Parades and Picnics

What’s your name? Katharine. How old are you? 36? Where are you? Riverside Methodist Hospital. Yes, here’s your Ativan and your Keppra.

“The yellow one is huge, I don’t think I can swallow it.”

“That’s the Keppra. It’s an anti-seizure med. You have to take it.”

I did. I still do. One of Keppra’s side effects is that it causes increased anxiety. Ativan can cause hallucinations. Put them together with having your skull cracked open, part of your brain scooped out and a “major hemorrhagic event” and you get me during the second and third weeks of May, 2012.

I missed a lot of things while I was in the hospital. Today (May 16, 2014), I went out to buy supplies for my first grader’s Habitat Project due next week. My eldest son did this project in first grade, too, while I was in the hospital. I’m pretty sure his diorama was cobbled together the night before with whatever Matt had on hand. Our son chose “the seashore” because we were supposed to be going to Topsail Island in North Carolina the first week of June, 2012. We didn’t go. He came out of school telling Matt “they voted mine the best project!” It was reassuring to Matt and our son that they had managed to pull off such a stellar project during such a stressful time. Later that summer, though, our son admitted that he had lied, his project hadn’t been voted the best. He just needed to make his dad (and himself) feel like he was doing a good job as life crumbled around them.

Meanwhile, our middle son was finishing up preschool. The preschool has a picnic at the end of every year. Matt, my mom and stepdad took him that year. There are no pictures. They may have taken some with their phones and even showed them to me at the hospital, but none have made it to our hard drive where all of the family photos are stored. To be fair, it was his third one. He had done the picnic at the end of the 2’s (our preschool has a program for 2-year-olds). He did it at the end of the 3/4’s. There are pictures of both of those picnics, so the missing pics from our middle son’s 4/5’s picnic shouldn’t be a big deal, right? But it is. It was his last one. He went onto Kindergarten in the fall. It was his last preschool picnic. Ever. And I wasn’t there. I was lost. I was hanging out with The Fat Boys and playing with McDonald’s IV kits. This helps explain why I absolutely freaking lost it over Facebook last week (May 2014) when I forgot this same kid’s spring concert.

Matt was doing his best, though, to get every kid to every place they were supposed to be. Remember, before all of this happened, I was Martial Arts Mom and our eldest was the youngest member of the Demo Team. They march every year in the New Albany Founder’s Day Parade. New Albany is a suburb of Columbus, not too far from where our old house was.

Oh good, I finally get to be at something important. I’ve missed so much. I hate trying to find the martial arts group in the parking lot at these parades, oh well, should be smaller than the 4th of July one, at least. Is that his group over there? It’s really hard to navigate in this hospital bed. This IV pole gets stuck on everything.

Ok, at least this bed gives me a better view than sitting in a camp chair. It’s higher. Whoa, the wheels on the bed are going to fall off the curb! I’ll end up in the street. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. Is that his group? I can’t tell if that’s the right uniform. This place is making me nervous. Maybe I can get back to the church at the beginning of the route. I need to call Matt. Phone doesn’t work. I’ll call Karla. “Karla, I’m at the Founder’s Day Parade. I can’t find Matt. Can you tell him to come get me? I’m in a hallway at the church.”

Matt says the reason I kept seeing hallways is because, well, I kept seeing hallways. The door to my room was always open. Eventually, he asked them to move my bed away from the door and closer to the window. No more hallways. Now I looked more fully out over the highway.

Traffic on the DVP is moving nicely today . . .




1 thought on “Parades and Picnics

  1. Anne

    Oh the pathos of Luke reassuring Matt that his diorama had been the best. Heartwrenching. But I’m glad traffic is moving well on the DVP for the first time in years!



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