Survival By Any Means Necessary

I have not written in months because I think sometimes we just have to experience life. Life has swallowed me wholly in ways I never imagined it could. All I’ve mostly been able to do is hang on for the ride until now. I’m trying to take control of the reigns and right this ship (my life).

Since November

My mom has been in the hospital since November 22nd.

That sentence deserves to stand alone. My heart breaks for her every single day. She’s been through a cycle of being intubated, placed on a ventilator, receiving a trach, getting off a ventilator, having a trach removed, and now back on a ventilator with a trach. Remarkably, she continues to fight back even more against the odds, and I’m her #1 cheerleader.

I put up Christmas lights in her hospital room, danced to her favorite Christmas songs (we love Donny Hathaway), and even sang (likely her least favorite thing I did). I wasn’t sure I’d ever hear her voice again, but I knew she needed me to show her that I loved her even more. I truly do.

On New Year’s Eve, I contemplated spending time with my friends, but I knew where I really wanted to be. With her. We brought in the new year with an intoxicated Don Lemon on television, and I won’t ever forget the way she smiled at me before she fell asleep. We made it to 2022 together.

By her birthday in March, she’d improved enough to have her trach tube removed, and I thought we’d never go back to that point until she had 3 infections at once that caused an unexpected swallowing issue.

It’s demoralizing to see the person you love the most being intubated (seriously, 20 people standing over your parent isn’t exactly calming). However, my mom’s a fighter, and she’s proven everyone wrong before so why can’t she do it again?

We All Try

I’ve lost my faith in healthcare over the past few months.

Truthfully, I’ve lost my faith in almost everything, especially myself.

I feel certain that I haven’t been a great graduate student, and I know I should be. I feel certain that I haven’t been a great daughter, and I definitely should be that. I know I haven’t been the best friend or peer. I can do better. Right? But what if I can’t or don’t?

I disappeared for a while from my friends. I didn’t know how to tell them or anyone how I felt and feel. Even now, I think the best way I could explain it is that…I feel weary and vulnerable, but I am trying to simply feel okay. Every day, I fear I’ll lose my mom. Every day, I feel further from myself.

But I am trying to change all of those things. Inspired by my mother’s will to live. Inspired by the people who have stayed supported me both personally and professionally through of all of this. Inspired by the healthcare professionals who have gone above and beyond to take care of my mother.

You’ll be reading a new post from me sooner than the last time. I still have great news to share, and I’m excited to share more.

Shaurita D. Hutchins

Shaurita D. Hutchins

Graduate Student Trainee

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