Wednesday, June 29, 2011

words I never thought I'd have to say.. Places you shouldn't have to go again part 1

Yesterday I got a call from my cousin, her sister had been admitted to hospital that morning so I was expecting an update but I wasn't expecting the update I got & I don't even know if I can explain the reaction I had or an having to it. There were two people in my office when the call came through, they were looking for something & at some point they must have left because when I got off the phone they were gone. I guess the world blurred like it does in a bad movie & all I could hear were the echoing words "mass", "bottom of brain", "transferring to Brisbane", "top of neck". Other words were spoken, I said I'd let my mum know, that we'd meet them at the hospital - all that logistical stuff but the words echoed. Those familiar words.

It has been 14 years & around 4 months since we first heard those words & to this day they haunt me. Those words changed our lives & we live in the reality of them every day. I remember where I was, I remember who I was with, I remember my mum delivering them to me as she spoke about what they had found was wrong with my dad. Yesterday I spoke them back to her & I listened on the other end of the phone as her heart broke for her niece and her sister, I heard it break again the way it once broke for her husband. I heard her cry out to my dad & listened the sound of a deep pain broke out from within her soul as her memories met this new reality.

Our hearts broke together & I longed to be with her, near her, to see my dad, to touch him, check he was real, to be together so we could go to the hospital together. We had done this before, we had done this before, my emotions spun out of control. Like a tiny boat in the middle of the ocean during the eye of a storm the emotions crashed down on me - this is how she must have felt when she told me all those years ago, hope, fear, doubt, faith, anguish: "she's only 19". Confusion. "I need to get to the hospital, how can I get to the hospital?" Life, responsibilities, commitments, "I have an important meeting in 2 hours & I'm going away next week". "mass", "bottom of brain", "transferring to Brisbane", "top of neck", reality: "I need to be with my family now!" This can't be happening again, I know these words, I know what they mean, as the final wave hit a deep calm washed over me. I delivered the news to another auntie, spoke to my boss & rushed to be at my mother's side. We needed to do this together.

The rest of my day is a blur. We met at my mothers mum, dad, an auntie, a cousin we drank tea & tried to distract ourselves while we waiting for word that they had arrived in Brisbane. We cried together & laughed a little but mostly we waited together. I spent the afternoon on the phone to my cousin on the coast as she sat with her mother & sister waiting for the ambulance to transport her little sister from one hospital to another. Each time we spoke it was as if time stopped as everyone froze & listened to my end of the conversation, no-one moved as I spoke, not even daring to breathe in case they missed something. Finally they were in the ambulance on the way. We fidgeted & fussed about for the next few hours while we waited for them to arrive. Would we go? Wouldn't we go? Who would go? Would they want us? Were there too many of us? Would they be here yet? Should we call them? Would they be waiting for a bed? I'll text. They were in the ques. Should we go or should we wait? Mum you should call. We're going mum, me & dad. More fuss as we got ready, said our goodbyes & got into the car. It felt like it took longer than it should. No-one wants to leave, we all want to go, we want to be together. This is about to get a lot more real. You can't un-see the things you see in hospitals, the images burn to your mind, you can't escape the reality once you are there, you can't escape the feelings & the helplessness can be suffocating if you're not careful or if you are alone - we must leave & add support to my auntie & cousin.

Hospital. We are practised with hospitals, we've spent a lot of time in them over the years. They don't intimidate us. We spilt up my mum to the ATM, I go to find out where she is & dad supervisors. We meet in the middle & I lead us to emergency where she is waiting for her MRI. MRI - the word makes us shutter, we speak it every 6-12 months. An MRI once saved my dad's life but it also changed it forever. We snap back to reality & proceed to the ward. We find my cousin; auntie; engulf them with hugs & kisses. We cry, we hug, we hold hands, we chatter, we hold each other; cry some more, we keep holding hands, we will do this together... to be continued

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