Thursday, September 15, 2011

Time with the family

One of the good things to come from this medical adventure is feeling reconnected with the important people in my life. First and foremost, my mom.

She sat with me in the waiting area before surgery and stayed, along with my oldest niece (in from California) until my doctor came out with the "benign" pronouncement. Then she visited me in the hospital on Sunday and came along with my friend Kathleen to pick me up on Monday. She brought orange juice and chocolate pudding.

She stayed here with me until Wednesday night -- taking my temperature, monitoring my meds, listening at the door when I took my showers, setting up my humidifier, doing a load of wash and ensuring that I could make the walk around the block to the doctor's office. Last night, when she was satisfied that I was doing as well as a person can less than a week after major surgery, she packed up and went home.

The best thing about having her here was not being babied -- though I do like knowing I have chocolate pudding cups in the kitchen. It was spending time with her. Together we watched the ABC special about the Jacqueline Kennedy tapes and Dr. Phil's interviews with Casey Anthony's parents. I enjoyed watching her dote on my cats. As she kept an eagle eye on my health, I tweaked her about hers. We hugged a lot. It was lovely.

Then there was my favorite niece. She's only in town for a week before leaving for college in Michigan. Weeks ago, before I went into the hospital, she promised me she would see me before she went away to school. I knew she would. She came by last night to bring me a get well present and to take my mom home. But it took her an hour to arrive, and when she did, her face was swollen and red with tears of humiliation and frustration.

Her parents got a new car, a van, and she just began driving it. She unwisely tried to squeeze it into one of the small spaces in my building garage and found herself stuck. After trying over and over to maneuver it out of the garage without hitting a pole or another car, she gave in and called her dad. He came out in his truck, parked it on the street, went in and navigated the van to safety.

We all praised her for being smart enough to ask for help, for not proudly and immaturely risking damage to herself or the new van. Still, she was drenched in embarrassment. She is so excited about her status as a burgeoning independent woman and she had to call her daddy for help! I'm reminded anew of how young she still is, and how lucky we are that my brother-in-law is such a wise and loving dad.

And my oldest friend. She's been checking on me regularly, calling often, even persuading them to give me the phone while I was still in the recovery room after surgery. I have no recollection of this, of course, but she reports to me that I complained of being thirsty and told her she was really my sister. It was she who first told me my cyst and endometrial lining were benign. And I suspect she was the one really behind the basket of autumn flowers sent to my hospital room by "Sir Paul."

Is it any wonder that I am heartened by all the good that has come from this rather awful experience? I must remember to celebrate with the "thankful heart" the hospital chaplain and I discussed.


  1. Anonymous9:16 PM

    I still call my daddy for help, even though I know there's really not much he can do anymore except maybe give me a few words of advice.

    Anyway. I absolutely hate to do this...but I have to ask you to once again update your blog roll with my new address. My blogger blog got sick (and unfortunately it wasn't benign) so I had to kill it and move over to wordpress. My new address is

  2. Flowers from Sir Paul? Wow! He really does read your blog!!!

    I'm glad your mum's stay went so well and that people who are near you are checking in. And I'm glad you're recovering as well as you are.

    Which makes me wonder--how are the cats behaving? Do they sense you're not up to your usual self?

  3. Better late than never, but I wanted to leave a celebratory comment over your good news. Benign is an even better word than clearance.