Friday night. 7:00 pm. A virtual repeat of what happened back in October, right down to my leaving a specific temp assignment.
A call on my cell phone, garbled, but in my aunt's voice. A return call, and my aunt explains it explicitly - my mom started vomiting blood, and we needed to get to the hospital.
For those of you who are not in the know, my mother has had liver problems, including non-alcoholic cirrhosis, as a complication of diabetes. (Any cracks about my mom's drinking are cheap - my mother does not, has not, and never drank alcohol in her life). We knew going in that there would be issues - in fact, part of my aunt moving from Pontiac and I from St. Louis was because Mom would need better care. She's no invalid, but quite frankly...she could use all the help can get.
Last time, surgeons were able to put bands around the varicose veins in her esophagus to stop the bleeding. Now, however, they were going to have to go one step further, and perform what is known as the TIPS procedure. I'm no Polite Scott when it comes to explaining medical jargon - it's a relatively safe procedure, and it's "reasonable" given the state of Mom's health - but it looks good. It just means further reducing Mom's stress level (including the cousin who now considers herself an "adoptive daughter" than a niece).
But I'm letting my ragged feelings get ahead of me.
Right now, I'm doing fine - much better than during my dark night of the soul a few weeks ago. (Trust me on this). If you're reading, and are a long-term blog and/or Twitter pal - please feel free to offer up any positive thoughts, engage in your particular faith tradition's ceremonies, or just think a good thought for tomorrow morning.
But for me, no matter what happens, I'll always have this:
During aforementioned dark night of the soul (just some things that were pressing, and are now reconciled), I had asked my mother if, besides being an errand boy, if my presence was actually a benefit to her. (Yes, I admit - I was feeling sorry for myself. I let my worst feelings overwhelm me).
She told me that, yes, my being here in Chicago helped, if only because she didn't have to worry about me. That not having the added burden of wondering how I was doing 300 miles away was actually helpful for her, and allowed her to deal with other issues.
Regardless of what happens, I know I'll be all right. And also, I've queued some blog entries for the next week, so even if something posts, it doesn't necessarily mean I've "returned".
Thanks, and talk later.
EDIT - Due to various circumstances, Mom's surgery has been postponed until tomorrow. Please keep those prayers, good thoughts, and pagan rituals coming!
Tuesday Night Edit - Mom's gone through surgery like a trooper. She's asleep, and things look good. Thanks, everyone!