Friday, October 12, 2007

A year later, and a little perspective

I was scrolling through my calendar the other day logging in appointments when I suddenly remembered what today's date was.

It was a year ago when Monkey Man was put in the ICU. If you're just tuning in, you can read the gory details here.

I had just finished with my dad's own illness and near-death experience only a month prior to that. And on that cold October day, my world came crashing down around me.

It wasn't until later that I discovered how sick he really was. The ENT nonchalantly mentioned that he was septic by the time we got him to the hospital - the staph infection had moved into his blood, and he was in danger of dying without proper medical attention. I sat there in his office, numb. I drove to a lunch date with Monkey Man in the car to meet Cat Door, and as blankly as I could announced that my kid almost died and yes, I'd like a chicken sandwich please. Later on, Cat Door would tell me that he was absolutely scared for me because I was just so...emotionless. Like I just couldn't even acknowledge those terrible words for fear I'd break down.

There is nothing more sickening than that drive to the hospital - don't pack anything, get your ass there as soon as possible - and facing the unknown. And knowing that as the mommy there isn't anything you can do but be brave and not fall apart like you desperately want to. So you stand there in the cold hospital room making phone calls and staring out into the cold gray skies and not wanting to believe that this, this is your life.


So here we are a year later.

Monkey Man made a slow and steady recovery. We got those stupid tonsils out and it took a few months for him to get back to normal. Oh, and probably a few hundred bucks in antibiotics. That was a lot of fun.

And suddenly, he began to grow. And grow. And grow. He ate like nobody's business. He slept better. He was rarely sick anymore and the constant sinus infections waned to almost nothing. (Knock on wood.)

The other night, he reminded me about the spinal tap and the IV's and how scary it was. "But I was big and brave and the doctors made me all better!" he smiled.

Yes, yes they did.


It's hard for me to express what that whole experience did for me. To me.

It's funny how sometimes an event like that really shakes you to the core. Makes you question everything - like, is it really worth getting upset at some asshole for cutting in front of you on the highway? And it makes you enjoy the little things, the simple things that you do with your family. For yourself. For other people.

Last year I had a little bit of a career crisis. And of course, once I went through all the hospital BS suddenly it wasn't important anymore. It wasn't about feeding my ego or getting a title. It was about keeping a job with people that supported me and gave me the flexibility to be with my family and take care of them. And that means way more than any old title does.

And most of all, it just reinforced that being the mom of a Monkey Man is simply put, the best. That he is still here to do the little stuff like sticking his toes in the ocean for the very first time. And I'm there to hold his hand, too.

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