A Steroid: A Short Story

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So there I sat, in the back seat of my mother’s car as we start our way to dinner, with my arms crossed, lips puckered, huffing and puffing, staring out the back passenger window. I was mad, in fact livid. I wanted to kick and scream. Was I three years old? No, I just acted like it. I was, a grown woman, just a stomp short of a tantrum and furious with my mom. You see, she had just come out of the hospital a couple weeks before where the doctor informed her that if she smoked one more cigarette it could be her last. It could literally kill her. My mother had smoked all her life, from the age of 14 to then 47, and for the last two weeks was desperately trying to quit. Now, knowing this same information, her friend jumps in the seat…show more content…
She’s my mother, my best friend. I was mad but not heartless. When I walked into her ICU room she was relaxed in her bed with her face and body swollen like a balloon from the steroids. She had hoses and cords all over the place; oxygen in her nose, IV in her hand, heart monitor on her chest and ribs, and oxygen monitor on her forefinger. There was also an oxygen mask hanging from the side of the bed connected to a huge machine. I learned that it forced a higher concentration of air when used. It took every bit of energy and breath she had just to sit up. A conversation for her was greatly labored, having to pause every couple of words to catch her breath. She shared with me how she had been treated there. There were only one or two nurses that treated her like a person. The rest seemed to treat her worse than an animal. She could barely shift herself around in the bed due to shortness of breath, leaving her next to immobile. Therefore she actually relied on their assistance to accomplish the simplest things. She didn’t seem to be doing well at…show more content…
When asked where she was going she said, “I am going to get Grandma, she needs me.” Well, my grandmother had passed several years back so this really caught me off guard. The nurse explained that she had very little oxygen going to the brain and it was making her disoriented and delusional. After assuring her that she didn’t need to go anywhere I persuadingly said, “Mom, why don’t you just lay down and rest? Why don’t you take a nap?” I gathered up the things from around her lap and just patted her gently on the hand to comfort her while she leaned back into the bed. Her oxygen level was extremely low so they had put the oxygen mask on her that forced air into the lungs. She lay resting and quickly drifted off to sleep. She slept for hours while my sister and I sat by her side. Periodically nurses would come in taking note of her stats. Later in the evening a nurse came in and asked, “Would you like us to turn the oxygen off now?” Confused, I asked her to repeat herself. When she did, I quickly responded in a very offended tone, “Why the hell would you turn the oxygen off, she needs it to breath?” The nurse hung her head and walked out of the
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