The Texture Of Things

A Hospital Visit

October 29th, 2006

I am a lucky woman. Now, I am privileged, I will admit, but today I mean “lucky,” as in “the luckiest woman alive because I get to drink a barium shake and ride in a cat-scan machine.” That kind of lucky.

I don’t mean to be sarcastic and angry about the fact that I have health insurance that will gladly cover the cat scan and the colonoscopy I’m currently scheduled for in an effort to pin down a mystery pain I’ve had in my lower belly since February. That’s not what has my panties crinkled in my delicate areas because that’s not a bad thing in any form. It’s that I had to go to the hospital to pick up the barium shake and will have to return this coming week for the cat scan.

Agh. I hate the hospital. One trip for the scan was an insult enough, but I couldn’t even get the drink anywhere else. No, I had to go there to get it.

I don’t hate all hospitals, just this one. This is the hospital where the tot was born, and I cannot separate any iota of the grief, anger, and damage of it all from any further experience there. I drive there and I feel like I’m marching toward my doom, every car length closer pulling my mood lower and lower. I park, and every time I park there, I try to park somewhere other than where HG and I would park on our twice-daily visits to the tot in the NICU. It never works, though. Everything I seem to ever need in that hospital is located on that end, and that end only has one parking lot.

So, every visit there now, I walk up the same sidewalk, through the same doors, and into the same air as I did over two years ago. And every visit, I try to train my focus on the task at hand, away from the past. It rarely works. The security guards are still the crusty old dudes from before, the decor was new then so it certainly hasn’t changed, and the hallways still lead to the same old doors.

I try to tell myself what’s different now. I am a mother. I have my daughter at home. She is awesome. She is the best thing ever. I live in a new town now and I’m back to work (part-time). I won the lottery because I got to leave with my baby. I am not there because they have something I need. Well, I am there because they have something I need – answers to my current problem – but this time, I’m not going home to an empty crib. Quite to the contrary, I will hear her shouting with glee that I’m home before I’m even through the door.

No, this visit will not end with me holding my hands to my face the whole way home, smelling them because twenty minutes after holding her, they still smell like her, and that high is the only thing that holds me until I come back, half a day later.

No, this time the visit will not find me aching and churning internally on the way there, wondering if today is the day I bring her home. This drive will not feel like I am running, running as fast as I can toward something, but with no path, no sense of direction, no intention other than to try to get to the part of the whole event that looks like the books said it would look like: mom and dad at home with new baby, blissful in their new roles.

We got to that part, but none of journey seemed blissful in any way. The getting there, no, that part was distinctly non-blissful.

Today when I walked back up the hallway, past the security desk, out the revolving door, and onto the sidewalk where the wind whipped up my umbrella, I reminded myself that I am a winner. I came home with the prize. They can’t take her away from me, even though they will always keep a part of me. I tried to remind myself that they can keep that. That part is expendable.

Rainy October days are typically at most glum, promising only an end to all the fall colors except brown, but today was not glum. It was windy, cold, and mean. The reflection of my mood in the branches of the trees and between the leaves pelting down was not lost on me.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

:mrgreen: :neutral: :twisted: :shock: :smile: :???: :cool: :evil: :grin: :oops: :razz: :roll: :wink: :cry: :eek: :lol: :mad: :sad:

RSS feed for these comments. | TrackBack URI

Anthosia2 Sponsored by Web Hosting