I am heading into the third week of coughing my lungs out. I am so tired of being sick. I felt that raspiness in my lungs and that scares me so I think I might head to the doctor tomorrow. I had pneumonia once before and I was so afraid that I might end up in the hospital.
When I was pretty young, maybe ten, my mom got pneumonia. I remember she had been coughing a lot, but it didn't seem any more serious than a regular cold. Then one day we came home from school and Grandma was there instead of Mom. She told us Mom was very sick and in the hospital. We were so scared! Mom had been in the hospital before, but it had always been to have a baby...not to be sick...not to maybe die! We moped around for the rest of the day.
Grandma got us off to school again, but we couldn't concentrate on such unimportant things as homework. After school we pestered Grandma until she finally drove us the fifteen minutes to the hospital. When we got there, we were devastated to find out that we couldn't even see Mom! Kids were not allowed in hospital rooms then even during visiting hours.
Grandma left us in the waiting room and she went back to talk to Mom by herself. After a few minutes she came back out and beckoned for us to follow her out the doors of the hospital. Our heads drooped as we dragged our feet toward Grandma's car.
It took us a minute to realize that Grandma wasn't heading for the car. She was walking around the side of the hospital. Now remember, we grew up in a small town that didn't even have its own hospital, but the one in the next town was small and all on one floor. Grandma put a finger to her lips and stepped up to the nearest window. She quietly rapped on the glass.
The curtains pulled back to reveal our mom! She was wearing a hospital gown and she had an oxygen tank with little tubes up her nose. Her hair was pull back in a messy pony tail and she looked tired and ill. But we were so happy to see her that to us she never looked more beautiful!
She pushed up the window and reached out and held our hands and told us she loved us and missed us. We told her we were afraid she was going to die and she said she couldn't possibly die yet because no one at our house knew how to change the toilet paper roll but her. (I know, silly, but true.)
We stayed with her for a few minutes and then reluctantly waved goodbye. She was in the hospital for about a week before she came home. I'd like to say that we were perfect children for her after that while she was recovering, but I'm sure it wasn't true.
I did take a few minutes to figure out how to change the toilet paper roll, but I never told her that. Then she might have had a reason to die. And at that point in my life, I really needed her.