We left Atlanta on a mission to surprise our son-in-law returning from Iraq to Rhode Island, with our daughter and one month old grandson. Our good friend had been in an accident a week earlier and was still in ICU at University Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. His fiancé was without a car having gone up to be with him and staying, so the logical thing to do was take our daughter’s car and leave it for her, say hello and keep on our trip to arrive before the plane.
We arrived around midnight. Catie and the grandson of course couldn’t come into ICU, so Kelly and I slipped in briefly to see Athan, gave Sheila the car keys and away we went, only we made it to the van and no further.
The last thing I remember was Catie asking if she was ever going to get to drive my new van, then I woke up on a stretcher in the Emergency Department with a nurse leaning over me saying, ‘Welcome back, you had a seizure, do you know where you are?’ I nodded and knew the protocol questions for postictal patients after a seizure, so I diligently answered.
The dreaded news came and I was groggy, but clear enough to know what it meant, around 0400, the doctor was leaning on the rail and told us I had a mass in my right frontal lobe, that he could pack up all my CD’s and records and send us to Emory in Atlanta or we could stay there for treatment. I don’t even think Kelly and I made eye contact, in surround sound we answered together, ‘We’re here now,’ and so that was it, he went on to consult the neurosurgeon.
Around 0700 Kelly and Catie started making the calls to my mom and family to rally the troops. Her friend and parents brought up the younger siblings so that we could all be together for my surgery and another close friend living near Knoxville came over, so the entire weekend, I was surrounded by family, church family and family without DNA.
We sat the kids around the bed and I explained what was going to happen very clinically. I told them everyone would react differently and we’d have to be patient with each other and understanding. After being a difficult patient, I am totally owning up to being difficult, but I really wanted to see my grandson and asked to speak to the house supervisor, I was allowed to see him for a moment, held him, kissed him and then Catie had to be ushered away quickly, most if not all hospitals don’t all children under 12 on the floor.
Kelly stepped out and I being a typical nurse got on the computer to look up brain tumors, Glioblastomas and saw the statistics, one year 46%, three years 10%, and five years 1%. When Kelly returned I was crying, full wail, he saw and closed my laptop, took my phone and posted to Facebook I was officially in timeout and on restriction until further notice.
One last look at the world before emerging as ~ Liz 2.0