It was a long night in the ICU. Finally having been admitted Edward’s mother had been assigned to a room in the ICU. Edward knew the ICU was never a good place to be in, but he felt relieved that his mother was being watch and was receiving the care that she desperately needed. A feeling of dread was hanging over him as he watched her sleep. The room was filled with devices monitoring Edward’s mother’s breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate, each with it’s own cycle of electronic beeps. At least she wasn’t in pain at the moment he thought, and despite this being a county hospital she had received decent care so far. The horror stories of the uninsured was what had worried Edward. It was a long night and road to get to this place. His siblings had all went home and he sat alone in the ICU listening to the electronic rhythm of his mother’s heart monitor. It was 4:15 in the morning and his cell phone was about to die with 10 percent left. The only person he thought of calling was Ivy. He had tried reaching her but for some reason it went to voicemail. Was she out with Liam? Did she fall asleep? Was she still pissed at him for the way he acted the last time he saw her at the office? His thought fell into a chaotic storm as he thought of all the possibilities. His previously feelings of jealousy was overshadowed by his concern for his mother. He tried to get some sleep before the next nursing shift change, which was at 5 AM, but sleep wasn’t an option at the moment. No matter how hard he tried he couldn’t stop going through all the possible scenarios that could have prevented his mother from being her at this moment. What if I didn’t work so much? What if I would have visited more? What if I would I would have made her go to her doctor’s appointments? Edward cycled through these thoughts for hours, but knew there wasn’t a point to it all. His mother was here. She was very sick and whatever the doctor’s find it will not be good. Exhausted he fell asleep in the small vinyl recliner next to his mother’s bed.
Edward again woke up to the vibrating alert of his cell phone. This time it was his sister. He knew she was calling to come relieve him from his shift at the hospital. Quietly his lifted himself out of the chair and walked out of his mother’s room. The outside area was a flurry of activity with the nurses getting ready for their shift change. Edward found a vacant room across the hall from his mother’s room so he could take his sister’s call. “Hello.” “Hi Edward. How’s mom?” “She’s still sleeping. The nurses are changing shift, but I still haven’t talked to the doctor. They said they will be taking some scans this morning.” “At least she is sleeping now. I’m about to leave for the hospital. Did you want me to bring you anything?” “No I’m ok, just tired. I’ve never been able to sleep in these hospital chairs.” “Ok, see you in a bit. Oh one more thing. I talked to Ivy. She lost her phone last night, but I told her about mom. She said to give her a call.” As Edward hung up he thought it was weird Ivy called his sister, but not having the energy to obsess about her at the moment he dismissed the thought. Just then the new nurse for the morning came in to introduce herself. “Good morning. How is everyone doing this morning?” the nurse asked. Edward replied,”She’s sleeping. Do you know when the doctor get’s in?” “The doctor on duty usually makes the rounds at 7 AM,” the nurse said as she reviews the chart sitting at the foot of the bed. She continued,”We have some scans scheduled for the morning. Right now I need to take some blood. Good morning Josie, I just need to take some blood.” Edward’s mother slowly opened her eyes as the nurse gently touched her hand to wake her. “Good morning,” Edwards mother said as she slowly opened her eyes. “Where is my son?” “I’m right here mom.” “Good morning son. Did you get any sleep?” “A little. I’m ok. Diane called right now and said she was on her way, and the doctor should be here in a few hours.” “Ok, you should get yourself something to eat.” “I will mom. I just want to talk to the doctor first.” “It will be a while before the doctor gets her. You have time to go to the cafeteria if you want. I can take your cellphone and call you when the doctor gets here.” the nurse offered. “Ok, thank you. Mom I’m going to be back in 20 minutes.” Edward felt guilty for wanting to get out, but it was going to be a long weekend and he needed a break. Sitting down at a vacant table in the cafeteria he thought about calling Ivy. Just then several missed voice mail messages came in. Apparently the cell reception in the ICU was weak and caused several missed calls that went to voice mail. Two messages were from Ivy. A sense of relief came over Edward as he pressed play on the message.