Chapter 1 : “24 Days of Hell”
November 11, 2016 was supposed to be a regular Friday. It turned out to be the beginning of one of the worst days of my life. I didn’t have class that day so the plan was to relax and chill at home. It had been a wild week, mainly because Donald Trump had just won the presidential election a few days earlier. This particular Friday morning, my mother who had been battling cancer and a lung disease began to groan and yell out in pain. When my sister and I came into her room to help her, she became furious and yelled for us to get out. I soon realized that this was not my mother. It was her body, but it wasn’t the person I knew my whole life up until that point.
As the hours went by, my mother’s yelling increased. She was now yelling at the very top of her lungs. It was as if she was in a trance. My sister and I couldn’t even have a regular conversation with her because all she could do was yell out. It seemed like she was being tormented by something we couldn’t see. She was yelling as if she was trapped in Hell and was yelling to get out. Honestly the best way to describe it was like a scene out of the exorcist.
I’ve never witnessed anybody being possessed by the Devil, but if I had to imagine, I would say the way my mother was acting on this day, was an example. The yelling continued through out the day and into the evening. My sister and I waited for my father to come home so he could help us deal with our mom. He stated that the plan was to wait it out and take my mom to the hospital the next morning. My father eventually came home that evening and I went and ran some errands.
I came home a few hours later and my mom was still acting the same way. I couldn’t take the yelling so I decided to go sleep in the basement with a little music playing. As the hours in the night went by, I was awakened at around 3 or 4 am, by my dad or my sister, I honestly can not remember. I was told that we were going to take my mom to the hospital. My father, sister, and I, tried to get my mom dressed and ready but she was still in her state of delirium.
We held her down and managed to get her ready. She was so out of it that she couldn’t even walk. We sat her down in the wheel chair, and decided that the easiest way was going to be for my father and I to pull my mom from behind on the wheel chair down the stairs in our house , as my sister guided us from the top. We tried it out, then suddenly we lost control and the wheel chair slipped out of our hands while we were walking down the stairs, but we managed to regather it. By the Grace of God we managed to get her down the steps and out the house into the car. In the midst of getting my mom out the house, she was able to be calmed down, quieted, and relaxed, with a cup of ice. We made our way to the hospital and checked her in around 5 or 6 am.
They ran some tests and she was moved to the intensive care unit. She was still out of it but they asked her what hospital she was at and she said “Sibley”. I asked her what my name was and she looked at me like I was stupid lol. The fact that she knew who I was, was a good sign. The day went by and that night my mom started getting agitated again, but not nearly as loud as she was the night before. She would try to take off her oxygen mask, so going to sleep for my sister and I wasn’t an option. My sister and I felt that some of the nurses were slacking, so we didn’t feel comfortable falling asleep. My sister fell asleep and we were going to attempt to try taking turns sleeping, in case our mom took off her oxygen mask again. My mom got more agitated and pulled her mask off, and the nurses came. They frantically tried to put my moms mask on, as my mother’s eyes began to roll in the back of her head. They then medically induced her into a coma like state. That Monday the doctors implied my mom was pulling through, which was good, but by then, the whole health issue with my mom triggered something that I thought I had defeated. OCD, also known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Basically it is an anxiety disorder, that plagues people with fears that cause people to do repetitive actions to get rid of the fear or anxiety. My OCD first started in 4th grade not too long after I saw the Emmett Till documentary. One day I noticed I had a good day without thinking about the documentary and decided to think about what I did differently that day, so that I could have “good luck” again. I forgot what daily routine I did differently, but either way it birthed a “ritual”, which stemmed from trying to block out the images from the Emmett Till documentary. One of the symptoms of OCD is not only having intrusive thoughts, but intrusive images. The murder of Emmett Till was clearly one of those images. I know the Emmett Till documentary is what triggered my OCD, but I also had scarlet fever in 2nd grade, and scientists say that scarlet fever can cause OCD.
The next year or so, the OCD compulsions turned into repeating a daily task, because it didn’t “feel right”. I remember in 6th grade walking down the steps a “certain” way to make it “feel right” in my mind. The OCD would eventually gear up in 2005, at age 12, and affect me through out my teens and early 20's.
OCD can interfere with every day tasks. A person without OCD, would put on their shoes and think nothing of it. Whether it be, getting dressed on in the morning, opening/closing a door, touching the refrigerator door, walking in a room, washing my hands, I would have to go back and do what I had just done multiple times. Dying in my sleep, was also another constant fear through out my life, which obviously cut into the amount of sleep I would get. OCD fears usually tend to feed off traumatic events in one’s life. People with OCD realize the fear is irrational but still are plagued by the fear. I have heard of women who were sexually assaulted/abused and developed OCD. Due to the sexual assault, they felt unclean, dirty, causing them to develop a phobia of germs. There have been several different OCD fears that caused me anxiety growing up but it would be too hard to explain all of them. To summarize one of them, my OCD latched on my fear of getting cancer . Up until the time my mom was in the hospital, many of my family members had died or had cancer at one point. My uncle (my mother’s twin brother) passed away when I was 10. My mother was diagnosed with cancer when I was 12 but she beat it. When I was 15, my grandmother( my mother’s mother) was diagnosed in 2009, then later that year my grandfather was diagnosed. He would pass away in 2012. Later that year, my mother was diagnosed with cancer again, then a few months after that, my aunt (my mother’s sister) was diagnosed. My aunt would pass away in August of 2016, just 3 months before we took my mom into the hospital. Due to growing up with relatives around me getting or dying from cancer, I developed the OCD fear of getting cancer. Basically the thoughts would tell me I did this or that wrong. I have to do it again or else I will get cancer.
This life or death situation with my mom in the hospital, brought back my OCD thoughts and fears. If I did something wrong I would have to do it again or else my mother was going to die. If I was praying that my mom would pull through, I would have to pray again and again, until I felt like I did it the “right way”. This would include opening and closing a door to my car, walking, etc. I felt like my mother’s life depended on my actions.
Weeks of emotional roller coasters go by, and my mom’s situation had declined. That week we waited and hoped. I tried to keep myself busy with the new show at the time “Insecure.” That Friday, December 2, came around and we were told by the doctors there was nothing left they could do. A family friend told me about a “miracle” that occurred with an alternative medicine. It was about a man who was in a similar condition to my mom who survived after his family was able to get the doctors to approve a Vitamin C IV. I researched what she sent me and came across a video about it. In the video I noticed how “shady”, doctors can be. After his family convinced the doctor to put him on the Vitamin C IV, the man’s condition was improving. The doctors stopped the Vitamin C IV treatment without the family’s knowledge and against their wishes. The family was able to get him back on the Vitamin C IV and he miraculously recovered and lived. I mentioned the Vitamin C treatment to the doctors that Saturday and they seemed skeptical, but said they would get it for us. I remember thinking that night, that if this miracle worked for this guy, it could work for my mom.
The next day, my brother, who had flown in town not too long after my mom went into the hospital, and I, met my dad and sister at the hospital. The doctors were finally able to get my mom the Vitamin C IV. After they gave my mom the Vitamin C IV, the nurse said aloud, with a puzzled voice, “ this is the best her lungs have been”. I gained hope that the Vitamin C, had started kicking in. On a side note, during the time my mom had been in the hospital, my sister mentioned the number four and how the month of December would mark four months since our aunt (my mom’s younger sister) passed away. We then began to make more associations with the number four. For example, my mom’s twin brother passed in 2004, my dad’s mother passed when he was 4 years old, my mom and aunt had both been battling their cancer for four years(2012). To make matters worse, since it was Sunday December 4th, if my mom passed on this day, it would confirm the “4 theory” my sister mentioned.
The hours of the day go by and my dad did not want to see my mom suffer any more so he mentioned that he was going to have the doctors “pull the plug”. The day turned to night and my friend came to pick me up from the hospital to hang out and for support. We left the hospital, drove to get some food from 711 near Z burger in tenleytown, then chilled and talked for a little while in a parking lot near the hospital. I then got a text message from either my brother or sister saying “come back, dads going to pull the plug at midnight.” This was the compromise my dad made with my sister, so that my mom wouldn’t “transition” on the 4th. I told my friend I had to go, so she left and I walked up to the hospital room.
The same family friend who told me about the Vitamin C called me and told me she truly believed that my mom will pull through, and told me to pray that God would move my dads heart to not pull the plug. I went upstairs and told my older siblings how my family friend told us we had to pray. They looked at me like “Nigga Please”, then they eventually listened and and went to the family waiting room. That year I began to learn about the power of the law of attraction and visualization, so I said a long prayer, arguably one of the longest prayer of my life up until that point. We went back to the room and then my dad said “Okay one more day”, my sister, brother, and I start celebrating as if we hit the lotto. We were all amazed at the power of prayer. Of course I said to my siblings something a long the lines of “see I told y’all”. Literally right before the prayer my Dad was 100 percent sure he was pulling the plug, and then as soon as we said the prayer , he changed his mind. He started sobbing, most likely because he didn’t want to keep dragging on my moms suffering. We all settled down and relaxed in the hospital. Maybe between 15–30 minutes go by and my sister and I started watching a movie on her computer, then suddenly beeping noise went off.
We all stood-up and the machine went flat line, and the nurse said something that we couldn’t really hear. She would later come back and tell us my mom passed. During this time, I was high from smoking with my friend earlier, so I was numb and couldn’t really process it. My sister sobbed and walked over to the trash can in an attempt to throw up. I sobbed and rested my head on my mother’s body and told her how sorry I was for not being the best son. We must have waited in the hospital with my mom’s body for a few hours. During that time we sat in silence and disbelief. I remember being spooked out because my mom had make up on. My dad wanted my sister to do my mom’s make up earlier that day. When she passed, it looked weird on her face with her eyes closed. I remember my mom had a peaceful smirk on her face. If I could explain what the smirk looked like , it would be as if she was smiling while thinking “I told y’all, yall were was gonna miss me”. Either way it was a “no more battling cancer smirk”. It came time for the hospital staff to take my mom’s body to the basement morgue. The drive home was spooky. It was weird knowing we were leaving our mother there. It was the end of a long 24 days of my mom being in the hospital. The next day was sunny, but from that day on, that December seemed dark and gloomy.
For chapter 3, please click the link below.