Friday, December 31, 2010

Nitty and Gritty

Well not really, but here are some updates on my peeps.  In case you were wondering.

My friend, L, who has the spot on her lungs... it's shrunk.  Doc apparently thinks it was bronchitis.  I mostly believe my friend, but her whatever may come attitude has me wondering.  I often wonder unnecessarily, so maybe you can avoid reading too much into her comments about not wanting to know too much.

My sister made it through her surgery.  It was wonderful to be with her.  We did take a walk on the beach and around Imperial Beach on Monday (does that seem as long ago to you as it does to me?).  Weather was gorgeous but chilly.  This was my first time to their home.  Those poor people... their condo has ocean and estuary views from every freaking room in the whole freaking place.  The room I stayed in also had a view of the bullring in Tijuana.  Yeah, I don't want to go there or anything, but seriously... they have a view of the bullring.

My niece works at the estuary.  Strolling with her and my sister was like taking a guided nature walk.  Local birds, plants, history of wooden posts, plans for the area.  I wished my mother-in-law and husband could have joined us.  They would have enjoyed it as much as I did.

My sister, who could not eat anything and had to drink "Go Lightly" (which, as a nurse pointed out the next day made her "go heavy") insisted on making me dinner.  I requested a PB & J, but she offered me all of her favorite foods and made taquitos.  I know, you want her to be your sister, too.  She'd probably adopt you.  She's like that. 

Tuesday morning I drove her to the hospital.  She was very emotional.  Kept talking about her fears of growing a beard.  Of not making it through the surgery and what would happen to her children?  She even wondered if her son was going to turn out like her brother (that'd be a hell no).  The woman who checked her in was very kind, soothing, loving.  Sort of made it sound like, "Welcome to the club.  Just make sure you take care of yourself.  You're going to be fine."  As she walked away from the desk for a minute, Shelly turned around. 

"She's very nice," I said.

"Did you see her mustache?!"  Well now that she mentioned it... *sigh*... yes, there might have been a bit of 10:15 o'clock shadow.

Shelly's husband, Joey, and I spent as much time with her as they'd let us before they were supposed to wheel her off for surgery.  I have no idea why there was a delay of about 90 minutes between us leaving and when she actually went in.  Once she's healed a bit more, I'll ask her about it maybe.  There had been a "Code Green" (unruly patient) called to her area but we're pretty sure it wasn't for Shell.

Fynn spent most of the day in the wrap.  Thus, I spent most of the day walking.  It was a balmy day, maybe 70 degrees or so, clear blue skies and a view of the ocean from the hospital.  It was good to get out, to walk, to feel the sun's heat.  It would have been nice to sit longer than the time it took to nurse Fynn and play with her before she went back into the wrap, but I was glad she was so content.

Joe and I spent parts of the day hanging out.  He's not one of my favorite people, but aside from one incident several years back where I made myself perfectly clear I try not to let it show.  One extra good thing from my time down there is that we were able to appreciate how much each other cares for Shelly.  I bought him lunch.  He bought me a pack of Lifesavers.  After almost 10 hours without my sister between us, I feel like I know him better.  Understand parts of him, maybe.  And the rest I will continue to push back because he is my sister's choice.

When the surgery was finally over, around 6:30, Doc came out and showed us photos.  He pointed out dark spots and light areas and said, "She had a lot of reason to be in pain."  That just kills me.  You would never know Shelly was in pain.  Never.  I think I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, but I'm sure that being nice would go out the window after so many times of hurting because I coughed, walked too far, laughed too hard.

We got to see her around 8:00 that night.  Her room was enormous, with two walls of windows and an ocean view (if only she'd gotten there before dark).  She greeted her husband groggily.  Teased her daughter about not having a pretty smile since her braces were removed earlier that day.  Turned to me and very lucidly said, "Shannon, I know you are away from home and are missing your older daughter.  But it's late and you should stay at our place tonight and go home tomorrow.  I don't want anything to happen to you."  Two minutes later she thanked me for the flowers Joe had brought in that I'd gotten for her.  I don't even know how she'd seen them or how she knew I'd brought them.  They were across the room.  She's like a superhero of kindness.  

She is my Beth; I am her Jo.

I did not stay another night, and thank goodness.  Storms raged in a few hours after Fynn and I returned home.

My dad went down the next day to see her.  She came home this afternoon.  Joe, who travels for work, leaves for Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon.  I wish I could go back down to help out, but I return to work on Monday.  Her daughter has one more week off from school, and she's very helpful and capable.  And Joe's mom will be nearby, probably dropping in often.  She's very nice, too.

There's probably more to tell, but I want this to be my last post of 2010.  Five minutes to go.  Happy New Year to you all.  May 2011 be everything you hope.


Brooke said...

I'm so glad to hear things went well with your sister. I know how tough it must be to have to be going to work on Monday instead of being with your sister to help her.

All of my family is 5 hours and I always feel guilty when I'm not able to be there to help out. I hope she continues to have a good recovery and is "back at 'em" in no time.

Bossy Betty said...

Hey--I read this in the day it was published but got sidetracked by some male around here wanting something that I did not get to comment. I hope things go well for al involved here. So glad you were able to be with your sister hen you could. I know it meant a lot to her.

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