It was early September when my mom came into my room one night telling me that there were little red specks on her legs. I thought nothing of it and was too busy trying to finish my homework. I just told her that it probably had something to do with aging. She considered it for a while and agreed but put on some asian medicine on it just for good measure.
A week later, she found a black lump on her hip a little smaller than a golf ball. She showed me and I told her that she needed to see a doctor. She wanted to go see one but she decided against it because she just didn’t have the time. Over the next few days, the lump didn’t go away and she discovered lots of black bruises on her arms and legs. She didn’t recall bumping into anything that could cause that much damage. After trying to convince her that it was a serious problem, she decided to not go to work the next day and to the doctor.
The doctors hadn’t seen anything like it before. They didn’t know how to approach the problem so they decided that the best thing they were able to do at that moment was to take a blood test. They found something unusual but couldn’t figure out what it was. A couple days later, she got a call from the doctors saying that she had to come back in to take another blood test. The same thing happened. They couldn’t pinpoint what the problem was. A couple days later, she had to go back in for another test.
Then September 19th came around. It was my little sister’s 9th birthday. It was a bad day for me. I ended up waking up late. Then I had to get dressed and walk my dog. I usually don’t come home until he has finished doing his business so he wouldn’t do it in the house. But he was stubborn in picking out the perfect spot to do it. I came back home half an hour later. Then I had to eat breakfast and rush to school. My dad was pissed because the result of me waking up late is usually having to deal with the heavy traffic outside school. I barely made it on time.
I got a call from my mom in the middle of third period but I just ignored it. I told myself to call her later during lunch asking about it but I thought that I would just ask her about it when I call her to pick me up from school. Once school ended, I called her and asked her if she could come and pick me up but she stopped me halfway and said, “Michelle, I’m in the hospital.” My day just became significantly worse. I asked her why and she just said that the doctors called her in the morning and told her to go to the emergency room immediately. She ended the call with, “I love you” which she never says to me unless she thinks it would be the last time she would talk to me.
The first thing I thought of once she hung up was, “How will I be able to tell my sister that our mom is in the emergency room and could possibly die on her birthday? She’s probably having one of the best days of her life and I don’t want to be the one to shatter it. This can’t be happening; it’s too cliche.” Luckily, my sister went to an after school program so I wouldn’t have to see her until 6 but I was supposed to go drop off cupcakes so they could celebrate her birthday. My aunt drove me home to pick them up and to the after school program. I dropped them off quickly and left quickly because I didn’t have the courage to face her. I didn’t want her to suspect anything was wrong. We then rushed to the hospital.
I was scared to say the least. I didn’t know what to expect or how I would react to what I was about to see. Once I was on the other side of her curtain, I prepared myself for the worse. When I walked around the curtain, I saw her lying there attached to a heart beat monitor. She had a needle in her arm, but I didn’t know what its purpose was. But the thing that made me feel relieved was that she was awake. She was awake and other than the needle and heart beat monitor, she seemed perfectly fine. She explained to me some things like when she arrived at the hospital and that she had to take more blood tests but she didn’t explain why she was there. She actually didn’t know why she was there either. We talked for a while until the doctor walked in. He basically answered my prayers and explained why we were all sitting there in the emergency room.
It turns out that my mom has a low amount of platelets. Platelets are what stops people from bleeding to death; they clot the blood so the wound can heal. Since my mom has a low amount of platelets, when she would brush by something, she would bleed internally and it wouldn’t stop. That explained the red dots and the black lump and the bruises. He explained that they would give her more platelets and give her medication so the amount of platelets would stay constant. But the best thing I heard from him was that she was going to be okay. The stress I was under went away. I still had to tell my sister that the reason she was going to be sleeping alone on her birthday was that our mom was in the hospital but at least I was able to assure her that our mom was going to be okay.