Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pardon my tears (Part Three)

My husband hasn't seen the doctor yet. But... he did ask a nurse why there were no longer restraints on our son. The nurse said simply, "He is comatose."

Wow. Thanks for letting us know (at the other hospital). Thanks for basically LYING to us. Thanks for... being chickenshit.

It's still July 30. I'm still waiting. We are back at my mom's now. I've already talked to some health professionals in my family who have prepared me for the worst.

The worst being... Drano is what it is. It's a corrosive acid. It destroys. Going down... it dissolved a lot... If you look at a bottle of Drano, it will tell you, "DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. CONTACT POISON CONTROL IF CONSUMED." Words to live by. Vomiting it up, probably destroyed what was left.

My husband comes. I have no words. It is the worst feeling ever.

When my dad had cancer and was terminal (1990's), we knew. We were as prepared as we could be. And it hurt. a lot.

When my husband's dad had cancer and was terminal (2004-2005), we knew. We were as prepared as we could be. And it hurt. a lot.

When this happens to our CHILD. My children's oldest BROTHER. A kid I've known since he was 9. A child I've loved since I've known him. A child who used to tell me "secrets" about his life (and I'd relay those to protect him). OUR CHILD, who is a part of our family. Part of our heart. Part of our lives.

My husband tells me it's decided. There is no brain activity. He has been comatose and will not come out of it. The machines will be turned off. And we will let him drift off... to... forever...

He did put that donor dot on his driver's license. (Thank you, Jr...) He will be a donor and will help someone else to live on.

My heart breaks. I am in immense pain. I have already told the adult children. We need to tell our 9-year-old.

She knows he is hurt and is fighting. She knows he drank something he shouldn't have. What do I tell a 9-year-old? There is no one to help us. The nurses at Kaiser have no answers. I race to the internet to help... I have so many questions of my own. "Did you MEAN to do this?" "WHY????" "Were you in pain?" "Were we not parents enough?" I realize I am turning it back to me... instead of what to tell her... our 9-year-old. I find information on not using words like "sleeping". Just be straight-forward and matter of fact in the gentlest way possible.

We tell her... it nearly kills us. And she shocks us by telling us she will help take care of us. She is hurt. But she knows her brother wouldn't want her to dwell. Her only request is to see him to say goodbye.

I am so lucky and thankful my brother and his wife have come (after their visit to our son) to tell their children, so I am not burdened with this, as well. Small favors are REALLY huge.

The next morning, there is no circus at Kaiser. Maybe because everyone already knows. Or maybe because we are here at 5:30 in the morning.

I speak to one of the nurses. I explain that his little sister would like to come and say goodbye. they refuse and tell me the rules are 12 and older ONLY. No exceptions. My baby doesn't get to say goodbye... My heart breaks for her.

The older girls, my sister and I have come without her. We go to say our goodbyes.  It is worse than last night. I can only stay a couple of minutes, as I begin to crack. I look at that face.

How horrible that everything within the past 16-1/2 years runs through me. I remember him hugging me. Asking me to stay. Wanting to know when he can see us again. I remember him fighting with me. Telling me he hated me. I remember him telling me he loved me. He told me thank you for his baby sister. He said thank you for everything I'd done. I remember the last two times we'd seen him.

Father's Day. Family Reunion. No. He did not seem happy. He seemed controlled by another. A puppet on a string. He was trying to please someone who couldn't be pleased. He was with us, but not with us. And that was the last we saw of him. A week after the Family Reunion, that fateful shot was taken. It wasn't alcohol. It was Drano.

I listen to the machines as they wheeze, breathe, and whine... He still looks the same. I reach out to hold his hand. It's so warm. How can this be happening?

The nurse walks up to my sister and I (Kaiser only allows two in at a time... hmmm...) and asks if we know the situation. We say, "Yes." She says, "Good. I just wanted to make sure." Nothing else was offered.

I listen again. I reach out to stroke his cheek. The stubble has grown in... I can take no more. I lower my head and kiss him on the cheek. I tell him, "I love you, Jr" and give him a hug. With tears pouring down my face, I walk out... and hear the steady humming, the rise and fall of the breathing machine, and the blips of the heart monitor... It is painful.

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