Years ago I read a most gripping novel about a driver maneuvering his seriously powerful race car in a European race. I think he had nicknamed it the “Green Hornet." This race was not on an oval where they just go round and round and round and round hour after hour – but one of those races like Le Mans, where the course is over public roads, and in this case up into the mountains. The author described in wonderful detail the techniques the driver uses to coax his Ferrari or Porsche or whatever it is to take the curves he comes up on as fast as possible without leaving the road. I remember that much of it, but not the author’s name nor the name of the novel.
We now have six cars – six! (count 'em folks) – keeping in mind that up until 2 weeks ago there were 3 people driving. It’s hilarious in one way and pitiful in another, but there is a good explanation for all of this; in any event, we will begin shedding some of these cars fairly soon. We have been rolling down the highway in any of several of these cars that we trust enough to get us to the hospital. Every day this week, in fact, at least one of us has climbed into a vehicle and powered his or her way down the highway for 90 minutes to get to the hospital.
As one heads west from Willow Springs toward Springfield, the land flattens out quite a bit and the winding, up and down roads near the house began to level out and straighten, but even so, here and there are turns with warning signs to reduce speed – especially for the big rigs that have habit of turning over if they go too fast.
Yesterday as I was rolling along, I came to one of the two curves on the highway that one really does need to slow down a bit to be safe, and as I adjusted my speed and kept a steady hand on the wheel and keeping an eye on the car next to me, I imagined, just for a second, that I was that race car driver maneuvering my Porsche around a turn rather than a mother heading off in her 1998 Olds to spend some time with her terminally ill child.
Yesterday ended on a fairly good note considering that the end note is going to be very bad indeed. The chest tube that was continuing to pour out fluid has stopped draining. This is huge, because it means there is more of a chance that it can be taken out and he can be moved to a facility closer to home. His care while he is at the hospital has been transitioned to the palliative care doctor, who has added drugs and increased doses and has made our boy much more comfortable. Nate asked for a nasogastric tube yesterday, which is not very pleasant but is much better than the nearly constant vomiting of vile stuff from his stomach, and as the day progressed, it was much easier to be in the room with him.
So on the trip home last night as I climbed into my powerful race car and rolled on down the highway toward home, I was actually feeing at peace. And I managed to reach two of the three intersections on the highway with stoplights when they were green.
"Gee", my husband said when I walked in, "you sure made good time!" Little did he know….