Monday, August 9, 2010

Pneumonia Sucks


Last night, the pneumonia turned mean.

We had the family over for supper. While a group of us had gone to see “Despicable Me” with my little nephew Jacob, hubby Joe stayed home to make his olive and cheese enchiladas and Spanish rice. It’s a popular meal with our crew.
The get-togethers are good. We’ve gathered every day since Mom died on Wednesday. For once, I didn’t care about the dust in the corners. But I felt so puny, I trundled off to bed right after supper.

Within an hour, the fever hit, with chills, aching bones, rapid and shallow breathing, plus a bunch of dramatic moaning and groaning. This went on for hours. I made a deal with myself: If the fever went over 102 degrees F, I’d go to the ER again like the paperwork from my Thursday evening visit told me to. By 2 a.m. it hadn’t done so, and the chills and pain were beginning to lessen. I got some sleep after that.

My brothers and I met Sunday afternoon to decide what we had to do next to take care of Mom’s business. Then the out-of-town family went home and I went to bed.
It has been a week since I found my mother in dire straits, and the vigil began. Everything we could do to make her passing easier, we did do. She was not left alone. She had me all through the long nights, even when it was terribly painful to bear. That gives me the gift of peace
Today would have been my parents’ 59th wedding anniversary. I’m sure Mom and Dad are celebrating it in heaven.

I’m going to hitch a ride on the Totalfeckineejit’s Poetry Bus today, driven by Jeanne of Revolutionary Revelry. She gives us three options, one of which is to partake of her recipe for Mint Julep Iced Tea and then write whatever is on our minds. Here’s my offering:

Pneumonia Sucks

1 a.m.
fever rising
chills
rattle my bones
rolling, moaning
lungs gasp
like broken bellows
no one knows
I crouch here
on the couch
everyone sleeps
safe, secure
like they were
last week while
you and I
fought for your death
three long nights
days that bled
into each other
strange I should
fight to breathe
now as if my lungs
sympathize with
yours, they re-enact
your last act
but I realize
how much I gave you
simply being
awake

31 comments:

Dianne said...

Thats it.
the middle of the night.
the sleep of the human race.
the birthpoint and the deathpoint.
the fear of alone-ness few will face.


I have rarely, but rarely, met God there.
may we teach our children and loved ones to do the same...
I love you, dear one.
Di

RNSANE said...

Beautiful, dearest Chris. Hopefully, you will recover soon. I know your mom must be looking down at you from heaven, her head all clear, and blissfully happy, at last.

Elisabeth said...

You are doing it tough. Hopefully it will pass. Your poem says it all. the price you pay perhaps for helping your mother make her final goodbye.

Gwei Mui said...

"lungs gasp
like broken bellows"
Fighteningly real description
"strange I should
fight to breathe
now as if my lungs
sympathize with
yours, they re-enact
your last act
but I realize
how much I gave you
simply being
awake"
Such an emotional, painful journey, written with such dignity and compose.

Brian Miller said...

ack. sorry you are not feeling well...hopefully this is quickly passing...caring for someone does take so much out o you...

how was dispicable me...we have been holding off on th boys until we heard...

Scott said...

now Chris, honey... my friend... Didn't I ask you to take care of yourself? lol Kidding of course. I hope this thing runs it's course quickly. It's no wonder, with all you've been through...

Be well, God bless, you're in my thoughts today.

Syd said...

I am glad that you are feeling better. Take care of yourself. Good that your family has been there and all were together to honor your mother.

Birdie said...

Chris, may be well soon! In deed you gave your mom the most precious gift by holding her hand when she left ... it so touches my heart! hugs!!

Erratic Thoughts said...

Chris,you are such a sport...
I don't know how you managed to write this superb piece, but I really look up to you...You are an inspiration :)

I really hope you feel better by the day...:)

Patty said...

I hope you are able to rest and let yourself heal inside and out now, Chris. The pneumonia is trying to tell you something.....Stop,Drop & Roll! The last thing you need is to wind up in the hospital yourself. OK done lecturing now. Love and prayers to you!

P.S. Sorry I spelled your name wrong the other day (Kris) where did I get that from?

The Bug said...

I was going to make a comment about how the pneumonia was kind of an afterthought of what you went through with your mom - & here you make the connection yourself. I don't know why I thought you wouldn't :)

Lovely, raw poem. But I hope you feel better soon!

TechnoBabe said...

What a wonderful poetic moment even before the poem: "August 9 would have been my parents’ 59th wedding anniversary. I’m sure Mom and Dad are celebrating it in heaven."
That is beautiful. You have been on my mind so much this week. I hope you recover from the pneumonia now that you are taking care of less people and less business. Please take care of YOU. Hugs.

Alan Burnett said...

Pneumonia - not nice at all. Your poem - just the opposite. Take care. Get well.

Helen said...

This has to be one of the most cathartic pieces I've read. Please take good care of yourself ... you have been through an ordeal that can wreak havoc on the healthiest immunity system.

Magpie said...

The poem is such a painfully beautiful description...well done. I hope you are well soon and that your mind and body find respite from your recent pain.
PS I loved Despicable Me. Did you get to enjoy it?

Argent said...

Tender and realistic at the same time - a tough balancing act which you have pulled off well.

Get strong and well soon.

Monkey Man said...

Sometimes life doesn't understand the meaning of "no piling on". Hope you get to feeling better. Loved your poem. I feel for you.

Niamh B said...

Wow Chris, this is really beautiful, and honest.

Prayer Girl said...

So many nice comments here. Not much I can add. I think I'll just say you continue to be in my thoughts and my prayers.

PG

Karen said...

Take care of yourself, first of all. That's you new mission. Get physically well; get emotionally better. Believe that you are everything you ever needed to be. And mean it.
xoxoxo

Enchanted Oak said...

"Despicable Me" was oodles of fun and I had a four-year-old with me who was entertained without being scared. Gru is a wonderful character. The minions are silly and fun. The villain is ridiculous. I'm glad I saw it.

My doctor, the wunderkind who once said "Wow" when he looked in my ear, said today when he listened to my lungs, "There's nothing there!" I like him for being on my level.

the walking man said...

It was good of you to stay with your mother in her final days and ease her journey. I know many who could not, would not do that for their parent.

I for one want to be alone, God and me and let them left behind simply find me cold. Then call the university to come get the body.

Read CONFESSION by Bukowski. Greatest Love/Death poem ever written: bar none.

Georgina Dollface said...

It's time to take care of you now. Rest, eat, laugh, cry, repeat. - G

Marion said...

What beautiful poetry you write, Chris...I'm amazed, especially since you are so ill!

I'm so glad you were with your Mom when she died. The experience will stay with you for the rest of your life...in a really good way.

Get really well very soon!

Jeanne Iris said...

Oh Chris, this is a true treasure! Every word written with love and sympathy. Thank you!

Titus said...

Yes, with Jeanne Iris. A heart talking.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

I am sorry about the sucky pneumonia.

I hope you are restored to health as this is being typed!

Dominic Rivron said...

Reading through this evening I'm sorry I did'nt drop by sooner. As one who has lost a parent, I think know exactly what you mean by "Everything we could do to make her passing easier, we did ... even when it was terribly painful to bear." It is all one can do in the face of death. It is our only tangible comfort. My thoughts are with you.

Dominic Rivron said...

Oh, and I hope you're beginning feeling better! I had pneumonia when I was younger (I put it down to teenage smoking). Horrible business.

Jen said...

Chris,
I am so sorry about your mom and everything else you're dealing with right now. Many blessing to you--and prayers for healing.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Sorry about your MUM and your pneumonia, sorry I haven't visited very much recently

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