Sickness, Health, Stress, and Heartache

It’s been a while since I’ve had the time to sit down and catalogue what was going on in my life.  I’ve been so busy.  Between helping my family out with my sick sister, getting ready for a trip to the beach here in just a few days, trying to find the time to balance house work with friends and family, and myself being sick, I just haven’t had the moment to even breathe.

We’ll start with my sister.  A while ago, we had a bit of a scare.  She called for my mother in the middle of the night, frantic, because she thought her JP drain was coming out of her body.  My mother immediately tries to address the situation.  She calls the doctor while getting dressed, and keeps a close eye on my sister.  She explains the situation, and the nurse who answered immediately suggested going to the ER.  But in a moment of clarity, the nurse asked that my mom just take a quick look at the drain and describe in detail the situation.  Turns out, the drain was just fine.  My sister thought she felt it move and panicked.  It’s a serious situation, and that’s a very scary thing to have happen, so no one blamed her or was upset.  But the nurse said that if it made my sister this uncomfortable to have it, they were going to do their best to get it out as soon as possible.  They scheduled an appointment for later in the week to assess whether or not it could be removed yet.

That’s where I come in.  My father has a higher position in a company.  Basically, he’s in charge of overseeing all programs used by his company.  And, if any special kind of program is needed, my father creates it.  This job is pretty demanding, and he can’t take off too much because of it.  Lately, he’s been missing a lot of work due to family illnesses, and it’s threatened his job security.  Since I had the day off, I volunteered to take her to the hospital for her appointment.  We drove all the way back home, and then all the way to town.  We parked somewhere near the medical building, but this is a major city we’re talking about, so naturally, we had to walk a couple blocks.  I was very worried for my sister.  The doctor specifically stated that she should be making as little physical activity as possible for her own recovery.  But we made it.  We had a quick lunch in the lobby, and my fiance and I took a seat in the lobby while my mother and sister went up for their appointment.

We sat in the lobby for maybe half an hour, and in that time, a really cute girl about my age came by and complimented my hair.  She smiled at me, and went on her way.  She came around a second time and waved at me politely.  And then, she came back a third time, and asked in the sweetest voice, “Excuse me, you wouldn’t happen to have the time, would you?”  I laughed, said, “Sure, it’s half past one, ma’am.”  She nodded, waved, and went on her way.  My fiance wasn’t jealous or worried, but insisted we go out to the car anyway and get out of the lobby.  There was a man sitting in the lobby with us.  He kept holding his phone at unnatural levels and angles and tapping his screen.  It was obvious he was taking photos or videos of us.  I had noticed him doing this, and it pissed me off to no end.  He must have thought himself very clever, because he looked so confident about what he was doing.  I gave him a bit of a stare down, and he eventually put his phone back in his pocket.  Then, some guy in a fancy suit with an ID badge came around the corner, saw the man, and they began talking.  Apparently, they were friends.  From what I could gain, the guy taking pictures of us was some kind of maintenance man.  The man with the badge was some important person at the hospital, I’m not sure who.  But the maintenance creeper had to ask him to let him into the maintenance closet to get tools and such to do his work.  This was after a solid 30 minutes of them talking about this and that.  Turns out maintenance man was a horrible person as well as a creeper.  He began to tell all kinds of racist jokes, making up wild and obvious fake stories with hugely racist sentiments, and all I could do was watch in horror, knuckles white with anger.  Normally, I’d say something, but I was in a hospital full of terminally ill people.  But I promised myself that if I saw him outside, he’d hear from me for sure.  To my extended horror, the man with the badge had listened.  Just listened.  He would nod his head, give the occasional reassuring “m-hm, m-hm.”  But I thought, maybe he’s just being polite?  Wrong.  The man with the badge swirled his coffee cup, looked around carefully, and lowered his voice.  He then began to spout the most racist, ignorant bullshit I’ve ever had the displeasure of hearing in my life.  You almost come to expect it from the redneck lowlife, but this man was well-to-do and with a hospital.  He has a moral obligation to be extra kind and considerate and good.  I was so mad, it was making me sick.  I think they must have noticed, because the redneck looked at me, shifted uncomfortably in his seat, and said, “well, we better get goin’, can you open up the closet for me?  Ain’t nobody been down here yet to let me in.”  They left.  My fiance was asleep for most of the wait, only tuning in occasionally to their conversation.  So, my fiance was very shocked when I said I wanted to get the hell out of there.  “Well, alright.  We should go wait in the car, anyway, so we can pick your sister up.  She shouldn’t be walking.  Let’s get out of here.”  So we left.

We sat in the car with the windows down.  It was such a hot, muggy day, but it felt so good with the occasional breeze.  We were on edge the whole time.  This area of town isn’t necessarily safe, simply because it has hospitals.  I’m not sure if it’s because the area has wealthy people (doctors, lawyers, patients) coming in and out of it, or if it’s because a lot of people in the area are sick and vulnerable, but the area is often targeted by weirdos and criminals.  We had several people walk by speaking in tongues, obviously tripping on some kind of drug (one man kept pulling his shirt up from the bottom and over his head, snarling and mumbling to himself) and the occasional dealer or stealer stare us down from across the street before turning slowly, and walking away.  I lived in this city for a while, so I know the type, and I know they don’t have anything good to offer you and that it’s best to just leave them be.

My sister is discharged, so we leave right away from where we parked to pick her up.  Luckily, they were able to remove her drain.  We took both my mother and sister home, stayed a while and played games with the kids, ate dinner together, and even spent the evening down by the creek.  It was getting late.  We dried off, and came home.

The last two days, I’ve spent cleaning and getting things ready for our trip to the beach.  Unfortunately, my fiance’s grandmother passed.  She was cremated and her ashes were never scattered.  She grew up in South Carolina, and wanted part of her scattered there.  Now that we’ve finally the time, my fiance’s family has decided to make the quick trip up there to say goodbye, have one last huzzah on the beach, and then return home.  It’s only a three day trip, but it’s by car.  The drive is going to be long and grueling.  I’m not particularly looking forward to such a grim holiday, but I want to be there for them and I want to help.

In these last two weeks, I also managed to bite off a bit of my tongue.  Just on the left side, in the cheek area, maybe the size of a grain of rice.  It’s incredibly painful, and I haven’t been able to eat much in the way of solid food for nearly two weeks.  It hurts to talk even.  What’s worse is that it caused my whole tongue to swell and not fit too well in my mouth, causing me to absentmindedly chew on my tongue from time to time.  I grazed it a few times, and I swear, you could actually see my teeth marks all the way around both sides of my tongue.  I ended up having to purchase a mouthguard to protect myself.  Even now, I’m still healing, and most of my diet is made up of meal supplement shakes.  My diet has a severe lack of protein anyway, since I don’t really eat meat.  These shakes have actually greatly improved how I feel physically, and I’m thinking I might make them a permanent part of my diet.

  I think it’s about time for me to put down the computer and start on some house work.  Hopefully, I can find some time here and there to catch my breath and maybe write a little.  We’ll see.

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