I've realized with this little "assignment" I've given myself, of writing about the nineteen days I spent in the hospital last year, that I could never be a professional writer. Don't get me wrong, I love to write. I could do a book or articles here and there. But creating something inspiring, helpful, or insightful on a daily or weekly basis is not my thing (even though I do a daily reading and writing assignment in my 12 step recovery program). I think the real problem today is that I'm tired. I'm missing Mila so much and I wish she were here, that they could have revived her, that God would have saved both of us. Maybe I'm also suffering from some post traumatic stress disorder. Today, July 12, was the day I woke up from being in a coma to the nightmare that my life had become.
I have so many memories about the dreams, visions, and hallucinations I had in the hospital while I was on many painkillers, paralytic drugs, and sedatives. During the days prior to waking up the doctors and nurses experimented with the level of sedation I was on so I was kind of in and out or half-conscious at times. All I know is that this was the day I was extubated (allowed to breathe on my own, without a ventilator) and fully taken off of sedation. I remember thinking that all of my IV bags were balloons, that the hooks they hung on were decorations to bring home, and that my mom had decorated the walls with baby-themed items (none of these things true, of course). I thought there were people hiding in my room, trying to scare me and I heard many strange voices. I thought people were laughing at me and making fun of me. Sadly, I also thought for a few hours that I had delivered three babies, and that I was waiting to have them brought to me so I could nurse them or at least pump breast milk for them. I remember being mad at Chris because not only did he not bring me my babies, but he didn't even bring me my breast pump so I could at least start feeding my babies breast milk. We've all wondered if the three babies were Mila, and our boy and girl twins lost at 18 weeks in March of 2006. Only hours later, I was embarrassed that I even thought that. I realized that I gave birth this time to just Mila, and that she was gone. Other than that, I had no idea what had occurred in the last 12 days. It took weeks, even months, to piece things together and to grasp the grave condition I was in. Only now am I starting to understand that the fact that I survived is a true miracle.
This week things have slowed down. Chris went back to work and Charlie and Sofie have started two weeks of swimming lessons. Even though I'd like nothing more than to take a nap all afternoon, I've been enjoying the warm weather by swimming at the community pool with the kids and taking out our little pool to to cool off at home. I've also been busy this month with yard work.
While I was in the hospital last year, the weather was unbearably hot and humid. Everyone's lawn, including ours, took a hit and turned dry and yellow. The yard is usually my responsibility and a beloved hobby of mine as well. I love getting my hands dirty and seeing a soft, green lawn as the result of my time and care. Chris didn't have the time, energy, or interest in maintaining the lawn so it pretty much died during the days I spent in the hospital. When I woke up I asked him if he was watering and mowing and he said no. Other friends and family tried to help, but it was a lost cause. One of the saddest moments was when I stepped out of the car in our driveway to see the devastatingly dry grass. I never got it to green up last summer or fall. It served as a constant reminder of the death and loss we had experienced. I hated it.
This spring I promised myself that I would not allow the lawn to die again. I'd say it's been just as hot and humid and our lawn looks great. I've tended to it lovingly, totally determined to keep the grass green, lush, and alive!
This weekend is Whiz Bang Days, our city's annual summer festival. The kids, Chris, and I will go to the parade, maybe a craft sale, and fireworks. Poor Chris took the kids last year on his own and I was sad to hear I had missed it. I didn't realize what day it was when I woke up and I also grieved the loss of so many days of my life. I had not chosen to miss so much. I felt powerless.
Today I have some power and control back in my life. I can't change what happened, but I make choices now with much more confidence and consideration. I don't let others manipulate me or make me feel guilty. I do that enough myself! Today I am grateful not only to be awake and alive, but to be home; strong and present.