The Breakdown

I came in the door, my Mother looked bug-eyed, her eyes sunken, like she had been hiking in the woods for years and had no sleep or food. Her dressing gown, the silk one, she had from China was tied neatly, her hair birding, like it usually did. It was midnight, the lights were all on as I walked into the living room, which was our makeshift hospital room for my Father. He lay there, not moving, still, but looked in pain. I looked at my Mother, and asked if she had given him any morphine. She said “no”. So, I went for the liquid painkiller, measured it carefully, and gave him some through his feeding tube. Within minutes, his wrinkles disappeared, the look of pain vanished off his face.

My Mother, just looked lost. I knew it was time. He was in a coma. I began to call the home nurses, we needed an RN around the clock. Thank goodness it was 24hrs, we got someone immediately. My Mother began to scream at me “What are you doing?” I looked at her, and said “Mum, he is dying, we need help.” My Mother screamed, a blood curdling scream, it must have woken the neighbours, it was so loud, high-pitched and heart breaking. I knew, her heart was broken in a million pieces. The nurse arrived, she gave me directions, my Mother was nowhere to be found. The Doctor was called, we needed to alert him that his patient was in a coma. I went searching for my Mother.

I found her in her walk in closet, crying, rocking on my Father’s side, under his suits. She was having a panic attack, one that was so bad, that at 19, I knew she needed something to calm her down. I screamed for the nurse. The nurse ran up the stairs, and looked at me and said “I will call the doctor, and another nurse to stay with your Mother. Are you o.k? Who do you need to call?” I just looked at her, I knew I had to be brave, to keep it together. I walked back down stairs, and began to call the family. It was only a matter of days. They needed to be here.

The doctor arrived with another nurse. I brought them upstairs, my Mother still rocking, looked up and began to scream again. I bent down to her, she got up and began to fight me. The doctor ran in, we struggled to pin her down, and give her a sedative. The nurse helped her to bed. My Mother just whispered “why? Why?” I couldn’t answer her, I didn’t know.

I went back downstairs, the doctor looked at me and began to explain things, he wanted me to know what will happen next. I could barely understand. I just didn’t want to deal with this, this was not for me to deal with. Why did I have to be the responsible one. The doctor looked at me and said “Your Mother won’t remember a thing when she wakes up, the nurse will stay upstairs with her, you need to stay with your Father, your Mother will be fine.”

A few hours later, my Mother did wake up, she had no recollection of spending any time in the closet, or that anything happened. I told her I had made all the phone calls. She said nothing, but went into a very odd diplomatic mode.


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