My mom has been in the hospital since Monday. Her symptoms remain severe weakness in her appendages and inability to sit or walk on her own. She can feel when she is touched. She can grip with strength. She can talk and eat. Her brain is not bleeding or clotting. Her spine has no apparent damage.
My sister is with us while my mom is in the hospital. My sister is mentally disabled, suffers from chronic epilepsy, and her balance and memory is still ravaged from a stroke she had four years ago. These are the pills she takes daily.
I find myself counting down her pill days to mark how long our mom has been alone in the hospital.
She doesn’t have COVID.
But we are subject to COVID’s rules. I can’t visit her. Even though I’m fully vaccinated (perks of being a caregiver for a permanently disabled adult) and even though she is virtually immobile.
This is hard. With each empty compartment on in my sister’s pill box, I find it a little harder to breathe.
I worry about her mental health. I worry about her lying there, thinking thoughts she can’t help but think, trapped in her body. How many horror stories have been written of people trapped with sound mind?
I have not told many people she is sick. Not even family. I know the people I haven’t told that I should tell don’t read my words here.
The family I have told all say one thing to me, “How hard it is for you. How great a daughter you are.”
I hate it.
I heard that same shit when my dad died.
But what else is there to say?
It has only been three nights. My heart goes out to the COVID patients and families who have to endure this for God knows how long.
I am scared of how I will be when it is time to refill my sister’s meds at the end of the week and our mom still isn’t back with us. But I can’t let myself think about it because of my sister, because of my kids.
Stranger, thank you for taking some of my fears.
For now, it is enough.