Bio Note: I live, write and have a small therapy practice in Seattle, WA. For twenty one years I worked in AIDS services, while learning and practicing the Wise Woman Tradition of herbalism. I have three poetry books, publications can be found on my website.
The Night of the Stroke
Visiting my sister in Philly to meet my new nephew, adopted from Vietnam, my sister and I eat spaghetti with meat sauce, Mom and her new grandson rest upstairs— a crash and a thud crackle through the baby monitor— we find Mom on the floor—she waves her hand, shakes her head, no, but we call 911. I sit next to her on the bathroom floor, hold her hand, my sister sits with her new son. Emergency Medics come fast, strap her to a mat. I whisper, She has schizophrenia. A fact my sister won’t tell, but she rides alongside Mom in the ambulance. I finish my spaghetti, get a ride to the hospital with a neighbor. In ICU a CT scan shows damage, she can’t talk, there is concern about clots in her neck breaking loose, we notice a catheter up her urethra—her heart beeps across a monitor, our eyes watch the beat, a nurse asks about insurance, mentions complications. Says, Medicare won’t cover complex care. Adamant, I demand a social worker.
©2020 Julene Tripp Weaver
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