My Second Home

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I casually flipped through my magazine like I knew today had been coming, like I had been warned about tonight for months. The light peaking through the hospital blinds onto my magazine caught my attention. I wasn’t really reading it, only looking at the pictures. Since when had Lindsay Lohan been a red-head? I looked at the date of the magazine, it was from 2008. Good thing celebrity gossip wasn’t the most important thing on my mind. Mom had another medical emergency. Just like cancer the year before. People say cancer destroys everything in its path, which I agree with. But it isn’t like a tornado because you can tell when those are coming; it’s more like a moiquito. Something that could be attacking you at any moment but you don’t know about it until it’s done its damage.

Mosquitoes seemed to target my mom. My mom’s blood must have tasted like candy because those darn things could always find her. Bad things always happen to the best people. My mom is an amazing person. She’s the kind of person that you can tell anything, someone you can always count on. Kidney stones don’t care who you are either. For most people a kidney stone would be a minor mishap. For mom, it was a little more serious. Past diseases completely eliminated her immune system. Even the common cold can send mom to the hospital. This kidney stone was large enough to clog her insides and caused a huge infection. This infected was life threatening because it was blocking all the toxins from inside her from getting out. Only emergency surgery would save her. Throughout the whole surgery all I could do was pray she’d be all right. I couldn’t remember the last thing I had said to her, I think we got in a fight over something stupid that morning. I just wanted her to be all right.

It seemed like days we were waiting there in the hospital waiting room. Every move I caught out of the corner of my eye I hoped it was the doctor. After the longest wait of my life he came out. But then I had to worry about what he was going to say. Was she all right? Did something go wrong? “Are you the family?” the Doctor asked. “Yes.” My dad replied. “Everything went well, Lori is in recovery,” the Doctor said with confidence. I was so happy! Relief swept over me like a gust of wind and I smiled.

Mom shifted uncomfortably in her hospital bed and looked up at me. I smiled, and I felt a small tear of relief fall down my tired face onto my outdated magazine. This feeling of relief is the same each time I’m reassured she’s going to be alright. She was alright, so I knew everything else would be okay. “I love you” I said. Mom was unable to talk, but she managed a frail painful smile. I knew she loved me too, I, as long as she was alright, knew all my problems were fixed.

A nurse walked in like he knew mom had awakened. He introduced himself as Tom and then played with some of the tubes that ran into my mother’s neck. I counted seven. Seven little tubes that were keeping my mom alive. The tubes were not the only thing that was different about mom. She had also gained about fifteen pounds from all the liquids that had been pumped into her. Greasy red hair also fell limp and not voluminous like it usually did and her makeup was gone. She was still beautiful though.

Mom spent the next week in the hospital. Life at home was hard, but many of the woman at my church brought us dinners. Dad was working all day, so I spent most of my day at the hospital with mom. She usually was sleeping, but if she did wake-up, I wanted to be there for her.

Whenever I’m in the hospital I get this weird feeling. Maybe it’s the sterile smell or seeing the same pair of scrubs over and over that makes the place seem creepy. I know that place so well though, I knew the best vending machines, where the best wifi connection is, and even a lot of the staff. Tom and I got to know each other pretty well from the long days I spent at the hospital with mom. “So Tom, how are the kids today?” I asked one afternoon I was there.
“Ohh they're great, my youngest just lost her first tooth.” Tom excitedly said.
“What’s her name again? You have three girls, right?” I questioned.
“Yeah, I have three girls. Erica, Lynn, and Taylor.” Tom explained.
“How fun! Sounds like you’re out numbered.” I joked.
“It does seem like that at times.” Tom said with a smile. He then left the room to check on another patient. I got to know the patients around my mom’s room too and why they were in the Intensive Care Unit. Everyday mom got a little better, and we were soon able to leave the hospital.

After many more doctor visits and a few more minor surgeries to remove the stone, mom was somewhat back to normal. She lost the liquid weight, which required another surgery. Mom was super mom again, and I was so grateful. God protected mom once again, and I’m sure he’ll protect her through many more. My experiences in the hospital make it like a second home to me.





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