Blame it on a virus that zapped all my energy.
Blame it on a tight project deadline and a babysitter on vacation.
Blame it on watching three episodes in a row of “Six Feet Under” Season Four, including one in which the mortuary drains back up, spewing copious amounts of human blood onto the floors and up through kitchen sinks.
When I went to check on Girl from the East last night and found her face down in a small pool of blood, which had soaked a pillow, the sheets and her nightgown, I freaked.
And when I picked her up and it spilled out of her mouth and all over my sweatshirt, I really freaked out.
And when I looked at the clock and saw that it was 12:43 a.m. and remembered that my husband was in Massachusetts on business, that my closest friend to call upon was in Pennsylvania on vacation, and the doctor’s office merely advised me to call 911, that’s what I did.
I felt slightly irrational.
I mean, all that blood. Is that normal for a nosebleed? Was it a nosebleed? Had she fallen? Did she stuff something up there?Did the cats do something to her? My mind raced and came up short of any common-sense answers. All I knew was that the blood just kept flowing.
I don’t like blood. Blood makes me crazy.
I told the dispatcher that I didn’t want a fuss. I didn’t think it was life and death. I just couldn’t get the bleeding to stop enough to get her to the car and drive the three and a half miles to the area hospital.
So they showed up, quietly, but with lights flashing, and further riled my already totally freaked-out girl.
Long story short, the EMTs seemed to think it was a severe nosebleed and that I should take her to the doctor soon and get the humidity adjusted in our house.
An already long day stretched taut. My frayed nerves nearly snapped. My mothering skills as useless and spent as the soaked wash cloth I’d used to pinch her nostrils.
Is it the adoptive mother in me that reacts so irrationally to even the slightest scrape with this Girl from the East? Is it the last-time-around mother in me that cannot abide by illness and accidents threatening our perfect joy? I am gripped at times by an uncontrollable fear and panic over this Girl from the East, who didn’t come to us easily, who didn’t really seem ours until we passed through U.S. Immigration gates, even though we’d fed, clothed, diapered and loved her for weeks in her homeland, who held out loving and trusting us until we had proven ourselves worthy. So many hoops to jump through to get to today, to this blood and fear.
I had a full day of work today, but I could barely part company with her, fearing the worst.
Her precious beauty tears at my insides. I cannot contemplate the worst. I cannot fix the worst. I cannot change that which is already predetermined. I cannot let go of the irrational worry and panic that fills my heart when even the slightest thing seems wrong.
I do not know her health history. I do not know to what she was exposed before she landed in our arms. I do not know what is hereditary in her family. There is no one to call, no records to request. It’s all a blank.
The blood tears me apart, but it bonds us together.