Friday, February 18, 2011

Doctors and Sighs........

I woke up the next morning at 4 a.m.  I remember thinking I should be doing something, breathing would have been a good start.  My nose was completely stuffed.  I went in the bathroom and took a look at my face and it wasn't a pretty sight.  My eyes were quite puffed out; most of the red from my crying was gone.  However, there were dark circles under my eyes; I was trashed.

My head was aching with pain.  I went out to the kitchen and got a decongestant and made myself a cup of tea.  I had an itching to do something but I didn't know what that something was.  I called the urgent care center and made an appointment; I had just taken my temperature and was running a low grade fever.  I was sure it was a sinus infection.

I called Karen around 8 to see if they were up and if someone could come over and stay with the boys.  Jack and Mike strolled out and started eating breakfast and then wandered into the den to watch television.  I told them that I was going to go to the doctor and that I would be back.  Karen was on her way over to watch them.  I could sense Jack's uneasiness immediately.

"Honey, I have a sinus infection; my head hurts and I just need to see the doctor.  I'll be right back.  It's okay.  I am okay.  Aunt Karen will stay with you and she'll call me on my cell phone if you need me."  I said to him, giving him a hug.  I kissed Michael and was out the door.

Urgent care on the weekends at my medical facility is on the first floor of the building.  It can be a "hit or miss" with the doctor you get.  I waited in the exam room after the nurse had taken my vitals.  When the doctor walked in, I started to get upset.  I don't want to explain this.  I don't want to go through this.  Just tell her and get it over with.

I told her that I thought I had a sinus infection.  I tried to talk but I started to cry.  It was difficult for her to examine me.  I just broke down crying.  I don't want to be here but if I don't get medicine, I'll be sick and I have a lot of things I have to do in the next three days.  Get a hold of yourself.

I tried to talk again and got a little bit out.  I said, "My husband died yesterday that's why I'm upset. I have a sinus infection and have been running a fever."  I was sobbing and couldn't catch my breath again.  "Really, I just need an antibiotic."  I said and blew my nose.  Yes, it would be Rudolph's nose.  I am blessed with a nose that turns red at the first drop of a tear.

The doctor examined me.  "Mrs. Roszel, are you sleeping?" she asked. "No, I replied.  I had been averaging about 4 - 5 hours a night. 

She handed me prescriptions for an antibiotic, a sleeping pill and a sedative.  I said, "Why do I need a sedative?" She said, "You seem very upset and I thought it might help you over the next few days."  I looked at her and tilted my head to the side. " My husband died less than 24 hours ago; it's upsetting.  I don't think I need a sedative."  She looked at me and said, "Why don't you fill it?  Then if you need it, you'll have it".

I felt like I had just left the Pill-Pushers of America Office.  What happens when you're in pain and they try to drug you up?  Do you feel less pain?  Are you in a mind-altered state?  Do you become so relaxed that you don't experience the grief and then later it hits you?

I knew that this was going to be tough but it seemed to me I couldn't run away from it.  I needed to cry.  I needed to feel the pain, the ache, the heart break.  How would I make it to the other side if I didn't walk through it?

I filled all three of the prescriptions and wrestled with the whole idea on my drive back to Sterling. I walked into my house, went to my kitchen sink, opened the bottle of Xanax and poured them down the drain. Death is depressing; death is sad.  Death is something I needed to grieve and being sedated was not going to help me face this horror for the next few days.

People started coming over again sometime in the morning.  I asked Michael and Jack to get dressed.  My brothers, Mike and Dan, were there and  they went out back with them to play around. At about 11:00 my parents walked through the door.  This is who I was waiting for; I wanted my mom.  She hugged me very tightly and cried with me when she saw me.  My dad had that serious, sad-looking face.  "How ya doin', kid?" he asked. "Not too great," was all I could say.

I sat next to my mom on the couch and held her hand.  Being with her, brought it all up again to the surface where it would light my nose again.  It was fine because they were there now.  I felt like I didn't have to think now.

My sister, Patty and her husband Michael had arrived and were staying in the local hotel a couple of blocks away.  My parents were going to stay with me and I could sleep on the couch.  I wasn't sleeping much anyway; what did it matter?  All my family came,  Jimmy, Tom and Tammy and their girls, John and Helen, Billy, Eliza and the boys.

There is nothing like being surrounded by family when you feel so vulnerable.  It was hard for them.  What could they say?  What could they do?  They could just be with me and love on my boys.

The Roszel came too.  Peter and Barb flew in from Kansas and Mark and Deb came with the kids from North Carolina.  Everyone else lived locally and came to just be with us.

Suzy took Jack off to a craft store and started on a project of making a collage pictures of Rick's life.  What a gift for him.  He put them together and we had them at the church.

My mother and I went off to the mall to get  some clothes for the funeral services.  I had lost fifteen pounds since Rick was diagnosed and didn't have anything that fit me.  We went to the department store.  "Mom, I don't want to wear black." I said looking at her for a reaction.  "Jane, you should do whatever you want to do," she replied.  "I just feel like I want this to be a celebration of Rick's life.  If I really have faith and believe in everything I've espoused to all these years, then it's time for celebration.

We found two outfits; one was a maroon skirt and top and the other a green pant set.  I was good to go.  I had to think about the boys and make sure that I had everything for them set too.

I was totally worn out by the time we left the store.  "Jane, you'll be okay." my mom said and took my hand.  "I know, Mom, I just don't really want to have to be okay."  "You're so strong, Jane.  I know you'll be alright." she said in reply.  I let out a big sigh, a "Mulhern" sigh; the kind that we use to fill in the blanks of life.  It's something between a breath and whine.  We all know it when we hear it. We were almost home and I said,  "I'm so tired of being strong, Mom," and let out another Mulhern sigh.

1 comment:

  1. You poured the Zanax down the drain? You must have been really crazy!

    The thought of shopping for funeral clothes reminded me that I better have something in my closet for those occasions. As you know, I hate shopping.

    Thank goodness for family. The collage that Jack did was wonderful. I remember looking at it and thinking "what a lovely family".