I was woken up by nurses at around 8:45 and thought “OMG SHIT I LIVED?!!!“. I wasn’t sure if it was AM or PM and before I could ask, the nurse says to me “Are you ready to see your Mom and Dad?”. I nodded and waited for them to come in and started to notice my throbbing headache and burning throat, it didn’t feel nice.. my throat hurt because of the breathing tube. The nurse pulled the curtain open just enough so my parent’s could walk through, and I can’t remember ever seeing such a worried look on their faces. My mom walked next to my shoulder and said “Hi Brit how are you feeling? Are you in any pain?” while my dad stood next to her, kissed my forehead and used my nickname when he said “Hi kit-kat, do you need me to get the nurse for anything?” The last thing I wanted was for people to be talking in their loud voice, so I put my finger up to my lips and pushed out a “shhhhhhhh” several times so they would know that I wanted everything to be quiet. My dad smiled, said sorry and that he would tell everyone to be quiet while they were in the room with me. I didn’t realize that I was going in and out of consciousness until I woke up again, to see my mom crying in the hallway, while my dad fanned her with his cowboy hat.
I squinted to focus to make sure that what I saw wasn’t a dream or hallucination. The dad I know and grew up with has never been affectionate or supportive to anyone and their needs outside of a hospital. I guess you could say it snapped me out of my sleepy state when I saw him taking the time to fan her bright red face. My mom sounded so defeated when she said “I can’t stand to see her like this, it hurts..” I lifted my head a little to look over to them and said “I don’t know why you’re crying, nothing hurts, I only have a headache!” My dad rushed over to tell me to lay my head back down on the pillow and walked out to get the nurse to have her give me more pain medication. She had to double check my blood pressure because it was at 150/something, so she rushed back in and told me I would feel a stinging, twice, in my neck.. I didn’t. The injection was to lower my BP, and a high one is usually normal after surgery, but that was entirely too high.
My aunt had tears in her red eyes while she walked my grandma and my sister into the room. My aunt calls me ‘pigeon’ and she gave me a quick kiss and said how happy they were that I made it through brain surgery. My grandma looked very strong as usual and said a little prayer while holding my hand, again reminding me that the Lord is my doctor and he will always take care of me.
I was so happy to see Ricardo in the hallway. It felt like years had gone by before he walked in to kiss me. He is so considerate and thoughtful and although he was dying to be the first one to see me, he made sure everyone went before him. I was starting to feel sleepier and sleepier as soon as he came in, almost as if I stayed alert just to see him. I passed out again and during that time, a few staff members, plus my aunt, grandmother, and cousins from my dad’s side of the family came in to see me, I didn’t know it until a week after surgery.
The next few parts get blurry but I remember telling my parents I was starving and I wanted watermelon, pears, any kind of fruit they could bring for breakfast. I told Ricardo and the nurse that I wanted him to stay with me overnight, so she wheeled in a chair for him to sleep on next to my bedside. I remember nurses changing my pillows out of view, and me just constantly asking for something for the headache, and I might have turned on the tv just for extra light.
I woke up to breakfast being wheeled in and more pain/nausea medicine. I still had a headache but as far as pain, it had gone from a 10 to a 7. I looked over at Ricardo, snoring away with his mouth open. The day before had been a long one for everyone, we woke up at 7am and my family had a stress filled day hanging around the hospital. Ricardo deserved to get all the sleep he could get. I watched tv on mute as I didn’t want to disturb anyone around me. Across the hall I noticed an older woman in her 40’s sleeping and a man talking with nurses and doctors. She had suffered a heart attack, it wasn’t major, but she was going to be ok, and would be discharged in the next few days.
It was nice to hear. 3 people had died in the first 3 days while I was in my private ICU room post ER. Everyday a different family would walk through the halls by my doors and seem puzzled that it wasn’t an elderly patient behind the window. One incident stood out to me, in the way that I wanted to go out to her to comfort her. I didn’t know what room or who it was, but one early morning I heard a lady begin to scream and cry hysterically. I heard a monitor flat line while 2 nurses ran from the desk and into the room where they slammed the door behind them. Her cries filled the entire ICU for hours after that.. and I teared up too.
I was 10 when my grandpa died. Visiting him in the hospital, I didn’t really understand what was going on or why he was there, I just knew he was sick and that everyone was sad. I don’t know what it feels like to be the person in the chair looking at someone they love laying in a hospital bed. Being in that bed while she cried humbled me. I felt bare, without protection, without strength, in any given moment, it could be me. I’m stronger than you would think, but I’m also a human that has fears.
My fresh faced mom and dad walked in while I was trying to eat a piece of surprisingly good breakfast sausage. They lovingly glanced at Ricardo while he quietly snored and told me not to wake him. My mom set out different fruit while a nurse came in to joke about my feast and then hooked up the worlds best pain medication. I.V. DRIP TYLENOL. LOVE IT. SWEAR BY IT. NOTHING WORKS BETTER. Instantly my pain was gone, so I happily asked my mom what the doctors said about my surgery while I sloppily enjoyed my fresh fruit breakfast. My dad interrupted her before she could speak and grabbed my hand while he said..
“The doctor said… that.. the surgery went perfect… nothing went wrong on the areas that they could work on… but… they weren’t expecting to find.. another artery that is bleeding.. this one is too deep in the brain.. they said it is too dangerous, and too much of a risk to you.. for them to operate on it..”
I stared at my fruit and muttered “……Oh..”