on her was broken.  At least she had all her limbs and wasn’t paralyzed.  These were the miracles we would thank god for at night together. We decided to attend one of the BBQ’s that was being thrown for all the trauma patients.  As we arrived to the outside upper lawn we found a spot at one of the tables and made ourselves comfortable.  From across the lawn we saw this tall, skinny, tan girl running towards us.  My daughter’s eyes got big and wide and we realized it was my other daughter coming for a surprise visit!  Jolly guy and her arrived just in time for the BBQ and it was a sight for sore eyes for both of us.  It was that tiny piece of home or normalcy that reminded us both that we had a life out there, we had something to get better for, we had people waiting for us and that this, albeit a wonderful place to recover was not real life.  They hugged and laughed and were so happy to see each other.  Sisters back together.  My younger daughter took charge the minute she would arrive; driving the wheelchair, getting the food or water or her blanket or anything else she needed.  My younger daughter was me, all me.  And I was thankful they were both there.  Although they were a lot for me to handle, being I had gotten into my own routine.  Selfishly for me….it was easier to go back to the hotel, have my dinner and go to bed.  To entertain both jolly guy and my younger daughter was just more on me that was hard for me to handle at these very tenuous moments.  I was truly happy they were there and I was truly happy when they left.  I know that sounds bad, but it’s true.  I just needed sleep and not to think when the day was over.  I just needed the silence.  And after two days of having them there they left.  And it was silent again.  But I still couldn’t think straight.

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