Pfft. She did all the fighting. Not me.

I did not live in those moments. I lived through them.

I was not the patient. I had no right to sympathy. I took the easiest route.  I powered through. Ignored the pain and realities. And was strong for every one else.

It is what we do.

It is called mothering.

Even today, 1.5 years into remission, into Her remission, we are reluctant to feel the strain, the pain. We did nothing really.

We may have hurt our children, more.

We let them pick and poke and prod.
We told Her to let them pick and poke and prod.

We put on a happy face.
We told her to put on a happy face.

We woke in the night, held a feverish head, supported an emaciated body as she walked to the toilet in the night.

We let the nurses move her, turn her, time her, palpitate her abdomen, press her wrist, adjust her lines.

We mothered, more.

We faked patience, feigned indifference to another delay of release.

We colored easter eggs in hospital gowns with vinegar the custodian brought up from his cleaning closet.

We made excursions in wheelchairs and raced it down hallways and up hills and over terrain that was not supposed to be traversed by wheels.

We welcomed resident doctors, and nurses in training and repetitive inspections of heart, and lung and bowels. We laughed at fledgling bedside manners.

When we could, we participated in study drugs, research protocols, tests on our own child, to further the treatments; simply to save another child this pain and ridiculousness.

We were stronger than we knew we had to be. We were fakers. We faked it full-on, with blatant disregard for truth, we lied, outright and straight-forward and with conviction.

We were heartbroken takers of a moment of peace,  of a minute of pain-free time.

We cheered for CBC results, we rejoiced at nutraphil increases, we celebrated the beating back of gram negative rods in her gut.

We made joyful noise with hugs and knowing glances. We laughed at the repetitive day to day of the hospital bed.

“How are you? Can we get you anything?”  Yes. You can fucking get my kid healthy and out of this damn, sterile unit.  What? That is what you were offering?

You asked. Jeezuz. You fucking asked my kid. Stop. Have mercy. Just stop. 

#for Reticent Mental Property. Images courtesy of life. 





4 thoughts on “Pfft. She did all the fighting. Not me.

  1. Such a helpless feeling having a loved one in the hospital. We have to remember we are their only advocate. And we have to fight for not only their health but for their dignity. I have been the advocate looking in and demanded that. I do have to say that most medical personnel are caring and helpful but I have also walked in to a love ones room who just had a stroke 24 hours early and could still not put two words together to speak a short sentence . And a dumb ass doctor was there explaining to her on a white board a new mathematical formula for how to compute how much insulin to take. How much less empathy could a young doctor have toward a patient?? :/ She was just wanting rest and he was giving a fucking math lecture. I told him to leave, now!! I should have knocked him on his ass!

    Great post, I do know what you’re saying, Ret…

    Liked by 1 person

    • yet, we don’t want to alienate the minds; we want them to love that person in the bed, love them like we love them, and treat them as such. And what do we know? We are trying to catch up, trying to crash course medicine so we know what the hell everyone is talking about and can be the best advocate. And damnit all, doctors are human! they make mistakes, too. Nothing is guaranteed; you have to leave it all to blind trust and dumb luck. It’s infuriating.


      • It is very unbelievable how much trust we have to leave in their hands. Having had last conversations, before heart surgeries and leaving the room with their life in the hands of the doctor and his staff, is a conversation you will never forget having. The trust your love one and you are giving to them can be no greater and very sobering for everyone, life and death serious.


  2. Ret

    Every word of this post went straight to my heart. Having walked the same path, it is impossible for me to put into words, to try to explain to someone who asks…what is it like. You have put into words what I never could. Love and hugs….mist


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