Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Why I don't do the limbo

Today started out as a normal, routine day, then my sister Amy called me, out of breath and near tears. Her husband is out of town on business and she is in tremendous pain and can’t walk, sit or lie down. I encouraged her to go to the hospital, since she definitely doesn’t sound like herself. She is afraid that it will end up being something dumb and they will think she is an alarmist. My sister can be an alarmist, and a wimp about pain, but this is different. I can tell form her voice that this pain is different and scary and foreign.

I hate this. She is several snowy hours away, and I can’t get to her. I want to see her, see her face so I can figure out how worried I should be. I want to do the worrying for her and tell her, my baby sister, that everything will be fine. I want to be able to drive her to the hospital myself, and be there to ask the questions since she is the sweet accommodating one. I am the bossy one, then one who will make sure they see her quickly and give her something for the pain. I don’t know why I think I will make a difference, but I can’t stand not being able to do something.

I finally convince her to go to the hospital, and she agrees, but not until she gets all four kids off to school. She calls me on her way to the hospital and then shortly after she arrives. They took her right back, and think she may have a kidney stone but they are running tests. She asks me to call her husband, because her cell phone keeps cutting off in the hospital, and the last message he got from her was her crying and saying she is on the way to the hospital and doesn’t know why. He is in perhaps the biggest meeting of his life today with the head honchos of his company. She knows he won’t have his cell phone on and she doesn’t want him to worry. She doesn’t want anyone to worry about her.

She calls me again moments later because the test results are back. She is pregnant and it is a tubal pregnancy. She needs emergency surgery. She is already bleeding internally and the pain is getting even worse. She is in shock. Her "baby" is 8 and she had her tubes tied years ago. She had long ago stopped thinking about babies and was content to just spoil mine. She still hasn’t spoken to her husband, and now she knows he will find out what is happening via voicemail. She wants him to know, but she didn’t want it to be that way. She just wishes someone was there with her and as she admits it she starts to cry and my heart rips out of my chest.

As we hastily plot who I need to call for her and what I should tell her kids, an email arrives from my cousin. An uncle is near death and she asks for prayers. When it rains, indeed. I call my other sister to bring her up to speed. We share our frustration at not being able to get to Amy, to do something more than just make phone calls. And then we cry a little over the baby that won’t be. A kidney stone would have been a nuisance. This is more of a loss.

So now I am waiting in limbo by the phone. Waiting for my parents to get to her at the hospital, through a snow storm. Waiting for her husband to get out of his meetings so he has someone to talk to besides a voicemail. Waiting for her kids to let me know they are back in the house safe and sound. Waiting for her to get out of surgery. Waiting for the punchline.

If you are inclined to prayer, could you send a few her way?


Karen said...

It's so hard to be far away during times like these.
I'm saying a prayer for you and your family.

Lumpyheadsmom said...

Jeez. I'm so sorry.

Swistle said...

Oh, that's so sad and so difficult for her, and so hard for you to not be able to get to her! Can you send flowers? I know it's not like having you there in person, but it's something tangible she can look at.

sid said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. I'll keep your sister in my prayers. Please let us know when she is fine.

Karen said...

I was checking in again this morning. Looks like you haven't had time to update yet.
We'll keep praying.

sherry said...

sweetie, I'm so sorry. I realize I'm a little late to the party, but holy man am I ever feeling for you and Amy right now.