8 weeks ago, I saw a picture on Facebook of one of my best friends from college in the hospital. Now if you are anything like me, you have a crazy life. You keep in touch with friends, pick up where you left off, but not always talk to them on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. It’s just the way it goes. It doesn’t mean you love any less. It just means people are people and we are busy and sometimes self-absorbed. Good or bad, it is what it is.
A little snip it of LP’s nature… She is caring and nurturing and will love with all of her being, but she will not ask for help. She is golden and ALWAYS the life of the party.
In saying that, I had messaged her and she said she was fine. I’m like…Nah. Something is wrong. Immediately I text her oldest daughter to find out that she was diagnosed with West Nile. WHAT? Without many answers or even understanding what was going on, I had no response. LP was not taking calls, not returning text, and all I knew was that she was in a hospital in Thibodaux (at the time). And I just accepted it. I would randomly send a text that said, “I love you” or “I’m praying for you”.
Last Thursday night was the night that I text and received a text back, “I’m being transferred to the Neurocenter in Baton Rouge.” My mind went nuts. Please know I have no clue what is going on still. Without a hitch I say, “I can be there tomorrow”. Shockingly, she said, “Please. I would love that.”
Y’all, I could not wait to leave work on Friday. As I’m driving, I have no clue what I’m about to walk in to. And listen, I am not a nurse. I suck at taking care of people. I don’t like hospitals. I am the worst at nurturing people. That, my friends, is the truth. I head up to the 6th floor. As I turn the corner to walk in her room, she is sitting in a wheelchair. The tears begin to fall, from her and me. She was doing PT, so I waited until I was given the OK to go in.
She is now back in her bed as I walk in. As I sit on the side of her bed, I am noticing her hands and feet. “LP, what is wrong?”
She said, “I can’t walk”.
Those 3 words have never hit me so hard. I swear I was like, “GET UP”, “SHOW ME”, “THERE IS NO WAY”. I had been in that room for like 4 minutes and I was like “sit up, I want to see.” She scooted herself to the edge of her bed (which she did very well) and placed her feet on the ground. They immediately curled up under her, almost looking crippled. I said, “plant your feet on the floor.” “Mitz, I can’t.” Do you know how hard this was for me? It was like Ariel from The Little Mermaid when Ursula gave her legs.
This is her 4th hospital in 9 weeks.
I knew my stay would be extended until Sunday. I wasn’t going home. We brought the party to a hospital room the size of most of your bathrooms. The first day there was a lot of fighting. She was telling me to stop, shut up, don’t call the nurse, don’t ask questions, quit making me do stuff and the list goes on. The nurse said, “are y’all sisters?” HAHA… not quite but close. By the end of Friday night, we had made lots of progress and balanced our personalities, just like the good ole days.
I could tell you all about Saturday laughing until we cried and reminiscing over college, and last year’s girl trip. I could talk about line dancing with the nurses to bring the party, making a run for her favorite food, welcoming the staff into her room like they are old friends, and being happy and grateful for what we do have. But…
I’m going to say this… One moment LP’s life was normal, and, in an instance, she lost her ability to walk, TO WALK, not broke a limb, not on crutches, but is confined to a bed. WTF? Her nervous system went bonkers. There was no warning. Her ankles may not be strong, but her spirits are. I’m not sure how strong I would be. She is making memories with wonderful people she meets every day. She is smiling (yes, there have been lots of tears). She is killing it at watching Lifetime. Her will to fight is so present to everyone. Dropping everything else in my life and coming here, is a blessing.
When you think you can’t, you can.
When life sucks, you best find something to pull you through. Feeling sorry for yourself is never an option.
At least you have a choice. You can lay around and take your health for granted or you can get your ass up and do something about it. You don’t have to stay inside, you don’t have to scoot yourself from place to place, you don’t have to depend on someone to get you in a wheelchair, you don’t have an excuse… YOU HAVE A CHOICE!