Oh this place. This room…I’m looking around and there isn’t a thing that I don’t recognize, not a single detail that doesn’t feel intimate…familiar in ways that only my own home is familiar. You know those commonplace bits of a house that only the inhabitants are keen on, like the creaky tones in certain floor planks or the exact origin of a knick in paint that is unnoticeable to the visiting eye. But you…you hear the creak, you hear it maybe because you remember the first day it began or maybe because it’s always been there and that’s part of it’s charm. The scratched paint…you don’t just notice it, it’s all you see when you walk by. Years later you’ve now found yourself breaking into a grin instead of cringe recalling the exact moment of contact between that damned “Sit to Stand” walker commandeered by your eager learner, the culprit of the scratch. Those are the privately ordinary parts that make a house a home.
The room I am currently sitting in I have never stepped foot in. But I know it all. I’ve got every inch memorized. They’re all the same…maybe not in exact physical detail but holy emotional carbon copy. Unlike a home the sounds are not consistent creaks underfoot but beeps, shrieks from down the hall, the rolling of beds and carts, the robotic ramblings of a “TUG” stuck in the hallway, the sound of your thoughts racing and your stomach churning in nervous hunger. For food or answers? Both? Neither. The scratches aren’t in the furniture…they’re in you…they are the wounds brought on by being a past, present and future resident deciding whether now is the time to open again or continue healing. The ones you’ve been nursing and could almost convince yourself no one sees but boy do they stand out under the florescent lights of a hospital room…or in my case in the glow of my computer screen and my tell all fingertips.
Saying I can’t believe we are here feels ridiculous. Of course I can. The moment I walked through the doors I felt like we never left. It’s an all consuming form of confusion. The lack of sleep is probably aiding in that but I feel as though I have either been sucked back in time or catapulted into the future. I don’t feel shocked that we are here…but today? I don’t feel like this was going to be my current day situation. An all nighter in the local ER ending in transport and readmission at UCSF just wasn’t on my radar. Or apparently it was…I remember standing up last night just to go to the bathroom and looking over at her…she looked peaceful, comfortable, perfect. She hadn’t made a peep all night…for once she actually seemed to be resting easy. Touch her. My inner voice was clear. Touch her. I don’t want to. Now. I knew then. I reached over and spread my palm over her bare back…fire. The type of heat you forget can radiate from a human and are reminded every time fever strikes. Fuck. I sauntered down the stairs for the thermometer…the very heavy first steps to a very long night. Fevers for most mean Tylenol and cool wash cloths with a side of cranky kid…congratulations “most”. Our protocol is a pinch different. All the rushing around, tests, frantic discussions, questions, teams, yada, yada, yada…you’ve read the blog before and you’ve seen Greys Anatomy…your imagination can fill in the gaps I leave. Bumping along 101 watching the sunrise out of the back of an ambulance this morning my thoughts spun…positive perspective weaved in and out of every ray of light and then cold hard reality bottomed me out as the tires slammed into potholes. Oh, baby girl.
We were wheeled onto the 6th floor and of course met by a slew of familiar faces…coming here now is like visiting family you only see at funerals…both parties genuinely embrace and squeal about how happy you are to see each other and then upon pulling back from the hugs those smiles melt into remembrance of the shit nature of the real occasion that brought you here.
We are here. Riley vs Riley Round ___ …ugh…I’m not sure even sure at this point. She’s resting easy now which tonight I’m going to go with means… she was craving a lick of attention and will get her act together soon and be back bouncing off the familiar walls of home…our real home before I can even really believe this happened. Sleep…she’s doing it…I should too.
Send us all the love you’ve got to spare. xoxo