Saturday, January 05, 2008
ICUs and Christina Ricci
I left work around noon yesterday in order to get myself over to Oakbend Medical's ICU to see my 87 year-old grandmother. She had a heart attack the night before, right around the same time I decided I would go to sleep. I missed a dozen or so phone calls at 0300 telling me to wake up. I didn't realize it until I was around the parking lot to work and my sister sent an alarming text saying that my grand mother was in the hospital.
It's a terrible feeling when there's obviously nothing you can do to make it better. It's even worse when your mom tells you to stay at work because there's still nothing you can do. I advised my supervisor of my situation and she said that whenever I felt I had to go, it was fine and that she would keep my grandma in her prayers.
I eventually left and made it to the hospital and saw her. My sister and aunt decided that they both needed to go to the bathroom at that moment so they did and I was standing at my grandmothers bedside holding her hand as she spoke to me. She had tubes coming from everywhere. There were harnesses holding other various cables around her head and I was honestly scared for her as I read the monitor as best I could. Her heart rate was high and alerts were going off and being ignored by the staff because they're normal in post heart attack patients.
It was scary being left alone with her. She was weak but talking about everything. She eventually transitioned to death and how she felt she was ready. While she was ready for death, I was dying to have my mom in there with me. There was only so much I could say in broken spanish. She spoke about god and how she's ready if he finds that it's her time. She spoke about life and love and illness. Commenting on why I haven't had children or gotten married, she tells me that one day I will find a girl that I can dedicate myself to. That one day there will be a girl that is going to claim my heart and keep a tight hold on it. I sort of nodded my head and laughed it off and wished I could fly the yellow and black helicopter that sat outside her window.
She told me to be careful. She told me to be a good husband and a better father. She told me to have my back checked out because I always look like I'm in pain. She told me to get a new car but to keep the old one because it has lasted me well. She told me to speak with god even if I don't go to church. She told me to take care of the family. She spoke of god again and how if they wanted to do surgery and cut her, she'd rather not.
I simply said, "If the doctors can cut you, to save you, then it isn't your time. I think god would understand."
My cousin Rick, my mom and my little sister entered the room so I had to go. I walked out to the waiting room and sat with my aunt Silvia, my sister Marissa and my nephew Julian. I listened to my sister and her crown molding dreams and my aunt and her color schemes. My nephew tried his best at a crossword puzzle in the paper and I read Another Magazine's article about Christina Ricci. Her photo shoot was stunning and I never really noticed how alarmingly beautiful she is. I showed my sister and my aunt and they laughed. I put the magazine down and we all sat and talked about interior design and Britney Spears' latest headline.
All the while, I couldn't possibly be more scared.