At the end of Monday, things didn't seem too bad, all in all. I'd gotten through my grading. As long as I managed to scrape together two midterm exams on Tuesday -- when I wasn't going to be teaching -- I'd be okay at work. I hadn't talked to Weatherwood since Friday, but in the absence of news I assumed things were keeping stable to slight improvement, as they had been. And my boobs were still sore and my eating highly disordered, so I could still pretend I was sort of pregnant, you know?
I slept horribly, though. Shivered down to sleep, then woke up in a sweat: I'd dreamed that Ricky had called to tell me that Nana had died. I lay awake for a long time, then drifted in and out of more bad dreams: nearly losing Miss T. in a train station, over and over.
Then, while it was still dark, the phone rang.
Nana wasn't dead -- and still isn't, so far as I know, as I type on a plane on Wednesay morning -- I just called Ricky from the airport -- but she took a turn for the worse, much worse, in the small hours of Tuesday morning. Her airway is collapsing to nothing. Her oxygen saturation is unmeasurable -- both because it's low and because so little blood is reaching her fingers. She has not been conscious; she shifts slightly, occasionally, and sometimes grimaces. They've given her a little morphine, a little Valium; Ricky tells me the last thing she said on Tuesday morning was that she couldn't breathe. "Her hands are ice cold."
The doctors and nurses have been saying consistently for nearly 30 hours that she only has a couple of hours to live. A priest came in to perform Last Rites yesterday morning.
They do have her on full oxygen now. I think the doctors are trying to decide what a DNR means here; I don't know how much help Ricky is with that. He's been with her round-the-clock since the crisis began.
I spent Tuesday working desperately to get myself free for the rest of the week. I wrote my exams, corralled colleagues into proctoring them, sent flagrantly ashamed e-mail to my classes explaining that I'd be away, here are the arrangements, we'll figure out how to make up the cancelled meetings later... every hour or two I called Nana's hospital room and Ricky told me that nothing had changed. "They are telling us now that it is the TB that's doing all this. Her X-rays looked just TERRIBLE. Now they're telling us that. She does have some pneumonia, but it's really the TB."
I found a miraculous one-way ticket: under $300, to the suburban airport, and only one stop -- 3 hours in Philadelphia! (I could have paid $800 to go via, say, Denver, if I'd been less lucky.) I'll figure out how to get home when -- when it's time to go home.
I scarcely slept at all last night. I'd brought a cordless up to the nightstand, and I couldn't believe it wouldn't ring.
Ricky keeps saying, when I talk to him, that "she's waiting for you to get here, man." He also keeps talking about how "she was the best mother that ever lived, and it was a gift, a gift, that I got to have her for so long."
I won't get an ultrasound on Thursday. I thought about trying to get Cornell to call in an order -- heck, the hospital my grandmother's in has a maternity department, so I could just go downstairs, right? -- but: I know it won't make a difference to the outcome whether I get one or not. So I'm going to wait until I'm home.