Monday, April 22, 2013

Mother Brain #1

mother - noun - a term of address for a female parent or a woman having or regarded as having the status, function, or authority of a female parent.

brain - noun - the part of the central nervous system enclosed in the cranium of humans and other vertebrates, consisting of a soft, convoluted mass of gray and white matter and serving to control and coordinate the mental and physical actions.

mother brain - noun, verb, adjective - The new brain your original brain is replaced with after you have kids. Change typically due to stress, sleep deprivation and constantly hearing, "MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY!"

Example: The other day the family and I decided to go out. I thought I'd put some effort into myself so I did my hair, put on make up, picked out nice clothes and went so far as to put on jewelry. Of course, I ended up leaving the house wearing slippers on instead of real shoes.

Welcome to Mother Brain.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

One Year

One year ago today, my younger brother Ty died. I've been going back and forth on whether or not I should blog about it. I honestly didn't (and as I actually write this, still don't) want to write about it because writing about things forces you to relive those things. Good or bad.

But then I started to wonder if I would regret not writing about it. So here I am. I want to say upfront that I don't want anyone to feel obligated to comment. I like keeping things shiny and happy but let's face it, sometimes life just gives you lemons that refuse to become lemonade no matter how "Pollyanna" you try to be about it.

So here it is...

Ty, the December before the accident
As most of you know, my brother was in a coma for 5 days. On the fifth day the surgeon told us there was no hope and we needed to decide about taking him off of life support and letting him go. For those of you that haven't experienced the whole life support thing with a loved one (and I sincerely hope you haven't and never will), it ain't like in the movies where the nurse cuts off the machine and you sit in a perfectly lighted room, full of flowers and soft music as the machine starts it's beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

Well, maybe it is like that for some people but everything changes when the person is an organ donor. See, they only have a certain amount of time once the person passes to "harvest" so since Ty was on life support and a donor, we had to go to the operating room to say our final goodbyes.

One year later, the timing isn't so clear. I think he was scheduled to be taken off the machines around 4:00 in the afternoon. But when it was 4:00, it had to be delayed because the surgeon got an emergency call. You know, once you've waited 5 days for something to change, once you've had the 5th night to decide you have to be okay with what's happening, once you've sat for hours waiting for it to be over, to be told you now have to wait longer is agony. But waited we did.

Right before going "downstairs"
They wheeled him out of his room with myself and my parents following. Nurses moved out of the way and people gave us sympathetic stares. I almost expected them to yell out, "Dead man rolling!" Then they had us wait in a tiny room with counselors while they removed the tubes from his throat.

We each had a handler. Well, they didn't call themselves that, that's just what I thought of them as, we each got one assigned to us and they were very sweet and good at their jobs but if I thought waiting with him in his room was bad, having to sit in that claustrophobic room with 3 strangers talking about death and "better places" and all that jazz while my parents cried and cried was even worse.

Because we were going into the OR, we had to wear head to toe scrubs, including masks. And while I get it, I know we had to wear it, it sucked...we couldn't even be comfortable while Ty died. Breathing through that mask and trying to keep it together was...whatever, it was what it was.

Ty had a time limit within which to die. If he didn't die in time, they couldn't harvest his organs and he would be wheeled up to another floor to die there. So he didn't even get the luxury of taking his time to die. Ty breathed on his own for almost 45 minutes. For almost 45 minutes we stood there, in a cold, dark operating room, gathered around him, my mother crying over his body, my dad crying out, "Oh Jesus, oh Jesus, oh Jesus....", the counselors rubbing our backs and the surgeon watching the clock.

Almost 45 minutes, watching his chest go up and down, I can still hear the rattle, the force of his breath as he struggled to...I don't know what...let go? Hang on? Just breathe? Almost 45 minutes, "Jesus", up and down went his chest, "Jesus", trying to keep my breath in that surgical mask, in those scrubs, mentally begging him to just let go before I started screaming. Counselors rubbing my back, telling me it would be okay, rubbing rubbing, be okay, "Jesus", be okay....I wanted to throw something at them. Anything to get them to shut up. Anything to get out of there, anything to stop the sounds of my parents crying, the sounds of his chest-rattling breath, the tick tick tick of the clock the surgeon kept staring at....tick tick tick tick tick tick.

My hand was on his chest when he finally stopped breathing. One minute he breathed, the next he just didn't. Oh, right he's a donor so whisk whisk whisk us out of the OR they did...."thanks for coming, we've got work to do so out out out", whooshhhhhhhhhhhhhhh the counselors showed us the door, found our things and pulled out their best airline stewardess "buh-bye now, thanks for dying with us, buh-bye, buh-bye now, buh-bye, thanks for dying with us..."

So we left. All the waiting, the praying, the hoping, the acceptance, so long it took to happen but once it did, we left. It was the day before Easter when he died. And I left the hospital, got home and then had to dye Easter eggs with Toot. Just that simple, Life started up again. No time to grieve or mourn or shake my fist, no time, no time. Eggs to dye, dinner to make, life to live.

Buh-bye now. Buh-bye.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Chicken Feet

Hi everyone!

So I did a canvas:

You can read more about how I made it on the Gauche Alchemy blog. :) But it was pretty simple. I took the photograph on the canvas, just a shot of some chickens and doll feet. Doesn't everyone take pictures of chickens and doll feet? :P

This past year has been a difficult one for me but I'm trying to get back in the swing of things. I hope everyone is doing well!