My brother is sick. I HATE IT when he’s sick. If you’re new to this blog, you can learn important info about Nathan HERE.
This next paragraph is for those who want to know the details of Nathan’s situation. If you’re a heartless bastard, you can skip it. But i warn you… I’m watching.
After discovering an infection in his pelvis due to some previous undiagnosed break, they find a mass of unidentified tissue growing around it. The bloodwork doesn’t show any sign of anything cancerous, but a biopsy is still the safest bet. On wednesday, they sedated him for a biopsy and everything seemed to go great… until later that day, when he began vomiting, would not stop coughing, and began to run a high fever. My parents rushed him to the ER and find out that he also has pneumonia. This kid can NOT catch a BREAK here! The kept him over night to pump him full of antibiotics, but by morning, his breathing was shallow and his oxygen level was dangerously low. No one ever tells me just how bad a situation is until it’s over, but apparently they pulled in every available doctor before taking the next step. He is currently heavily sedated and intubated. His vitals are all improving, but they will keep him this way for a day or 2 in order for him to get rest and receive plenty of fluid while his lungs heal.
When i arrived at the hospital today, i knew that seeing him lying there with a body full of tubes would be difficult. My mother escorted me from the lobby to the ICU and, as i turned that corner to his room, a cold chill ran through my body. That first glance of him was tough. I looked down for a moment and silently gave myself a peptalk. “Don’t be a sissy, Carrie. Everything is ok. Everything is getting better.” I moved by his bedside, which made him look like he was part of a very intricate Transformer, and spoke to him for a moment until the nurse came in to take some blood.
My grandparents were still there visiting as well. Technically, that means there were now 4 visitors in the room at one time. The rules say 2. We are rebels.
This is how the conversation goes:
Papaw: I rode by your house yesterday. I thought you might be outside raking all those leaves, but i didn’t see you anywhere.
Me: I know nothing about keeping up a yard, but i’ll have to learn! I guess raking leaves is my new form of exercise.
Papaw: yeah (pause) So, do you actually get any exercise? (subtle)
Me: I do. I have a treadmill, actually.
Papaw: Do you use it, or just use it for furniture?
Me: (awkward laugh) Well, i guess a little bit of both, but i’ve been doing really well over the past couple of months.
Papaw: Have you lost any weight yet?
Me: I have. In fact, as of this morning, i’ve lost 17lbs.
(My grandmother begins eyeing me suspiciously, as though trying to figure out what part of me could possibly have lost weight. When her glare settles in on my feet, i can’t decide if she is looking for a difference in my cankles, or judging the paint splatters on my Nikes.)
Papaw: That’s good. That’s real good. You need to lose it now. You know, i’ll be 85 next month and you don’t want to be that big when you’re 85. Your joints will give out holding up all that weight.
Me: Yep. Probably. (must… change… subject…) I guess our Sunday lunch is postponed while Nathan is sick.
Papaw: You’re just always thinking about food. Heeheehee. (<—that’s really his genuine laugh.)
Mamaw: Yes. I was hoping you would join us last time, but your mother said you were on a date. (oh… great.)
Me: Oh, yeah. Next time!
Mamaw: You got you a boyfriend?
Me: Oh, no. I don’t.
Mamaw: Why not? (SERIOUSLY, MAMAW?! SERIOUSLY?!)
Me: (..oh, where should i start…) Ha, well, i guess it’s just not meant to be.
Mamaw: Well, if you’re losing that weight, you’ll be able to keep you a boyfriend.
I’d like to say this were the first time this conversation had ever taken place, but that would be a lie. This is merely the first time that i thought, “oh crap, i need to make note of this terrible conversation so that i can blog about it!” That’s the best thing about blogging. It allows you to separate yourself from reality and become the narrator. A very bitter narrator.
When the visit was nearly over, Nathan opened his eyes for just a moment as the nurse turned him onto his other side. I took that moment to say goodbye. I felt bad as i said “goodbye”, because i feel like that’s a word he most definitely recognizes and now all he knows is that someone is leaving him. I made half of an attempt to lean in and give him a kiss on the head, but DANG that bed is TALL. Next time, i’ll bring my portable stepstool.