My mother called me on Thursday to tell me that her doctor believes she has internal bleeding. She had been seeing blood in places where blood should not be. Her doctor sent her for additional tests on Friday and I waited all day at work, on pins and needles (pardon the pun), to hear of the results. My cousin, who lives near my mother, called me to tell me they admitted her to the hospital for a blood transfusion. Last night, she had five pints of blood transfused. Considering that the human body holds about 8 pints, that is quite a lot. The first flight I could get was this morning at 7:20 a.m. After work, I went home and packed my bags, took a hot bath, and anxiously awaited the morning.
Where the bleeding is coming from is still a mystery. She will have an endoscopy done this afternoon to determine the source. I should be there by then to hold her hand. The trip from Houston to Oregon, where my mother lives, is a bit of a daunting one. The closest airport to my tiny hometown is in Crescent City, which is actually in Northern California. It's roughly 30 minutes from the Oregon border. I fly from Houston to San Francisco and then San Francisco to Crescent City.
I haven't slept in what feels like days. Last night, I slept only in fits and starts. I was worried about what the morning might bring. I spoke with my mother about 30 minutes ago and she sounded better than she did last night. Still, there is no substitute for being there, talking to the doctors myself, and assessing the situation.
I am going to have to tell my mother that it is time for her to move to Houston where I can keep an eye on her and assist her with getting the medical care she needs. Her health problems have gotten worse in the last few years. I've made two emergency trips to Oregon in less than 18 months - once in June 2007 and again today. The expense and the worry have taken a toll.
It is so very difficult when you realize that you must become the parent to your own parent. My mother has taken care of me all my life. She loved me from the time I was conceived through this very moment...32 years she has sacrificed, cried with me, laughed with me, and been my mother, my friend, my confidante. Now, I only hope that I can make her understand that the time she has put in to my life is not without its reward. I am my mother's daughter...and that means more than words can say.