Sister K is 25. She is an adult. She is not so little anymore. But to me, the big sister, she is still my little sister. But for the past day she has been Mom’s warrior at the hospital. I have had to come back to work, Dad had to go to DC for one night last night so Sister K has been holding down the hospital room with Mom. Managing what doctor’s are saying, making sure things are getting done, and being a bit out of her comfort zone at times. Last night though she stepped over the comfort zone line and the hospital better watch out because I don’t think she is going back.
At about 1:30 am I woke up to the sound of a few text messages. Dad didn’t answer his cell phone so Sister K was seeking my advice.
Sister K: In case you’re awake, have a question- Mom’s about to do MRI and we were just told it may take 3 hrs. She said I don’t need to go down and go in with her but I feel bad.
Dad usually goes in and sits with Mom, holding her hand during her MRIs. After a few quick minutes of texting about this she called me. She was irritated. A nurse had just come in to tell her that they may delay Mom’s MRI. The doctor had told Mom at 5pm he wanted her to have the MRI done and now at 1:30am it was finally her turn and they were wanting to delay it more. Ridiculous. I sat on the phone with her encouraging her. Telling her she could handle this. Be firm but they need to know Mom needs this MRI. The rude nurse told her things like “the hospital is short staffed to get your Mom down there, why wasn’t this already done, etc.” All good questions/issues except as Dad likes to say at times “that’s not my problem, fix it.” I sat there on the phone as I heard the nurse in there. I couldn’t make out what she was saying but it was a rude, know it all voice. There was a scuttle of commotion. She made another comment about the MRI and that’s when Sister K showed this nurse she wasn’t just some little sister hanging out with her Mom. Sister K very politely, yet very firmly said: “Well, it’s happening. Mom has lesions on her brain that the doctor wants to look at to determine the course of treatment and what is going on. This was ordered at 5pm today. It’s happening”
And they backed down. I sat there on the phone with her. Encouraging her as she spoke. Reassuring her. You’re doing great. Don’t second guess. Stay strong. You’re doing really well. I’m so proud of you. As the big sister I was holding her hand as best as I could through that phone.
They got Mom situated and wheeled her down. We hung up the phone. She then called me back once Mom was in the MRI and she was heading back to the hospital room. By this time it was about 2:30am. I told her I was so proud of her. Thanks to her Mom was getting the MRI. She had really advocated for Mom when she needed it most. We talked for a few minutes and then both went to sleep.
Or at least I thought I could sleep. I layed there in bed just thinking about everything going on right now. My mind was racing with thoughts. Scared thoughts. Sad thoughts. I also just felt sorry for Mom and everything she is going through. I don’t think I slept much. There are too many unknowns right now and too many of them are scary. I am trying to manage my mind and not let it “go there.” But hearing the commotion of the hospital room, being on the phone while all this was going on, it made it real again. As if all of this isn’t real enough. It felt more real. Living in the real is scary right now. Life, it’s happening.