Did I ever tell you how the Blessed Virgin Mary helped me through one of the worst times in my entire life? After I had what doctors think may have been a heart attack, I was stuck in hospital with a breathing tube in my throat and a feeding tube in my nose for three weeks in an ICU. Normal people are unconscious while intubated. I don’t mean just during the process of having the tubes put in place. I mean, the whole time they have those things in there. Do you know why? Because a normal person cannot stand to have tubes in places where tubes ought not be!
So how does a normal person cope with such a thing? I dunno but I know how I coped with it. I coped with it by taking the meds the nurses gave me. Only I did not do what I was supposed to do. I did not go to sleep and sleep through the whole thing. Oh, no, not me. I was wide awake most of the time I was in there. Wide awake and talking. Well, writing furiously on a clipboard, that is. And by furiously I mean laboriously and all but illegibly. I was determined to ask my questions, get answers, and make my ‘druthers known.
Oh, but the meds they give you! Lord, have mercy, but those meds mess with your mind! I still have plans to write a horror novel based on what I experienced in the ICU. They didn’t do anything horrible to me but my mind went on an excursion and it was out there, man, it was out there. Oy!
How does the Virgin Mary fit into all of this? She held my hand and kept me from totally freaking out. A (Baptist) chaplain gave me a Rosary—well, she thought it was a Rosary, it was really a little chaplet, but it was all I had those first three weeks and I was happy to have it. (All I had with me during most of my hospital stay were my glasses and my phone.) I held onto that little chaplet as if it were a liferaft and I was drowning. I couldn’t pray it, I could only hold it and ask the Blessed Mother to help me. That was my prayer, all of it, all I could manage. Just “Help me, help me, help me,” over and over.
And help me she did. Through the pain of being left flat on my back for three solid weeks without turning me once, the pain of not being able to move around or even sit up by myself even after they took out the tubes, the pain of humiliation of being treated like a little baby, and pain of hallucination, not knowing where I was or what was happening to me for those three weeks. Hey, I said I was awake, I didn’t say I was lucid. Oy. Vey.
I probably should not have watched that Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined) series so many times. I’ll explain that cryptic statement in another post. It’s getting late and I want to get this up on the blog. (I started today’s post four different ways, four different topics, before this post said, “Hey, you, write me, how about it?” So I did.)