Yesterday knocked me on my ass.
Just as I hit the PUBLISH POST button last night, Bruce walked in the door.
Chica? what's wrong?
I burst into tears. I sobbed. I told him about Brandon. And Brandon's mom.
I'm sure 13 years ago he witnessed a rant about cardiologists and babies in pain.
But he doesn't remember that.
All he knows, and all I know, is I haven't cried like that in years and years.
And the past few years I have had plenty of reasons to sob.
This morning I woke up all puffy eyed and thought about it.
And because I spend an inordinate amount of time contemplating my navel and the crap in my head,
I wondered if last night's cry was about more than one dead patient.
I didn't cry like that when my mom died.
I didn't cry like that when my dad died.
I didn't cry like that when my husband and family were circling the drain.
I cried over around and through all of those things, but I did not cry like I cried last night.
And honest to god, I think my tears were all for my dead patient. And his mom.
She came to see me yesterday evening. I walked into the exam room and just looked at her.
oh my god K, are you all right? is everyone else all right?
I'm ok. We're ok. I know you were away. I said to myself, oh my god I have to see her.
You saved Brandon. You got him his surgery.
If it weren't for you, I wouldn't have had him for 13 years.
Which, my friends, is entirely untrue.
5 month old Brandon would have gotten his surgery with or without me. His situation was kind of a no brainer.
But, as far as she's concerned, I saved her baby.
that's fucked up and a helluva heavy load
we just looked at each other and my eyes started to leak
talk about Hail Mary Full of Grace
She was so calm. Not a valium sort of calm, but an accepting sort of calm.
She said she hasn't fallen apart yet. She feels all broken inside.
I watched her take lots of deep breaths as we talked.
She would actually say whew under her breath as the waves of anxiety hit her.
She can't go home
She's sleeping on her sister's couch
She keeps expecting him to walk through the door
She can't look in the mirror he looked just like her
She fell asleep at the wheel.
They were coming back from visiting her brother in NJ. They stopped at Dunkin Donuts for coffee. They got back on the road and the next thing she remembers is the air bag hitting her in the face. The car had flipped over twice and hit the divider. She turned around and saw the 18 month old strapped in his car seat with a scratch on his lip. Her 17 year old was there with a bloody nose. But Brandon was not in the car.
Somehow, he was thrown from the car and hit by oncoming traffic. The paramedics told her he died instantaneously and didn't suffer.
She takes comfort in the words of the compassionate paramedics.
Michelle...if I could take that day back...if just one thing was different...if we had left earlier.
She wasn't drunk. She wasn't negligent. She was the working mom of 3 boys. She was tired.
I didn't know what to say to her. I felt completely impotent. Not a way I'm used to feeling.
She told me about the funeral.
She brought me a laminated prayer card with his picture on it.
Her faith is getting her through. God has His reasons. It's part of His Plan.
I'm quick to scoff at anything Christian, but the reality is, whatever gets you through the night, right?
Whether it's Jesus Christ or Ganesh or Allah or the God of Abraham or Universal Love, it's all the same shit.
I said you're one tough lady
She said it's not me and pointed to the ceiling
I gave her the name of a good therapist.
She can't sleep. She's exhausted.
The valium didn't help. Benadryl doesn't work.
She's back to work cause she needs the money. Her son died less than 3 weeks ago.
She says she's OK during the day, but when night comes she starts to freak out.
She watches her 18 month old sleep.
She's sad he won't remember his big brother Brandon, who was such a good big brother and such a good son.
She says she knows he knew she loved him. They talked about it just a few days before the accident.
The Universe is Abundant
She says she knows he's watching.
I told her she would see him again. Because that's what I truly believe.
Today I flip flop between deep sadness and deep gratitude.
That's all I have to say.