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Health scares at the holidays

For the past five years my family’s holidays have been consumed with health scares and surgery recoveries.

I was in the ninth grade when my grandpa got surgery two days before Christmas. He wasn’t at our normal Christmas Eve dinner or making the jokes only he can. Christmas Day, my sister and I opened our presents ate a large breakfast and then traveled to Dothan to spend the rest of the day with my grandpa. I remember thinking “never again” will a family member get surgery this close to the holidays.

I stood corrected.

My sister went on to tear her ACL, MCL, ACL & MCL, ACL and MCL again within a matter of 4 years, and for some reason my parents thought it best to do it right at Christmas break when we were all out to take care of her. My sister can be kind of a diva to take care of. I’ll admit she was in pain, but she would throw stuff at me when she wanted me gone and ring her bell when she wanted me there. I may or may not have fallen asleep on the job, though. She couldn’t even get out of the bed and walk to the bathroom, so I probably deserved for stuff to be thrown at me.

Last year, was the worst surgery yet. She was in so much pain and I remember on Christmas morning she was just in tears. She didn’t want to take a painkiller and be asleep the whole day, but she could barely walk with her crutches in the den. When she got her new boots she had wanted all year, she couldn’t wear them for months. I felt sad for her. Everyone could tell she was having a horrible time and she would’ve rather sat the whole day out.

This year my family thought we had the whole surgery thing behind us. My sister is in college and doesn’t play sports anymore. My health scare happened early in September. But, just when you think everything is going right, something happens wrong.

My mom and dad were at the SEC Championship game, when my mom had to go to the Emergency Room. She had what she thought was the worst stomachache of all times. It turned out to not be a stomachache, but the beginning of one of her kidneys failing.

She was rushed back to Albany, where she was admitted to the hospital for the past week. They found blood clots in her kidney and now only ¼ of it works. She stayed there until the following Thursday and was readmitted for one night this past Monday.

I don’t’ think I’ve ever fully realized how much I count on my mom, and when I started to become worried and imagine life without her, I couldn’t bare it. There is no one in the world that could ever replace her.

This holiday season, I want to forget about all the things I put on my wish list and ask for my mom’s health to be at its prime again. I want her to feel like her best self and enjoy the time she has off from work with her family. No more worries about the best gift or what to cook, I just want to spend time with her and be so glad I have many years left with my hero.