Friday, February 2, 2007

Today's Phone Conversations

#1 My morning call to Steven's mother, same as every morning.

ME: Good morning, how's the patient.

JACKIE: Dying Jessica, my baby's dying

ME: I'm so sorry

JACKIE: He only wakes up to moan and we got the second opinion and there's no way to treat the cancer because the chemo will kill him and there's no way to live through the cancer and...

ME: Do you know you're a wonderful mother and Steven loves you?

JACKIE: Honey I've gotta be strong

ME: You are strong and I love you

JACKIE: I love you baby. Will you call his sisters for me?

ME: Sure. I'll see you later I've really gotta go.

*Click* and I throw up

#2

ME: Hi honey, it's Jessica, Steven's friend in Los Angeles

STEVEN'S SISTER: Hi, how are you?

ME: Sugar, it's time

SS: I know, Momma told me but we're real afraid to fly

ME: I know but it's time to buck up and pack your stuff

SS: That's what Momma said. But we've never flown before

ME: The boys will get you a ticket, you just pack

SS: Pack what?

ME: Clothing and shoes, we'll make sure you have everything else

SS: Shampoo...

ME: Just pack your clothes and get on a plane. Have you spoken to your mother? I mean really spoken lately?

SS: What do you mean?

ME: Before you come see Steven you really need to know a few things and your daughter probably shouldn't come to the hospital.

SS: Okay, I'll call Momma.


#3

ME: Hi Jackie

JACKIE: Hi Sugar

ME: You've got the next 24 hours to tell your daughters that Steven has AIDS.

JACKIE: I think you're overstepping your bounds a little...

ME: I love Steven and I know you love your daughters but if one of them walks into this room and kisses him on an open sore she'll have HIV, do you understand how serious this is????

JACKIE: We just do things a little different....

ME: I have their phone numbers and I'm picking them up from the airport and even if you hate me forever I will NOT let them walk into that hospital room without knowing that they have to take precautions when they touch their brother.

JACKIE: I wish you wouldn't

ME: I know you don't believe me but this is out of love. I don't want your son's disease killing your daughters.

JACKIE: I'll do it

ME: I know you will


#4 The phone rings

SISTER NUMBER TWO: How long have you known?

ME: Since '92

SIS 2: Why didn't you tell me

ME: He didn't want you to know

SIS 2: That's not fair

ME: I know and I'm sorry. I did it because I loved him and wanted to respect his wishes

SIS 2: What about our wishes?

ME: My relationship is with Steven.

silence

ME: Do you still want me to pick you up from the airport tomorrow?

SIS 2: Yes

ME: It's okay if you need to be mad at me. I'm very angry too but not with you

SIS 2: I'm not angry

ME: But it's okay if you are. This really sucks

SIS 2: I've never been on a plane before

ME: I know. There's a lot of us here who love Steven and we'll help you if you let us.

SIS 2: I still think you should have told us.

ME: I know.

And she hangs up.

This is more than Steven's family is prepared for.

Bedsores have turned into festering chasms and all he does is moan in pain.

His friends fight the impulse to smother him with a pillow because anyone who loves him would want him to die.

I go to sleep tonight praying for his pain to end.

I'm thankful that his sisters won't flirt with death.

I need to call my brother and tell him I love him.

***** UPDATE ******

Phone rings

STEVEN'S 14 YEAR PARTNER

PARTNER: What did you do?

ME: What do you mean?

PARTNER: Why did you make her say it?

ME: Because someone had to

PARTNER: That was a dying man's last wish

ME: Tough shit and I don't care if you're mad.

PARTNER: It's not fair....

ME: Did you have sex with him?

PARTNER: This isn't sex

ME: You didn't have sex with him because you didn't want to die and right now kissing him is a death wish

PARTNER: They're not gonna kiss him

ME: Now, they're not gonna kiss him now

PARTNER: Everyone's really mad at you

ME: Okay, at least they'll be alive
PARTNER: Are you gonna pick me up on the way to the airport tomorrow?

ME: Of course

PARTNER: I love you but I'm really angry

ME: Okay


Click

8 comments:

Kenn Chaplin said...

Oh, POH, this is shaping up to be a helluva weekend.

I send my best wishes westward with the sun as it sets.

Kenn

googiebaba said...

I am sending you my best wishes as well. It looks like the family has you doing all of the hard work.

Anonymous said...

being an advocate while someone is dying is the most physically, mentally and emotionally draining thing one can do...i have done it twice as i know housewife has done it before as well. but it is also the kindest thing one can do...and doing with 2 small kids is 1000 times harder (been there too). it is a thankless job...except for the person whom is dying...and that gift you are giving dean, and his family.
it is beyond kind, and i commend you and send you a million hugs and wishes for peace for all involved.
i love you...mrs. d

Mamma said...

You are an angel here on earth for playing the difficult role you are playing. Positive thoughts are flowing in your direction. I can't imagine the strength this has taken.

Housewife said...

Thanks ladies but at this point I'm doing what the hospital and "friends" either can't or won't.

I'm alerting people to the fact that his puss oozes HIV, don't touch it.

I find it reprehensible that our allowances for patient privacy would allow someone to contract the virus.

I'm betraying my friend and choosing his sisters over him.

Rosie said...

I'm so sorry you and your friend's family are going through through this.

I'm really surprised the hospital infection control doesn't have him in contact isolation. When I was hospitalized with a lot of dangerous nonsocomials no one could enter my hospital room without suiting up with masks and gloves. I know retrovirus' are extremely fragile, but still.

Green said...

You are a good, good pissed off housewife. They are lucky to have you.

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