The last 9 days of my life have been by far the hardest. My Mother has been in a coma this entire time as a result of a brain bleed and subsequent craniotomy. What is a craniotomy, you ask? Basically, they cut off a piece of her skull, sucked the blood off her brain, and were then able to put it back on after the swelling went down. Originally, they did not think that would be possible. At first, and this is part of what has made this so hard, they thought she would be awake fairly quickly.

However, there were some seizures in her brain for a couple days after the surgery that were originally missed. This set progress back and we don’t really know just how much damage that did. My Mom also has several other health issues, the biggest of which is end-stage kidney disease. This could be playing a factor when it comes to the length of time it takes to heal, as the doctor just mentioned to me today. There isn’t any visible damage to her brain tissue, although there could be unseen damage below that, apparently.

In short, the doctors don’t really know much when it comes to whether or not she will ever wake up. They seem to think maybe she will. Then again, maybe she won’t. To say this is frustrating would be a massive understatement. It’s a heart-wrenching affair that I literally would not wish on my worst enemy. I would wish A LOT of other fucked up things on them, but not this. It’s actual sadistic torture. Wishing death on someone would be kinder, in my opinion.

One day, I might be able to go into all the details here. My mother was in the hospital for an unrelated gallbladder infection and was on the mend. So, suffice to say, this brain surgery came out of nowhere and was not expected whatsoever. The fact that it shouldn’t have happened makes it that much harder. I mean, it would be hard to see your mother like this at any time, but the lack of warning, and the fact that she was actually getting well before this, makes it incredibly hard to handle.

Many of these nights have actually been spent here in her room, where I am now. But on Friday night I was told that I can only stay from 6AM-8PM EST going forward. I was not pleased with this news and made that known, but it still gives me 14 hours of possible visitation time per day. I know some people have been through much worse in the last year when it comes to hospital visitation, so I do take that into consideration when calculating my rage. Still, it’s very hard to accept that when your loved one is in this kind of shape and when I consider the other factors I can’t go into right now…

I’m gonna go ahead and work a full schedule of Killstreams this week, absent a breaking event that I’m able to get in the hospital for after 8PM. I did three days last week, but Thursday and Friday offered some of the first rays of hope, so I took those nights off. By the way, there’s been some more hope this weekend, so I definitely don’t want to sound too negative. She’s reacting to my voice a bit and followed some directions when it came to eye movement. I’m also about 95% sure she can hear what I’m saying. There’s still a long road to go down and like I said at the beginning, it’s simply unknown where this thing is gonna go. But I’m gonna be here for it either way, doing what I can to make positive outcomes more likely.

It is kind of a weird existence right now, though. Obviously, for me, everything else in the world pales in comparison to my Mamma and her struggle here. No one has ever meant more to me. No one has backed me more, even when they shouldn’t have. No one has loved me more, even when it wasn’t easy. There’s no one I’ve ever loved more myself.

Sometimes I catch myself mid-tweet, thinking, “What in the fuck am I doing? This is meaningless!” Or I get lost in thought about her, thinking of some random trip we took, or memory we shared. Maybe a thought about something I should have done comes up. It can be maddening in a lot of ways…in most ways.

But, thankfully, I have a lot of amazing friends, colleagues, and supporters who have lifted me up. The sheer number of messages is so staggering that I haven’t been able to get back to every single person. I want you all to know that it’s meant more to me than I could ever possibly express. The whole “Can’t Abort the Retort” slogan has sort of become part of my identity, and sometimes it can be a burden. It feels like I have to keep going no matter what. While I never want to lose that mentality, I also want to thank all of you for letting me know it’s ok to put it to the side from time to time.

Thank you all so very much. I appreciate the strength you’ve given to me personally, and all the prayers you sent up for my Mom. I will never forget it as long as I live.



Ethan Ralph