March 1, 2004

Babies and Chemo

Random Quotes Heard In Hospital:
“Did you bring your teeth? Do you want to put them in now or just leave them out?”
“Well, you should be happy. You’re peeing very well!”

I’ve been in the hospital much of the afternoon and evening. Before you get worried, I assure you that it wasn’t for me. My mother-in-law had to undergo a pretty serious operation but I’m happy to report that all’s well.

The area of the hospital in which we were waiting during the operation served as both the women’s health wing as well as the labor and delivery center. Babies! Out of control amounts of babies, I tell you! There were newborns everywhere along with plenty of happy looking mothers and new, nervous fathers arriving with brand new car seats. Some still had the price tags on them. One new mother on her way home with her daughter sat down next to us. “Is this your first?” we asked. “No. This is my second,” she replied. “I think its easier with the second because at least you have some idea what to do.” And her daughter looked happy. As happy as a new, pink, wrinkled baby can look.

When my mother-in-law was delivered from post-op to her room, we waited while she was made comfortable, arranged in the bed and hooked up to a myriad of machines, the purposes of some I can only guess. While we were waiting, I walked by open hospital rooms. One woman was receiving chemotherapy – I heard her discussing her loss of hair with a nurse. Another couldn’t seem to keep water down. And in the private waiting room was a frustrated, defeated looking man who was carrying around a haphazardly arranged stack of paper. I glanced at them out of the corner of my eye. They were forms for Arlington Cemetery.

It’ll sound cliché – the precarious balance of life and death and the struggles in between that I saw in the hallways of the hospital this evening. Death, as I wrote last week, scares me. Of course, I’m sure it scares everyone to a certain degree. But what amazes me – absolutely astounds me – is the power that people seem to be able to find to fight it and, in many cases, overcome it. Cute babies and chemo…it’s a strange, scary and mystifying world we’re living in.

My mother-in-law? She’s awake and doing fine. There’ll be a long recovery time but its nothing she can’t handle.

Posted by Chris at March 1, 2004 7:52 PM

Glad to hear your mother-in-law is doing well. I'll say a prayer for you all. Covering all bases.

Posted by: Krush at March 1, 2004 8:00 PM

glad to hear your mom-in-law is doing well, even though the recovery will be long. hospitals have always scared me to death. I just never had any good experiences in them.

Posted by: Jessica at March 1, 2004 8:26 PM

Glad to hear that everything is okay. It's amazing how a short time even just visiting the hospital can make you grateful for the simple things.

Posted by: feisty girl at March 1, 2004 9:04 PM

I'm glad to hear that she is doing alright.

and as for the quotes heard in the hospital.. veeeerry interesting :) The first one gave me giggles.

Oh yes, one more thing.. the verdict on Diet Coke with Lime: 2 thumbs up!! yummm

Posted by: Katie at March 1, 2004 11:59 PM

I am glad to hear the MIL is okay. What a strange place to put her though. I guess I am just used to be sectioned off in the 'neuro' wing so I pretty much always have the same kind of roommate and never see what you saw. It is always nice to hear that one is peeing well though. :) You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted by: Hunter at March 2, 2004 12:59 AM

Glad she's going to be OK! I don't like hospitals. The last time I was there, I was visiting my grandma in law (is that a word? :) . I hated it. She was placed in an area with many old people, coughing, crying, screaming. I guess the baby area is much more fun to be in :))

Posted by: Sweety at March 2, 2004 2:46 AM

I'm glad everything went ok for your mother in law.
I really felt what you were saying in this post, that is quite the combination of areas that you experienced. I've seen two people close to me fight for their lives in the past 6 months or so, and its amazing what the human body will do sometimes when its given challenges.

Posted by: Dana at March 2, 2004 6:45 AM

Glad to hear your mother-in-law is doing well. Wishes for a speedy recovery!

Posted by: Kristi at March 2, 2004 8:52 AM

Prayers for your family...

Posted by: wlfldy at March 2, 2004 9:25 AM

Glad your mother-in-law is doing well. Great entry.

Posted by: gesikah at March 2, 2004 9:26 AM

MIL's always seem to be tough old birds ;) great that all's going well.
you have inspired a future post in me about an experience i had once. Have even writen in down to remember it!

Posted by: fluffy at March 2, 2004 11:51 AM

good to hear your mother-in-law is doing fine. it is an interesting balance. one that never really gets easier to handle. but it is miraculous, the strength some people find when they've been beaten down for so long. you sometimes wonder where they find it.

Posted by: sarah at March 2, 2004 5:33 PM

it's excellent news that your mother-in-law is better. i'll keep them in my prayers!

Posted by: Maureen at March 2, 2004 7:11 PM

i, too, am happy for you and your MIL;

if you get the chance and can find it,
read a Lorrie Moore story titled,
"People Like That Are The Only People Here"

Posted by: stacy at March 2, 2004 7:26 PM

Glad to hear she is doing well!

Posted by: Rachel in Alaska at March 4, 2004 3:55 PM