The day started like any other. I shut off my alarm, read in bed, took a pill, read the paper in front of my lightbox, ate breakfast. Then the phone rang.
Emergencies are never easy, but apparently they’re even harder for me these days. In addition to the mental and emotional strain, there’s also the physical strain. The second I heard my mother’s voice, the adrenaline started rushing. I knew it was her parents. I called to get a doctor over there immediately, then stopped to think for a moment. I couldn’t leave the house without taking my pills, so I took my pills. What next? Clothes, I should probably get dressed. For 10 minutes I hardly knew what I was doing, but somehow I got clothes on, called my sister, got water (because I knew I couldn’t afford to get dehydrated today) and ran out the door. There are other things I would have done if the day had gone as planned, but suddenly I was going to my grandparents’ place 2 hours early and in a panic.
The drive over takes 20-30 minutes, depending on traffic. Today I got there in 15 minutes. I hit every light on the green but one. That never happens. And, um, I may have driven 80+mph the whole time I was on the highways. But I was careful. I signaled, I didn’t cut people off, I paid extra close attention. My energy was waning before I even got there.
By the time I arrive, they were bandaged up. There were no broken bones from the falls, just a lot of blood. Some of the health problems they already had were exacerbated and had to be taken care of. My parents and I ran around taking care of them, making sure they were ok, cleaning up the blood, calling the necessary relatives. It was exhausting, but I couldn’t not do it. I was relieved it wasn’t worse, but I was still worried. It was physically and emotionally draining, but so what? I ignored my body as much as I could.
We were all there earlier than we had originally planned for Mother’s Day, so we just stayed. It was hours of attentiveness, running around, and forced cheerfulness. We left early in the afternoon so they could rest and we moved on to my mother’s part of Mother’s Day. Some day for her. She was amazing though, taking care of her parents and also checking to make sure I was ok.
I held it together all day somehow. I spent more time sitting in the afternoon than anyone else did, but I made it. I wanted my own mother to have a good Mother’s Day, at least what was left of it, so I pushed through. I hadn’t brought food with me, so thanks to the gluten-free diet and the limited options, my diet was lousy. By mid-afternoon, I was fading fast. Just driving home was hard, but when I finally arrived, there was an obvious lack of good food options. I would have gotten take-out, but I couldn’t think of a place to get gluten-free food that wouldn’t be out of the way. No, I was just too tired. I cobbled together something meal-like and collapsed in front of the tv. The adrenaline was long gone. It took a while before I had enough energy to take out my laptop and do some typing. Getting off the couch was just too much effort. In fact, if I hadn’t drunk so much water (and therefore had to get up to go to the bathroom) I probably would have never gone to the computer tonight.
This was one hell of a day and definitely not what I expected. I’m paying for it now, and I have no doubt I’ll be paying for it tomorrow too, but I’m just so glad that my grandparents are ok. Life is hard. Chronic health issues suck. But having a great family makes it all so much better. Hopefully there won’t be another emergency any time soon, but at least if there is, I’ll know what my body is capable of.