For Joy

I never expected to make the journey that pulls you toward helplessness and illness and demands you step up. The journey that structures your life around spoon feedings during Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune and whatever else crawls across the tv while you’re coaxing your loved one to eat. It was a journey of patience and perseverance, of constant advocacy for excellence of care, of schedules and massages, hair brushing and body-turning. It was a journey of acceptance for the inevitable but without a thought of giving up. It was a journey I was honored to travel, one in which I … Continue reading For Joy

Telemetry, 3rd Floor

BONG. BONG. BONG…………..beep! I’ve forgotten how to sleep all I can think is scrambled eggs and biscuits Beep! Beep!! Beep!!! I rub my feet together but sleep won’t come Are 3 beeps more urgent than 1? _____________________ I spent last night in the hospital with a loved one where I got about 45 minutes of sleep all night. This morning I feel zombified but, on the bright side, I wrote three poems and began a short story/flash fiction during those sleepless hours. This one is all about last night. Poem shared on dVerse Poet’s Pub, an online community where poets … Continue reading Telemetry, 3rd Floor

It’s the Waiting That Kills You

Sometimes you talk, sometimes you don’t, sometimes you want to but can’t. You watch the numbers on all the machines that are supporting her life, you note them and compare them to the numbers from the day before, the week before and the month before. You wash her face, lubricate her lips and wait for the few precious seconds she opens her eyes and wonder if it’s just a reflex or a reaction to your voice. You lotion up her hands and feet then rotate them and stretch out her fingers. You leave the room after the 30 minute visiting … Continue reading It’s the Waiting That Kills You

The Waiting Room

Twilight from closed curtains is soothing for sleep deprived eyes. Quiet whispers, families contemplate ventilators, sedated loved ones and impending doctor visits. Sweet cleaning lady empties the trash cans of crumpled coffee cups and “breakfast on the go” bags, swabs the wet floor of steamy bathrooms recently cleansing the tired bodies and flagging spirits of the ones who live in the waiting room. It’s 11:00, time for the second visit of the day and the ritual walk down the long hall to the SICU. Continue reading The Waiting Room

Baby Steps

We placed the brick pavers one by one, red the color of old blood, in between discussions of surgical drainage, catscans and ventilators. Six one day, four the next, none for a week when the fever rose and the blood pressure dropped and the white blood count was more than twice the normal value. I watch as the path grows and think a lot about the color of the pavers like the color of her heart, the toughness of the brick like the toughness of her character and the slow progression that mimics her daily life in ICU. The garden … Continue reading Baby Steps