Matt, I woke in that same chair several hours later, your room was dark, you still sleeping. I felt like I had been beaten with a baseball bat. I got up and went in search for your nurse. Yup, I know all about Hippa, but I made sure my name was on your chart to receive all the information my nursing brain required to stay calm. It was 7pm change of shift. So I decided a cup of coffee was better than trying to interrupt report between a nurse running to get home and one just getting ready for battle. I looked in their direction to let them know I was taking a break, we exchanged knowing smiles. Report was report and our little secret was now part of your recovery and was out of the so called bag. I felt better than I had in a long time. That secret was quite a burden to carry and letting it go was like finally talking about the elephant in the room. Addiction was a horrible disease and I was tired of feeling dirty. We needed help and hopefully would get it now that anyone reading your chart would be aware of the danger we were facing if you remained on narcotics too long.
Coffee never tasted so good as I savored the caramel flavor and thought of all the events that brought us to this place. My phone buzzing breaking into my thoughts like a hammer. I startled as I saw Mike walking toward me. Mom, I’ve been calling, you’re not answering. Everything ok? I just left his room he was asleep. I hope so Mike, I don’t know if we can go through the battle again. I’m so tired of the worry, I don’t sleep worrying about what he is doing. I know He’s with Lisa but my gut tells me something is not as it should be. God, I hope I’m wrong.
We walk to your room together, each lost in our own thoughts. The floor once quiet now buzzing with activity. Oh boy, a crowd outside of Matt’s room. What the hell. I hear your anger reaching out and grabbing attention. You are awake and in pain. Your PCA maxed out and not due to be changed for 2 hours. Mom, I’ll go. You deserve a break. You walk into the chaos that has become your brothers room. I try to get answers from his nurse. I linger longer than necessary not wanting to join the party, being selfish and wanting to run to my car and drive forever, but there’s Matt and he needs saving again…….
I walk in and find you and Matt in a heated battle. Thank God, you are matched in size. Your medic training in the Coast Guard kicking in as I hear you tell the nurse you need more tape. Dam those IV’s and your brother. I would remember these times and Matt’s fear of needles as the only thing that kept him away from Lady H. Little did I know that bitch liked it up the nose……
I stayed, showering in your bathroom, bless those young nurses. They loved that I was there and keeping the monster in check. I believe they would have had anything I desired delivered to your room as long as I promised not to leave them at your mercy.
Morning came along with a visit from Dr. K. He ignored your rudeness and cries for more pain meds as he checked his incision and wrote orders for you to start moving, to wean you from IV to PO meds. Yes, yes, yes. Get him off that IV, get him moving and get us out of here. PT came by to fit you for a brace, you bitched at everyone and everything you could. I just bit my tongue till it bled and practiced my smile till my face froze and kept pushing you to walk, eat and use the bathroom, all the criteria for discharge.
Finally, four hellish days later I sat in your room waiting for you to be set free. You, still complaining of pain. Me telling you that pain was expected. You, telling me I lied. Me, telling you I wasn’t going to let your demons control our lives again. Shut up Matt. I can’t take it any more. I walk away and grab the remote. TV would be a distraction. Make the time pass. Little did I know when the picture came on I would witness the amazing landing of a jumbo jet on the Hudson River. Holy Shit. You go Captain Sulley. Matt, look this is incredible. People climbing onto the wings, boats coming to the rescue. My God, the angels guided that plane. I remember looking at your handsome face when you finally stopped bitching and watched in awe the miracle unfolding. Matt, you so handsome. Even as bad as you behaved that cute blonde nurse gave you her number. She saw something in you that everyone saw, everyone but you. Finally, discharge instructions given, papers signed, appointments made. A script given, ok I’ll take that. Mom. Yup Matt. We are going home and I’m going to take over your pain management. Sorry. Hey Captain Sulley. Can I borrow a few of those angels, I’ve got some demons to fight……