He’s So Good to Me

Sleep deprivation really takes a toll on me. Wisely, I ended up staying home (alone) on Friday night. That’s a good thing because the rest of the weekend ended in a blur of good and bad (starting off with the bad).

I went to visit my sister in law at New England Medical Center Saturday afternoon and it was the second worst hospital visit of my life (the worst being the entire day spent at the hospital when my friend, Regina, died of breast cancer). This time, I arrived at the room and Heidi looked pretty good. She was in the hospital because, once again, her surgically-implanted feeding tubes got disconnected inside her body. She had a new one put in on Tuesday of last week but it got clogged already and needs to be replaced again. Complicating matters, she developed pneumonia.

But within minutes of arriving at the hospital and chatting, her eyes seemed to gloss-over and she got distracted. She asked me to grab a bucket because she felt she was going to vomit. She pressed the nurse button and suddenly her entire body locked into place. She became paralyzed (seizure? another stroke?) – I’m not sure.

All I could do was sit there and watch her crying, stuck in a laying-down position and vomiting neon green fluids (since she hasn’t eaten any food in nearly a year I assume this must be a combination of bile and the IV nutrition that sustains her). The nurse came in, then she called an additional two nurses to help her. They had to give Heidi shots of Ativan (and other things) because she was completely paralyzed. The vomit continued to just roll over her bottom lip, down her chin and into the bucket (which I managed to place there just in time).

I have to admit that I very nearly started crying. I have no tolerance watching people suffer in pain. And, instead of turning to faith as so many people do (and have encouraged me to do), situations like this do the opposite for me. If there was such a thing as a god, how could he allow this type of excessive suffering? It’s not just what she is going through physically, but the suffering the rest of her family has continuously endured (the death of her 3 year old daughter, financial strain because of the medical expenses, pressures on my brother to play nurse to her, father to their two other children, and breadwinner for the whole family).

OK – enough ranting. I was asked to leave the room so the nurses could take care of her. I stood in the hallway for 20-30 minutes until she was ready for visitors again. When I got back to the room we started talking again….but within 10 minutes it started all over again. Nurses were called and I was dismissed. I’m going to try to return on Wednesday (the next….and only…night this week I don’t have class).

The rest of the weekend started getting better after that (for me, at least…not for Heidi, I’m sure). I got together for dinner with Mike around 6:30PM and then we headed over my friend, Marin’s, place to play cards with him and his bofriend, Roger. He taught us a Spanish game…Porcha, I think it’s called. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but I was really enjoying it.

After cards, we went out to a bar and got together with other friends (Fred, Bobby) and a bunch of other people that everybody knew. We played pool (in teams) and my team with Roger managed to kick ass (finally…I’ve been on a losing streak).

We ended up closing the place, then Fred, Bobby, Mike and I went back to Mike’s in Dorchester and had a great time hanging out and talking. At one point, Bobby looked out the window and noticed daylight. Yep – we’d all stayed up intil dawn. Fred offered to drive Bobby back to his car and Mike and I tried going to sleep for an hour before his normal Sunday morning brunch with Mom.

I got the brunch, but then headed home while Mike and his Mom went grocery shopping. I returned to Mike’s place last night for dinner and then slept over (I slept like a baby after only having had 2 hours sleep in the past 36 hours). When I woke up this morning, Mike had made me oatmeal! I’m not talking instant Quaker Oatmeal, but the 30 minute Irish oatmeal! What a surprise to wake up to.

He treats me so well.




  1. Comment by karyn on May 1, 2006 3:37 pm

    You know? For a guy who doesn’t drink or want “in” a “relationship” you sure spend a lot of time in bars and hanging out with a certain guy. I’m just saying.

    As to the horror of watching someone suffer, and the exponential suffering – yours, Paul’s, the kids’, your parents’, HER parents’ – the whole faith thing is so personal. I have my own theological / spiritual beliefs which you can feel free to argue with anytime you want, but they have helped me through (and they are associated with what I know in my heart rather than what I was force fed as a kid) some fairly hideous things.

    Been there…done that. It’s no fun. Be gentle with yourself.

  2. Comment by Karl on May 1, 2006 3:44 pm

    Oh, I think I’ve stopped proclaiming my avoidance of all things relationship-oriented for a while now. I think I’m ready again (thanks therapy and time!)

    I mean, Mike and I aren’t eloping any time soon…but we’re both interested in seeing where this leads. Simultaneously, we’re both smart enough not to have any expectations.

    We both just have a good idea of what we want (and don’t want) in a relationship and, so far, it appears that our ideas match.

  3. Comment by karyn on May 1, 2006 3:44 pm


  4. Comment by Will on May 1, 2006 4:08 pm

    It’s about time you begin to come out about you and Mike. Several weeks ago I made a leading statement that it seemed we were hearing a lot about your getting together with Mike. You slyly ignored me completely. Well, whatever it is you seem to be happy with it, and that’s very nice to hear.

    What’s happening to your sister-in-law isn’t fair and must be wrenching to watch. You’re great to give so much of yourself when she needs it most.

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