Most mothers and daughters have their respective “issues” and my daughter and I were not exceptions.
That slammed to a stop.
She called me one morning in tears, asking me to come get
her and take her to emergency. I dropped what I was doing, crossed town and
bundled her into my car.
Ten hours later she had a D and C. Much to my chagrin, they
released her that night at 10 and I once again bundled her into my car and this
time, took her home with me so I could make sure she was safe. Only she wasn’t.
Something wasn’t right. One day after the surgery I could
see where she’d be sleepy and sore, but 3 days of the same, something wasn’t
right. My daughter is stubborn. Too much for her own good, we found out. When
she wasn’t bouncing back on day 2 and 3, I said we had to call the doc. She insisted
that she wasn’t going anywhere. Day 4 she had a temperature. 103.5. I called an
Beyond anyone’s comprehension, my beautiful, intelligent
daughter had toxic shock syndrome. People of younger generations haven’t even
heard of this deadly malady, which was once associated with tampon use. In
fact, her extraordinarily competent doctors had to do a literature review
before they came to the heartbreaking conclusion that the source of the Group A
Strep, which was feeding deadly toxins into her body, was her uterus. Her uterus
needed to be removed.
Her brother, his wife, my partner and I went to see her in
the ICU before the surgery. As long as I live I will never forget the color of
her face – yellow, orange and gray. Her organs were shutting down, it was
explained to me. Her kidneys, liver, and lungs were being slayed by the toxins.
I will also never forget the tear that dribbled down her face when they said
she had just a 5 percent chance of living if she didn’t have this surgery. Before
the took her away, we gave our goodbye kisses, all terrified that it would be
the last we’d ever give her while she was alive.
It wasn’t. It was hard looking at her with the tube down her
throat when she came out of surgery as well as all the tubes and lines
connected to her body. But she was with us and was amazingly aware of much of
what was going on around her. It wasn’t fun when they took the breathing tube
out, and it wasn’t fun building up her ability to breathe without oxygen. But
she did it, exceeding everyone’s expectations about the speed of her recovery.
I have always loved Mother’s Day but this year was
astronomically special! I had a wondrous dinner with both my children. And you
know what? Those “issues” may be there, but they are miniscule in the light of
a cherished life that was on its way to being tragically snuffed out.