Thursday, August 28, 2008

4 weeks= forever

A month. It's been nearly a month since I've set fingers to keyboard, and I can't believe how much has happened in four short weeks. I am still just kind of stumbling through the days, but it's getting better.

Last time I wrote, it was two days after Mom's surgery, and she was in SICU; it was also the day after my due date. Now, I know I said I wasn't going to dwell on the whole due date issue, but events conspired to make me think about it, albeit with more humor than I thought possible. Everything that happened seemed like a weird parallel of how I envision the first month of being a new parent to be, except that I was experiencing it with my mother rather than a newborn.

Right after "birth": I was at the hospital for ages, unable to tear myself away from my helpless and needy loved one. When I did leave her side, it was to eat and sleep, and not much else.

Maternity leave is over: Finally, though, after two weeks I had to go back to work (yes, I got the permanent position, and am gainfully employed!). I cannot begin to explain the guilt that plagued me at leaving her, even though she was out of the hospital and starting to slowly get better.

The daycare guilt: What made it worse was that, for reasons far too complex to go into now but that include having someone with her part of the time while I'm at work, mom is staying with relatives. So not only do I feel guilty about leaving her, but I'm leaving her with other people who couldn't possibly take as good care of her as I could.

New parent sleep deprivation and fatigue: I go to work. I get off work, and I go to someone else's home (cousin's house where mom is) and make sure mom has dinner. I do her laundry, run her errands, try to be good company, make sure she has all her medicines, check on her physical therapy progress, and all that good stuff. Finally, I go home myself and eat whatever's quick and easy, do household chores, and fall into bed far too late. Then morning comes and I do it all over again.

Oh, and let me remind you that I have a brand spankin' new job, too. Even though I've been in this department for about four months now, I had no idea that I had only been taught about half of what the job truly entails. Apparently they didn't want to go through the trouble of fully training temps, so all of us were taught bits and pieces-- different bits and pieces-- so that all together we sorta made a whole. Now, though, I've been tossed in the deep end and am having to very quickly learn how to tread water. The frustration I've been feeling at work isn't exactly helped by my worry about mom, or my fatigue.

My first week back, when everything was super-fresh and sharp? I nearly walked out of the building, and quit my job, the guilt and desire to care for mom were so strong. It's much better now, though. I'm getting a handle on my job, although I have no spare time at work. I am literally busy every minute from 8 to 5 except for my lunch hour. I have to admit, though, that the days go by remarkably quick, being so busy.

Mom is getting better. She's been pretty good about her therapy, and has good flexion in her knee. Her need for pain meds has decreased sharply, although she still needs our friend percocet a couple of times a day. My biggest worry is her appetite; she still barely eats anything, and frequently feels nauseous whenever she eats.

Anyway, I need to get to bed, it's getting late. So now you know why I haven't written in a while; it's just been crazy around here! I had my first "day off" in a month last Saturday, and even then I was helping friends move and going to a baby shower. I am a sucker and a glutton for it, ain't I?

And now for something cryptic: D, I haven't forgotten you, I swear. Gimme 24 hours, I promise.