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.